General Computer Maintenance Tip’s
The following is a list of twelve simple steps for general computer maintenance. By following these steps you increase the chances that you can avoid some of the most common problems that are brought to our attention.
Carry your laptop in a protective case or bag, free from any potentially harmful substances.
- Computers should be carried in a bag with lots of padding and protection.
- Alternatively, you can purchase a “laptop sleeve” to protect your computer. Models with padding inside and a hard shell are preferred.
- Don’t place food, drink, or other potentially hardful substances nearby or in a bag with your computer, as liquid spills on laptops are all too common and often come with a heavy price tag.
- Be sure to include accident protection in your warranty, if you are concerned about accidental damage or spills.
Always power down your laptop before moving it around, and at night.
- The hard drive, where your data is stored is a series of spinning discs with a read/write head (analogous to a record player). Thus, transporting or moving your laptop while powered on can cause corruption to the hard drive (analogous to a record scratch).
- To avoid long boot-up times, you can also put your computer into Sleep, Standby, or Hibernate modes.
- Shutting down your computer (or putting it into Sleep or Hibernate) will also extend the life of the hardware.
Take care with the screen and keyboard.
- The laptop’s compact design means sensitive components must be stored directly below the keyboard.
- Avoid slamming or punching down on keys with excessive force, as this may damage the components underneath.
- The LCD screen is also sensitive, so avoid poking the screen too hard or placing heavy objects on top of your laptop.
Keep the laptop on a flat surface when in use and avoid blocking air vents.
- Blocking air vents will cause the computer to operate above the normal operating temperature range, which over time will decrease the lifespan of your computer.
- Avoid using your computer in a particularly dusty area.
- Consider purchasing a compressed “air” canister and blowing out the dust from the vents, or request help from Phuket Hosting.
Back up your data regularly and backup important files to multiple locations.
- Hard drive failure is difficult to predict and may even occur within the first few months of computer ownership
- Develop a strategy for backing up your data regularly, suggestions are available in the FAQ on Backing Up.
Keep your email healthy by keeping your inbox small.
- Often webmail is slow because your inbox is too large, making loading times of your inbox very slow.
- If you inbox becomes too large (greater than 500MB or so), it may become corrupted and you could lose emails or miss incoming messages.
- To check the size of your email folders, go to webmail interface.
- Consider setting up an email client program and using it regularly instead of Webmail.
- You can also download your email whole folders at a time using webmail
Install a Antivirus Solution, keep it updated, and perform scans regularly.
- Be sure to install a Antivirus Solution. Your computer may come with a free trial of a antivirus, but we strongly encourages uninstalling the trial version provided and installing a full Antivirus Solution (Most of them are free for private use).
- Keep the software updated by setting your Antivirus Solution to check daily for updates.
Set strong passwords.
- Be sure to set a strong password for your username, using numbers, letters, and capitals.
- In Windows XP, be sure to set a strong password for the Administrator account too.
Delete unwanted programs and files, and avoid installing lots of ‘extras’.
- In Windows, There are many flashy programs that run in the background of your computer (usually showing up as little icons in the task bar, e.g. WeatherBug). Use ‘Add/Remove programs’ in Control Panel to remove these programs or any others not in use.
- In OS X, be sure to remove unwanted programs from your ‘Applications’ folder.
- Empty your Recycling Bin or Trash.
- Delete old files from your desktop or documents folders.
- Remove any excess user accounts that may be taking up space.
Update Windows/OS X regularly.
- To have the best patches and security updates available, be sure to regularly update your computer.
- Instructions forWindows Updates and Mac OS X Software Updates are located in the FAQs.
Avoid P2P software.
- P2P programs often come bundled with adware or spyware.
- P2P downloads can sometime be bogus files and may contain viruses.
Keep track of your software CD/DVDs and license keys.
- Never discard the Windows, Office, or other discs that come with your computer, these can be invaluable in getting your computer running fast.
- Keep all official documents, receipts, and license keys for your software, which are needed if the software must be reinstalled.