Are you wondering how to keep your computer running like new? I’t seems like when their new they run fast but after awhile they start to slow down. Well here on this page I will cover some tips you can do to keep your system running fast and smooth
I will be covering things that you will want to do on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly base, nothing too complicated, just some regular computer maintenance. First thing I will cover will be some things you will want to do right after you got your system up and running just the way you want it.
Setting up your system like a pro:
Now I’m assuming that you are using a surge suppressor power strip, to power your computer, monitor, printer and any other component that you might be using in your system . If not I highly recommend that you do, it can save a lot of headaches down the road from any spikes in electrical surges that do happen from time to time.
The next thing you will want to do is register your software and hardware products so any warranties will be valid in case anything should go wrong (we sure hope not, but you never know). Once that is done, it would be a good time to store your Operating Disk (if you have one), Driver Disks, and any manuals that came with your system, to some type of file folder to keep them safe and undamaged. You just never know when you might need them in the future.
Installing some protection:
Before you go any further downloading a bunch of software you will want to make sure you have an Antivirus program running on your system. Now if you loaded your own windows operating system it will automatically activate Windows Defender for you, and if you bought a new built system, I’m sure it came with a trial antivirus software pre loaded, if not and your running Windows 7 or later you will want to make sure Window Defender is running. This way you won’t be vulnerable when you connect to the internet looking for some cool software to download to help in maintaining your system.
In my opinion Windows Defender is fairly good for being free, but if you want better protection then you are going to have to invest in a better antivirus program from a reliable source, one that concentrates mainly on protection of your system, from viruses. Hackers are just getting more and more smart these days in finding ways to still your information and data, so why not make it just as difficult as possible for them.
More protection from hackers:
Along with the antivirus program you will want to get an anti malware program, also known as Malicious or spyware, some of the more expensive antivirus software will cover everything from virus checker to firewalls and more. So if you have the money you can go that rout, but if you want to save money there are some good free software out there to use. I have a post on some popular software for your computer, where I have listed some free Antivirus, Malicious and Spyware software that works great, you can check it out here (The best free software)
One more thing before we move on to Weekly tips, I recommend making an image of your hard drive, so any time down the road your system should become unstable, or hacked, you will have a recovery point to go to.
Here is a program I use that works great, and best of all its free! (Ease Us To do Backup) Just click on the link and download. You can make as many Images of your hard drive that you want, like make an image now of your new system, and then latter, when you have got all of your programs and files like music, documents, and pictures, loaded onto your hard drive, make another one. That way you will have two backup images to fall back on, if your system should ever be compromised. or corrupted to an unforeseen hack or malicious software.
If your computer is new, one that you just purchased, or one that you just built, you won’t need to start your weekly chores until a few months down the road. After you have acquired a lot of data from surfing the net and downloading software, and such, you will want to start out using a disk cleaner to clear your files from junk ware.
So your first task will be to run a disk cleaner like CCleaner, this is a great, and free utility to detect and delete all of those unwanted files, like your browsing history and cookies, and whatever accumulates after a lot of use. It will also clean your register, which will help maintain the smooth operation of your system. Unless you do a lot of surfing on the web and downloading a lot of data, you will be fine doing this by-weekly instead of weekly, I run mine by-weekly and it seems to be enough for me, and I’m always on the Web.
Keeping your Data Safe:
After running the disk cleaner BACKUP YOUR FILES to a remote location like the Cloud, there are a lot of sites out there offering free cloud service to take advantage of. If not the cloud, then, save your files to a DVD or flash drive, either way just make sure you back up your files. Now if you’re running Windows 8,or higher then take advantage of the Windows Backup System that you can set up to keep your files backed up automatically on a flash drive.
You can never have enough backups, because for some reason one or the other gets lost, damage or deleted accidently. (I do it all the time 🙁 ).
Monthly Tips, And more Security:
Here are a few monthly task to perform, first would be to repeat your weekly task, once that is done you will then want to check for security updates on your software, some programs do this automatically, but to be on the safe side I like to run this free software (Secunia PSI) that will scan all of your programs installed on your hard drive, and check to make sure they are up to date with there security.
This program can be run in the background and will prompt you when it has found any updates that need to be installed, or you can run it monthly on your own so that it is not taking up valuable CPU performance, and slowing down your system. So for a faster system don’t have it running in the background, just remember to run it monthly and you will be good to go. 🙂
Taking out the trash:
Now is a good time to take out the garbage to save space on your drive, by this I mean to uninstall all of the programs that you downloaded and don’t use, no reason to leave them on your hard drive taking up valuable space, and eventually slowing down your system. (I’m notorious for downloading software I never use)
Here’s how you do it in windows, click on control panel, find programs and features, click on it and follow the instructions. Quick and simple. 🙂
Here is another good thing to do to help the performance of your system, and that is to defrag your hard drive. What is defragging? Well, when your computer is storing data on your hard drive it does it in chunks wherever there’s space available, there for your data is now fragmented and when the reader heads of the drive are searching for the data it will be going back and forth for the information, making it a slow process.
So to correct that problem, there is a defrag utility that will take all the fragmented chunks, and put them all together in one chunk of data, allowing your hard drive to operate faster (Yea). Now if you have Windows 7 or later it will have a built in defragger that can be set up to run automatically, you just have to schedule it to run when your computer is on and not in sleep mode.
Where to find this utility? Go to your start menu, in the search box enter defrag, hover the mouse over the file and click on it and follow instructions.
One other utility to run at this time is the hard drive error checker; this will check the drives for errors that show up from time to time and fix them. It will show you what errors where found and what to do with them. You can locate this utility by going to file explorer, hover over the drive you want to check, right click, and then click on tools from the drop down box, from there you can run both the error checker and optimizer (defragger) utilities
Time for Quarterly check-up:
We all visit sites that require a password, now for your protection it is a good idea to change your passwords on quarterly bases. I use a free password manager called Daslane, to manage all of my passwords, this way all I have to remember is one strong password and it takes care of all the other ones making it a lot easier to change them all. You will find there are several free ones out there to choose from, all providing the same service.
Time to Take a Bath: 🙂
Now it’s time to clean your computer, inside and out. You will want to power down your computer for this and turn off all your other devices; if your using a surge protector (like your supposed to) you can just turn the power off on your surge protector, that way you know there all off. I will be covering cleaning your keyboard and mouse, moving onto your monitor and from there to the inside of your computer case.
I don’t know about you but I’m always munching on goodies when I’m doing a lot of work on the computer, so yes I get crumbs in the keyboard. All you have to do is tip it upside down and tap (not hard) the back of it to knock out the crumbs, then take a lint free cloth and wipe it down. You might need to use some compressed air (that you find in a can) to get the crumbs that won’t budge, now if the keys are dirty you can use a mild cleaner applied to the cloth (not directly on the keyboard) and wipe the keys down with it. I use a vacuum cleaner with hose connected with a brush to clean mine, you want to be real careful not to have any static discharge to your components when doing this.
You can use a lint free cloth with the same mild cleaner you used on your keyboard to remove the grim that comes from our so called clean hands. 🙂
Wipe the screen with a lint free cloth, and clean the dust out of cooling vents, again I use my vacuum to clean the vents. Same thing with your case wipe it down and clean the dust from the vents, using a vacuum with hose attachment and brush, once again being careful, making sure there is no static electricity.
Inside the Case cleaning:
If your computer case resides in a relatively clean environment you can do this semi- yearly, or yearly, but if your computer case is located where it will collect a lot of dust you might want to consider doing this quarterly, you will know when you open up the case, just how often you need to do this.
Open up your case by removing the side panel that allows you access to your motherboard and fans. You will want to be extra careful in avoiding any static electricity, so if you don’t have a grounding wrist strap, grab hold of something metal to ground yourself.
Now you want to use anti static wipes to remove the dust inside your case, paying close attention to the CPU, and power supply fans. You can spray these components with a blast of compressed air, (but avoid blowing the dust deeper inside any of the components), and then you can use a small vacuum with hose attachment to remove the remaining dust. This will allow your system to continue running cool, for optimal performance.
Here are a couple of items to keep in mind for extending the life of your computer components. You don’t need to power down your computer every time after using it, keep it on, powering up the computer puts the largest stress on the components (and besides who likes to wait for the computer to boot each time you go to use it, I sure don’t).
So what you want to do is locate the power option program that comes with Windows 7 and newer, by typing in Power Options in the search bar, once there you are given the ability to chose just how long before the computer goes into sleep mode, and when to put your monitor to sleep. The computer will then wake up when any key on the keyboard is taped. Thus allowing the computer to start up right where you left it, all without having to go through the power up cycle, saving energy and extending the life of your machine.
How to keep your computer running like new?
So we have covered what to do after your initial system setup, and what to do on a weekly bases, then monthly, and going on to quarterly and then at the end of the year run the entire tasks to keep your system running as fast and smoothly as possible. Keep in mind that the more programs you load onto your computer, overtime it will slow it down some, but running the maintenance steps on a regularly basis will help to keep your system in good running order.
Thank you for stopping by, and I hope you have found this article beneficial to keeping your system running as new as possible. Now if you have some extra cash to spare you can purchase a software called System Mechanic, that will handle a lot of those chores for you, you can check it out here.
If you should have any questions at all, or comments you would like to share , please leave them below and have yourself a wonderful day. 🙂