PC Repair Witney
We touched on proactive PC maintenance very briefly in our e-mail last week (sign up here to avoid missing top tips fortnightly) now I’ll take the chance to run through what we do to ensure that your computer leaves our workshop in tip top condition and ready to fight another day!
- Defragment the computer. A basic one to start off with, but it can really make a difference. What we often find is the built in Windows tool leaves a bit to be desired. As an example of what I mean Windows defrag said I (well my computer) was 0% fragmented, whereas our weapon of choice detected 21% fragmentation, quite a difference by any ones book!
- Clean out temporary files. Another basic step in keeping your computer on track, we see a lot of computers crammed full (18GB is our record so far!) of temporary files. Most programmes will create some type of temporary file, so they can soon add up
- Virus and spyware scans. This should be a step that everyone takes at home and on a regular basis. That said we do take a more thorough approach in our workshop. Often if we suspect a virus we’ll remove the hard disk from the offending machine and scan it with our managed anti-virus programme, using a computer that has been specifically designated the role of hunting down viruses. By doing this if a virus is using “cloaking” techniques we’ll spot them
- Removal of unnecessary startup items. Just about every programme installed wants the right to startup alongside Windows, and the fact is most of them don’t need to. To add insult to injury they can dramatically (when you’ve built up a fair collection!) increase the time it takes for your computer to load into Windows
- Disable internet add-ons. Internet add-ons seem pretty prolific at this moment in time; just about every “free” bit of software wants to install a toolbar. We can’t stand them! They can slow your browser down and are capable of modifying search results
- Update drivers. Sadly updating Windows (see below) can cause driver conflicts and these conflicts have been known to cause the dreaded Blue Screen of Death. We avoid this by updating drivers to their latest versions. For obvious reasons it is often best to do this before carrying out major Windows updates!
- Windows updates. A lot of the computers our workshop takes a look at are missing vital Windows patches; don’t let yours become one of them! It’s easy to put off, and it seems like a never ending task but nevertheless it is a vital step in protecting your computer from viruses
- Physically clean computer. Rather self-explanatory, however dust bunnies (as they are affectionately termed) can cause all sorts of havoc. One common complaint that dust is responsible for is overheating. You probably wont notice this until your computer starts to shut down during use. Overheating is very much the enemy of computers and will decrease the life of components quite considerably
- Update software. Having out of date software is one sure fire way of inviting viruses into your system so ignore this step at your peril! Updating software can also help with bugs that may exist in a previous version so it is definitely worth doing. You never know you might even end up with a new feature or two
As you can see there is a fair bit of work involved in keeping a computer up and running. Though preventing problems from happening is far easier (from our perspective) and cheaper (from your perspective!) than just getting your computer fixed when things go wrong.