Monday, September 30, 2013

Routine Maintenance

It's Monday and for some of us it means the beginning of the work week.  Which brings me back to my post Last week.  Computers at work...

Friday or Monday is a great day to do all your routine maintenance on your Windows based computer at work.  Before you leave the office today, take a few minutes and do the following:

1)Disk Cleanup:  Found in the accessories folder under system tools.  Helps clean-up any temporary files, recycle bins and other files that may be cluttering up your hard drive and even slowing it down.

2)Defrag:  Also Found in the accessories folder under system tools, helps to organize your files (in the background).  Every time you open and close a file, or delete something off of your hard drive it leaves "bits" and pieces behind.. yes pun intended!  This puts everything back where it should be.  When you run defrag the computer will ask you to analyze it first.  I wouldn't even bother doing that often times what it thinks is acceptable level is not acceptable to the user.  Just run defrag, do not analyze.

3)IE:  If you are using Internet Explorer (IE), it is a good idea to clean it out regularly also.  Here are a few suggestions to keep it running smoothly.  Go to tools, internet options and delete your browsing history - temporary internet files, cookies, form data, passwords and in private filtering data.  You may think it saves time to have the PC save this information, but it could pose a security risk.

4)Updates:  Windows should be set to download and install updates automatically.  This will help your computer stay up to date on security patches, bug fixes etc.  Also if you have an Anti-virus or Anti-Malware program installed like Microsoft Essentials or Malwarebytes it is very important these are also set to download  & install automatically.  You can also open these programs and choose update to be sure.  You should also run a "quick" scan about an hour before you are scheduled to leave for the day.  This will slow you down but ensure you are virus and/or malware free!

5)BACKUP:  Most of our work is done on internet based software programs.  However, if you save files to your hard-drive or if you have a server in the office you should be doing regular backups.  Keep one back up in the office and one off-site.  USB storage devices are very inexpensive and can easily be transported. There are also several companies now offering online virtual storage for you. Like icloud for example.  Do your homework before choosing one of these options. To be sure the site is legitimate, safe and secure.

6)Dust:  Dust is responsible for many hardware failures.  It can clog important pieces of equipment inside your computer and prevent them from operating or cooling properly.  You should never use a liquid on your computer inside or out!  Invest in a can of 'air' and spray your keyboard and the rear of your computer by the fan.  Just be sure you are not blowing the dust back inside, hold it at an angle so it blows dust out and away.

All the things I mentioned above should be done once a week to keep everything running smoothly. You should also do these things at home, depending on how much you use your computer you might get away with bi-weekly. 


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