Several Computer Maintenance Tips

Normally I write about surveillance equipment tips and CCTV product information, but as an IT technician who does computer repairs at our retail store; I think it is a good idea to write some quick and general information about quality PC maintenance practices.

Disk Defragmentation

This above all is probably one of the best practices you can use to keep your computer running smoothly. The simple purpose of a disk defragmentation is to consolidate and optimize your system files for better access.

When a computer installs programs and files they are added at the end of the last information to be added to your file system. So as time goes on and you add and remove files, you are creating gaps in the list, and that makes it tougher for your computer to find your files; which in turn makes your load times slower. A good way to think of this is to picture a book shelf in which every time your books are taken out by your friends they are creating gaps; additionally if your friends are carefree and they disregard your organization, they will perhaps just stuff your book any place and create a much tougher time of finding a book down the road.

By defragging you are closing the information gaps and optimizing your files for quicker read and access times. Additionally some programs won’t even install your files in a concentrated location if the space isn’t available, and then your computer will have to reference several locations to find your files, and this will add additional load time.

It is recommended to defrag your computer at least once a week. If you have your computer constantly powered on you can schedule weekly defrags, or if you prefer you can manually do it at your leisure.

Disk Cleanup

Disk cleanup is a great way to unclog your computer of unnecessary and temporary files such as cookies. As you use your computer on the internet and with various programs, you will begin to fill it with temporary files and cookies that are stored and referenced while certain applications, websites, and programs are being used. After your are done using these programs however the files and cookies are left over to do nothing but clog your computer with unnecessary clutter.

By running a disk cleanup you can free your computer of these files and help your load times and overall performance a great deal.

It should be noted that some cookies may contain reference to form data such as passwords and user names used for websites. If you run a disk cleanup; some of these files may be lost, and you will have to renter your information.

Uninstall Programs & Keep Up to Date

Because hackers and malicious software developers are constantly trying to exploit holes and soft spots in software and drivers, it is a good idea to at least keep your main system and program files up to date. Try and do this every month or so; to keep things running smoothly.

Additionally to help keep clutter at a minimum and speed at a premium, it may be a good idea to occasionally go through and uninstall programs that you no longer use or interact with.

Virus Software

Not much needs to be said about this beyond the fact that you always want to have a reliable and up to date virus protection package on your computer. Personally I use and recommend AVG and MalwareBytes, as they are both free to use and provide excellent protection when used together.

Try to update these every month or so.

Physical Maintenance

Just like any other machine your computer has hardware that can fail over time and wear out from constant use. So a couple simple ways to help keep it working for the longest amount of time is to keep it in a cool and dry environment, and to make sure to dust it out every few months as dust can clog and degrade your components.

Ultimately by performing these few tasks you can help to keep your system running for a long time with little to no problems. If you feel uncomfortable performing any of this however you can always bring it to your local computer repair shop to have them perform a tune-up. In fact if you live in Traverse City, MI, I’d be more than happy to do so, and all you need to do is bring it down to Industrial Covert Unlimited.

Christian M Gillman has worked in the surveillance industry for over 6 years. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, learn more about surveillance, and find great products at

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