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Published On: Fri, May 5th, 2017

5 Computer Upkeep Projects to Keep Your Computer Running Longer

Computers are like cars. They age, slow down, and eventually break down.

The good news is that this progression can be slowed or even halted altogether with ongoing, diligent maintenance and upkeep. In fact, by pairing regular maintenance and operational best practices with expert computer repair and refurbishment projects on an as-needed basis, you can substantially extend the useful life of your desktop or laptop computer system.

“The average computer user is more tech-savvy than they realize,” says George Otte, founder and principal of Miami-based Geeks on Site, a nationwide technical support service. “While complex projects should absolutely be left to the experts, you don’t need a computer science or electrical engineering degree to undertake basic maintenance and repair tasks that can meaningfully extend your system’s working life.”

If you’re worried about your ability to handle simpler jobs, Otte recommends following, social media accounts, blogs, articles and  help center resources such as the ones offered by Geeks on Site. Computer users of all skill levels are welcome — even those who don’t consider themselves tech-savvy.

photo/ Michael Jarmoluk via pixabay.com

Here’s a look at five straightforward computer upkeep projects you can do in the comfort and privacy of your own home.

  1. Defragment Your Hard Disk

Over time, hard drives “fragment,” meaning they have to work harder to access the same information. Most new laptops automatically defragment themselves weekly or at a customized frequency; however, users with older computers or persistent speed issues may need to defrag manually. If you have a computer still running Windows 7, check out this handy guide to defragmenting your hard disk. (Similar resources exist for Macs.)

  1. Back Up Your Data Often

Even if you’re committed to tackling straightforward computer repair and maintenance work on your own, you need to be ready for the worst-case scenario—a catastrophic intrusion or a system crash that renders your files corrupted or inaccessible. Get in the habit of backing up your data early and often, ideally in multiple places: a secure cloud server, an external hard drive, even another computer without direct internet access.

  1. Protect Your Screen

They make screen protectors for laptops too. Get your hands on one—it’s a lot cheaper than replacing your screen entirely. Whether you have a protector or not, use a specialized cloth to dust and spot-clean your screen. Don’t use glass cleaner.

  1. Dust and Clean External Components

All you need is a dusting cloth and a judicious amount of gentle cleaner to polish your fans, keyboards, mousepad and peripheral equipment to a shine. Go the extra mile and lift up your keys, then clean out all the junk that’s accumulated under them.

  1. Avoid Eating and Drinking Around the Computer — and Clean Spills Promptly

This isn’t a project you can do in a day or over the weekend. It’s an ongoing commitment to keeping your computer system as clean as possible. And it requires constant vigilance.

Avoid the temptation to eat and drink near your computer by maintaining a separate, clean desk space near your computer desk. When you’re hungry or thirsty, place your cup or plate on that desk. Back completely away from the computer to take bites or sips, use a napkin to clean up any spillage, and then return to your desk. If you do spill anything on or near your computer, use a paper towel or cloth to clean it up right away. The less contact your computer has with liquids or crumbs, the better.

Have you attempted any of these computer repair or refurbishment projects on your own?

Author: Zainab Sheikh

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

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