Your computer can last a long time if you treat it right and do a little easy maintenance. There are a number of things I do to keep my client’s PC’s from passing on to computer heaven too early, but I’m not going to list all of them. Instead I’ve laid out the top 5.
#1 Clean out the dust. Inside your computer there are a few fans that run all the time. These fans are designed to cool the components that get really hot. Over time dust collects in the fans and in the areas that the air passes in and out of. If you don’t remove the dust, there is not enough airflow and the components will overheat. This can cause erratic behavior and even unexpected shutdowns. In some cases too much heat will destroy a component (time to buy another PC). It is important that the dust is removed at least a few times a year. You can use canned air to blow out the dust. (Do NOT use a household vacuum. They cause static and can damage components).
#2 Shutdown and restart your computer properly. I know it sounds irrelevant but trust me, holding down the power button or unplugging it can cause plenty of damage. Computers should always be shutdown from the Taskbar (Start Menu) and selecting “Shutdown”. Of course there are always some cases where you may need to force a shutdown because of a freeze-up. In that case I would choose holding the power button over unplugging.
#3 Stop whacking your computer. Seriously stop whacking your computer. No amount of force is going to remove a virus or make it run faster. If your PC irritates you, give me a call and let me see what I can do to help you fix the issues. You may just need to have it optimized and cleaned up.
#4 Use a surge protector, a good one not the dollar store one. A good surge protector will do a lot over the years to protect your computer. Even better, use a battery backup. Also shutdown your computer during thunderstorms and then unplug it from the wall. A surge protector wont protect against power outages and lightning strikes.
#5 Talk to your computer. Give it a pet name. Caress it.…I’m just kidding. I wanted to make sure you were paying attention. The most important thing you can do to keep your computer alive is to baby it. Baby the crap out of it. Don’t drop it, eat over it, drink next to it, sneeze on it, type too hard, don’t stack your books on it and don’t let your kids bounce toys off the side of it. Computers are getting tougher but until they can withstand an earthquake and a bullet take really good care of them. Who knows, a pet name might help you do it.
It is not my intention to offend any but sometimes you just need to hear it straight forward. With some common sense and a little effort you can keep your computer around for a while. If you need any help I am always available.
How old is your computer? What kind of steps do you take to keep it running? If you have anything to add, please do. I like to hear what works for others and so does everyone else.
Tom Beard says
My computer is 4 years old.. I make sure to blow it out once a month and its still running. Once I replaced the hard drive and I added some ram. I’m thinking about getting a new one soon. Any recommendations?
Benjamin Benkert says
If you are looking for a new computer first decide what you need it for. Do you want to take it with you? Will it stay at the office or home? Do you play games or edit photos and video? All these things matter when you are looking for a new computer. Whats your price range? I prefer desktops because you usually get more for the money. Take a trip to your local pc store and play with the floor models. If you see one you like, you can call me and I’ll let you know if I feel that it’s a good deal.
Tom Beard says
Ben thanks for your help over the phone. That new computer is great. I will definitely recommend you.