MAPCON Maintenance Software Article Series

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Computer Maintenance Tips and Help

Sean Spencer, Software Development Expert and Author

Internal Computer Maintenance

One of the most important aspects of a computer is the files, or data, it manages. This is one of the two primary functions of a computer. Over time, files accumulate on a computer's data storage systems and they may clog up the system and drag its performance down. In addition, poorly maintained files may be corrupt and cause crashes, which result in a more severe loss of productivity and data.

One way to avoid reduced performance or data loss is to maintain the computer's file system. There are several ways in which a user can take care of the file system, including data organization techniques and file defragmentation. When users install programs and create data, the best way to ensure the proper performance of the computer is to place the data in predictable, orderly sections of the file system. This is an effective way to improve the user's productivity, as well as that of the computer.

Defragmentation is another way to maintain a file system. This is a method by which the computer places files in a logical and sequential order on the hard drive, enabling the system to use less time and energy searching around for pieces of the data that a user requests. Combined with reducing the amount of unnecessary data and programs on the computer, this will reduce the amount of wear and tear on the storage system, ensuring a longer lifespan for the computer.

  • Computer Hardware Tips: Computer maintenance tips from Yale University. These tips focus on the maintenance of hardware and include disk maintenance, as well as computer cleaning recommendations.
  • Maintenance Tasks That Improve Performance: Maintenance tips that are meant to improve the performance of the computer. Includes freeing up wasted space and removing unwanted programs.
  • Computer Maintenance Tutorial PDF: A PDF tutorial document that reviews how to maintain one's computer. A list of things to do during when performing maintenance is listed. In addition directions to certain tasks, such as deleting cookies and defragging on PC, are also listed.
  • Clearing Temporary Internet Files and Cookies: A PDF document that explains how to clear temporary Internet files and cookies from several different browsers. Instructions for each browser are listed in a step-by-step format.
  • How to "Degunk" a PC: Maintenance steps that will speed up computer performance. The article includes how to run a disk cleanup, disable unnecessary items at startup and how to run a disk defragmenter.
  • Computer Safety and Security Checklist: A PDF document from Northwestern University Information Technology that is a maintenance checklist. The checklist is divided into daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly tasks. The maintenance advice on this checklist is meant to maintain a computers security.
  • Computer Maintenance – Run Operating System Upgrades: A list of basic computer maintenance tips. Each tip gives the reader the option to click on further information for the PC or Macintosh.

Backing Up Data

No matter how much maintenance is performed on a computer, the grim reality is that nothing lives forever. Eventually, something will wear out and data could be lost as a result. When it comes to vital information, data loss is tragic no matter why it happens. The best way to safeguard against this is to back up the data onto a more reliable storage medium. Currently, the storage media of choice for backing up data are CDs, DVDs, external hard drives, and via the Internet. Not only does backing up data offer increased protection against data loss, but it also enables the user to delete the data off the computer's storage system, which creates more room on the computer for future data storage. Reducing the amount of data stored on the hard drive will make tasks like defragmenting easier and quicker. It is also wise to consider backing up critical data in several locations, in case one backup mysteriously becomes unreadable.

  • Basic PC Maintenance – Backing Up Files: A PDF instruction document on how to perform basic maintenance on the PC. The document explains why files should be backed up and what to do when backing them up. Various backup systems are also reviewed.
  • How to Backup Data to a USB Flash Drive: Step-by-step instruction on how to back up data onto a USB flash drive. The article reviews how much information can typically be put on this type of drive.
  • Windows 7 Backup Instructions: This page from the How-To Geek website gives how-to instructions regarding backing up with Windows 7 operating systems.
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