MAPCON Maintenance Software Article Series

This is one in a series of Articles published by Mapcon Technologies, Inc. to provide our customers and interested members of the public a unique insight into the world of CMMS, Maintenance Software and Preventive Maintenance Management. Please feel free to send us your comments via email.

Return to Article Index

Learning about Types of Computer Maintenance

Lisa Richards, Educational Outreach Writer

System maintenance is an umbrella term that encompasses various forms of computer maintenance needed to keep a system running. The two main components of system maintenance are preventive and corrective maintenance. Preventive maintenance involves taking measures to help keep the system functioning, whereas corrective maintenance involves the replacement or repair of a system or its components after they have already failed.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is defined as the proactive maintenance of equipment before a fault or failure occurs. Preventive maintenance involves routine tasks to ensure that your system is running optimally and to avoid problems before they arise. This is similar to routine maintenance performed on a car: In the same way you need to periodically check the oil, lights, engine, and other parts of the car in order for it to run smoothly, the same principle applies to preventive maintenance for a computer. There are several preventative measures you can take, including installing Windows updates, scanning for viruses and malware, and running cleaning programs. Anti-virus and anti-malware scans should be run at least once a week. Be sure to run updates for these programs whenever they"re released, as new viruses and malware spring up constantly. Keeping your network secure, installing a firewall, and using safe downloading practices can protect your computer and any information on it from being compromised. Power surges and overheating can destroy electronic equipment, so protect your hardware by investing in a surge protector and cleaning your equipment periodically to remove dust. Should any preventative measures fail, it is always a good idea to have a backup for important files: Invest in an external hard drive to save any important files should your computer need replacing.

Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance, commonly referred to as 'repair,' is the correction of a problem after the computer has already broken down. The goal of this form of maintenance is to restore operability to the system by either correcting the problem or replacing the damaged components. Common corrective measures involve removing viruses and malware, uninstalling harmful programs, reformatting, and running a system restore, among others. Many common computer problems are easily fixed and don't require an IT professional. To perform corrective maintenance, it is important to first diagnose the problem and figure out the root cause. If you are unsure of the cause or how to fix your problem, consulting an IT professional would be the best course of action.

Making Your Machine More Reliable

There are many small steps one can take to optimize computer performance so it is faster and more reliable. Not having sufficient hard-drive space can slow down your computer significantly. Clear out hard-drive space by removing unnecessary programs and defragmenting your hard drive. Defragmentation helps speed up your computer and should be performed at least once a month. When you install new programs, you will often be presented with the option of having the program start automatically when you turn on the computer; sometimes, this is the default option. The more programs you have running automatically, the slower the performance of your computer, so you should disable this whenever possible. To make your Internet connection run faster, one of the simplest things you can do is to clear your Web history and delete temporary Internet files. The more often you perform these actions, the less time it takes, so try to aim for at least once a week. Spyware and malware can also be the cause of slow Internet speed. Make sure you have anti-malware programs installed, update them whenever necessary, and run a scan at least once a week. You can avoid spyware and malware by exercising safe downloading practices, such as downloading from reputable sites. If you are unsure of the safety or legitimacy of a program, run a Google search to see what information you can find, and it you're still in doubt, refrain from installing the program completely.