Preventative Maintenance Ė What are the Benefits?
Listed Below are the Recommended Maintenance
With the Typical Failures if Maintenance is not Done
Remove Dust from Floppy Drive, Power Supply, CPU Fan, CD ROM Drive
Scan & Defrag Hard Disk, Check Hard Drive Age and Failure Mode, Check for Viruses
Check Backup System
Dot Matrix Printers
Clean and Lubricate Mechanism
Clean & Lubricate Print-head
Recondition Rubber Rollers
Clean or Replace Fuser Wand
Lubricate Gears, Check Drum
Power Surges and brownouts are one of the leading causes of PC failure. The Technicians at Advanced Computer have the equipment and skills necessary to identify a power surge as the cause of the problems) and can not only replace the dead hardware, but can also identify damaged circuitry in still-working hardware. We are able to recommend replacement before the system crashes at a crucial time.
Computer viruses have become an absolute fact of life. They are much more prevalent among PC's now. They are transmissible via modem, floppy disk, network, or any shared resource. The technicians at Advanced Computer have been known to find, and safely remove, previously undocumented viruses. Advanced Computer Technicians have at least three now-known virus inoculations to their credit. These people you would want as your doctors, if you were you a sick PC!
A preventive maintenance list
Here's a list of things you can do to keep your computer running smoothly.
1. Check the plugs and various cables. Make sure all cables and plugs are securely fastened for computer power, printers, scanners, USB devices, cable modem leads, broadband modem power supplies. Do not forget any switches, routers or hubs you may have for home networking. These rely on power too.
2. Empty the Recycle Bin. Some users need to be reminded to periodically empty the Recycle Bin.
3. Delete .tmp files. Before running ScanDisk and Defragmenter, delete all *.tmp files that have been created prior to the current day. It will surprise most people to learn how much hard drive space .tmp files have used.
4. Delete files that begin with a tilde. When cleaning the system of garbage files, readers might also like to check for any files beginning with a tilde (~). Make sure that all your application programs, such as word-processing, spreadsheet, and graphics programs, are closed first since sometimes the temporary file you are currently viewing uses a tilde. If the application programs are closed, the tilde files can be deleted. Some users find they have a lot of these on their systems!
5. Delete old .zip files. Many tend to unzip the files but then leave the zipped file on their computer. You can instruct "WinZip" to delete these automatically so you don't have to remember.
6. Delete .chk files, and switch the swap file. For those with permanent swap files, itís sometimes a good idea to set the swap file back to temporary and then permanent again. This cleans out any garbage (and therefore any possible corruption).
7. Run ScanDisk and defrag the drive as needed. If running Windows 95, it doesn't hurt to check the disk and make sure the number of disk errors and the percentage of fragmentation are within acceptable limits. For Windows 98, use the Task Scheduler to automate ScanDisk. Windows XP pro and home editions will allow you to choose which and review files before being deleted.
8. Check browser history and cache files. Check that the user history files and Internet cache settings are set properly (cache size). Delete the cache files and history files then reset the history files to no more than three days unless the user specifically needs to store that information longer. By freeing up the cache, downloads from the Web actually speed up since there is more space available to store the temporary files.
9. Clean out Windows temporary Internet files. If the browser is Microsoft's Internet Explorer, clean out the c:\Windows\Temporary Internet files folder.
10. Confirm that backups are being done. Do you have a network solution for automatically backing up files to a server? Make sure you're rotating any disks you use.
11. Update drivers as needed. Make sure youíve installed the latest drivers for printers, modems, sound cards, video cards, and other devices. Some Windows OS's do this automatically.
12. Create or update the boot disk. Every Windows user should have a boot disk and every NT client should have an emergency repair disk. NT clients need to have their emergency repair disks upgraded with the RDISK/S command every time there's a change in the network setup, such as the addition of new users or new devices.
13. Check the operating system and applications. Update your OS and applications with the latest service packs or updates. Save your company some money; don't try to support multiple versions of the same application.
14. Check the connections. People love to move their equipment around. Make sure all the plugs are snug in their connections. And make sure your users are using surge protectors and not a string of extension cords to power their machines. While the computer is open, re-seat all connections including expansion cards, CPU, memory, data cables and power connections. You'd be surprised how often an expansion card isn't seated all the way, especially AGP video cards and PCI cards.
15. Take inventory. Update your master inventory of computer assets. Verify serial numbers, CPU speed, hard drive space, memory, etc.
16. Make sure the hardware works. Many computers haven't seen a floppy or CD inserted in years as most upgrades and new installations are done from the server. Clean or replace floppy disk and CD drives as needed.
17. Clean the screens. Use the appropriate screen-cleaning cloth or solution.
18. Change passwords. Changing the system passwords regularly increases security.
19. Check the printers. Print a test page on your printers. Make sure the printers are producing clean copies, and that the toner cartridges aren't about to run out.
20. Update the anti-virus software. Make sure you know how to update the anti-virus software.
21. Reboot the system. In some places, the workstations are left on all the time, reboot the system to force a memory reset.
22. Buy a can of air! It's still a good idea to blow the dust and debris out of keyboards every now and then. And make sure there isn't dust accumulating on the back of the machine or wherever the air fan is located. It's amazing how much dust can collect in a computer over time. Blowing out the inside of the computer has a couple of pitfalls that must be addressed. First, since the pressure is much higher with canned air, don't direct the air at an unsecured fan. Try using a pencil erasure to keep the fan from turning while you clean out the power supply and CPU. Blow out the power supply from the inside out first, or youíll get tons of dust blown into the computer. Take each computer to a place that doesn't mind the dust, outdoors preferably.
23. Clean the keyboard. With the power off, tip or turn the keyboard upside down and carefully use the palm of your hand to strike the keyboard several times. You'll be surprised how much junk will fall out.
24. Clean the CD-ROM drive. Clean the laser. Many programs are installed corrupted from a dirty CD reader.
25. Clean the floppy drive. In addition to using canned air for the floppy drive, use a 3.5" floppy drive cleaning kit. It consists of a cleaning disk and a bottle of solution that you apply to the disk. First, apply the solution to the cleaning disk. Second, insert the cleaning disk into the floppy drive. Third, type: DIR A: (or DIR B:), which will spin the disk (repeat this three times). In some locations PCs are located in areas where the floppy drive, a.k.a. air intake manifold, collects quite a lot of dust and grime, so canned air alone does not remedy this problem.
26. Clean the mouse. It never hurts to make sure the mouse is free of dust and grime.
27. Check the power sources. Make sure systems are plugged into protected outlets or power strips, if not un-interruptible power supplies.
28. Check the fan. Remember to check that the CPU's cooling fan is working and that the airflow isn't impeded by dust. A non-running fan also indicates a dead power supply.
29. Check the network hardware. It is also necessary to check and reboot hubs, routers, switches, and print servers from time to time. They contain memory that needs to be flushed and have connections that can work loose. Most networks have a server reboot schedule but forget about the other, just as vital, network kit.
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