Friday, May 20, 2011

Regular Computer Services - Why You Need Them, and What They Involve

You really should have your computer serviced regularly, at least once a year. You wouldn't expect your car or your central heating boiler to carry on indefinitely without a bit of a tune up and a service. Your computer is no different. I know it has no visible moving parts, but underneath its calm exterior it's a very busy and active little machine. Think a swan or a duck - all serene on the surface, but working madly out of sight. That's your faithful computer.

The problem with not servicing it is that it'll reduce its lifespan, and it can tend to overheat, and that'll mean that it'll burn out. Not literally burst into flames, but die nonetheless. And really, if you're computer's dead, does it matter if it has gone out with a bang or a whimper?

You can service your computer yourself, but unless you are technical, I recommend that you do not. And if you do, be aware that you're doing so at your own risk. Far better to get your local computer repair technician to do it.

The first thing he or she will do is to clean inside the computer. The technician will open it up and using compressed air will clean it of any dust that will be lurking there.

Then they'll do something called tuning the hard disk. This means that he or she will clear any errors which have crept in, and also de-fragment the disk (fragmentation is something that happens naturally through use, and which slows down the computer's speed).

The next step is to tune the start up procedure. This means removing any unnecessary start-up programs which have crept in since the last service and also shutting down any unnecessary systems services which, if left there, will contribute towards slowing down your computer's performance.

The technician will then apply all Operating System updates and driver updates, (of which there's almost guaranteed to have been some since the last service) and doing this will also speed up the computer's performance, and also make it more secure by adding bug-fixes and security-updates.

Then the technician will search for and install any new hardware driver updates. This will also contribute to speeding up the computer.

The next stage is to check and clean the system registry, which is the central database of the system inventory. As programs are added, removed, or updated, this database can end up with a lot of outdated data left in it. So a good clearout is very beneficial and improves the stability of your system.

The next step is a malware clean which involves running a number of anti-virus and anti-spyware products to ensure that your system is completely clean and safe to use.

And finally, the technician will scan and analyse the low-level system settings of the motherboard and tune these for optimal performance and stability.

And then, your computer is good to go, serving you faithfully for another full year!

Peter Harris is The Nerd of NeedANerd? Computer Support Consultancy. He is available to fix broken computers and to stop currently working ones from breaking down in the future (as much as is possible to do!). His computer repair service is second to none.


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