We use computers every day and we know a good computer is costly. This makes it necessary to observe best computer maintenance practices. This is a detailed guide on how to maintain a clean computer for optimal efficiency.
What comes to mind when you hear the term “computer”? Most people will generally think of the office desktop and portable laptops, however, you will be surprised to know that “computer” is a general term used to define a device that can be programmed to automatically carry out various logic or arithmetic operations.
A tablet, Smartphone, digital TV, laptop, smart watch, drone, robot and cyber organism (cyborg), various home and office appliances all qualify as computers. Computing is a 21st century technology although it started way back in the 90’s.
The 90’s saw a series of engineering prospects that birthed a hi-tech computing era. In the years to come, this era would take baby steps, proper and advanced computing devices were developed thus making them the most dependable and integral component in the world.
We all must agree that life isn’t easier or simpler without clean computers. A third of the earth’s population benefits from the use of computers whether directly or indirectly. A good % of the same population is computer literate and has an average to excellent understanding of computing devices.
Amidst all this glory, environmentalists have raised their concern over the rising amount of computer waste. Obsolete computer hardware amounts to a heavy junk worldwide. Computer manufacturers are researching on how to create the perfect biodegradable hardware that if disposed won’t harm the environment in any way.
This realization remains farfetched because in as much as they would love to do away with the plastic and metallic materials it has proven difficult to find a better significant material that can withstand the heavy amount of heat and power needed to run most computing devices. Recycling is one solution and another is to care for these devices in order for them to run longer and give us the best services without breaking down immediately after they are purchased.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why we need regular computer maintenance
- 2 Delicate hardware in any computer and why they need care
- 3 10 Very Necessary Computer maintenance practices
- 4 Why you need Regular computer Maintenance
- 5 Conclusion
Why we need regular computer maintenance
Computer maintenance is essential to ensure the care and life of what we hold dear. The genius technology used in computers has the capability to mimic life, take for example robots which can move, sense and act in response to the programmed prompts. In as much as these devices act independently via-à-vis the software programs and hardware, they are still man-made devices which need our care since they can’t care for themselves. Earlier on we touched on computer software programs and hardware, one thing you should note is that these 2 elements are the most essential and important parts of any computing device. Let’s look into each element and its importance.
This is the systems data/instructions which are installed in the computer. It is not visible physically for us to say that it takes on a certain shape however what we see is the computing result given after initiating software commands via computing language. The biggest threat to computer software performance is viruses/malware/worms/Trojans which can be transferred from one computer to another with the intention of harming the software. Damaged hardware or its limited performance can also affect the software to the point where it becomes unresponsive. Examples of computer software programs are: Operating systems e.g. Linux, windows 7,8,10, OS Lion, OS Leopard, Microsoft office, Adobe Photoshop, anti-viruses and web browsers.
Computer hardware consists of all its physical parts, what we can see, touch feel, remove and replace. The hardware houses the computer and all its components such as RAM which is a small detachable device that carries the system’s memory. The computer case, mouse, motherboard, hard disk and keyboard are also classified as its hardware.
Delicate hardware in any computer and why they need care
The computer motherboard is its Central Processing Unit, this is the brain of the computer and once it gets damaged or affected in any way the entire system breaks down. The motherboard is hidden within the computer case. This position gives it some protection against intrusive agents however the saddest bit is that due to neglect these agents do manage to penetrate the computer case. Fluids, dust and small household pests are good examples of destructive agents. Any slight exposure of the motherboard to these agents is enough to damage it and render it useless.
Commonly referred to as system memory RAM is a small disk like device which is placed near the motherboard to provide memory and speed utility. A slow RAM slackens the entire systems performance. You may have a CPU with very fast performance but if the RAM memory and speed does not compliment it then it becomes slow. This difference is what causes problems such as, the system not powering or suddenly switching off when in use.
3. Hard Disk Drive/ Solid State Drive
These 2 are storage options available in a computer. SSD is the most current nonetheless HDD is still very common and efficient. You will choose the capacity of these storage options depending on the amount of work you intend to do on your computer. While writing data onto the drives care should be taken not to write viruses which are extremely harmful should they maneuver their into the storage space.
4. Keyboard/ keypad/touchpad
This part allows us to input data into the computer by running our fingers across an alphabetical and numerical plane, there are many options displayed but mostly it’s the numbers and alphabets that stand out. We need to note that the computing language differs a great deal to the human tongues. What we type is usually translated into arithmetic and logic coding by the computer, a process that happens immediately.
Current computing devices have either a touch-pad or an incorporated keyboard and touch-pad. A touch-pad is a highly sensitive on screen keyboard, it’s the input technology used on tablets, smart watches and smart phones. If not taken care of, keyboards can get damaged. Cracked screens are also a limiting factor to the touch screens efficiency. If fluids manage to penetrate the key plane or screen, they will reach the innermost parts of a computer thus damaging them.
A mouse is an input device attached to the computer and it works through sensors. Laptops have a small sensory plane that works as a mouse but users can attach a mouse via a USB port if the plane gets damaged or should they grow weary of using it. If this device is exposed to agents such as fluids it may get damaged.
10 Very Necessary Computer maintenance practices
According to cnn you are the key to keeping your computer safe. To that effect we have detailed things you need to do to keep your computer safe. There are very many ways to care for a computer depending on its exposure to harmful environmental agents however 10 common ways that any computer user should focus on are:
- Switch off the computer systematically not directly from the power socket
Switch off the computer by following the power options available in the start button. This allows the computer to perform instructions such as system updates which are crucial for the efficiency of the installed software.
2. Use proper ways of ejecting devices from the computer
Most external devices that are not part of the computer but can be paired together for file transfers are connected to the computer via a USB port. External flash drives/disks, phones, cameras and memory card readers are good examples. Once you are done using any of this devices do not pull it out immediately rather go to the customize taskbar click on the icon representing the device and select “safely remove”. If the process is successful, the hardware icon will disappear from the taskbar. Pull the device out gently and not hastily to avoid damaging the USB ports.
3. Keep your drinks and meals away from your workstation
Electronics don’t mix with anything fluid or organic. Do not place any drinks or meals on your computer or even next to it. In case you accidentally knock the vessels containing either of these agents they will spill all over your machine. Once they spill onto your machine and penetrate into the innermost parts they will cause severe damage.
4. Keep your computer away from animals and pets
Some of us may enjoy the idea of working on our computers with our pets. Although it is fun it’s also very risky. Touching the pet whilst touching the computer will transfer the pet’s furs all over it. The furs are equally damaging to dirt and dust. The pet may also develop a habit of sitting close to the warmth provided by the machine, if you were working and you leave the spot for a few minutes, the pet may actually climb and sit/lie on your desktop or laptop keyboard. The pet may also poop on your machine or press in commands that may interfere with the computer’s settings.
5. Use proper methods to clean the computer’s outside and inside
A clean computer is a healthy one. If not cleaned regularly, murky dust and dirt may clogge the computer’s outside and inside. The outside will look bad and the components inside will get covered by these intrusive agents which slow down the systems performance or cause it to breakdown. During your regular cleaning routine, ensure that you use proper methods that will not harm the machine or cause any of its parts to corrode. The fan vents at the bottom of the computer should be kept clean at all times to prevent clogged dust from causing the system to overheat.
6. Don’t put your desktop or laptop directly on the floor
If put on the floor, the computer’s fan which sucks in air may also suck in dust way faster than if it was put on an elevated point such as a table top.
7. Control your circuit connection using surge protectors
Electric circuits may run high power voltages, these voltages if not controlled by circuit breakers/ surge protectors may transmit intense electric pulses over the computer. These intense electric surges may cause your computer to blow up suddenly, mild cases only destroy the machine however severe cases may cause fires.
8. Use the best computer virus protection
Anti-viruses detect any intrusion from malicious software, once detected the anti-virus automatically blocks the malicious activity or inform the user of the attack. Our day to day activities on the computers are a plenty, sometimes we transfer files between computers through flash disks, download content from the web or install software directly from the websites. Some websites may claim to give free downloadable content or software but in truth, their main intention is to spread malicious software in form of viruses, Trojans, malware and worms.
9. Defragment the computer-best computer maintenance practice
Defragmentation is one way of improving the system’s performance. Sometimes uninstalled programs or deleted files may leave some fragments, if these fragments pile up they interfere with the computer’s activity.
10. Clean the connection cables and ensure that their path is ok
Clean your laptop charger and computer cables regularly. This routine will allow you to check on their health and that no damage occurred on them. Sometimes we may be too busy to notice if a power cable is torn whilst lying on a pool of water which is very dangerous. Do not place heavy items on top of your computer or its cables as it will cause stress and strain on them thus disrupting the power flow to the computer.
Why you need Regular computer Maintenance
Regular computer maintenance will:
- Protect it against intrusive agents such as liquids, dust and viruses which slow down the computer’s performance and eventually lead to its break down.
- Allow users to enjoy its excellent service output since the software and programs will be up to date and the upgraded hardware will deliver efficient, accurate and fast performance.
- Save the owners from losing the initial investment made while purchasing the computer devices and gadgets most of which are often very expensive.
- Regular care and maintenance cuts down on long-term repair costs should the computer breakdown.
- Reduce on the heavy amount of hardware waste. Take for example a Smartphone user who cares for his phone and as a result can use it for a span of 5+ years without it breaking down verses the one who exposes his phones to fluid environments as a result has to buy new phones and dispose of the dead ones regularly.
- Prevent our environments from sudden fires which may occur when the computer’s powerhouse is suddenly supercharged to the point where it explodes.
Computer maintenance is something that most people pay no heed to but from what we have covered in this article we notice how much a simple care effort can do to your device. Because computers are helpful gadgets in our homes, work places etc. it remains our sole duty to ensure that they are properly maintained.