It’s time for spring cleaning for your computers

By Eric Geier (Our Founder & Owner)

Originally published by Cox Media Group on 3/11/19

Spring starts next week, even if the weather doesn’t cooperate. When doing the spring cleaning routine, don’t forget about your computers!

Although you might be able to do some of the simple computer cleanup tasks, I strongly suggest having a professional do a general checkup and cleaning.

I suggest this once a year, even if you aren’t having any apparent issues.

A tech can possibly speed up the computer, proactively catch any issues you don’t notice before they become a bigger problem, look for security holes, and recommend better ways to do things to save time, money, and frustration.

All this can help increase the life of the computer as well.

Here are things a computer tech can do during a computer checkup and how they help: Evaluate your computer specs: They can check your processor and RAM to judge the speed of the computer to better gauge the overall health of the system, and to evaluate for any upgrades.

Check the health of the hard drive: You usually won’t get any alerts or warnings if your hard drive is failing, besides maybe the computer slowing down or crashing when it gets really bad. However, a computer tech can detect the health of the drive and suggest replacement if it’s nearing end of life. If the health is acceptable, there still might be errors on the drive, and a tech can check and repair them.

Check other hardware: Techs can also check out other hardware to see if they’re performing as they should. For instance, the temperatures of the CPU to make sure it’s not overheating and the RAM to make sure there are no errors causing instability.

Check system logs: There are event logs a tech can check to see what errors are happening and how often. This gives them a clue to the general health of the computer and more details for any particular issues it’s having.

Perform a malware scan: Even if you have an antivirus installed, a tech can run a third-party malware scan to detect other viruses and adware your primary protection has missed.

Check security software and settings: A tech can double-check if the antivirus is working as it should, ensure a firewall is enabled, and confirm Windows and other third-party software is up-to-date.

These are very important, because any security holes can make you more vulnerable to infections and even other major threats like identify theft or fraud.

Verify your data is backed up: If you don’t already have a backup system in place, a tech can recommend one and ensure its setup correctly to safeguard your important documents and other files in case of a system crash, virus, or other disaster.

Test your Internet speeds: A tech can see how well your Internet connection is running, to ensure you’re getting what you pay for. They can also judge if the cause of any slowness is coming from the computer or the Internet connection.

Remove unnecessary programs and files: Clearing off unnecessary programs, temporary files, and system cache can help improve system performance, while reducing clutter.

Evaluate startup programs: Your computer has a startup list of the programs and services that load in the background each time you turn on your computer. Programs can add themselves to this list, while sometimes it isn’t necessary and will slow down your computer. However, a tech can review and modify the startup lists to increase performance.

Perform a physical cleaning: Last but not least, a tech can physically clear off the dust buildup inside and out of the computer, without damaging the sensitive components.

If needed, they can also reapply thermal paste to the CPU heatsink. This all can certainly help with system stability and extend the life of the computer.

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