How much did you pay for your computer? What’s the value of the information on your PC or Mac? Pictures are priceless, data such as medical records or QuickBooks files are hard to replace. It’s probably well over a thousand dollars. That’s an expensive investment, which is reason number one you should want to maintain the machine properly. In the same way that you must tune up your car by changing the oil, checking the tire pressure, you must tune up a computer.
If you learn how and why it’s important to maintain your computer, you can implement an efficient plan for making sure it happens regularly. Here at Virutec Computer Repair we recommend every 6 months to yearly.
This article is for people who don’t know what it means to do a “tune up”. Out of the box, a new computer, whether it’s running Windows or Mac, usually seems downright sprightly. After several months or a year, most people notice a drop-off in performance. And after 18 months to two years, the machine you once adored is usually subject to cursing, fist-shaking, and perhaps occasional weeping, as you watch it fail to load any program or Web page this century. Your once blazing fast computer has turned into a sluggish and lumbering oaf.
Sometimes these problems are caused by bad Internet connections or very outdated hardware, but very often, the root problem isn’t one thing alone. It’s a lot of little things that have built up, like duplicate files, unneeded downloads, and the remnants of programs that never uninstalled properly. Tuning up a computer cleans out all this garbage and tidies up a few other areas that help the machine run smoother and more reliably.
Most tune ups do the following (don’t sweat it if you don’t know what all these things mean):
- defragment the disk,
- repair the system registry,
- delete unnecessary files and duplicate files,
- uninstall and remove programs that did not properly uninstall previously,
- check for driver updates, and
- remove data that you don’t need related to your Internet browsers.
Jason at Virutec notes that keeping sufficient space free on a hard drive is likely more conducive to computer speed and efficiency than defragging. While the next Get Organized column will discuss this point in more detail, the gist of it is that keeping at least 50 percent of your hard drive free is a good idea. Jason Stewart also recommends a Solid State Drive over a Mechanical Hard Drive for up to 10X more speed. He also recommends at least 8GB of Memory.
What Do You Get Out of a PC Tune-Up? As mentioned, tuning up your PC usually makes it peppy (faster) and helps it run efficiently. Regular maintenance of this type can also extend the life of the computer in that people will sometimes dump an old machine and replace it with a new one because the older machine seems unresponsive. Just like with cars and other complex machinery, if you don’t perform the basic upkeep, it wears down quicker. Before buying a new machine for $1000 or more, why not talk to Virutec Computer Repair for a free consultation about your old machine.
In many ways, tuning up a PC keeps it internally organized. Essential data are filed away appropriately. Junk gets tossed. And parts of the system that were starting to get messy or torn apart (fragmented) are patched back together again.
Advanced computer users sometimes prefer to do their own tune-ups, but beginner and intermediate users shouldn’t mess around and try to do it manually. Instead, call Virutec and spend as little as $50 to have it done professionally. The most important part of a Tune-up is the physical portion, cleaning of the fans, heatsink, and case. You can look at the picture to see what a poorly kept PC looks like. If the average user tries to do this themselves you can expect the risk of electrical shock, loosen connections, damage to electrical components. Trust me, if you try to do this yourself you might end up buying a new computer after all.
Whether you’re an advanced user that needs help with a hardware test, or a new user that needs help or advise, you can always call us at Virutec Computer Repair. 772-834-0007