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Computer Preventive Maintenance Schedule & Tips
Once a computer failure happens, repairs can be both costly and time-consuming.
There are some preventive measures that you can take to decrease the chances of
computer failure. The basic steps are:
Install only genuine operating system. Keep your operating system up-to-date
with all the latest service packs & security releases.
Install Microsoft security essential. This is free Antispyware & Antivirus software
for genuine operating systems users (Restricted for Government & Education)
and is one of the tops 5 Antivirus software. Update it periodically & run regularly
to keep your computer bug free.
Run system utilities regularly to make sure your hardware is operating correctly.
The following schedule can be used as guide.
SN Task Daily Weekly Monthly Annually
1. Run Malware / Anti spyware programs at startup.
2. Empty the Recycle Bin
3. Delete Temp Internet Files
4. Delete Temp Windows Files, old .zip files, .CHK files
5. Cleanout browser files or set the browsing history & days
to keep pages in browsing history to zero.

6. Run Disk clean-up utility to get rid off temporary files,
cookies and other junk files.

7. Run Windows Scan Disk/Check Disk for hard disk errors.
8. Update Malware, Antispyware and Antivirus definitions.
9. Run Virus Scan
10 Run Disk Defragmenter to re-arrange fragmented files.
11 Uninstall unnecessary programs.
12 Run Windows Updates to download & install patches &
essential updates.

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Update drivers
14 Clean Computer, Mouse, Keyboard & Monitor, air vents,
power supply and fan with compressed air or vacuum.

15 Ensure chips & expansion cards are firmly seated with
slots.

16 Check ports and cable connections for signs of ware on
cords.


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Computer preventive maintenance tips:
1. Preventive maintenance of the System Unit
The dust, dirt and humidity may result serious problems with the PC. The
dust and heat are the two mortal enemies of the PC. The dust is attracted
by the electrical charge inside the system unit causing heat generation
due to corrosion and thereby shortening the life of the components. In
dust prone areas cleaning the system every three to 6 months will
increase the life of the system. If your system is located in a climatically
controlled place, cleaning once in a year will be sufficient.
Tips for prolonging your computer's life
Keep your computer apart from dust, moisture and heat..
Use surge protector if surges or spikes are observed in the electricity supply.
Do not plug your PC to the same electrical line on which air conditioner, refrigerator,
mixer & grinder or heavy duty motor is working.
Ensure that the air vents of the system are not blocked and that there is enough room
above the monitor and behind the system unit to escape the heat.
Locate your computer apart from heat generating elements and direct sunlight.
Ensure that there is not a vibration source like impact printer on the same table of
system unit.
Ensure proper grounding. This minimizes communication errors between devices.
Do not switch the computer on and off throughout the day. Leave the computer on as
long as it is required. After the computer is switched on, most of the stress is
developed for the first few seconds.
Never plug or unplug peripherals from the computer when it is powered up. The socket
may damage due to short circuit.
Sudden variation in room temperature may cause wear & tear of computer parts due to
expansion & contraction. To avoid this switch on your computer after the air
conditioner has attained optimum temperature and switches it off before the air
conditioner.
Take regular backups.
Keep your hard disk healthy by running Scandisk and Defragmenter,once in a fortnight
or in a month. This will help to prevent disc problems and alert you to impending hard
disc failure.
Never delete installed software manually. Use either your operating system's uninstall
utility or a uninstall program provided with the software.
Update Virus & Spyware definitions periodically. Scan your system at least once a
week for Viruses & Spywares.
Shut down your machine properly, and promptly respond to warnings and error
messages
You should get. Cleaned your PC inside in every three to 6 months in dust prone area
and once in a year in climate-controlled environment.
2. Preventive maintenance of the Mouse
If it is noticed that the mouse cursor is not responding properly, most likely your mouse is in
need of cleaning.
Follow these simple steps to clean the mouse (Mechanical Mouse only).
Turn off the PC.
Disconnect the mouse from the system unit:
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Turn the mouse upside down.
Remove the plastic cover plate that holds the ball in its socket by spinning it in the
direction of the arrow.
Remove the ball from the socket.
Clean the ball with mild soap and warm water. Don't use alcohol since alcohol will
cause the rubber to dry and crack.
Clean the rollers in the socket with a link-free swab and alcohol.
Ensure all dirt has been removed by turning the rollers with your finger.
Clean the dirt from your mouse pad also.
Observe the mouse connector for pins that may be bent or broken or pushed in.
Check mouse connection on the back of the PC for any damages.
Place the ball inside the mouse properly, after cleaning both the ball and ball cavity.
Replace the plastic cover and lock it in its place.
Reconnect the mouse to the PC.
Turn the system on.
The cursor should now move freely and smoothly. If not, replace the mouse.
Ensure that you have a clean & dry mouse pad. If the mouse pad is cracked, or rough
spots are seen, replace it.

3. Preventive maintenance of the Hard Disc

Tips for protecting the data on the Hard Disc
Keep your computer apart from dust, moisture and heat.
Take proper measures to minimize the probability of accidental
format.
Ensure that there is no floppy disc in the floppy drive while PC is
booting. The boot record virus on the floppy disc will definitely crash
your Hard disk. To avoid this get practiced to leave the floppy drive
door open or change the boot sequence to Hard Disk as the first boot drive.
Don't use any removable media unless checked for viruses & spywares.
Magnetic field can cause permanent loss of data on hard or floppy disk. The probable
sources are: Ringing or chirping phone, magnetic screw extractor, CRT, VCR, monster
speakers etc.
Use surge protector if surges or spikes are observed in the electricity supply.
Ensure that there is not a vibration source like impact printer on the same table of Hard
Disk.
Take regular backups.
Keep your hard disk healthy by running diagnostic tools, Scandisk and Defragment,
once in a fortnight. This will help to prevent disc problems and alert you to impending
hard disc failure.
Update Virus & Spyware definitions and scan your system at least once a week for
Viruses & Spywares.
Shut down your machine properly, and promptly respond to warnings and error
messages.
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4. Computer Hangs Frequently: Diagnosis
Some system files may be corrupted due to virus.
Solution: Update the virus package for latest virus definitions & scan for viruses.
Some infected files will be cleaned, some will be quarantined or incase of some shared
system files no action will be taken. Restart your computer, if the problem still exists:
1. If the virus package is unable to take any action for the infected system file, format
the system & reload.
2. Some times the files are cleaned for virus but remain corrupted. In such case
repair the operating system.
3. If some system files are quarantined, repair the operating system or wait for virus
definition.
Faulty application or in compatible application to the operating system
Solution: If the computer hangs while running a specific application, contact to the
vender.
Failure of plug & play device.
Solution: Check whether any device is failed. If such a case disable the device or
unload the device.
5. Computer is working slowly: Diagnosis
Data is stored in scattered manner on the hard disk, and eventually this fragmentation
slows down the computer.
- Run Defragmenter diagnosis tool to defrag the drive periodically. Analyze the drive
for defragmentaton and defrag it if required.
Right click My Computer, select Manage ->Storage->Disk Defragmenter->Drive
->Analyze OR Click My computer->Right click Drive letter -> Properties -> Tools ->
Defragment Now
Warning: When the Defragmenter is running, if power fails or you switched off
the computer without stopping it, your hard disk may get corrupted.
Bugs in operating system
- Update the operating system with latest service pack
Insufficient free disk space on drive C.
- For Windows98 at least 100 MB and For Windows ME/XP/2000 at least 200 MB free
space is required on your hard drive C to swap the RAM. Free some disk space on
drive C
Delete unwanted programs using ADD/Delete tool from the Control Panel.
Empty the Recycle Bin
Delete temporary files. Use Disk Cleanup tool as My Computer -> Right click
drive C -> Select Properties->General Tab -> Disk Clenup.
To delete Internet cache files, load Internet explorer, select Tools -> Internet
Options->general-> Delete Files.
Insufficient RAM memory to run a specific application.
- Upgrade RAM memory.
Too many services have been started.
- Stop some services, which are not needed.
To stop Windows 2000 services: Right click My Computer->Manage->Services. Right
click the Service to be stopped -> stop.
Too many Processes have been started.
- Stop some processes, which are not required.
To stop Windows Process: Ctrl +Shift + Esc -> process ->highlight the process->End
Process.
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Too many applications have been loaded. They use valuable memory and Windows
resources
- Close all applications, which you don't need.
Poor CPU speed.
- Check CPU usage as: Ctrl+Shift+Esc->Performance. If CPU usage seen more than
90%, upgrade CPU.
System may be infected by viruses & Spywares.
- Scan your computer for viruses & Spywares.

6. Optimizing & Troubleshooting Memory Performance
Due to lack of RAM, the memory performance is poor. Each new version of operating system
and applications needs more RAM. Adding of RAM reduce the paging. The performance of
processor & the disk are improved when paging is reduced, because paging uses both
processor and disk time.
Optimizing the paging file can also increase performance. Try one or more to optimize the
paging file.
Add RAM to lessen the use of paging file.
Configure the initial and maximum paging sizes equal to prevent fragmentation of
paging file.
Place the paging file on:
o The physical disk that has less activity.
o Multiple physical disks (smaller, multiple files) .
o Any partition other than the boot partition.
o A stripped volume.
How do you know you need more memory?
Windows will prompt you to close some of your application when it is running on low
physical memory.
Use Task manager to view how much memory is paged and how much memory is
used.
Use System Monitor to chart Memory-Pages/sec and Paging File-% Usage counters. If
the usage of the paging file is near to 100%, or Memory-Pages/sec counter is greater
than 5, then you need to add RAM.
7. Managing process
Important part of optimizing and trouble shooting of application performance:
Application performance can be improved by stopping unneeded processes and or
by changing the base priority of process.
Windows processes are managed as:
1. Start Windows task manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc
2. Click process tab in Task manager dialog box
o To start a process, Select File->New task.
o To stop a process, highlight the process to be stopped and click
End Process.
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o To change base priority, right click the process & select Set
Priority
3. Close Task Manager.
8. Insufficient Disk Space
Temp files, downloaded Internet files, and old, unused files acquire disk space, so regular disk
cleanup should be part of regular computer maintenance.
For Disk clean up on Windows 2000 & Windows Xp, My Computer -> Right click local
disk icon. Select Properties, and click the Disk Cleanup button.
Uninstall, some applications using Windows Add/Remove Programs utility or
application's Uninstall program.