Easy ways to extend life of your computer

Just as cars need oil changes, personal computerss require ongoing maintenance to maximize the lifespan of the device. When you consider that some IT components can actually cost as much as a motor vehicle, it’s easy to see why this is crucial for your business technology. These steps will keep your equipment running smoothly, and the only cost is a few minutes of your time.

Clean components monthly
You can’t always see it, but the tiniest of dust particles can build up inside your computer over time. When grime and debris begin to clog the internal workings of your device, it generates more heat, and the dust itself can act as insulation, trapping heat in the device. Higher temperatures mean cooling fans have to work harder, stressing your machine further. I recommend purchasing a can of compressed air and taking five minutes to spray down all vent openings and circuit boards at least once a month.

Ventilate your system
Devices have more trouble operating when they are overheated. Proper ventilation helps cooling fans move fresh air through the components, bringing down the device’s internal temperature. Look at how your IT systems are set up and be sure there is enough airflow in the area. Avoid placing your server or PC in an enclosed cabinet or near heat vents.
Protect against power surges
Plugging power cords into a surge protector is a step that you should take with every IT device. The circuits and components in your PC are sensitive to minor fluctuations in power, which can hinder their performance. In extreme cases, components can be damaged or destroyed.
Prevent power loss
A sudden loss of power can cause problems such as losing unsaved documents or causing drive or file corruption. To avoid this, consider installing an Uninterruptible Power Supply. It is essentially a large surge protector with a built-in battery that kicks on if there is ever an interruption in your regular power supply.

Optimize startup programs
Although not always necessary, this can greatly increase startup time when you reboot your PC. During this process, the computer loads everything that is running on your desktop, including nonessential items such as iTunes, Adobe, Microsoft Office, etc. You can specify which programs you do and do not want to load on the initial reboot by following these steps:
Go to the start menu and search for “MSConfig.”
Select the “Startup” tab.
Deselect any programs that aren’t necessary every time you restart the computer.
This will greatly increase reboot speeds.

Hans Broman, a sales and marketing strategist at iPoint in Fort Collins, can be reached at hbroman@ipoint-tech.com.

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