Computer and Network Support for Small Businesses
in the Greater Toronto Area

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Computer Maintenance

Why we recommend  computer maintenance?

Sluggish performance getting you down? Is your computer running slow? This could be caused by a number of factors, such as viruses, fragmented files, bad hard disk sectors, shortage of disk space, memory (RAM), or even built up dust and lint. We recommend periodic visits to ensure that these issues are not contributing to poor system performance. Routine and regular reviews of your systems keeps them running more efficiently and for longer.

Electronic components and heat: Electronics dislike heat! Heat is the biggest contributor to component failure, and you can do something about it. Take a look at the back of your computer in the vicinity of the fan built into the power supply. That’s the area at the back of the computer where the power cord plugs into the system. Invariably, you will find the intake area covered with dust (bunnies) – sometimes a trace… sometimes clumps. You can vacuum this area – just make sure that the system is plugged into the power outlet so it remains grounded to prevent static electricity. The better way, though, is to take the covers off the system and use a good air pressure stream to blow out all the dust and dirt from the system.

When we have systems in our shop and have the covers off, we always clean the inside with a high pressure air gun (no, a Karcher with water just won’t cut it). We have a compressor, but it is a touch heavy to pop into the back seat of the car – it needs two-an-a-half people to move it. What we do have a portable compressor unit, and we take this on-site with us to do the clean-up and system tune-up as part of a Computer Maintenance Program we offer:

Annual (or more frequent if required) visit to blow out and vacuum up, the dust, lint and “stuff.” Cleanup of all temporary files that accumulate on the system. Check for available updates and instructions on how to download and install them, and start-up of the Disk Defragmenter program.

Some Do’s and Don’ts to Keep Your Computer Running Smoothly

Avoid the urge to turn your computer off by shutting down the power bar or the power supply switch at the back of the system.  The one exception to this rule is when your computer freezes.  Be sure to check that the hard disk drive light (LED) is off!  Before forcibly shutting down the system, try using Ctrl-Alt-Del and wait for the Task Manager to respond.  If it does, select the system shutdown.  If it does not, then be sure to wait for the drive light to go out before turning off the power.

Use a good quality battery backup system/UPS that will keep your system operational in the event of a power failure.  If the power outage exceed a predetermined time, normally 10 minutes, the UPS software will do a “controlled shutdown” of the system.  When the power come back on, you can start the system normally.

Use good “paid for” AntiVirus.  Remember that the free versions available have reduced protection.

Do not remove or install your keyboard or mouse until you have powered down your system.

Try and retain at least 15% of your hard disk free (for page files and temporarily files).

Keep your computer system software CD’s or DVD’s available should you need them to correct any corrupted files.