Let’s Make Your Computer Last Longer!
Please welcome guest post by Mayura DaSilva from Mayura4Ever today to talk about how to make our computers last longer. He is really a tech whizz and I thought this would be helpful to all of us as I recently lost my hard drive and wanted to learn how to keep the computer running in tip top shape longer.
First of all, I MUST say, eventhough the tips comply with computers, the tools I recommend here would be most favorable for Windows users. The reason is I’m recommending tools that I use and found helpful as I’m a Windows user.
I know you have a computer at home and may be using it right now. So you can definitely relate to this topic about making your computer last longer. Are you on your first computer? If not, how much did last your previous one? Alright, here I’m gonna share some important tips which can help you to make yours last longer. I mean, which I’ve followed. Can you guess how old is my computer I’m using right now? I will tell my story later. Let’s stop gibberish and move on to tips.
Get to Know Your Computer
How much do you know about your computer? No… No… Not about its price, shape and color. I mean, your computer specifications. Do you feel that knowing your computer specifications is like holding unnecessary information in your mind? That’s a myth that most users have in their mind and try to ignore learning of them. What… You too?
Yeah may be you’re not fond of computers to know all software and hardware components. But as long as it’s your computer or the one you used to use every day, you should know its specifications to identify its capabilities when you interact with it. If you don’t know what it can do or can’t do, in short term or long term, your computer comes up with problematic situations. But how do you know that you know about your computer or not? Let me help you on this one. Let’s prepare to answer some questions. Oops… Are you afraid to challenge yourself? Oh C’mon, let’s face it. I won’t tell anybody.
1. Processor Name is ___________________ and its Speed is ___________
2. Motherboard Model is ________________ and Chipset is ____________
3. Physical Memory (RAM) Type is _______________ and Memory Size is _________
4. Hard Drive is ________________________ and its Capacity is _________________
5. Graphic Card is ______________________ and its Memory Size is _____________
6. Audio Device is ______________________
7. Operating System is __________________
Alright, now be honest with me How many blanks you could able to fill in? If you were able to fill in all the blanks, you’re IMPRESSIVE. Else, don’t be discouraged due to the fact that you don’t know. Let’s find out answers for blanks you left and clarify already answered,
Download CPU-Z tool and extract Zip file. Run the tool and get to know more information about your computer. If you wanna know even more about your computer, I recommend you to check out Speccy and PC-Wizard free tools too.
Maintain Your Computer
Now basically you know what specifications you have on your computer. Knowing specifications seems like off-topic scenario for you. But if you don’t know your computer well, you won’t able to maintain it well. It’s true sometimes you have to upgrade your system if you can’t work with current computer specifications. But it will cost you and before step into that, try to be a MANAGER and manage your available resources.
I’m using my PC from 2001 and still I’m on it. Yeah, I know how it feels Seems like I’m generations behind, eh? My computer is my buddy. I did few upgrades until now, but specifications are quite old. Would you like to hurt your friends? If NO, don’t ignore your computer too. Keep it clean and think about safety always.
Do you remember the day right after installing your Operating System? Do you feel now your computer is slower than before? Even you feel it or not, due to various factors, your computer may slow down.
Reason #1: Unwanted Programs Installed on Your Computer
It’s obvious that unwanted programs costs disk space on your hard disk. So if you have any of unwanted programs installed, remove them. When removing, first checks on Add/Remove programs and if it lists your software, remove it from there. If it doesn’t lists or program itself gives no way to uninstall, you can remove it manually.
May be you have never installed an unwanted programs on your computer. So you think “It’s not for me”. Keep in mind that sometimes you install unwanted components with packages. For example, if you install Microsoft Office package on your computer, typically it will install Microsoft Outlook for you. But you won’t find it helpful. It installs with the package. It costs you space. So when you install, just don’t press NEXT & ACCEPT button always. If there is a CUSTOM Installation option, just give it a look. You will able to remove unwanted components gonna install and save space on your hard disk. If you don’t understand, then it’s alright to come back and continue with TYPICAL installation. Recommend: Add/Remove Programs, CCleaner
Reason #2: Temporary & Junk Files Created in Your Hard Disk
Temporary files are created automatically when you install software, update existing software via Internet and especially when you browse Internet. The content of web pages stores to your computer hard disk when browser render pages. It’s browser caching. Also some Windows processes and security software create log files automatically too. It all takes unnecessary space on your hard disk. So you need to have a disk clean up software to clean up temporary files and junk files at least once a week. Recommend: CCleaner
Reason #3: Unused Registry Entries & Problems
Windows Registry is a database which holds configurations related to Windows and software installed on your computer. So softwares refer registry to find configuration related to software when executing. When you install most programs, it will create new entries in registry known as registry keys. But when uninstall, some keys may not remove. So you need Registry Cleaner software to remove such unused entries from the registry to get rid of unwanted registry keys and to improve system performance.
Reason #4: Hard Disk & File System Errors
Hard disk errors and problems are direct causes for system performance and reliability. However it is always better to be in alert about problems it has, whether it’s directly related to hard disk or Windows file system. As you know, the data is stored on hard disks. So you need to check for errors periodically and repair errors if it has. Else the data stored on your hard disk has tendency to being corrupted. Therefore check your hard disk periodically and make sure it’s error free.
Recommend: Windows Error Checking Tool, Hard Disk Sentinel (Paid)
Reason #5: Fragmented Files on Your Hard Disk
If you go to Music folder in your computer, you will see only music files you stored in that directory and arranged so well. Seems all are together, isn’t it? When you install or copy and paste files on your computer, eventhough they install or copied to one directory, the files or part of files may spread across the Hard Disk as below. So accessing files could take some time if they were spread everywhere.
Defragmentation organizes these files on your hard disk and makes it easy to access for programs. It will bring related files together and next to each other. Think of a book library where you see all books organized well and easy to reach. So it will lower unnecessary delays when accessing data and increase performance of your computer too. Therefore it’s always better if you defragment your hard disk at least once or twice per week.
Recommend: Auslogics Disk Defrag
Few More Suggestions…
Always Back Up Your Data
It’s no doubt that backing up your data is a compulsory activity in system maintenance. However rather than using backup tools to backup data on your computer, I’d like to suggest you to store them directly in secondary or external storage media such as CD, DVD, External Hard Drive, USB Flash Drive etc. You can store data online on cloud storage such as Google Drive,Microsoft SkyDrive too. Anyway make sure you don’t store sensitive data online to be on safe side always.
Beware of Virus, Malware, Adware, Spyware & Other Threats
Make sure you are always protected from virus and other threats by using an Antivirus solution on your computer. I hope you may already use it and with Firewall on. I’d like to suggest you to use an external Anti-Malware solution while using Anti-Virus too. Sometimes Anti-Virus software itself could not detect some Key-Loggers, Worms, Dialers, Hijackers and sort of threats. May be you may not feel any performance changes or see suspicious activity, but some threats still may sending your sensitive data to external users over Internet and end up your computer being infected and may delete your data too. So use an Anti-Malware solution, scan periodically and whenever you suspect something is on.
Recommend: Good Anti-Virus Solution, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
There it is. Prevention is better than cure. And it’s what makes your computer last longer. If you take necessary steps and value your computer health, it won’t let you down. Alright, now my time’s up Now it’s YOURS. Send your questions on our way and I do appreciate if you have more suggestions to add up with your own experience, so readers & I will able to learn from you too. Ay ay, Win-Win situation