DIY Methods for Maintaining your Computer

Our team at Ask Computers is a team of highly skilled and experienced professionals who have been providing services of computer repair in Toronto for more than 15 years. Here, we will not talk about the services we provide. There are some methods that you can do yourself to maintain your computer.

We will be discussing those DIY methods that can help you maintain and increase the life of your computer. We all want a computer which is running to its full capacity, but very few of us are actually taking care of our computers.

Let’s take hygiene as an example. We all take care of our own hygiene, right? But how many of us clean our computers? Yes, it is necessary as a dirty computer is likely to malfunction much often than you think.

Majority of the users store personal and important data on their computers. Very few know that their data is not always safely stored on their computer. It can be damaged or deleted through many virus on their ware attacks.

These were just a few problems that many of us can face. Following are the methods that you can do yourself to maintain your computer rather than paying for the services of a professional:

  • Regular Virus Scans
  • Backup Data
  • Defragmentation
  • Compressed Air Cleaning
  • Install Updates
  • Remove Unnecessary Softwares

Now let’s talk about each of these in detail.

  • Regular Virus Scans:


We all have our personal and important data stored on our hard drive. Most of us have access to the internet and browse numerous websites on a daily basis. While browsing, we are asked to click on many links that can lead to downloading of a file. There is a fair amount of chance that the downloaded file may contain a virus.

We also transfer data from our friend’s computer to our computer through USB drives. There is also a possibility that viruses can be transferred to your computer through that USB drive. There are also many other ways how your computer can be affected by a virus or malware.

Now there viruses and malware can have a lot of effects. One of them is data loss. The virus can attach to your files which can result in you not being able to open or use those files again. Sounds scary right? We have seen many cases where a virus has led to the loss of personal and important data for many users.

Another effect of a virus attack can be on the overall performance of your computer. It can get a lot laggy, some of your software might not work, and you will observe an overall slowness in your computer.

So to get rid of all these problems, you should install effective and trustworthy antivirus software on your computer. After that, you should run a virus scan on a regular basis. A whole computer scan for viruses might take some time, but considering all the benefits it provides, it’s totally worth the time.

There are many antivirus software available in the market. Some of them are free while the best ones will cost you money. Considering the importance of your data and the overall health of your computer, investing money in buying an antivirus program is not a bad deal at all.

These antivirus programs will scan for viruses and delete them from your hard drive. They also scan the USB drives that you plug into your computer for data transfer, and if that drive contains a virus, the program will give you a warning not to copy files from that USB drive. Antivirus software also lets you browse the internet safely without the risk of downloading something that can damage your computer.

Some of the best antivirus programs are as follows:

  • Norton Antivirus
  • AVG Antivirus
  • ESET NOD32
  • Kaspersky Antivirus
  • Malwarebytes

You can install one of the antivirus software mentioned above, and keep scanning for viruses on a regular basis.

  • Backup Data:


Another method to maintain your computer that you can do yourself is to back up all the necessary and important data. Have you ever asked yourself a question that when was the last time you backed up your data? How much data will you lose if your hard drive fails right now or gets infected by a virus attack? You will get to know about the importance of backing up your data when you ask yourself these questions.

Nowadays, there are many methods available to back up data. Some of those methods are listed as follows:

  • External Hard Drives
  • USB Drives
  • CD/DVD
  • Cloud Storage

External hard drives have become easy to come by, and they are considered as a great tool to back up all of your important data. You can also utilize them to transfer your data to another computer. Their large storage capacity allows you to store an enormous amount of data. So if you want to back up a huge chunk of data, the external hard drive is your best option.

USB Drives and CD/DVDs are also used for backing up data. You might not be able to store as much data as you can store on an external hard disk, but they sure are great tools which you can utilize for backing up your data.

Apart from these options, many sites are providing online storage. They allow you to upload your files online and you can download them later whenever you want. Some might think of it as a risky option, but these websites offer greats privacy and data protection.

So from these options, whatever suits you the best, you should utilize it to back up your important data.

  • Defragmentation:


Defragmenting your computer is always a great way to maintain it and increase the speed and performance. It rearranges files stored on a disk to occupy contiguous storage locations which can enhance the system performance and lead to faster disk access times.

Microsoft Windowshas a defragmentation tool installed which allows you to schedule the defragmenting of your hard drives. You can search Disk Defragmenter on your computer,and you will be able to find the tool. There are also many open source and commercial defragmenting software available on the internet. You can download and install one of those software if you don’t like the Windows defragmenter tool.

After defragmentation, your files will no longer be scattered but are stored in one place. It results in faster load times which you will experience throughout your computer. You will get faster speeds, less loading time and your computer will be able to sort and locate files much easier and faster.

Even your antivirus software will scan your hard drive faster when it is less fragmented. So all in all, defragmentation will reduce the wear and tear of your hard drive and will extend its lifetime.

  • Compressed Air Cleaning:


Just like your body, your house and your car, your computer needs to be cleaned inside out every once in a while. Not cleaning your computer can result in dust buildup and overheating.

You might think that cleaning your computer is a tough task and might take you all day. Well, that’s not the case. It can only take amaximum of 30 minutes. We recommend you to use compressed air to clean your computer.

Compressed air is a combination of under pressure gases. These gases are squeezed into a can. Compressed air has been preferred the most when it comes to cleaning sensitive electronics. It can easily and effectively remove dust and dirt from your computer components.

The first thing to do is to open the case of your computer and unplug all the components. You need to make sure that any power plug should not be connected. Now once you have all the components disconnected from the computer, you can easily use acompressed air can to clean them. Ram sticks, video cards,and hard drives are the easiest to remove from most desktop computers.

To clean these components, grab the can of compressed air and press its trigger to release a burst of air onto the components. You should target the area that is covered with the most dust. After cleaning the components you took out, now it’s time to clean the dust inside the computer case.

You can start by cleaning the RAM slots and all other slots in your computer. Then you can move to bigger units like CPU fan and power supply unit.

So if you spend good 30 minutes on cleaning your computer with compressed air, you will be able to increase the life and performance of your computer. It is another method to maintain your computer,and you don’t need to hire a professional to do it.

  • Install Updates:


Another method that we highly recommend to maintain your computer is to check for hardware and software updates on regular basis. Running windows update, checking for software patches and checking for updated drivers is included in this practice.

There are also many software available in the market that checks for updates for your system and provides you with a download link for the update. The benefits of updating the software cannot be underestimated. The latest version of the software will give you the optimum performance.

You might also be facing issues with your software and updating them can be the solution to the problem. Now you don’t need the help of a professional to update the software and drivers of your phone. You can just visit the manufacturer’s website and can find a link to download the latest version of the software or driver.

You can also check for patches released for many software. It happens in the case where multiple users are facing a common problem with the software,and the developers create and release a patch that can fix the issue of the users.

If you are on previous versions of Windows, you should also consider updating to the latest version available. Microsoft is known to make the latest versions of their Windows to be faster, secure and enriched with new features. So if you are still of Windows 7, you should consider updating to Windows 8 or Windows 10.

  • Remove Unnecessary software:


Another DIY method on maintaining your computer is to get rid of all the software that you once installed and are not using anymore. They are just sitting there and eating up space on your computer.

We recommend you to be conservative with the software you install on your computer. It’s never good to have unnecessary applications just floating around on your computer. Many of the unnecessary application can consume a lot of memory and can lead to spreading theviruson your computer.

There are many ways of uninstalling unnecessary applications and software from your computer. The most commonly used method is to go to Control Panel and open the Add/Uninstall Application window. It will show you the list of all the installed application on your computer.

You can browse through and choose to uninstall that software that you don’t use any more. Another way is to install a third party application which scans your computer for all the applications, and then shows you the stats about every software. It can tell you the least used applications, the one that has taken up most of the storage or the one that consumes the most RAM.

You can use the software to uninstall all of the unwanted applications. It will lead to more hard drive space and faster speed of your computer.

So from running continuous virus scans to backup up your data, defragmenting your computer, compressed air cleaning, installing regular software updates and getting rid of all the unnecessary applications, these were some of the DIY methods on increasing the speed and maintaining your computer.

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