Preventing Windows problems may be the best thing that you can do for your computer. With the economy doing crazy things, now is not the time to have problems with your PC. Getting your computer fixed at the local PC shop is expensive and not even guaranteed to solve its problems. Luckily, there are many things you can do to recession-proof your computer and eliminate Windows problems.
Keeping a Windows computer in top shape is about using common sense and know-how to avoid problems. Often, trouble is brewing long before the user notices a problem.
Consider this analogy: You fill a pot with water, put it on the stove and walk away. After about 20 minutes the pot is so hot that the top rises up and water boils over the side. Why did that happen? Because you were not paying attention to it before it boiled over: The pot is the computer; the water is your Windows Operating System.
The easiest way to fix a Windows computer is to prevent it from having a problem in the first place. It is always better to know the condition of your computer and operating system - it will save you tons of frustration, work and time.
The following is a list of what you can do to recession-proof your computer:
It may seem an attractive option to buy that shiny new computer on sale – especially as many companies are almost giving them away. Often, however, you can inexpensively upgrade your current one to make it faster. The single best and cheapest thing you can do to make Windows run faster is to have enough operating memory and hard drive space.
2. Protect Your Computer
Power - Every computer should have some type of power protection. Preferable a power strip with a small battery backup, so you can close Windows safely if there is a power outage.
Firewall and Antivirus Software – Every computer needs Firewall and Antivirus software to keep out hackers and stop viruses before they turn a computer into toast.
3. Use Common Sense
Internet Browsing – be careful what you look at and click on while browsing on the Internet. Here is an extreme scenario: You are happily surfing along, when something automatically starts downloading or opening tons of windows on your computer that you cannot stop it. Think that sounds crazy? It is more common than you would imagine.
Downloading Programs – Don’t download programs to your computer, from sites that are anything other than mainstream vendors like Amazon.com, Tucows.com and other reputable stores. Anyone can throw up a web site; not just anyone deserves your trust.
Passwords – Don’t use the same ID and password for every web site you use. Create a standard ID and different password for each web site you visit. That way if you sign up on some site that doesn’t have ethical standards, you will not have to worry about someone taking that ID and password and trying to use them all over the web. Also, keep your passwords in a safe place: Write them down on a piece of paper and put the paper in a locked desk drawer.
Pay Attention - Paying attention to the little things will pay you back ten times in less downtime and problems with your Windows computer. If your computer is operating slowly, ask yourself why. Read up on a possible cause.
Fully Read Error Messages - When you encounter an error message in Windows, don’t just click through it. Read it completely. If it is something serious, you might even want to make a screenshot of it and save it for further consideration.
Shutdown Your Computer Safely – don’t just shutoff the power switch on your computer during normal operation. Use Windows to perform a safe shutdown. Only in extreme conditions (like those mentioned in Internet Browsing above), should you do anything other than an orderly shutdown of Windows.
Backup Your Work Often – Your hard drive is going to crash – it is just a question of when. There are steps you can take to safely and easily secure your information. Backing up your data will save you hours of frustration and worry.
4. Perform Quarterly Maintenance
You do maintenance on your car – why not your computer? Every three months or so do some preventative maintenance. You don’t have to be manic about maintenance to do just enough to keep it healthy.
Clean Your Desktop – a desktop without files on it (other than shortcuts), will always run faster than one with many.
Scan Windows System Files – check and fix any conditions in your operating system
Scan Your Hard Drive - Check and fix hard drive problems using the Chkdsk command.
Scan Your Computer for Viruses – if you don’t have your Antivirus program set up to automatically download the latest virus definition and scan your computer weekly, you are wrong. You should set that up. But, if you still don’t want to do that, at least do it 4 times a year.