5 Steps You Should Do To Keep Your Computer Running Smoothly

5 Steps You Should Do To Keep Your Computer Running Smoothly

If you lack the technical experience that so many people in today’s world seem to have when it comes to computers, it can be pretty frustrating when you are finally faced with the prospect of operating a PC for the very first time. If you have recently purchased a computer of your own, you are planting a firm step into the future. The future is technology, and computers are at the forefront of this international revolution.

  1. Shutdown properly.
    Computer Power Button

    One of the first things you should know before even using your computer for the first time is that you should never under any circumstances turn off the computer off with the power button. You should always shut down a computer from the start menu button. The only time you should perform a manual shut down is when the computer will not respond to this demand from its start menu.

  2. Get an uninterruptible power supply.
    Uninterruptible Power Supply

    Purchasing a uninterruptible power supply for your computer is highly recommended to any user. The UPS is what prevents the computer from voltage fluctuations and from being crashed during a power outage. Despite what you may have been told before by other people, a UPS will be far more effective and much safer for your computer than any power strip.

    Shop for an uninterruptible power supply.

  3. Install a good antivirus application.
    Kaspersky Internet Security

    Many people underestimate the importance of having a virus protection program installed on their computer. Without proper protection, the Internet becomes a hot spot for all kinds of viruses and other malware that steal personal information and infect the computer’s hard drive. This slows up a computer’s processor dramatically and can even destroy the motherboard completely if left untreated. Never use the Internet without the appropriate protection installed.

    Shop for an antivirus application.

  4. Install a software firewall.
    Comodo Firewall Logo

    Having a strong firewall program installed onto a computer is crucial for its overall health. It is pertinent to ensuring full Internet protection and is especially necessary for when you are using a faster wireless connection speed. The firewall program will prevent malicious hackers from getting into your system and taking control of it.

    Shop for a software firewall.

  5. Defragment your hard drive regularly.
    Hard Drive

    You will need to run a defragment session once each month as part of a routine that keeps your computer’s hard drive in good standing health. The defragment process accomplishes this by keeping the hard drive clean through the elimination of unnecessary files from the system. In the long run, this will prevent your computer from crashing and help it to run more smoothly.

    Shop for a hard drive defragger.

By sticking to these five basic guidelines, keeping your computer in optimum health will prove to be a much easier ordeal altogether. Knowledge is power, so use it!

14 Responses to “5 Steps You Should Do To Keep Your Computer Running Smoothly”

  1. Jason M says:

    I agree with the first 3 points. The last two are kind of moot now with Windows 7. If you are using a home router and have Windows Firewall – that is usually good enough for 90% of people running computers.

    And if you are running Windows 7? It will automatically schedule your hard disks to get de-fragmented automatically now.

    Though – if you are still running Windows XP – you will still need to manually perform some type of disk maintenance.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      Wile the Windows Firewall is good enough, I prefer better. There are better solutions that are free that allow for better customization. For example, my Comodo firewall allows me to configure which DNS servers I use so I point them to the OpenDNS servers. This means that any DNS requests from my desktop will always go through OpenDNS, regardless of what my network settings are.

      As for the defragmentation, I sill like to do a manual defragmentation mostly because it is more thorough and many defragmentation programs include different defrag options. Unless of course you have a SSD, in which case Windows 7 disables auto-defrag.

  2. I’m on stupid Vista so, unfortunately, often I end up having to hold down on that button to get my computer to shut down, as it’s taken up to 3 hours to do it on occasion and I just don’t have that kind of time.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I’m not a huge fan of Vista. I like Windows 7, and find it much faster than compare to Vista – not to mention that it is also less annoying. When you mentioned three hours, do you mean to perform a defrag, or to shutdown? I’m hoping it isn’t to shutdown the computer.

      • It is in shutting down the computer. A couple of times I’ve tried to shut it down at night when I went to bed and it was still in the process when I woke hours later. Vista’s such a dog. 🙁

        • Paul Salmon says:

          It looks like something isn’t shutting down properly and Vista is waiting for it to shutdown. you may want to check to see what is running in the background when your computer is running, and then stop the applications that aren’t needed. When Windows 7 encounters such an issue, it will provide an option to force shutdown the impeding application.

  3. Alex says:

    This is a great list, and certainly a lot of these are overlooked. I would add a #6: Always backup your data. Even if you religiously adhere to 1-5, things still happen. Having a reliable, secure backup of your critical data is essential.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I agree with regards to backing up your data. If you computer does develop an issue, and you can’t access your hard drive, then it can be a pain to get your data back. Also, with backing up your data, you don’t have to worry as much about forgetting data when you reformat your computer.

  4. Kevin says:

    I would like to add that not only should you install a good antivirus and firewall software but you should also ensure that they always have the latest updates. Same goes for other software on your computer, especially your operating system.

    Patches and updates are made available online and the automatic updates should be turned on for all the critical software.

    Another tip is to have a weekly antivirus scan turned on so that if any viruses have come aboard your computer they will be caught and appropriate action is taken.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I agree, always updated software and operating systems with the latest patches and updates. Many of the newest patches include security fixes, and not installing them leaves your computer open to attack.

      As for antivirus, I like Microsoft’s Security Essential notification. If it hasn’t run for some time, the icon in the system tray turns orange to let you know. When I see that I just start the scan.

  5. Neil says:

    Nice information. And i already do all these activities for my computer except defragment. Thanks.

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I find I don’t do a defrag as much as I used to. I should go back and create an automated task on my desktop to automatically defrag when I’m not on the computer.

  6. Marie Nugent says:

    These are some very vital tips you have here! I have lost 2 computers in the past because I did not apply step numbers 2 and 3. I did not use a proper UPS to plug my computers in, and one power outage was enough to destroy my computer’s hardware. I think the UPS holds the power for a while so that the computer can slowly shut down instead of abruptly – didn’t know the consequence would be so huge.

    As for my antivirus protection, I allowed it to lapse and my computer was attacked by malware, adware and all the wares and I lost everything on my hard drive. This was tough – I learnt the hard way! Of course I will never make that mistake again! I pretty much try to do all the above with the exception of defragmenting on a monthly basis, which I think is equally important. I also delete my temporary files and cookies on a monthly basis and keep my recycle bin empty.

    “If we all treat each other like we treat ourselves – what a wonderful place earth would be.”

    • Paul Salmon says:

      I have a UPS that is connected to my desktop. I can run for 20 minutes off its battery power, which provides more than enough time to properly shutdown my computer. When my computer isn’t on, my modem and router can run for 5 to 7 hours, and since my phone uses the modem, I will still have phone service.

      It doesn’t take much for power to cause problems with a computer. A small power spike, such as from an electrical storm, can render a computer useless.

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