You spent a lot of time and money putting together your dream computer. You spent hours researching your cards and connections. You spent a ton of money on extra RAM and the best processor on the market. You want your “baby” to live forever. So, what can you do to make that happen?
1. Secure It
A recent blog post on the Trend Micro Internet security site points out that we are almost completely dependent upon the Internet and web based services to live our daily lives. This makes us incredibly vulnerable. Think about it for a second: how much would your life change if you suddenly couldn’t connect with your friends via social media or send an email to ask a question or quickly look up statistics for a report?
Even worse, what if someone broke into your computer and rendered it useless for you but useful for masking their identity and nefarious activities?
Make sure that you install a top notch internet security and anti-virus program to keep safe from all of the hackers out there who want to hijack your system.
2. Keep It Physically Clean
You do know that dust can get in to your CPU, build up and slow down your computer, right? If the dust builds up too much, it could force your computer to overheat and, potentially die! Every week, take a can of compressed air to the inside of your CPU and get that dust out of there. You’ll be amazed at how much longer your computer lasts and how well it behaves once it is cleaned out. If you’ve never done this before, there’s a great post at Gizmodo that walks you through the process.
3. Keep It Internally Clean
The physical parts of your computer aren’t the only things that need to be cleaned. It is also important to keep your computer’s operating and file systems clean. Over time, as you use your computer, bits and bytes of data pile up the way dust piles up on your video card. Programs that you forgot you downloaded start up automatically when you start up your operating system.
You undoubtedly understand the importance of de-fragmenting your hard drive every once in a while. But do you know what else you need to do to keep your computer shiny and organized? There are a lot of different steps involved in this. Lifehacker has a great checklist and set of instructions that you can use to make sure that your computer is as clean internally as it is externally.
4. Turn it Off
There is a widespread myth that says you lose hard drive or CPU life every time you turn it off and turn it back on. This myth has caused lots of people to simply leave their computers on all of the time. There is no evidence that proves that you cut your computer’s life in half with every restart. According to WiseGeek, there are some systems that benefit from being turned off at night (and if it will sit unused for a lengthy period of time) and some that don’t. It depends largely upon your operating system. They do point out, though, that turning off the computer helps increase your security (you can’t hack into a computer that isn’t running) and reduces wear and tear on the physical parts of the machine. So, in many cases, turning off the computer extends the life of the machine.
What are some of the things you do to make sure your computer lives as long as possible? Any Mac users want to share some tips in the comments?