Five Tips to Keep Your Computer in Tip Top Shape

12/04/2011 15:12

Computer repair can be costly. You'll probably dedicate hours of your time before you decide to contact a shop that will cost you at least $100 to fix a problem that could have been avoided. Sometimes, hardware fails and you're out of warranty. It's not your fault and there was really nothing you could do. However, most of the problems that PC users experience can be avoided through proper maintenance. Here are five tips to keep your computer in shape and prevent a worst case scenario:


Tip #1: Save all the CDs that were provided with your newly purchased computer! This is especially important when buying second hand computers that already have software installed such as Microsoft Office. If ever you need to reinstall your operating system, you will have trouble getting your sound, internet or camera working without the driver software from the CDs. Additionally, you'll need the product keys you used to register any software you bought. Keep everything!

Tip #2: Backup your important data TODAY. Not tomorrow, not later, not next week. RIGHT NOW is the best time to backup any data you cannot do without. Data recovery is often possible on dead hard drives but it is very expensive. Moreover, you might need those documents to prepare Wednesday's presentation. Keep all important documents backed up on another hard drive or at a remote location (Many businesses offer automated backup services to remote servers for relatively cheap)!

Tip #3: Have Anti-Virus Software and keep it running at all times. If it is interfering with what you want to do or download, reconsider whether you really want to engage in that activity. It is very important to keep your virus definitions up to date to defend against the latest threats to your system. There are quite a few good anti-virus programs that are free for home use. I would personally recommend using or

Tip #4: Maintain proper local security. If you have guests over, create a limited account that they may use while on your computer. Do not share your main profile unless you are ready to face the consequences! Also beware of letting other people access computers on your shared network. They may still be able to manipulate your data. (And keep liquids away from your laptop!)

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Tip #5: Ask for help. If you are unsure about something, contact someone knowledgeable or at least search about it on Google. Certainly do not "click to find out" what something unfamiliar does. This is a very easy way to create a mess! Local computer repair shops will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.