Regular PC and laptop health checks can improve efficiency and performance and help your computer last for many years to come. So having your computer serviced is a good idea, but how often should it be done?
How often a computer is serviced depends on many factors, such as how regularly it is used and how old it is. Servicing your computer or laptop through frequent cleanings, hard drive updates, and virus prevention can lengthen your device’s lifespan and ensure your data is protected.
Below we discuss the benefits of servicing your computer and look at what we offer at Lee Harvey Computer as part of our PC and laptop health check.
Do computers need servicing?
The short answer to whether computers need servicing is “yes”. You have your car serviced regularly because you know that regular maintenance keeps it running smoothly and prolongs its useful life.
In the same way, regularly servicing your computer will ensure its long-term health. It might even prevent you from replacing it or spending money on repairs!
When do computers need servicing?
When do computers need servicing, is one of those “how long is a piece of string?” questions. It depends on so many things. Laptops used for a couple of hours a day and then kept in a case mean the answer is “not very often” – maybe every few years.
But, if it is a desktop computer used for business for up to 8 hours a day, it is probably worth having it serviced on a more regular basis – and we recommend every 6 months.
If your computer is used all day in a dusty environment or around pets, then the need for a regular service will increase to every 3 months.
Are there any signs that my computer needs servicing?
There are some warning signs to watch out for that your PC may not be in the best of health. For example, if the performance of your computer seems to be dropping, or the speed of operation seems less than when it was new.
Also, if the battery on your laptop computer seems to be constantly draining, your keyboard not responding to certain commands, or if there is a general drop in efficiency, then your computer is telling you it needs some maintenance, and a service is long overdue.
What happens during maintenance and servicing?
At Lee Harvey Computing, we offer a fixed-price computer service that can diagnose hardware faults, remedy any software glitches, and remove unnecessary programs or viruses.
Our computer health check involves maintenance of both the hardware (the keyboard, monitor, internal components etc.) and the software.
Here we explain more!
Cleaning the hardware
- Dust the keyboard using compressed air. Dust is the worst enemy of your computer. It can prevent keys on your keyboard from working correctly.
- Clean the keyboard with alcohol wipes. Remember – not all computer viruses live in software, and you don’t want to know what nasties we have found lurking on and in computer keyboards. An alcohol wipe can do a lot of good here.
- Clean your mouse. Dust, dirt, crumbs and pet hair. You name it, and it will find its way into your mouse. Just one more thing that needs a thorough cleaning. Taking the mouse apart and using some compressed air returns it to as-good-as-new condition.
- Clean the touchscreen. Remember what we said about the nasties lurking on your keyboard? Now ask yourself how many sticky fingers have prodded your computer’s touch screen. A microfiber cloth and some specialist spray soon solve the problem.
- Deep clean inside the computer. This is the “definitely not for amateurs” bit. As we said earlier, dust is your computer’s biggest nemesis, but to remove dust and give your computer a thorough cleaning, we have to get at the internal components. This means the hard drive, the graphics card, the video card, the motherboard, the RAM slots, the CPU etc. These all collect dust, and dust build-up will lead to excessive heat, which can lead to expensive failures of components.
- Don’t forget the fan! Worst of all, dust can prevent the fan (or fans) on computers from working correctly and then things really hot up! It is not a good idea to poke a vacuum cleaner into the innards of a computer, so we prefer to use an “air duster” (using compressed air). Have you heard of “thermal paste”? It is a substance used to drain away waste heat in computers, and rarely does it needs to be replenished. This takes some of the load off the fans. But let us tell you that this job is best left to an expert.The cleaning process is more complicated with a laptop computer. There is much less space inside the case, so the process is slightly more challenging to perform as access is limited. Once again, a job for someone like Lee Harvey Computing.
Next, we come to…….
Maintaining the software
- “Defrag” the hard drive. I wonder how many customers know that the hard drive is the weakest link when it comes to computer performance? This is why defragging (defragmenting) your hard drive regularly is so important. Defragging is the process of reorganising the data on your hard drive by putting all the bits of a file in one place on the disk to speed up access.Many new business computers come with an SSD (Solid State Drive), and these do not need defragging as they store data differently.
- Configure the Startup. Some applications (programs) start up automatically when your computer is switched on. However, they can slow your computer if they are not needed.
- Run a disk cleanup. This will clean out temporary files and delete big attachments that are no longer needed and “Junk”, which can slow your computer and decrease its efficiency.
- Install major updates. Updates are an essential part of computer maintenance. They are often vital to patch up critical security holes and, sometimes, upgrade your software.
- Update anti-virus software. After anti-virus software is updated, it should be run immediately to check for malware that might have been uploaded since the last update.
- Check for firmware updates. Firmware is a small piece of software in your computer that keeps the hardware functioning properly. Updates are sometimes (but not always) included in major computer updates.
- Delete unused programs. It is surprising how many old, unused programs lurk on hard drives, slowing everything down. In most cases, these can be removed to free up space for important things.
- Move similar files into folders. Too many desktops are full of files. Moving all the similar files into a folder will make it easier to search for them and make them easier to delete should it be necessary.
- Transfer files to the cloud. Cloud storage enables you to store gigabytes of space without decreasing storage on your hard drive. It allows you to share your files across multiple devices. You can also backup data to the cloud to protect you from data loss should your desktop break down.
Can you do computer maintenance at home?
Computer maintenance can be likened to keeping your car running. With a car, some tasks – topping up the oil and water or checking the tyre pressures – can be done by the owner.
However, a major service or repairs are best left to the professionals.
It is the same with your PC or laptop computer. Cleaning the screen and keyboard can and should, be done regularly by the computer owner.
Likewise, transferring files into folders should be within the capabilities of most people.
When to call the professionals
You should always call a professional when your computer needs a regular full service and maintenance visit. You should never wait until your device starts slowing down, gets hot etc. (although Lee Harvey Computing is happy to solve this if it happens).
Regular professional support is essential to maintain your device, extend its life, and ensure it gives you years of service. At Lee Harvey Computing, we have you covered and will send out yearly computer health check reminders to our loyal customers.
How can Lee Harvey Computing help me?
Lee Harvey Computing has years of experience and can visit you at your premises in Cornwall to service your laptop or PC to ensure it is working optimally.
No matter what your device – laptop or desktop – regular servicing with support from Lee Harvey Computing will extend its life and make using your computer a pleasure again.
After all, why put up with a slugging system, noisy fan, or a well below-par network speed when we can give your PC a clean bill of health.
To book your computer service or ask for advice, contact us here!