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Beginners Guides: Annual PC Checkup Checklist

Beginners Guides: Annual PC Checkup Checklist - PCSTATS
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Abstract: A medical primer for your computer, from dust bunnies to defragging, keep your computer in good health by giving it a yearly checkup!
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Jun 29 2007   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Beginners Guides: Annual PC Checkup Checklist
A medical primer for your computer, from dust bunnies to defragging, keep your computer in good health. - Version 1.2.0

There comes a time in every once-new computer's life when it just doesn't feel fresh anymore. You know, when it's taking 5-10 minutes to boot up into Windows, the fans are making funny squealing noises, and there's a wad of orange cat hair protruding from the rear fan grille. It's the computer equivalent of senility, your once precious box has lost its edge.Time for action.

Sure, you could pop down to your local computer mart for $200 or so of fresh parts to keep the dust from settling, but for those of us on a budget there is another option. For starters, there are a fair few things you can do to make your old faithful feel (somewhat) like new again without much expense. Let's take a quick look at some of the most common hardware and software problems related to constant use, and find some quick solutions.

First though, an list of things you are going to need; a "PC first aid kit" if you like:

- Phillips head screwdriver
- Can of compressed air (from your local computer, electronics or hardware store)
- Can of mechanical oil (preferably not WD-40) with a dropper.
- Windows XP Home or Professional CD
- Soft cloth.
- Cat repellant.

Ok, forget about the cat repellant. It's hard to find, anyhow, and the can of compressed air will do in a pinch. Just turn it upside down and aim. Try not to do this near open flames however, unless you are looking for a more permanent solution to your cat/computer issues.

Fan problems are by far the most common age-related computer health issue. Fans are essential to your PC's well being, and they will gum up eventually, unless you habitually work in a clean room.

Common computer fans include the CPU heat-sink fan, possibly the most essential mechanical part in your computer, especially if you happen to be running one of the newer AMD processors.

Problems with this fan can cause all kinds of crashes and software glitches due to heat. If that fan stops, so does your computer, potentially forever, with a little wisp of very expensive smoke.

Other important fans are the Power-supply fan at the rear of the case, which is often the only source of airflow in and out of the computer, and any case fans that may have been added to promote air movement and stop the dust from settling.

Dust settling is a major problem for fans, and computer health in general. Generally speaking, the higher you place the computer the better the air-flow in and out of the case, and the longer the fans are going to last. This is simply because of the dust and other airborne nasties like the aforementioned cat hair and cigarette smoke.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  — Beginners Guides: Annual PC Checkup Checklist
 Pg 2.  Cigarette Smoke and Computers
 Pg 3.  Cleaning and re-oiling fans.
 Pg 4.  Cleaning the inside of your PC
 Pg 5.  Software solutions
 Pg 6.  Defragmenting the hard drive
 Pg 7.  Unnecessary startup programs
 Pg 8.  Disk cleanup utility

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