Tag Archives: maintenance

Daylight Savings Time Ends – It’s That Semi-Annual “Clean Your Computer” Time Again

imageTo make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning, at the Spring and Fall time changes. Since we’ve adjusted our clocks back one hour today (here in North America), it’s time to rerun a primer on how to do a top to bottom physical cleanup of your computer.

Spring cleaning

Over the years I’ve noticed that many computer users are not too concerned with keeping the physical components clean; and they need to be concerned.  Computer maintenance involves not only keeping a computer clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, and adware – but, keeping the physical machine clean as well.

As regular reader TeX pointed out last year, when I ran this article – “Think of a place that hides more dust than the space under your bed.” He’s right – a computer system can collect an an amazing amount of dust.

image

No, this is not one of my machines. Winking smile

Physically cleaning your computer is potentially one of the most important cleanup jobs you’re ever likely to do. Here’s why – heat.

Heat is a component killer, and it’s the chief cause of CPU failure in computers. CPU failure, caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize.

Killer Dirt = Killer Heat

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically; the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages, and more.

Here’s a comment from my Australian buddy Mal, on last year’s reposting of this article – “Earlier this year, my computer started beeping at me. It was an alarm to say “I’m overheating”. I took off the cover and cleaned out all the dust, which was everywhere.

When I turned it back on, the temp at dropped 30 degrees Celsius. No wonder the machine was screaming at me. So a good timely article on your part.”

Keeping your computer in top shape, with a regularly scheduled cleaning program, will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run save you money.

Tools you’ll need:

Screwdriver

A can of compressed air

Cotton swabs

Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)

Paper towels or anti-static cloths

Water

Make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and be gentle when touching the components inside the case.

Open the case:

If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.

Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

Since the keyboard gets more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.

Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead, moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.

Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

I know this is a no-brainer, but before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

Previous postings of this article drew some very valuable comments from regular readers, including the following:

Vhick:

I always clean my PC one a month. In a tropical country like here, dust is everywhere. Clean, turn around, and there’s a dust again. PC cleaning inside and out is must here, because of very hot temperatures.

Georg L:

Cleaning is nice, but when doing so, one should also change the heat sink compound between hot semiconductors and the respective heat sinks. The CPU is most critical in this respect.

Volatile components evaporate over time, turning the compound into an effective heat insulator with a plaster-like texture. I suggest a change every second year in moderate climates, and an annual change in the tropics.

Just to follow up on Georg’s comment – earlier this year, a reader explained that he had rebuilt his machine and replaced all components (other than the CPU), and yet, the machine still locked up after just a few minutes of operation. I passed on Georg’s advice and voila – problem solved!

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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25 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Save Your CPU, Windows Tips and Tools

Auslogics BoostSpeed 5 – A Powerful “One Stop” Optimization And Maintenance Suite

imageIf you’re a regular visitor to this site you’re more likely than not, a high end power user. As such, you know that simple maintenance, practiced regularly, using the right tools, will keep a PC running smoothly for years.

Better yet, you’re proficient at putting together a toolbox of free system applications designed to correct performance issues that negatively impact your computing experience.

Typical computer users on the other hand, are much less likely to have the experience needed to identify the common problems that have impact on a computer’s speed and behavior, and then match the problems with the appropriate free software solution.

Drilling down through complicated operating system structures to get maximum performance from an operating system, is generally outside the range of a typical computer users skill set.

So, average users, for the most part, need an “all-in-one” performance-tuning application designed specifically for this market segment. Preferably, an application that’s comprehensive – yet, “one click” simple. Not an easy task for a product developer – many have tried, but few have really been successful.

Auslogics, well known, to we geeky types, for its free Auslogics Disk Defrag 3.1, is one of those companies that has successfully managed to work within the confines of a “one click” simple solution by developing Auslogics BoostSpeed 5.

Auslogics BoostSpeed 5 can uncover bundles of issues that can impact a computer’s performance and reliability, and then correct identified problems – often, with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Let’s take a walkthrough to look at  just some of the powerful features which are available in  Auslogics BoostSpeed 5. Clicking on any screenshot will increase the size to the original.

Installation is simple, following which you will have the opportunity to run BoostSpeed 5 for the first time. On application launch, you will be presented with the following screen.

image

Running a system scan, on day one of the test, pulled up the usual Registry errors, and gave me the opportunity to clean out junk files, broken shortcuts, and (most importantly for me), clean the Browser cache.

image

Day 2 System scan results: It’s easy to see from this second manual scan, that crud builds up on a PC very quickly.

image

Cutting back on crud accumulation is easy with BoostSpeed 5 though. Setting up an appropriate schedule to automatically handle cleanup and repair, is a snap with the built-in scheduler.

image

One of the features in the application that caught my attention was the security advice pulled up by the System Advisor. The focus here is on security holes that an average user would lack the background, or experience, to consider.

image

On the oft chance that the user makes an error while running a system applet – redemption is just a step away. The Rescue center can reverse changes in any of the applets shown in the following screen capture.

image

image

If you prefer not to go the automatic route, an abundance of applets are available to analyze and repair, maintain and improve, and configure the operating system, as the following screen capture shows.

image

Customizing Windows to get that “just you” look, couldn’t be easier. Virtually every Windows element can be customized.

image

Since personal privacy is a major issue for many users, the addition of a disk wipe utility (plus a shredder utility), is a bonus.

image

Manipulating Internet settings for best performance is generally a hit and miss operation – many applications which promise to boost performance simply don’t work.

BoostSpeed’s built-in Internet Optimizer did work – at least marginally. I suspect that a typical user might see a more robust difference than I did, since my connection was already heavily tweaked.

A user can chose to manually optimize the connection (not recommended), or preferably, sit back and have the applet do the heavy lifting.

image

Finally, all application functions can be accessed from the “right click” context menu, which is reachable from the Taskbar icon as shown in the following screen capture.

image

Fast facts:

System Scan

File Recovery

Disk Doctor

Disk Explorer

Disk Defrag

Registry Defrag

PC Disk Cleaner

Registry Cleaner

Internet Optimizer

Windows Tweak Manager

Track Eraser

Duplicate File Finder

File Shredder

Disk Wiper

Boot Time Startup Manager

Uninstall Manager

Service Manager

Task Manager

PC System Information

Task Manager Rescue Center

When I received an invitation to review Auslogics BoostSpeed 5, I wasn’t sure I could do it justice in a short review – the application’s features are so inclusive that it would take a small book to cover all the features, and the related benefits of each. It’s safe to say that this application provides virtually every tool and applet, that an average computer user should need.

If you’re an average user, disappointed with your computer’s performance, or you’re just tired of having to deal with reoccurring unexplained issues, you may find that Auslogics BoostSpeed 5 is worth its $49.95 purchase price.  If you’re not satisfied, Auslogics offers a full refund within 30 days of purchase.

BTW, a  single product license allows installation of the application on three personal PCs.

System requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7  (32-bit & 64-bit).

Download a 15 day trial version at: the developer’s site – Auslogics.com

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

7 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Auslogics, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tune Up Utilities, downloads, Integrated Tune Up Solutions, New Computer User Software Tools, Slow Computer, Software, Software Trial Versions, System Tweaks, System Utilities

Daylight Savings Time Begins – It’s That Semi-Annual “Clean Your Computer” Time Again

To make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning, at the Spring and Fall time changes – just as I schedule my smoke detector battery replacement.

Since we’ve just recently adjusted our clocks one hour forward (here in North America), advancing into “daylight savings time”, it’s time to rerun a primer on how to do a top to bottom physical cleanup of your computer.

Spring cleaning

Over the years I’ve noticed that many computer users are not too concerned with keeping the physical components clean; and they need to be concerned.  Computer maintenance involves not only keeping a computer clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, and adware – but, keeping the physical machine clean as well.

As regular reader TeX pointed out last year, when I ran this article – “Think of a place that hides more dust than the space under your bed.” He’s right – a computer system can collect an an amazing amount of dust.

image

No, this is not one of my machines. Winking smile

Physically cleaning your computer is potentially one of the most important cleanup jobs you’re ever likely to do. Here’s why – heat.

Heat is a component killer, and it’s the chief cause of CPU failure in computers. CPU failure, caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize.

Killer Dirt = Killer Heat

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically; the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages, and more.

Here’s a comment from my Australian buddy Mal, on last year’s reposting of this article – “Earlier this year, my computer started beeping at me. It was an alarm to say “I’m overheating”. I took off the cover and cleaned out all the dust, which was everywhere.

When I turned it back on, the temp at dropped 30 degrees Celsius. No wonder the machine was screaming at me. So a good timely article on your part.”

Keeping your computer in top shape, with a regularly scheduled cleaning program, will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run save you money.

Tools you’ll need:

Screwdriver

A can of compressed air

Cotton swabs

Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)

Paper towels or anti-static cloths

Water

Make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and be gentle when touching the components inside the case.

Open the case:

If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.

Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

Since the keyboard gets more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.

Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead, moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.

Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

I know this is a no-brainer, but before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

Previous postings of this article drew some very valuable comments from regular readers, including the following:

Vhick:

I always clean my PC one a month. In a tropical country like here, dust is everywhere. Clean, turn around, and there’s a dust again. PC cleaning inside and out is must here, because of very hot temperatures.

Georg L:

Cleaning is nice, but when doing so, one should also change the heat sink compound between hot semiconductors and the respective heat sinks. The CPU is most critical in this respect.

Volatile components evaporate over time, turning the compound into an effective heat insulator with a plaster-like texture. I suggest a change every second year in moderate climates, and an annual change in the tropics.

Just to follow up on Georg’s comment – earlier this year, a reader explained that he had rebuilt his machine and replaced all components (other than the CPU), and yet, the machine still locked up after just a few minutes of operation. I passed on Georg’s advice and voila – problem solved!

If you have the time, and you want to give your computer system a total clean up, you should consider reading “Maintain Your Machine – 10 + 1 Free Computer System Tools”, on this site.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

2 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, downloads, Freeware, Save Your CPU, Slow Computer, Software, System Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Get Ready: It’s That Semi-Annual Clean Your Computer Time Again

Spring cleaningHere in North America, tonight is the night we adjust our clocks back one hour, reverting to Standard Time. To make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning, at the Spring and Fall time changes – just as I schedule my smoke detector battery replacement. So, today is the day I get out my cleaning supplies, and do a top to bottom physical cleanup of my machines.

Over the years I’ve noticed that many computer users are not too concerned with keeping the physical components clean; and they need to be concerned.  Computer maintenance involves not only keeping a computer clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, and adware – but, keeping the physical machine clean as well.

As regular reader TeX pointed out last year, when I ran this article – “Think of a place that hides more dust than the space under your bed.” He’s right – a computer system can collect an an amazing amount of dust.

image

No, this is not one of my machines. Winking smile

Physically cleaning your computer is potentially one of the most important cleanup jobs you’re ever likely to do. Here’s why – heat.

Heat is a component killer, and it’s the chief cause of CPU failure in computers. CPU failure, caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize.

Killer Dirt = Killer Heat

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically; the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages, and more.

Keeping your computer in top shape, with a regularly scheduled cleaning program, will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run save you money.

Tools you’ll need:

Screwdriver

A can of compressed air

Cotton swabs

Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)

Paper towels or anti-static cloths

Water

Make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and be gentle when touching the components inside the case.

Open the case:

If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.

Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

Since the keyboard gets more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.

Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead, moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.

Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

I know this is a no-brainer, but before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

Previous postings of this article drew some very valuable comments from regular readers, including the following:

Vhick:

I always clean my PC one a month. In a tropical country like here, dust is everywhere. Clean, turn around, and there’s a dust again. PC cleaning inside and out is must here, because of very hot temperatures.

Georg L:

Cleaning is nice, but when doing so, one should also change the heat sink compound between hot semiconductors and the respective heat sinks. The CPU is most critical in this respect.

Volatile components evaporate over time, turning the compound into an effective heat insulator with a plaster-like texture. I suggest a change every second year in moderate climates, and an annual change in the tropics.

Just to follow up on Georg’s comment – earlier this year, a reader explained that he had rebuilt his machine and replaced all components (other than the CPU), and yet, the machine still locked up after just a few minutes of operation. I passed on Georg’s advice and voila – problem solved!

If you have the time, and you want to give your computer system a total clean up, you should consider reading “Maintain Your Machine – 10 + 1 Free Computer System Tools”, on this site.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

10 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tune Up Utilities, Freeware, Save Your CPU, Software, System Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

The 5 Step Easy Guide to Cleaning Your PC

Spring cleaning

Here in North America, we have just adjusted our clocks back one hour, reverting to Standard Time. To make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning at the Spring and Fall time changes. So, today is the day to get out my cleaning supplies, and do a top to bottom physical cleanup of my machines.

Thoroughly cleaning your computer’s components is potentially one of the most important cleanup jobs you’re likely to do. Most of us do a good job of keeping our computers clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware and the like. But, many of us are not too concerned with keeping the physical components clean; and we need to be concerned.

Keeping your computer in top shape with a regularly scheduled cleaning program, will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run, save you money.

Killer heat:

image

Heat, is the chief cause of CPU and other component failure in computers. CPU failure caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize. In fact, in the last year or so, I have seen more than one CPU, and Video Card, toasted by excessive heat.

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically: the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages and more.

dirty_computer_pc_cleaning

Follow this guide to a spotless computer system.

Tools you’ll need:

Screwdriver

A can of compressed air

Cotton swabs

Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)

Paper towels or anti-static cloths

Water

Make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and try to avoid touching the components inside the case.

Open the case:

If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.

Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

Since the keyboard takes more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.

Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.

Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. Never touch the back of the monitor. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

I know this is a no-brainer but, before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

Get free system tools and give your computer system a total clean up – read “Maintain Your Machine – 10 + 1 Free Computer System Tools”, on this site.

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

2 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Freeware, Save Your CPU, Windows Tips and Tools

Save Your Machine – Keep it Clean

A 5 step guide to cleaning your computer

Spring cleaning

Most of us do a good job of keeping our computers clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware and the like.

But, how many of us are concerned with keeping the physical machine clean? Do you clean and maintain your computer as often as you need to?

Since the summer is on the wane (at least here in the northern hemisphere), getting your computer ready for a workout over the Fall/Winter months, is much more important than you may realize.

Dealing with Viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware and the other nastiness we are all exposed to on the Internet, can be a massively aggravating experience. But none of these can cause hardware failure. Not cleaning your computer can, and will at the very least, reduce component life.

Heat is the chief cause of CPU and other component failure in computers. CPU failure caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize. In fact, in the last year I have seen 5 CPU’s toasted by excessive heat.

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically: the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages and more.

Keeping your computer in top shape with a regularly scheduled cleaning program will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run save you money.

To make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning at the Spring and Fall time changes; just as I schedule smoke detector battery replacement.

Follow this guide to a spotless computer system.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Screwdriver
  • A can of compressed air
  • Cotton swabs
  • Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)
  • Paper towels or anti-static cloths
  • Water

Since a computer is an electrical appliance, make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and try to avoid touching the components inside the case.

dirty_computer_pc_cleaning

Open the case:

  • If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.
  • Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

  • Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

  • Since the keyboard takes more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

  • Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.
  • Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

  • Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.
  • Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. Never touch the back of the monitor. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

I know this sounds like a no-brainer but ……..

Before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

If you enjoyed this article, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

3 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Technicians Advise, Windows Tips and Tools

Cleaning Your Computer – 5 Step Guide

Spring cleaning

Most of us do a good job of keeping our computers clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, adware and the like.

But how many of us are concerned with keeping the physical machine clean? Do you clean and maintain your computer as often as you need to?

As you’re getting ready to Spring clean your home, making sure you schedule time to clean your computer is potentially one of the most important cleanup jobs you’re likely to do.

Heat is the chief cause of CPU and other component failure in computers. CPU failure caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize. In fact, in the last year I have seen 3 CPU’s toasted by excessive heat.

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically: the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages and more.

Keeping your computer in top shape with a regularly scheduled cleaning program will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run save you money.

To make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning at the Spring and Fall time changes; just as I schedule smoke detector battery replacement.

Follow this guide to a spotless computer system.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Screwdriver
  • A can of compressed air
  • Cotton swabs
  • Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)
  • Paper towels or anti-static cloths
  • Water

Since a computer is an electrical appliance, make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and try to avoid touching the components inside the case.

dirty_computer_pc_cleaning

Open the case:

  • If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.
  • Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

  • Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

  • Since the keyboard takes more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

  • Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.
  • Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

  • Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.
  • Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. Never touch the back of the monitor. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

Before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

Get free system tools and give your computer system a total clean up – read “Renovate Your Computer With 10 Free System Tools”, on this site.

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