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by: Gareth Barrow

Regular PC maintenance is just as important as cleaning out your garage or going to gym. No one wants to put the effort into properly maintaining his or her garage or his or her computer. Even though it is an oxymoron, you have to think of your computer like an electronic organism. It needs food and needs to be properly cleaned in order to run as you would like it to. just The nice thing about most regular PC maintenance is that you can auto-run most tasks so you don’t have to remember to handle them.

Keeping a Copy

The most important thing for you to do in the course of regular PC maintenance is to back up your files. This should be done on a daily basis. Imagine if your computer crashed, and you lost all your files. Without a back up, you have little to no chance of retrieving them.

With Windows XP, it is easy to back up most of your vital files during regular PC maintenance. Pretty much everything is located inside of ‘C:/Documents and Settings’ folder. That means that all you have to do is zip that folder and burn it onto a disc for safekeeping. Of course, you can buy a program that will do this for you, thus eliminating your need for this particular task in regular PC maintenance.

Scanning Procedures

Next, you should do habitual scans and updates as part of your regular PC maintenance. Doing this once a week is the best. If you don’t already have an anti-virus program, go out and get one before you start regular PC maintenance. Without one, you are vulnerable to system crashing viruses. So go get one before you experience that hassle!

Naturally, your anti-virus program is useless if you don’t update it. Usually you can set it to scan and update automatically without any effort from you whatsoever. Of course, you should also update your Windows software fairly often as part of your regular PC maintenance. This will help to keep your Windows operating system running smoothly. It also fixes any previous bugs and glitches that are inherent in most programs. Regular Windows updates also helps to fill any holes that your firewall and anti-virus software may have.

Internal Cleaning

Once a month, as part of your regular PC maintenance, you should do a run disk clean up and disk defragmenter. Doing so will help keep your PC running smoothly and quickly. Best of all, it’s not very difficult. All you have to do is click on a couple of things and leave your machine to work while you sleep or do some errands. Who knew regular PC maintenance could be so easy?

To do either of these, you must first stop any programs running in the background. Things like instant messengers or download managers will prohibit the scanners from doing what they need to do. Once those are closed, the next step to this piece of regular PC maintenance is to go into ‘My Computer’ and right click on your C:/ drive. Then go to ‘Properties’ and in the new window, click on the ‘Tools’ tab. There are the two programs you need to use: Disk Cleanup and Disk Defragment. It is advisable to run Disk Cleanup first. This will determine if there are any bad sectors on your hard disk. Don’t be surprised if there are. Over time, your hardware can age and things like this happen. When the scan disk is finished, do a disk defragment. A disk defragment will consolidate all your fragmented files and keep your PC running fast, which may speed up the regular PC maintenance process.

Registry Cleaning

Another thing you should as part of your regular PC maintenance is to scan and back up, fairly recurrently, your Windows registry. The registry is a database of files that log certain preferences within programs and from multiple users. You want to keep your registry happy and healthy through regular PC maintenance. You can buy software that scans and automatically makes a back up copy for you so that you will be covered should you ever encounter a crash. Do some research so you can find one that suits you. If you are better with computers, then you can probably do it by yourself. Be careful, though, because you can really screw it up during your regular PC maintenance.

Hopefully now you can see just how regular PC maintenance can solve many problems. It isn’t that difficult for the most part. It is time consuming, but it is also incredibly important. Try and get yourself in a regular PC maintenance routine to help make it easier for you.

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