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PC Tips

Computer Maintenance

One really good way to help keep your PC running smoothly and extend it's life, is to clean the inside of the tower or whatever form the computer case takes. To do this properely and safely, you can buy compressed air in an aerosol can from Maplins Electronics. Firstly make sure that you find a suitable area to work, considering there will be a lot of dirt flying around. I might also be a good idea to wear a face mask if you have one, though not essential. Unplug your PC from the mains and spray over parts as advised on the can. Spray from the top of the inside of the computer to the bottom, making sure that any fans in particular are cleaned. Definately do not be tempted to stick the hoover in there and start sucking away, as this will potentialy send a static electric charge through the component parts and damage or destroy them!

The main reasons for this cleaning is to increase airflow around all the component parts and reduce the chance of 'shorts' occuring in the circuitry due to a build-up of dust and dirt. As a result, your machine will run cooler, preventing over-heating and the shortening of it's life.

Computer running slow

The main reasons that computers start to run slowly are down to either file fragmentation (the scattering of files over the hard drive space, that belong to a single application) or registry corruption. Many customers we have spoken to, have either tried intalling extra RAM or considered it as a response to the slow running speeds of their computer. You will only notice any real improvement in speed through RAM installation, if your computer is already running as it should.

To sort the issue of file fragmentation, simply use the 'File Defragmentation' tool in the Windows Drive Properties. If registry corruption is the problem, then there are many registry fixer programs out there that can be used such as: 'Advanced System Optimizer', 'System Mechanic' and 'Norton Utilities'. However, you will find that the most effective way of fixing registry problems is to use the in-built, factory repair feature, that comes with most computers these days. Use this feature first and you could save yourself a few quid too. Just be carefull to select the repair option and not the re-installation option, as this could wipe off all your user data!

Of course, it always helps to just give your PC a good old clean out, removing any unused programs through 'Add or Remove Programs' in 'Control Panel', and deleting unwanted user documents such photos and Word documents.