Hints and Tips

Here you can find some general hints and tips on basic computer maintenance. These suggestions will help keep your computer running effeciently and reduce the risk of problems down the road.

Uninstall programs that you are not using.

Its healthy and good practice to remove uneccessary or unused programs from time to time. But don’t just delete the program. Remove it correctly so you won’t cause Windows errors. Go to Start, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs. Find the program you want to remove in the list, and click the Remove button.

Get a good surge protector

If you aren’t already using one, get a good surge protector and/or battery backup and plug your computer and peripherals into it. If you live in an area with bad lightening storms or experience brownouts, having your computer on a surge protector/battery backup will help keep your hardware from being damaged from surges of electricity or a lack of power during a brown out. Networking gear can be especially susceptible to power fluctuations. If you can't afford a surge protector its good practice to unplug your computer and peripherals during a storm.

Keep your computer updated (This includes your operating system's updates as well as Virus and Malware Definitions

This should be done weekly at minimum. If you are on Windows, Check your Windows Updates once a week. Download any security and hardware updates to keep your gear and Operating system running its best. Also make sure you update the definitions to your antivirus, malware, and spyware software. This keeps you protected from current threats, and is easier to remember if you do all your updates at the same time.

Backups and Restore points

First you should know the Restore Points and backups are NOT the same. Restore points are a backup of your systems settings and current system updates. Its important to have these on incase you happen to get a bad update that causes problems. On the other hand, and actual backup is a copy of all your system files. We always recommend backing up your computer to another source. An external harddrive or online backup service is the best and a lot more cost and time effecient that DVDs, but DVDs are an oldie but goodie. Regardless of how you decide to do it there is nothing that provides more piece or mind then knowing in case of a critical system crash, a harddrive failure, or something catastrophic, you have a duplicate of your system and don't have to start from scratch. You truly wont know how valueable this advice is, until you have a problem and realize you haven't followed this tip. Don't get caught without a current backup. Most modern backups are done incrementally these days. This means they do one full backup when you first start, and then only backup the differences in files since the previous backup. This makes backing up quick and easy, and if you do it daily or weekly, a very quick process.

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Tip Of The Week

Backing up your files and computer is one of those, often overlooked, things that can be the difference between making a deadline, or avoiding a headache; and a potential nightmare. Remember the golden 3 rules of backing up.

1. Save (Backup) Early.
2. Save (Backup) Often.
3. Save (Backup) Multiple Copies.
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