A great big howdy to one and all! I just moved my office back into the dungeon from my living room. During the move I noticed and thus remembered how dirty computers and technology equipment can get just sitting. This reminded me of the “PC Things to do series” I wrote about and has prompted me to add another article.
Previously I have written my suggestions on things to do every day: http://theweeklygeek.com/2009/08/31/pc-things-to-do-everyday/
Things to do every week: http://theweeklygeek.com/2009/09/01/pc-things-to-do-every-week/
My suggestions on what to do monthly: http://theweeklygeek.com/2009/09/03/pc-things-to-do-every-month/
Here is my list of things to do yearly. Physically clean the computer, with the system off and unplugged clean the outside of the case, the monitor and then remove the side of the case and dust the inside.
I used our normal household cleaner on the case and monitors bezel. I have LCD cleaner for the monitors screens however in the past I have sprayed eye glass cleaner on an eye glass cloth and then wiped the monitors.
As for the inside of the case, I take them outside and use canned air. Some people use small compressors. I don’t like them for a couple of reasons. First they can accumulate moisture and then spray that inside your computer, second they have a lot more pressure than canned air and can dislodge wires and devices like RAM or even processors, not something I want to not see and then spend extra time diagnosing. Make sure that the CPU and case fans as well as inside the power supply are well cleaned, the fans are where most of the dust builds up.
Enough about cleaning, the next thing I recommend is running full hardware checks. I know you have run your cleanup and defragmentation but that does not check for errors on the drive or in RAM. The major hard drive manufacturers have software that will scan your hard drive for errors.
Western Digital hard drive software: http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?lang=en#
Seagate’s SeaTools: http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools
Fujitsus diagnostic tools: http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computing/storage/hdd/support/utilities.html
Of course many motherboard manufacturers have system tools for their boards. If all else fails, there are several Live CD versions of Linux that have generic tools that can be used. Knoppix is one such CD and is located here http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html.
That is all I can think of at this time, if you have an idea or tip you would like to share feel free to e-mail us, until we meet again, have a virus free week!