Good Computer Maintenance Part Two

Good Computer Maintenance - Part Two
In our last part of​ discussion of​ good computer maintenance,​ we​ will discuss backing up,​ some free stuff,​ and cleaning tips .​
All great bits of​ advice for proper care of​ your computer.
Back It Up
One maintenance task that is​ still crucial is​ backing up your data,​ particularly if​ it​ is​ business or​ financial related .​
At the​ very least,​ manuallly copy such data to​ a​ recordable CD or​ DVD disc when it​ changes .​
More sophisticated options include using the​ more automated backup tools that come with Windows,​ a​ stand alone backup program for networks such as​ the​ well regarded Dantz Retrospect Professional (,​ or​ a​ Web backup system such as​ the​ excellent IBackup (
Free Stuff
One really interesting maintenance task is​ checking to​ see who is​ spying on​ you .​
If you download a​ lot of​ software,​ one or​ more programs may be peeping at​ your Web surfing habits,​ which could be slowing you down .​
Such behavior naturally riles people,​ and good spirited entrepreneurs offer free software to​ weed out the​ sneaks .​
the​ best overall stand alone program for this is​ Patrick M .​
Kolla's Spybot Search and Destroy (
Another fun,​ and free,​ software maintenance program is​ WinPatrol ( .​
Among other things,​ it​ shows you all the​ programs that load automatically every time you load Windows,​ letting you disable any you do not want running that may be slowing you down,​ regardless of​ whether you use Windows XP,​ NT,​ 2000,​ ME,​ 98,​ or​ 95.
Cleaning Tips
Clean your monitor if​ it​ becomes smudged .​
But stay away from glass cleaners .. .​
they can remove a​ monitor's anti glare finish .​
Use isopropyl alcohol or​ distilled water along with a​ lint free cloth .​
Wet the​ cloth first,​ then the​ monitor.
Periodically open up your computer's case to​ clean out dust .​
Every couple of​ years or​ more frequently if​ your PC is​ in​ a​ dusty area .​
This will help prevent heat build up,​ which can shorten the​ life of​ system components.
Use either a​ portable vacuum cleaner or​ compressed gas duster .​
To minimize static discharge,​ avoid older vacuum cleaners and brush attachments,​ and prevent the​ metal of​ any vacuum cleaner from touching your PC .​
After vacuuming the​ inside of​ your PC,​ vacuum the​ grille in​ front and your keyboard.
Before working inside a​ PC,​ ground yourself .. .​
turn off your computer,​ leave it​ plugged in,​ and touch an​ unpainted metal surface inside the​ PC .​
Your PC should be plugged into a​ three pronged grounded outlet,​ preferably on​ a​ dedicated circuit .​
Do not move a​ PC or​ connect or​ disconnect its cables while it​ is​ on​ unless they are plugged into a​ univeral serial bus port.
If your mouse starts misbehaving,​ take it​ apart and clean it .​
Shake out dust,​ or​ use a​ cleaning swab or​ compressed gas.
Finally,​ it​ is​ best not to​ smoke around your PC .​
Cigarette smoke can coat the​ innards of​ your PC with tar,​ shortening its life.

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