It’s amazing how many students do not look after their laptops. It’s even more incredible when you consider that a badly-timed laptop breakdown can make the difference between handing in coursework on time or not.
In less drastic terms, a badly run PC can be an unnecessary waste of time when you need to do your work. Some people can afford to buy a new PC when the old one packs up but many students cannot afford this luxury. Therefore it is more important than ever to keep your PC in top working order. And luckily it has never been easier. Here is EduGrant’s essential PC maintenance guide.
A Clean Desktop
We’re starting basic here. You can tell a poorly maintained PC just by glancing at the desktop. Full of icons from barely used programs, internet applications and random documents. It is the computer equivalent of a bad day at the jumble sale. Computers run quicker when desktop detritus is kept to a minimum. You really only need three icons up there: ‘Internet’, ‘My Documents’ and your ‘ToDo List’ that’s it. Any more than that and you’re distressing your computer unnecessarily.
Backup, Backup, Backup
Loosing important work is easily done and leaves you feeling like you’ve punched in the stomach by cruel fate. Well it’s not cruel fate – it’s your own incompetence. Luckily, it is easy to remedy this. One of the simplest ways of backing up your things is with a decent flash drive. Once a week, insert, delete the old backup and load your new backup files onto it. If you are worried about loosing the drive, you can always do this twice. Alternately, ‘Adrive’ is a good online service that give you 50GB of free space to back up your files.
It sounds much more complex than it is. You see, your computer is a messy beast. When it creates new files and programs it scatters spare bits of file all over your hard drive. So when your CPU tries to access the program it has to load it from files jumbled all over the place. The hard drive is ‘fragmented’. You should run a defragment program once a month. It used to be a timely process but the incredible ‘Smart Defragment’ program can do it in 10 minutes – highly recommended.
Clean it Up
There are folders such as temporary internet files, cookies and registry that get clogged with the dust of a million processes. Over time they slow everything down. Therefore get a decent registry clean program, ‘Reg Clean’ is a good one. Run this once a month.
Not all malware is a computer destroying virus. Your hard drive could be harboring programs that trace your internet movements and sell them on to advertisers, in extreme cases someone could be monitoring everything you ever type on your keyboard. To avoid this, regularly scan with a free program like ‘Spybot’ or ‘Adaware’ and use a good anti virus, ‘Avira’ is a good one.