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Computer Maintenance and you.Some insightful advice for you people


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#1 SmashySmashy

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 07:02 PM

As a computer guy there are many things that people dont bother to do with their computers to preserve their computer's lifespan and keep their hard drives from crashing and becoming infected with viruses.

To keep your HDD well preserved one should use the disk defragmenter at least once every 2-3 months, if you are constantly putting very large files onto your computer, say movies for instance, you should be defragging it at least once a month. Proper maintenance of your hard drive will keep it from burning out or crashing. For those who want to do file sharing and can not figure out how to share files over a network, make sure your hard drives are partitioned in such a way that if you are sharing files, give a separate drive its own partition for sharing, this will wear out less sectors on the other partitions. Make sure your hard drive is setup for NTFS, there is better security and it is the only way to allow file sharing over a network.

To protect your computer from overall wear and to prevent security issues, format your computer every 6 months, this way you are keeping your system fresh. Things to remember here is that even if you uninstall and delete files on your computer, they are not permanently deleted.

Always keep your anti virus and anti spyware programs up to date, so check for updates whenever you do a system scan, especially with Spybot Search & Destroy. AVG is self updating and the latest version is still free on its own.

To keep your hardware from malfunctioning, purchase a couple of cans of compressed air which you can find at most computer stores for cheap. If you use a desktop, open up your case be removing the side panels, most of which come off after taking out a few screws. Give your components a complete dust off with the compressed air and If you want to, feel free to pull out the components and dust them off individually as well as their slots/sockets. For laptop users, never leave your computers running on a floor, especially a carpeted one, they can build up dust really easily. Remove the panels for your RAM channels and the one that covers your CPU and give the components a thorough dust down, especially the CPU cooling fan. and the heatsinks as well.

Edited by AcousticSmash, 10 February 2007 - 08:26 PM.


#2 sezchuan

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 12:21 AM

QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Nov 14 2006, 02:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As a computer guy there are many things that people dont bother to do with their computers to preserve their computer's lifespan and keep their hard drives from crashing and becoming infected with viruses.

To keep your HDD well preserved one should use the disk defragmenter at least once every 2-3 months, if you are constantly putting very large files onto your computer, say movies for instance, you should be defragging it at least once a month. Proper maintenance of your hard drive will keep it from burning out or crashing. For those who want to do file sharing and can not figure out how to share files over a network, make sure your hard drives are partitioned in such a way that if you are sharing files, give a separate drive its own partition for sharing, this will wear out less sectors on the other partitions. Make sure your hard drive is setup for NTFS, there is better security and it is the only way to allow file sharing over a network.

To protect your computer from overall wear and to prevent security issues, format your computer every 6 months, this way you are keeping your system fresh. Things to remember here is that even if you uninstall and delete files on your computer, they are not permanently deleted.

Keep all your anti virus and anti spyware up to date. For those of you who use AVG Free, starting in January, AVG Free will no longer be available and updates will not be sent out. You will have to either purchase a commercial anti virus program or get the pro version of AVG from Grisofts website for a fee, however you do get more protection such as a firewall. If you are looking for a good program to keep you aware of possible illegal entries or security breaches, Zonealarm will make your life easier, however there is a limited trial before you have to buy as far as I know.

If any of the mods want to pin this than that would be cool. Other highly knowledgeable computer people want to add to this post they may add to this as well.


Some good advice in there Acoustic Smash.
Although, I'm not sure though that formatting every 6 months is the best advice. Particularily if someone doesn't know what they are doing. If you keep a well maintained system then you wouldn't really need to do this.
Also, There are other ways to share files if they are not NTFS. I mean win 98 etc... doesn't use NTFS.

Cool guide though

Edited by sezchuan, 14 November 2006 - 12:21 AM.


#3 SmashySmashy

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 08:34 AM

Yea I know that stuff. And its not hard to reformat your computer. There are tons of tutorials out there on how to do it. Also people need to learn to experiment with different operating systems aside from Windows. There are tons of GUI (graphical user interface) based OS's that one can tinker around with. X Windows is a Unix based version of Windows, although it looks a lot like Mac OSX as well. Of course you have Linux Red Hat (Fedora Core is advised) and various other systems you can work with if people are looking for more secure systems. Of course you can still run Windows on your computer if you install something like Linux on a separate partition and use a boot disk for it.

#4 sezchuan

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Posted 14 November 2006 - 01:15 PM

No it isn't hard to reformat you computer. But it is a pain in the arse having to reinstall everying and can be quite time consuming. Also when installing any OS there is the potential for things to not go as planned and you need to know how to troubleshoot that. Your average Joe wouldn't be bothered doing it.

Believe me I can't wait for Linux to start taking over some market share in the home pc market. It is a far superior OS to windows and most likely Mac OS too now as Mac are changing the design of their OS away from a unix style one to a more windows based design.
Unfortunately at some point you will need to drop down to a command shell in Linux in order to get the most out of it. Which is beyond the average end user. In reality it isn't that hard and there is an unbelieveable wealth of information on the internet on Linux.

Personally I reccomend Debian or for those that want a more cutting edge Linux Ubuntu (which is based on debian). Debian is a completely free OS and they do not include and packages in their system that is not free. Others like fedora are free to distribute if you know someone with a copy but if you want support from the company you need to purchase a copy.

Of course once you are in X windows you have a wealth of desktop environments to choose from gnome and KDE being the two most popular.

Linux and Windows both come with boot managers that allow you to boot to either without a boot disk. I wouldn't recommend using windows boot manager if you are running linux though.

#5 imadique

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 02:42 PM

QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Nov 14 2006, 02:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Keep all your anti virus and anti spyware up to date. For those of you who use AVG Free, starting in January, AVG Free will no longer be available and updates will not be sent out. You will have to either purchase a commercial anti virus program or get the pro version of AVG from Grisofts website for a fee, however you do get more protection such as a firewall.


Ummm, no.

AVG Free 7.1 is being discontinued, all you have to do is download AVG Free 7.5.

Lookee here

#6 jenniferdurst

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 03:15 PM

One thing I would add for at least semi-computer savvy people would be to shut down all the non essential startup items. Many things like your messengers (which you may want on at startup like I do on my personal computer), quicktime, itunes, realplayer, bla bla bla--the list goes on for a while. All of these things will make your startup slower.

To turn them off, go to:
Start > Run > msconfig [enter]
System configuration pops up > Startup tab

Go through and uncheck all the non-essential stuff. If you don't know what it is, don't turn it off.

This'll make your startup quicker and these things will open normally as you need them.

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#7 gusdotcom

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 04:04 PM

QUOTE (imadique @ Nov 19 2006, 11:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Nov 14 2006, 02:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Keep all your anti virus and anti spyware up to date. For those of you who use AVG Free, starting in January, AVG Free will no longer be available and updates will not be sent out. You will have to either purchase a commercial anti virus program or get the pro version of AVG from Grisofts website for a fee, however you do get more protection such as a firewall.


Ummm, no.

AVG Free 7.1 is being discontinued, all you have to do is download AVG Free 7.5.

Lookee here

Thank you very much for that information.
I thought I would have to buy a anti virus program.

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#8 SmashySmashy

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Posted 19 November 2006 - 08:22 PM

QUOTE (imadique @ Nov 19 2006, 05:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Nov 14 2006, 02:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Keep all your anti virus and anti spyware up to date. For those of you who use AVG Free, starting in January, AVG Free will no longer be available and updates will not be sent out. You will have to either purchase a commercial anti virus program or get the pro version of AVG from Grisofts website for a fee, however you do get more protection such as a firewall.


Ummm, no.

AVG Free 7.1 is being discontinued, all you have to do is download AVG Free 7.5.

Lookee here

Really, I thought it was being discontinued for the free version. Sweet.

#9 Around

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Posted 05 January 2007 - 12:01 PM

I thoroughly agree with the defragmentation advice Smash is giving out, but let me also add something here: Before using the Windows Disk Defragmenter (if you intend to, because there are other programs such as Power Defragmenter out there), you're gonna have to perform a full hard disk scan, with the option of automatically fixing problems enabled. But, in order for the scan to work properly, all Windows applications need to be closed, because if they're being used and the system scans their spot in the hd, it'll start all over again.

However, closing all Win applications is not practically feasible, because there are things the user can't control, such as the system's clock or forgotten Firewall updates. Therefore, you're gonna have to restart your system, hit F8 just before Windows are getting ready to load, and enter Windows in safe mode. The whole procedure can be completed there. A full system scan for issues takes many hours to complete, if my memory serves me right, so have patience.

That would be all for now. Neat guide, Smash. smile.gif

Edited by Around, 05 January 2007 - 12:02 PM.


#10 tdintbl

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 08:35 PM

Norton provides a suite of tools that does the job a lot better than Windows natively does, and also offers a Windows Repair tool that really gets your registry and other software components synched up and happy. Of course as with anything Symantec, be prepared to shell out some moneys.

Now what's this with format/wipe the drive every so often? I don't think this is a very sound idea. You have to backup every last scrap of what you want to save, dig out all your programs again, and reinstall everything. Also, I run across this a lot, you get your program updated so it's very stable. You don't use it much so you uninstall it, and when you reinstall it's no longer supported and you're stuck with version 1.0, buggy as Hell, and nothing you can do about it. I just don't see where it's a good idea to format every year.

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#11 SmashySmashy

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 09:12 PM

QUOTE (tdintbl @ Jan 6 2007, 11:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Norton provides a suite of tools that does the job a lot better than Windows natively does, and also offers a Windows Repair tool that really gets your registry and other software components synched up and happy. Of course as with anything Symantec, be prepared to shell out some moneys.

Now what's this with format/wipe the drive every so often? I don't think this is a very sound idea. You have to backup every last scrap of what you want to save, dig out all your programs again, and reinstall everything. Also, I run across this a lot, you get your program updated so it's very stable. You don't use it much so you uninstall it, and when you reinstall it's no longer supported and you're stuck with version 1.0, buggy as Hell, and nothing you can do about it. I just don't see where it's a good idea to format every year.

Anything Norton, be prepared for your computer to have all the RAM sucked out of it.

I wish it were possible to install all programs on my D drive, that way when I backup all my stuff to that drive to format my C and reinstall Windows, all the important programs are still installed along with all my data. None of the data on other partitions gets deleted except for your C drive when you reinstall Windows, so unless you can install all your programs on another partition, you are screwed in that sense.

#12 tdintbl

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Posted 06 January 2007 - 09:23 PM

QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Jan 6 2007, 09:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (tdintbl @ Jan 6 2007, 11:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Norton provides a suite of tools that does the job a lot better than Windows natively does, and also offers a Windows Repair tool that really gets your registry and other software components synched up and happy. Of course as with anything Symantec, be prepared to shell out some moneys.

Now what's this with format/wipe the drive every so often? I don't think this is a very sound idea. You have to backup every last scrap of what you want to save, dig out all your programs again, and reinstall everything. Also, I run across this a lot, you get your program updated so it's very stable. You don't use it much so you uninstall it, and when you reinstall it's no longer supported and you're stuck with version 1.0, buggy as Hell, and nothing you can do about it. I just don't see where it's a good idea to format every year.

Anything Norton, be prepared for your computer to have all the RAM sucked out of it.

I wish it were possible to install all programs on my D drive, that way when I backup all my stuff to that drive to format my C and reinstall Windows, all the important programs are still installed along with all my data. None of the data on other partitions gets deleted except for your C drive when you reinstall Windows, so unless you can install all your programs on another partition, you are screwed in that sense.


The problem with Windows registry is even with placing all installed programs on a physically separate drive (I've done this) it still has to be installed into the Windows Regirsty to function properly. I have had programs that will run without being in the registry, but they're often quite buggy when you do this. So ultimately I see no point in formatting the drives, just defrag and back up often. I normally forget to backup stuff.

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#13 Around

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 07:54 AM

For thorough Windows rmaintenance, programs such as ccleaner are highly recommended.

www.ccleaner.com

#14 gusdotcom

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 05:47 PM

QUOTE (tdintbl @ Jan 7 2007, 05:35 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Norton provides a suite of tools that does the job a lot better than Windows natively does, and also offers a Windows Repair tool that really gets your registry and other software components synched up and happy. Of course as with anything Symantec, be prepared to shell out some moneys.

Now what's this with format/wipe the drive every so often? I don't think this is a very sound idea. You have to backup every last scrap of what you want to save, dig out all your programs again, and reinstall everything. Also, I run across this a lot, you get your program updated so it's very stable. You don't use it much so you uninstall it, and when you reinstall it's no longer supported and you're stuck with version 1.0, buggy as Hell, and nothing you can do about it. I just don't see where it's a good idea to format every year.

I'm not gonna let anything Norton near my computer.

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#15 Around

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Posted 08 January 2007 - 07:55 AM

Yeah, Norton blows pretty much.

I just learned something important. One of the chief reasons Linux doesn't get infected by viruses as much as Windows do, is that users are rarely logged in as user root (administrator). So, if you're using Windows, may I suggest you fix a new profile.

#16 ILLaViTaR

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 09:04 AM

QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Nov 14 2006, 02:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As a computer guy there are many things that people dont bother to do with their computers to preserve their computer's lifespan and keep their hard drives from crashing and becoming infected with viruses.

To keep your HDD well preserved one should use the disk defragmenter at least once every 2-3 months, if you are constantly putting very large files onto your computer, say movies for instance, you should be defragging it at least once a month. Proper maintenance of your hard drive will keep it from burning out or crashing. For those who want to do file sharing and can not figure out how to share files over a network, make sure your hard drives are partitioned in such a way that if you are sharing files, give a separate drive its own partition for sharing, this will wear out less sectors on the other partitions. Make sure your hard drive is setup for NTFS, there is better security and it is the only way to allow file sharing over a network.

To protect your computer from overall wear and to prevent security issues, format your computer every 6 months, this way you are keeping your system fresh. Things to remember here is that even if you uninstall and delete files on your computer, they are not permanently deleted.

Keep all your anti virus and anti spyware up to date. For those of you who use AVG Free, starting in January, AVG Free will no longer be available and updates will not be sent out. You will have to either purchase a commercial anti virus program or get the pro version of AVG from Grisofts website for a fee, however you do get more protection such as a firewall. If you are looking for a good program to keep you aware of possible illegal entries or security breaches, Zonealarm will make your life easier, however there is a limited trial before you have to buy as far as I know.

If any of the mods want to pin this than that would be cool. Other highly knowledgeable computer people want to add to this post they may add to this as well.


Nice guide

Best and easiest way to get a computer running like new is to format it.

Also as you said always use NTFS with FAT you cannot store files over 1GB in size

More importantly though a lot of things need to be serviced hardware wise.

Software can just be reinstalled, if hardware is not maintained the it could shorten the computers lifespan or even kill it.

1. Dust needs to be cleaned out, Heatsinks and fans need to be cleaned every month at least dust needs to be removed of all parts, if the case has filters be sure to clean them.

2. Check if temperatures are ok, if they're to high with dust removed then you might need to reseat the heatsink (lapping the heatsink is a good no cost idea).

Run occasional stress tests on all of your components to see if they are in good working order.

Always update to the most recent drivers (or the driver that works best with your hardware which can be found out by stress testing).

3. If ya really can be bothered check the powersupply with a multimeter to see if it is supplying a clean amount of volts.

4. Make sure all screws are tight, loose screws can fall out and hit a component shorting it

Maintaining good temperatures is the most important thing (besides a good PSU) lower temps = stability and a longer lifespan
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#17 tdintbl

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Posted 16 January 2007 - 05:44 PM

A useful tip I was taught once I just remembered.

If you have case fans, make sure they are pushing more air into the case, not sucking the air out of the case. With multiple fans make sure you have a few more intakes than venters. This way you create higher air pressure inside the case and loose dust is blown out all the cracks in the case construction. The otherway you actually suck in dust. From there you can rubber band panty hose (or any such material) onto the fan housings (that are the intakes, you don't want to block the outakes from expelling dust) and life is good. Remember to occassionally clean or replace your filters.

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#18 ILLaViTaR

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 03:54 AM

QUOTE (tdintbl @ Jan 17 2007, 12:44 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
A useful tip I was taught once I just remembered.

If you have case fans, make sure they are pushing more air into the case, not sucking the air out of the case. With multiple fans make sure you have a few more intakes than venters. This way you create higher air pressure inside the case and loose dust is blown out all the cracks in the case construction. The otherway you actually suck in dust. From there you can rubber band panty hose (or any such material) onto the fan housings (that are the intakes, you don't want to block the outakes from expelling dust) and life is good. Remember to occassionally clean or replace your filters.


Yep and always have your top fan as exhaust and front for intake for obvious reasons
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Marshall JCM 900 Dual Reverb 50watt Hi Gain combo (upgraded to Celestion G12 M Greenbacks and Class A conversion)

1985 Fender Telecaster 62 reissue (with some modern parts on it)

#19 gusdotcom

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Posted 17 January 2007 - 07:53 AM

QUOTE (ILLaViTaR @ Jan 16 2007, 06:04 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
QUOTE (AcousticSmash @ Nov 14 2006, 02:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As a computer guy there are many things that people dont bother to do with their computers to preserve their computer's lifespan and keep their hard drives from crashing and becoming infected with viruses.

To keep your HDD well preserved one should use the disk defragmenter at least once every 2-3 months, if you are constantly putting very large files onto your computer, say movies for instance, you should be defragging it at least once a month. Proper maintenance of your hard drive will keep it from burning out or crashing. For those who want to do file sharing and can not figure out how to share files over a network, make sure your hard drives are partitioned in such a way that if you are sharing files, give a separate drive its own partition for sharing, this will wear out less sectors on the other partitions. Make sure your hard drive is setup for NTFS, there is better security and it is the only way to allow file sharing over a network.

To protect your computer from overall wear and to prevent security issues, format your computer every 6 months, this way you are keeping your system fresh. Things to remember here is that even if you uninstall and delete files on your computer, they are not permanently deleted.

Keep all your anti virus and anti spyware up to date. For those of you who use AVG Free, starting in January, AVG Free will no longer be available and updates will not be sent out. You will have to either purchase a commercial anti virus program or get the pro version of AVG from Grisofts website for a fee, however you do get more protection such as a firewall. If you are looking for a good program to keep you aware of possible illegal entries or security breaches, Zonealarm will make your life easier, however there is a limited trial before you have to buy as far as I know.

If any of the mods want to pin this than that would be cool. Other highly knowledgeable computer people want to add to this post they may add to this as well.


Nice guide

Best and easiest way to get a computer running like new is to format it.

Also as you said always use NTFS with FAT you cannot store files over 1GB in size

More importantly though a lot of things need to be serviced hardware wise.

Software can just be reinstalled, if hardware is not maintained the it could shorten the computers lifespan or even kill it.

1. Dust needs to be cleaned out, Heatsinks and fans need to be cleaned every month at least dust needs to be removed of all parts, if the case has filters be sure to clean them.

2. Check if temperatures are ok, if they're to high with dust removed then you might need to reseat the heatsink (lapping the heatsink is a good no cost idea).

Run occasional stress tests on all of your components to see if they are in good working order.

Always update to the most recent drivers (or the driver that works best with your hardware which can be found out by stress testing).

3. If ya really can be bothered check the powersupply with a multimeter to see if it is supplying a clean amount of volts.

4. Make sure all screws are tight, loose screws can fall out and hit a component shorting it

Maintaining good temperatures is the most important thing (besides a good PSU) lower temps = stability and a longer lifespan

Max file size with FAT32 is 4 GB not 1 GB.
Even FAT 16 could take up to 2 GB files.
NTFS can handle files up to 16 TB. It should be a couple of years before the average user has files that big.
And just to be on the safe size the architecture can theoretically handle 16 EB files.

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#20 Around

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Posted 20 January 2007 - 02:51 AM

I thought max file size for FAT32 was 30GB. I actually did a test once, I tried to installl Windows with FAT32 format and it would limit me to 30000 MBs or something like that.




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If you can spare even US$5 it would mean a lot to help pay for GZ's monthly server bill.
Thank you to all. Cheers! --Rob



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