By Ayse Stenabaugh – Jester’s Computer Services
We’ve all been there, turning the computer on only to wait what seems like 10x longer than the last time for programs you don’t even recognize to load. Finally everything loads and you’re about to open your web browser when a large window appears prompting you that you need to update your software. Everything on your computer has seemed to slow down since you bought it a year ago, those were the days when the computer ran faster.
Much like a car needing an oil change computers need regular maintenance in order to continue to run smoothly. At Jester’s Computer Services we perform what we call a “clean-up” on your computer which combines the removal of malware and harmful software, hardware diagnostics, and maintenance into one package. (See our ad on this page for a special clean-up discount!)
Potentially Unwanted Programs
One of the largest growing reasons for regular maintenance is the number of “Potentially Unwanted Programs” that are installed on computers that can range from creating a nuisance to creating a security risk. Many of these programs get installed when users download software from third-party websites many of which offer drivers and popular software downloads that can be found elsewhere on the web. The only difference is that these websites get paid to bundle other software into your download so while you may be attempting to download Skype, a legitimate program from Microsoft, you might also be downloading additional programs such as unwanted toolbars or junk programs that claim they found errors on your PC and then ask you to pay to upgrade to resolve them.
Unless system settings have been altered, every time you visit a website on your computer data from that website is stored in a temporary location on your computer. Other programs also use temporary files to create backups of working files. These files are not deleted automatically, over time these files add up and in many cases the removal of them frees up several Gigabytes in hard drive storage space! Removing temporary files can also improve computer performance and ensures that the websites you frequent are current when you view them.
Windows / Program Updates
Many times we hear people tell us that they are afraid to update their software. Updating your computer is very important because it can patch vulnerabilities or security holes within the software. Updates can also provide improvements both with performance and new features. Windows will do automatic updates and will sometimes require computer restarts to apply new updates. If your computer is not updating that could create a problem with your computer also. Other programs such as Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader and Java will commonly ask to update as well. You should be wary of websites that tell you to update software and take you to a third party website. Instead always update your program when you see an update window appear down by your computer clock to ensure you are updating from within the program. During a clean-up Jester’s performs all Windows updates as well as many common programs and will fix Windows Update if updates are not being downloaded to your computer.
Hard Drive Maintenance
The most important thing on your computer is the data that is stored on it. Your important data is being stored on the hard drive inside your computer. The hard drive industry is moving towards standardizing solid state drives which don’t contain moving parts but currently the cost is still too high. This means that most people have hard drives that are subject to hardware failure. Even those who have solid state drives aren’t completely safe from experiencing hardware malfunctions. In the past computers defragmented themselves on schedule but today that practice has been halted because that process can actually wear the drives out faster. Jester’s performs a yearly recommended hard drive defragmentation along with running hard drive diagnostics to evaluate the current potential for hardware failures.
Heat & Dust
Improper airflow inside a computer can cause stress on sensitive components inside the machine causing them to fail prematurely. Using a vacuum to clean a computer is dangerous because it causes static electricity and can fry the hardware inside. Jester’s uses a specialized high powered blower to remove dust and grime from inside your computer. Cooling fans are also evaluated to ensure that they are running properly and are providing adequate airflow.
Registry & Optimization
Many programs and advertisements claim that they will clean your computers registry and perform operations that speed up your computer. While this may be partially true, more often than not people are left with more problems than what they started with. The registry is a very sensitive area inside the computer that contains instructions telling the computer how to function and use different hardware and software to work together. Changing the registry without professional knowledge is a gamble and those who consider doing so or using a program to do so should proceed with extreme caution. Jester’s has used many tools over the past 20 years and has experienced much trial and error before finding the right combination to be used to service computers.
Why not maintain my own computer? Technology is constantly changing and keeping up is no easy task. It has taken us decades of knowledge and experience to be able to confidently provide our services. Having someone you trust to maintain your computer can save you hours if not days or weeks of frustration. This Is why during the month of March you can experience a clean-up from Jester’s Computers for $20 less and experience the difference yourself!
If you or someone you know is looking for affordable and reliable computer service please contact Jester’s Computer services located at 5135 Fairfield Road Fairfield, PA 17320 by phone at (717) 642-6611 or visit us on the web at www.jesterscomputers.com or on Facebook. In addition to computer repair services we provide on-site service, one-on-one technology training and more!