Your PC is not unlike a car that requires routine maintenance. Computers actually require a weekly, monthly and annual computer maintenance schedule. Computer maintenance should be performed at certain time intervals, and if that maintenance schedule is ignored, your computer speed will suffer and you could ultimately experience a computer system failure. Getting on a computer maintenance schedule or setting your PC to automatically perform weekly computer maintenance can help keep your computer optimized and running good for years to come.
Weekly Computer Maintenance Schedule
Note: It’s not feasible to ask the average computer user to manually keep up on weekly computer maintenance. So it would benefit you to setup a schedule so Windows performs these chores automatically.
Backup Files – You should start by making a backup of your data. We recommend backing up to an external hard drive. Here’s an easy way to schedule backups using Xcopy and task scheduler.
Or in Windows 7, go to the Control Panel>System and Security>Backup and Restore to enable and configure a backup schedule. You should backup to an external hard drive such as the Western Digital WD Elements 1 TB USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive.
Disk Cleanup – Go to Start, Programs>Accessories>System Tools and select Disk Cleanup. Windows will look at your Temporary Internet Files, Recycle Bin and other files that are safe to delete from your computer. To schedule a Disk Cleanup, Click Start, Programs>Accessories>System Tools>Task Scheduler. Click Action, then Create Basic Task. Type in a name and click Next. Select weekly for and set a time for the Disk Cleanup to run and then click Next. Click Start a Program and then click Next. Click Browse and then type in cleanmgr.exe in the File Name box and click Open>Next, then Finish.
Full Virus Scan – While we recommend a virus scanner that updates daily and provides real-time protection, you should also run a full scan once a week. Check in your antivirus preferences for instructions on how to setup a weekly full scan.
For this weekly computer maintenance schedule to work, leave your computer on 24/7. Most computers can be configured to go into a low-power mode and wake up in the middle of the night to perform these tasks while you are not using the computer.
Monthly Computer Maintenance Schedule
Disk Defragmenter – Disk Defragmenter re-organizes data strewn about your hard drive so your computer can access files faster. You can also schedule disk defragmenter to run weekly at a specific time.
Clean Computer – Depending on the location of your computer, you should vacuum the area around your desk and inspect the internal and external fans to make sure they are free of hair, dust, and other debris that can cause heat-buildup in your PC.
Software Update – Most software will automatically tell you when an update is ready to be downloaded. These updates are usually security fixes and should be installed immediately. Java, Flash and Windows Updates will usually appear by your system clock in the lower right-hand corner of the screen.
Hard Drive Diagnostics – Run Check Disk monthly to check for impending computer hard drive failure. Right-click the C: drive and click Properties, click the Tools tab, and then the Check now button within the Error-checking section. Have Windows Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.
Yearly Computer Maintenance schedule
System Recovery – Despite all of your efforts, your PC will gradually slow down. If you do not have a Windows installation disk, you should burn the recovery disks for your major brand name computer and put them in a safe place. Your Dell, HP, Sony VAIO or Acer computer will have a utility to create these disk. Use them to wipe and restore your computer to factory settings once a year. Your computer will run like brand new. Backup your data first.
If you have weekly computer maintenance questions, read other computer maintenance schedule tips to help keep your PC running fast.