Woman at desk in office, with wondering thought bubble "dust bunny or business computers."While your business computers might not be “going back to school,” your children and your employees’ children are preparing for the biggest event of the year. Why not take this as a good reminder to prepare your office for a semi-annual cleanup of your computers, servers, and electronic equipment, because a lack of maintenance – physical or digital – can decrease the performance and life of your computers and expensive servers.

Here’s Why Business Computers Need Regular Maintenance

Business computers, servers, and other electronic devices need cleaning both inside and out: for the software and the hardware. Letting dust pile up on the inside of the case can physically clog the computer’s cooling system, causing it to heat up. Heat is one of the most damaging things for sensitive electronic equipment. Dust can also cause fan noise and can slow performance.

Crumbs and dirt in your keyboard can cause keys to stick and make crunchy sounds when typing. Plus, it’s just gross and unhealthy; do you know there are more germs on your computer keyboard than the average public toilet? Dust, fingerprints, and dirt build-up will make your computer monitor dim and fuzzy. You don’t need glasses, you just need to clean your monitor.

To clean your keyboard, unplug it, pick it up and turn it upside down over your trash can. Shake it back and forth – gently! – to dislodge debris. You can also use a small desktop USB-powered vacuum to suck out dust.

But don’t use that or any vacuum for the inside of your computers. They could create a static electricity build-up which will likely discharge into the electronic components of your computer. In other words, you could fry your motherboard.

Instead, take your case outside (no one in your office is going to appreciate all that dust flying around) and gently blow it out using canned or compressed air dusters which are designed just for that purpose. Then wipe the case with a microfiber cloth.

Physical “Dirt” is Only the Beginning…

But the outside is only the beginning. The inner workings of your business computers and network are, of course, vital to the performance of your business. A thorough inner-cleaning will help make your systems run better and last longer.

  1. Use Disk Cleanup to delete temporary files, unused programs, and any other files taking up space and slowing things down. (Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup)
  2. Defrag your hard drive to speed up access to your data. (Start > Control Panel > System and Security > Administrative Tools > Defragment your hard drive).
  3. Update your spyware and antivirus software with the newest definitions. The internet changes fast. Having outdated security can slow you down dramatically.
  4. Make sure you have the latest security patches and updates installed and configured properly.
  5. Check your backups and conduct an emergency “restore” of the data. Remember, the best time to check your backups is when you DON’T desperately need to recover your data. Read this if you’re still using tape backups.

Sound like a lot of work? It can be. The tricky part is remembering to do these things. And finding the time to let your system, for example, update your antivirus or your security patches and updates.

Good news for J –  I.T. Outsource clients is that we do ALL of this (and more – we’re a full-service I.T. support companyfor you! We automatically update your antivirus and we run regular updates for all of our client business computers. This is why we ask you to leave your computers on at night so we can run these update with as little inconvenience to you as possible.

We don’t delete or clean out anything from your business computers without your express permission or by request. But if you do find your desktop business computer running slowly, contact our tech team and we’ll help you clear out those old files and run a number of other optimization checks.

Not a J –  I.T. Outsource managed services client and wishing someone would do all of this for you? Reach out to us for an evaluation of your business computer network by calling us at (559) 485-4335.