NORTH Idaho Real Estate Pro


Top 10 Tips for Keeping Your Computer Running Smoothly - Computer Maintenance

Top 10 Tips for Keeping Your Computer Running Smoothly - Computer Maintenance

Business Man frustrated with Computer

I constantly have friends, colleagues and family members begging me to help them with their computers.  More often than not, the problems they have come from improper regular maintenance, not cleaning out their Cash or defraging, defunct Anti-Virus and Firewall Blocker programs, improperly shutting down, power surges, etc....

Following these simple tips should help prevent most of those annoying and avoidable computer problems.  ALSO, I want to emphasize two of the biggest "Tear Jerkers" .... BACK-UP, BACK-UP, BACK-UP (see #3) and DO NOT LOOSE or THROW OUT your SOFTWARE DISCS (especially the ones that came with your computer).... Keep them safe and dry.  You WILL need them at some point in time (see #10)!!!

1. Never, turn your computer off with the power switch UNTIL Windows has shut down. The exception to this rule is when your computer locks up and your hard drive is not running (hard drive light is not blinking).   If this happens, you can turn the power off without harmful effects to the hard drive. As cutting the power can also result in lost data or Windows files, you should only do this when you have to.

Following this rule will prevent permanent hard drive defects caused by the hard drive heads contacting the surface of the drive disc, and it will prevent a host of Windows problems.
Whenever possible, recover from crashes by pressing the Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys at the same time. Press them again to reboot your computer.

Woman Tearing Her Hair Out2. Never unplug peripherals from the computer when it is powered up. Unplugging with the power on can short out the connector socket or the motherboard. The only exception to this rule is if you know a peripheral is "hot pluggable". If you do not know what "hot pluggable" means then ignore this exception.

3. Backup, backup, backup, any data you cannot afford to lose to at least two separate physical drives. So backup data to external hard drives, Zip disks, CD-RWs etc.
The time to backup is when you create something you can't afford to lose. Don't wait until tomorrow.

4. Purchase an UPS(uninteruptable power supply) for your computer. This will keep your computer from crashing during power outages, and will protect your computer from low and high voltage occurrences.
An UPS is far superior to a surge protector and will save your computer from almost any type of power disaster. (See #1 above for what happens when your computer crashes.)

5. Run Scandisk and Defragment at least once a month. This will keep your hard drive healthy and prevent crashes. Alternatively, purchase Norton Utilities and use it to keep your hard drive healthy.

6. Do keep at least 300 MBs of your C: drive free for Windows to use. If you use Windows XP or Vista then you should have 400-600 MBs of free space on your C: drive.
If you do not have enough free space you will choke Windows and it will start dumping data to your hard drive, or it will just get really, really, slow.
Use the ADD/Delete tool in the Windows Control Panel to delete unneeded programs from your drive.
You can also use Cleansweep included in Norton Utilities to clean up your drive. If you do use Cleansweep or another hard drive cleaner, do not delete shared files unless you back them up. The cleaners do a rotten job of knowing if another program uses shared files.

7. Do not let a lot of programs load up when you start your computer. They use valuable memory and Windows Resources (Windows internal workspace).
All programs in your Windows System Tray (in the lower left of your screen) are running on your computer. Close them if you don't need them or run them and configure them not to load when you boot up.
Other programs running in the background can be found by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Delete at the same time.

8. Use a virus checker regularly. Everyone should use a virus checker. The best type of protection is continuous monitoring from a dedicated anti-virus program.  The second best thing is to use is the free reputable online virus checkers.

Man doing the Happy Dance9. If you have a high speed Internet connection you need a firewall program. A firewall program keeps those who want to hijack your computer from gaining access to your system. You really do not want someone else running your computer.
Purchase and run a Firewall program. Your firewall should boot up with your computer to protect it from invasion.  Do not think you are safe from hackers!! Hackers use search programs to seek out computers at random. Get a firewall program and use it.

10. Keep track of the software disks you receive with your computer and new peripherals. These disks contain valuable software drivers and programs for Windows and are needed when Windows must be reloaded. Keep these disks and your Windows software disks in a safe, dry, place -- you never know when you will need them.

So, be happy... Stop pulling your hair out, use these simple steps and these computer maintenance tips will hopefully keep you out of trouble.


Please contact me with any of your Real Estate / Relocation / New Construction and/or Referral needs:

Coeur d'Alene, Idaho - City by the Lake

Pam Jank, Realtor, GRI, CRS, ABR, RRS, PPS
Previews Property Specialist
Your North Idaho Real Estate Pro

FREE MLS Listings Search at:
Web:  Coeur d'Alene Idaho Homes for Sale
Phone:  208-661-2282
Fax:  208-446-0660  Toll Free:  800-829-2555 EXT.1275
1924 Northwest Blvd
Coeur d'Alene, ID  838314


Pam Jank, CRS, GRI, ABR, CNE, RRS, Realtor(c)Pam Jank, CRS, GRI, ABR, CNE, RRS, Realtor(c)
Your North Idaho Real Estate Pro - Your Free Local MLS Property Search Link
208-661-2282 or Toll Free 800-829-2555 ext. 1275
Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty
1924 Northwest Blvd, Coeur d'Alene ID 83814


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 Lake Coeur d'Alene

Comment balloon 13 commentsPam Jank • March 16 2009 01:43PM


Great post! You can never be too safe when securing data on your computer.

Posted by Home Loan Search.Online (Home Loan Search Online) over 11 years ago

Thanks forn this valuable infomation-I know it will help my computer.

Posted by Pat Champion, Call the "CHAMPION" for all your real estate needs (Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty) over 11 years ago

Computer's and I are not always friends... Thanks for the tips.

Posted by Diane Daley (Caron's Gateway Real Estate) over 11 years ago

Wow, Pam,

Your blog was so important that I printed to keep me updated and to pass around to my friends.

I am going to attempt to reblog it to our local intraoffice notes, so everyone will have that helpful information.

thanks for sharing that with the less computer savvy of us.


Posted by Paula Denmon, Real Estate Agent, Galloping to serve YOU (FATHOM REALTY) over 11 years ago

Great info Pam!  Now if we would all just follow your advise we'd live in a perfect computer world!!

Posted by Lee & Pamela St. Peter, Making Connections to Success in Real Estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices YSU Realty: (919) 645-2522) over 11 years ago

Awesome post!  People need to hear this sometimes . . . Thanks!


Posted by Justin Voisin (RE/MAX Realty 100) over 11 years ago

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! As a matter of fact, I think I had better run my Scandisk and defragmenter right now!

Posted by Michael S. Mackey, REALTOR ABR, CRS, GRI, RSPS (CENTURY 21 All Islands) over 11 years ago

Thanks!  This is great advice.  No I just need to follow it!

Posted by Tim Jank (Jank & Associates) over 11 years ago

Thanks!  These are such simple things to do and will give you great results!

Posted by Pam Jank, Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro (Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty) over 11 years ago

My computer has just been on the blink, this is just such good information. Thanks.

Posted by Jean Terry (Keller Williams Realty Spartanburg, S.C.) over 11 years ago

Pam, good points especially for those who have PC's. I am typing this on my formally Microsoft stained fingertips - LOL...

Your building consultant for life in the Nashville, TN area...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 11 years ago

Thank you for all the great feedback about my blog post.  It really will make your life easier if you follow these simple steps. 

Posted by Pam Jank, Your Coeur d'Alene & North Idaho Real Estate Pro (Coldwell Banker Schneidmiller Realty) over 11 years ago

Pam, Thanks for this great info.  I have copied it and rebloged it.  I hope it will solve alot of my computer problems and speed it up!

Posted by Ted Ewing (Simmons Built) over 11 years ago