Many Computer Users Skip Routine Maintenance

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News Posted: Tue, Jun 30 2009 2:43 PM
It probably comes as no surprise, but it seems most people ignore routine computer maintenance and only think about it when disaster strikes. You know, like falling victim to more than 3,000 viruses. At once.

A survey done of Staples "EasyTechs," indicated that more than 80 percent of the chain's customers don't bother with routine maintenance and most of the problems they call in the techs for could have been prevented.

The problems the techs found included the personal record number of viruses cited above as well as some much, much ickier ones:
  • Enough dust inside to fill the tech's hand-held vacuum
  • A family of cockroaches living quite comfortably, thankyouverymuch
  • A bee's nest. Yes, a bee's nest. You know, those flying things that go "bzzzz" and sting you? A nest of those.

The techs suggested some easy tips for users that could potentially result in the techs having less work to do, but possibly getting fewer bee stings:
  • Keep your antivirus software up to date. Only a third of the 105 techs reported their customers had the current versions.
  • If you have a Windows computer, use Windows Disk Cleanup to safely get rid of temporary files.
  • Keep your computer in a well-ventilated area and clear out any dust or dirt that's gotten into the case.
  • Defragment your hard drive regularly; it organizes your hard drive to maximize your performance
  • Check regularly for updates to your OS, whether it be Windows, Mac, Linux or other, and make sure you download any security patches.
  • Back up stuff that's hard or impossible to replace - photos, music, important files - on an external hard drive or flash drive. More than 85 percent of the techs said virtually none of their customers backed up data.

One word - vacuum. It could save your PC's life...

In other words: Don't be like most people and wait for your computer to crash and die an ignominious death before seeking help.
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SqUiD267 replied on Tue, Jun 30 2009 5:27 PM

bees nest in ur comp. thats a lil too hard for me to believe.

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I think it could be true. I have seen some funky computers. The roach thing I have seen first hand and dust layered so thick that you can't actually see any of the stuff inside. Just brown dust in the shape of graphics cards and motherboards.

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I could see it no problem... mouse nests as well...

"Never trust a computer you can't throw out a window."

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Dave_HH replied on Tue, Jun 30 2009 9:39 PM

SqUiD267:

bees nest in ur comp. thats a lil too hard for me to believe.

 

I have seen some pretty nasty stuff under folks' desks.  I think anything is possible.  Remember the old tech support line stories with the lady calling in saying her computers "slide out coffee coaster" broke?  Sad

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dmorin replied on Tue, Jun 30 2009 11:57 PM

Along similar lines to keeping up on security patches, it never hurts to run one of those "driver scanning" services as well.  Chances are very good for instance that your video card's software is going through regular updates.  Staying up to date on those is certainly a good thing to get the max performance.  I've heard that laptop suspend problems can be tracked back to video drivers, but I've yet to find the connection.

 

There's a bunch of sites that do driver scanning and downloads including http://driveragent.com, driverdetective.com, driverguide.com  ...  I sense a pattern :)

 

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Aww, c'mon, a bee's nest? Maybe if the computer was in the shed out back...unused! Let them just try to nest in my Pentium 4 test-rig...I'll roast their little thorax's.  

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Why have a PC if you don't want to take care of it? Stick out tongue

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It is a very bad idea to use a domestic hand-held vacuum cleaner on a PC. The airflow over the plastic nozzle creates a vast amount of static electricity which can fry the circuits. Personally, I use a small, natural bristle, paint brush.

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I just took a leaf blower to my case a couple weeks ago, as part of my normal maintainance.  It does wonders.  But I must recommend against it because it is dangerous since you might accidently blow a lose part like a screw into a vital component.  Whatever way you do it, just make sure you always periodically clean your case.

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When I was but a young boy working for a computer repair company that shall remain nameless, we had a repeat customer who was always having problems. Things would work fine when we looked at it, but she always said it wouldn't start up or something else wouldn't be working. We assumed it was related to the yellow-stained dust we always found in the computer. We dismissed it as a smoker's pc.

One day, I had the misfortune of working on her pc (which was unbelievably nasty looking and smelling). I start up her pc and get to a BIOS password prompt. I say, "can you tell me what the password is?" She says, "Sure, it's 'cat1pee'," spelling it out for me.

"That's an interesting password. Do your cats pee all over the house?" I innocently inquire.

"No, we let them pee in there. We leave the case open and they just get in it and pee."

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Eww, wtf??

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Trust me, I'd rather not be able to tell that story. I took a very long bleaching that night.

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Dave_HH replied on Wed, Jul 1 2009 9:02 PM

RonnyGunz:

Trust me, I'd rather not be able to tell that story. I took a very long bleaching that night.

 

That is just crazy... I mean why even spend money trying to get it fixed?  Certifiable...

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I found a dead mouse in a PC once. He had Peed on the graphics card and was fried whilst doing it.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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Dave_HH replied on Mon, Jul 6 2009 10:17 AM

realneil:

I found a dead mouse in a PC once. He had Peed on the graphics card and was fried whilst doing it.


Serves him right!

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I haven't had a horror story and plan to keep it that way.  Keep my rig clean and my parents' (when I'm home that is.)

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tanka12345:

Why have a PC if you don't want to take care of it? Stick out tongue

 I agree why even bother these things are expensive and if your an enthuasiast even worse. Thats no different than having a shower and not using it, Well except for the SMELL! LOL!  I would,nt allow mine to get like that that does nothing but build up heat and shorten the life of your RIG! If I want to do that I,ll OC it then I,ll at least have some bragging rights!Cool

 

 

 

 

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Riks replied on Fri, Jul 10 2009 8:00 AM

my case is never closed long enough to collect dust..

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Riks:

my case is never closed long enough to collect dust..

 Thats true  just cant stay out of there! You would think I kept my Beer in there!LOLBeerBeerBeer

 

 

 

 

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mautzu replied on Wed, Sep 29 2010 6:19 AM

you say nothing then truth and i think anyone can make computer checkup once in a while, it don't take lot of time and is very healthy thing for the pc

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3vi1 replied on Wed, Sep 29 2010 12:49 PM

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

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acarzt replied on Wed, Sep 29 2010 7:15 PM

Well since this has been dug up lol

"You know, like falling victim to more than 3,000 viruses. At once."

That's NOTHING. I once ran a scan on a computer that had something close to 100,000 detections. No Joke.

Also, i've had many occasions when I would find bugs, both alive and dead inside the computer. Roaches... alive... in a laptop, for example.

Many different kinds of liquids having been spilled on computers.

I saw a motherboard catch on fire lol It went out shortly after lol

Had a harddrive explode inside a case. Chunks of metal were scattered throughout the inside of the case and ruined many other components.

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realneil replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 10:23 PM

acarzt:
Chunks of metal were scattered throughout the inside of the case

Did you use a multimeter on the chunks?

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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fat78 replied on Sat, Oct 23 2010 11:10 PM

i once  found a mouse in some ones computer because he had a open expansion bay. Did not think a mouse could fit though a crack so small.

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AKwyn replied on Sun, Oct 24 2010 12:04 AM

mautzu:

you say nothing then truth and i think anyone can make computer checkup once in a while, it don't take lot of time and is very healthy thing for the pc

What do I have to check up on? My computer's still running strong like a horse. My cables are organized, my cards are working, how could it be more healthier?

 

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Optix replied on Sun, Oct 24 2010 7:39 PM

If it doesn't have a filter on it, it's not an intake on my rig.

I've even gone so far as to take a little extra cash away from the fee I charge for building rigs just so I could order some fan filters when customers say, "Oh, I don't need any of them."

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realneil replied on Sun, Oct 24 2010 7:43 PM

I used green ScotchBrite pads as filters once when I needed something fast.

Worked well too.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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