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Thread: Basic minimum computer maintenance.

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    Site Caretaker Dave A's Avatar
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    Basic minimum computer maintenance.

    What would you consider as a basic minimum computer maintenance regime to keep a computer in good running order?
    What should be done daily, weekly, monthly etc.?
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    Gold Member twinscythe12332's Avatar
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    well, if we're talking about your average PC, not a server or anything, I would probably follow:
    daily:
    -backup of important/mission critical data. (if the amount of data flowing in can be regarded as a large volume, then it might be an idea to do it hourly)
    -ensure antivirus applications are running (some smart people sometimes decide to stop them if they don't allow access to a file or website that is questionable)

    weekly
    - it's not quite weekly, but every second week or so there should be a defrag run on the machines.
    - removal of non-work applications (is the software relevant? eg:- mahjong titans vs quickbooks =P)
    - local backups get transferred to your external/offsite backup.
    Monthly
    -Assess whether components are sufficient to keep the PC up to scratch. considering windows XP originally took up something silly like 64-128 MB of RAM, and now it's hitting around 384MB on a standard re-install (no other stuff, just windows itself), it's a good idea to ensure that components are replaced (once you're out of warranty, of course).


    ADDITIONAL
    6 months to a year
    generally, computers get cluttered with a lot of stuff. broken shortcuts, registry entries that no longer matter, applications that were used once and have no real relevance...
    it's normally a good idea to either do a backup, format and re-install, or get a pretty good registry cleaner.

    anyway, that's my 2 cents. I'm sure I've forgotten a few things, but they'll be filled in later by everyone else ^^

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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    Woah....I thought all one did was to hold the keyboard upside down every now and again to get the crumbs out.
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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    OK - seriously now - while on the subject.

    I was looking for a decent backup programme. It must work over a small home network operating xp and server 2003 and schedule a couple of machines to do a regular differential backup. Also if it could use normal file structures and not one zip file with a strange extension that only this backup software uses. Also take an image now and again.

    Anybody using something or know of something that works along these lines?
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    I always recommend a good disk imaging software like Norton’s software and YES you can use it on a LAN and will backup everything!

    However did you know that MS have a build in Backup program that can be used with its build in task scheduler? Now you can also take virtual control using Remote Desktop Connection on a VPN over your 3G ADSL or ISDIN.

    The instructions are simple and self explanatory so you will have no trouble backing stuff up. Yet again I recommend something big like Blu-Ray so that you can keep almost everything. But I must confess having a server taking care of all the backup is always better in the long run because you can backup all your stuff at once rather than having to go to every single computer.

    MS use the *.bkf file structure but this is ok because you can restore it using MS OS so no other software needed.

    However I must say that any backup is corruptible so keep backups of your backups. Trust me on this one... You can never have enough copies of your backup. This is a bit old school but it works OK. Really it is nearly painless “Nearly” If you are looking for something simple Nero 8 and up also have a handy backup function on it.

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    Gold Member Martinco's Avatar
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    As far as a very nice program is concerned........try "Second Copy".
    Does all copies automatically according to your settings and easy to use.
    I use this for all my important data and especially Pastel which I copy ( not backup ! ) every evening onto two different pc's on my LAN. The nice thing is that you have an exact copy of the data and can be accessed by e.g. Pastel directly without having to do a restore.
    There is a setting that enables an automatic copy and attaches the date to the folder. ( Foldername $date$)
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    Platinum Member Marq's Avatar
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    Thanks for reminding me about the NT backup file - had forgotten about that. Last time I tried it, it failed on the networking side. Tried it now straight and its going - so good one.

    I have always been a bit off Nortons because it seems to hog machine resources and I used to get many blue screens and hanging programmes. Hopefully they have sorted that out.
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    In all honesty Norton is still crap but it is workable... “never had any real trouble with it” Have a look at the build in backup systems of MS you will find that not much have changed since good old NT 4 but honestly I never had trouble with this backup program. The blue screens I got were all driver problems of the backup device itself or the antivirus that messed with the process.

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    People seem to have this crazy misconception that a computer needs to be 'maintained'...

    All you really need is decent backup, antivirus and antispyware software.

    And backing up to CD /DVD is NOT a recommended backup medium !

    Oh and also, it is worth mentioning that backups are useless if they are not tested !

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    Gold Member twinscythe12332's Avatar
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    believe what you want to.

    found a pretty good free registry cleaner recently.
    get here.

    recently deleted a couple of files (14 thousand give or take) from my home PC, and had tried this out at work. cleans the registry (which can cause slow start up times loading a whole lot of effectively dead links) and allows you to control your startup (very nice when you have multiple useless update programs trying to load up when you've typed in your win password).

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