PC Hardware

Preventive Maintenance Schedule

There are no universal preventive maintenance schedules that work on every computer. Each schedule must be individualized to meet the needs of the work environment. Use the following suggestions as maintenance guidelines:

Do This Daily

  • Back up data.

  • Check computer ventilation to ensure that it is clear. Remove any paper, books, or boxes that might impede the flow of air into or out of the computer.

Do This Weekly

  • Clean the outside of the case.

  • Clean the screen.

  • Run CHKDSK or ScanDisk on all hard disk drives. Windows 95 and 98 come with scheduling programs to help you accomplish this on a regular basis.

  • Run a current antivirus program and check all drives. These programs also come with scheduling features so this can be accomplished on a regular basis. They will also remind you when to update the virus list (usually done through the manufacturer's Web site).

  • Inspect all peripheral devices.

Do This Monthly

  • Clean the inside of the system.

  • Clean the inside of any printers.

  • Vacuum the keyboard.

  • Clean the mouse ball and x and y wheels.

  • Defragment all hard disk drives.

  • Delete any unnecessary temporary files.

Do This Every Six Months

  • Perform an extensive preventive maintenance check.

  • Apply an antistatic solution to the entire computer.

  • Check and reseat all cables.

  • Run the printer's self-test programs.

Do This Annually

  • Reformat the hard disk drive and reinstall all software. Don't forget to back up data first.

  • Check all floppy disk drives.

  • Consider an upgrade to your computer. Check to see that your components can handle your workload.

Lesson Summary

The following points summarize the main elements of this lesson:

  • The best preventive maintenance is to keep a computer clean.

  • Never use solvent-based cleaners on a computer.

  • Never use liquids on the electrical components inside a computer.

  • Create and implement a regular maintenance program for each computer under your care.