Date: 2009-08-11 13:10:22
There is a good business case for performing routine maintenance on your computer systems. Just like caring for your vehicle, your computer systems require upkeep as well.
Here are some examples:
1) Physical Inspection
2) Application Updates
3) Software Patching
4) Temporary file deletion
5) Unauthorized or unused application removal
6) Anti-virus scanning
7) Disk defragmenting
Computer equipment and network devices should be checked to make sure they are not getting too hot. Heat is a big factor in premature equipment failure. Also look at the electrical cables. Make sure they are not a safety hazard or daisy chained together via power strips. Look at the network cables. Check if they are crimped or cracking from being pulled or stepped on.
Is there a new version of Adobe Reader, or other software that is regularly used? With your license for AutoCAD, did you get upgrade rights for future versions? It may be time to update your software. Look around, make a plan, and update your computers one at a time.
It is definitely important to check for software patches. Many applications require patches to keep them safe, secure, and running correctly. The most common patches are for the Windows Operating System. These can be checked one computer at a time by visiting WindowsUpdate.com. Or there are other tools you can use to check multiple computers, like Windows Baseline Security Analyzer.
Temporary file deletion
Cleaning the computer is just like cleaning the inside of your car. Get rid of those candy wrappers and soda cans. Use the Windows Disk Cleanup tool to remove temporary files, internet files, etc... Also, don't forget to empty your Recycle Bin! Other places that can use tidying up is your mailbox inbox, sent items, and deleted items folders.
Unauthorized or unused application removal
Look for and remove applications that are not allowed, like Kazaa or BitTorrent. These applications can be used to waste company network bandwidth and possibly download copyrighted files. That could put your business at risk for a lawsuit. Use the Add or Remove Programs applet in the Control Panel to remove applications like this. Make sure you express to your employees what is allowed and what will not be tolerated.
If you are not running anti-virus software, you should be. Anti-virus protect against files you or your employees may download that could be dangerous. Seemingly innocent joke videos or PowerPoint documents could have malicious software that wants to install and take over your work computers. That could cause downtime and lost money. Setting up the anti-virus client to run full scans of the computers during lunch or other times is a good idea.
Over time your hard disk can create, hide, and move files all over. The more fragmented your drive is, the slower it can run. Defragmenting tries to compact the files to speed up the reading/writing process.
General maintenance needn't take too much time. In fact, it could be done remotely on the weekends or after hours. Lack of maintenance could cause problems and cost money down the road. If you would like more information, please let me know. I am more than happy to provide advice and assistance.