External computer cleaning
- Turn off your computer before doing anything.
- Clean the screen with a damp (not wet) microfiber cloth
- Clean the keyboard – wipe keys with cloth. If it’s a usb keyboard, turn it upside down and lightly tap it to remove anything stuck between the keys (this can be quite disgusting) or use compressed air to blow it out.
- Clean the mouse
- Wipe down the exterior of the laptop/tower
Internal computer cleaning
Your computer creates heat and needs to have air pushed through it continually to keep it cool and running smoothly. Fans, cooling fins & surfaces can get clogged with dirt, dust & hair which will trap heat. This can cause overheating and reduce the life of the computer.
* Never use a vacuum to remove dust from your computer – Your house hold vacuum can create a static buildup that can cause major problems with the sensitive components inside your computer. Instead, use compressed air (compressor or can of air from Bunnings)
Using compressed air to remove dust. There’s no two ways about it, this is going to get messy! I use my garage or outdoor area to clean the surfaces of the inside of the PC. I slowly introduce the stream of air inside the tower, making sure to hold onto any fans when blowing air near them (I use a pencil) You don’t want to spin the fan faster that it’s designed to spin and wreck anything.
I also use a paint brush to remove any dust that is stuck anywhere.
While you are in there, check and make sure your hard drives and disk drives are all secured properly to remove any vibrations. You can also do some cable management with zip ties.
Operating System & Software Solutions
Once you are clean and dry, boot up and get started on the software side of things.
- Virus scan – ensuring you have the latest virus definitions. Check out Webroot for an amazing, lightweight, cloud based antivirus.
- 2nd Opinion virus scan – because not all companies are created equal. Check out hitman Pro. It’s one of the best I’ve seen, owned by Sophos, one of the worlds leading antivirus companies. This can run in conjunction with your antivirus and is only about $20/year. A very worthwhile investment. You can buy it by here.
NOTE: Do not have two full antivirus programs running side by side permanently as they can work against each other and can slow the computer down dramatically.
- Malware scan. I consider this the industry standard for Malware. Malwarebytes 3.0 is the next-gen security program that protects you from the most advanced (zero-day) threats. You can buy it direct from here.
- Uninstall any programs that you don’t use. Random programs seem to creep into our computers over time. Minimising your programs will free up memory and processing time.
- Windows updates – Check that you have the latest updates.
- Program updates – Check that all of your programs are the latest versions, with the latest security patches, bug fixes and definitions. You can use a program like Patch My PC which will scan your computer and then allow you to update any outdated software in one hit.
- Get rid of crap with CCleaner aka CRAP CLEANER. Cleaning all types of old, unwanted files, fixing registry errors and helping speeding your PC up with ease. Buy CCleaner Professional here!
- Disk defragmenter – in a nut shell, this pushes all your data towards the front of the drive allowing faster access to your files when they are needed. Windows 10 is set to automatically do this.
- Driver updates. I hate driver updaters! They seem to be getting worse with the amount of viruses, malware and bloatware that can be installed along side them. I have been trialing one called Iobit Driver Booster 4 that has been really awesome. Check it out on my software page.
- Backup Your Data! If your hard drive crashed today what would you do? Do you have valuable photos and tax information that is irreplaceable backed up safely? How much time and effort would it take to redo all your work again? Backups are the simplest of things to do yet the majority of users never do them. Back up with windows (file history) or use a professional program like Acronis and their #1 Personal Backup Software Acronis True Image 2017. You can also put valuable files into cloud storage like dropbox, google drive or have a chat to us about professional cloud storage whether it be for business or personal use. Packages start at around $50/month plus small fee for software.