Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I protect my computer from power surges?
- How can I increase my computer speed?
- What kind of preventative maintenance should I do?
- How often should I defrag my hard drive?
- What is a computer virus?
- How can I read .pdf files?
- One of the best things that you can do for your computer is to purchase a surge protector. This is different than a power strip. While both may offer a single on-off switch and multiple electrical outlets, only the surge protector will help protect your computer from lightning or fluctuations in the electrical current in your home. A power strip will only shut off if the circuit is overloaded. If you have a modem, purchase a surge protector that includes outlets for phone plugs. If a bolt of lightning hits your phone line and the phone jack is not protected, you could lose your modem. For a little extra money, you can purchase a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) which will keep your computer running long enough in case of a power outage so that you can save data and properly shut down the computer.
- Increasing computer speed is a constant motivation for businesses where time can literally be money. Computers can easily be slowed down by viruses, memory problems and multiple programs accessing the hard drive at once. One way of speeding up your system is by defragmenting your hard drive once a month, which will make sure all your files are located in places where your computer will look for them. Adding memory to your system is another way of speeding it up.
- 1. Backup your data as often as you can afford to lose it. Regular data backups are essential to protecting your data from hardware failures. Sometimes, computer hardware will fail without notice. If you do not have a backup, you could lose everything.
- 2. Run a thorough scandisk on your computer monthly. This will notify you if your hard drive is starting to fail. It is much more likely that you data can be saved if you catch a failing hard drive quickly.
- 3. Defragment your computer monthly. This will help keep your computer running smoothly.
- 4. Buy a good quality surge suppressor (If you use a modem, get one with telephone line protection). There is a big difference between a power strip and a good surge suppressor. We recommend APC or Belkin surge supressors and uninterruptible power supplies. A good surge suppressor will come with a connected equipment warrantee, which insures that if your computer equipment is damaged by an electrical surge while properly connected to the surge suppressor, they will pay for it up to a specified limit.
- That really depends on what you do with the drive. If you add and delete a lot of data, you'll want to defrag monthly. If you're a casual user, every three to six months is probably fine. In the Disk Defragmenter utility click Analyze and Windows will tell you if you need to or not.
- A computer virus is a malicious computer program that infects the computer memory or hard disk. Some are comical and will simply change the display on your monitor while most are designed to do damage to the data on the computer. Boot sector viruses are especially damaging since they rewrite the information needed to start up and access your computer’s hard disk. Trojan horses are destructive programs disguised as something harmless like a game. Worms are programs written to replicate themselves until the computer’s memory or hard drive is completely used up at which time the computer crashes and becomes inoperable.
- To view a PDF file, you will need to install the free Acrobat Reader software, downloadable from the Adobe Web site.