Saturday, March 30, 2013

Prolong the Life of your PC

Prolong the Life of your PC

For most people these days, a computer is a permanent and important part of your daily life, whether you’re using it for homework, gaming, or just to keep in touch with friends and family through social media networks and email. While the cost of computers has gone down significantly over the past couple of decades, it’s still a significant investment for many people. Here are a few ways you can prolong the useful life of your PC.

Adjust the Settings

When you first get your PC, there are many “factory settings” that are already determined, but often these are not things that most users require on a daily basis, especially if you are using your PC for more basic work, such as surfing the internet, word processing, and email. Check out the factory settings and disable things that you do not use as often to maximize the functionality of the programs you do use. If you’re not sure which programs you use and which you can shut off, talk to the experts at ComputerfixSLC for some help.

Upgrade the Components

When you first buy your machine, you often cannot predict what types of functionality you will need in the future. Your computer may slow down when the RAM and storage space start running low. Instead of buying a new computer or taking it in for computer repair, consider replacing components that you need to improve, such as adding more RAM (random access memory), or storage. You may also want to get an external hard drive to store larger files (videos, photos, etc.) because they can take up a lot of space on your hard drive. This can also protect you in case the computer is ever stolen, or shuts down, because you’ll have a backup.

Keep the Machine Cool

If you use your PC a lot, and you have it stored in a confined space, it will often get very warm and not cool off properly while it is in use. This often happens with laptops too. Overheating is one of the most common problems that cause your computer to malfunction and require computer repair. Keep the machine in a well-ventilated area, and allow it to “breathe” while it’s in use so you can get the most out of your machine.

Clean the Computer Regularly

When you use your PC, and when it’s not in use, it is collecting dust and debris from the air nearby. Often this dust collects and is stored inside the computer, causing damage over time and speeding up the time it takes before you need to start replacing components. In addition, a computer that is not properly cleaned can be more susceptible to overheating, which is problematic.

Get the Right Accessories

Stop by ComputerfixSLC even visit out web site to discuss some of the most useful accessories you can have for your computer, including cleaner, fans, and things like laptop desks for your laptop PC. You can find exactly the items you need to keep your PC running in great shape, and ensure that investment is built to last.




Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tips on Buying a Desktop Computer

 Tips on Buying a Desktop Computer

While many people have moved from the desktop computer to more portable options such as laptops and tablets, there is still a place for the desktop PC. In terms of price, power, and versatility, it still beats a laptop, and can be an essential part of your computing world—the key is to find the right one. Whether you decide to go with off-the-shelf models or custom made computers, it’s important to know which components will help you build the perfect machine.

Start with Processing Power

The Central Processing Unit, also known as CPU or processor, is like your computer’s “brain”, controlling how long it takes the system to boot, how well it runs applications, and how much power it requires. There are a wide variety of CPUs out there and a CPU upgrade can get pricey, so it’s important to know what you want your system to do in order to get the best one at the right price. If you’re not sure what you need, talk to the experts at Computer Fix.

 You can adjust your CPU for custom computers based on a few factors—the speed (measured in gigahertz or GHz), the number of cores that the processor includes, and the brand. Generally more GHz is better, and the more cores you have, the more programs it can run simultaneously without affecting the performance of the machine.
Choose an Operating System

There are basically three operating systems (OS) to choose from—the most common is Microsoft’s Windows, followed by Apple’s OS X and Linux. The OS is the foundation for running various programs, so you want one that offers reliability, stability, and as much functionality as possible.

Most PCs today come already loaded with Windows, unless you buy an Apple computer (Mac). Linux ranks third in terms of total users, and while it is a free open source system, it is often only utilized by people with a lot of experience working with computers and is not generally used by the masses. Windows offers a variety of different OS options, most notably versions for home or professional users, and you can decide based on how you intend to use the computer.

Hard Drive & Memory

The next choice for your custom made computers is how big you want the hard drive, and how much memory you need. These are not the same thing—each has a distinct role within the computer, but both are absolutely critical. The hard drive (measured in GB) stores your data, while the memory is what accesses and runs programs (measured in RAM). You will usually have hundreds or even thousands of GB of storage (hard drive), while you will only have about 4 to 8 GB of RAM (memory). Generally speaking, more hard drive and more memory are good things, especially if you intend to run RAM-intensive programs like Adobe Photoshop, or you want to store significant-size files, such as videos and pictures.

The Finishing Touches

You also need to decide whether you want custom made computers with upgraded video cards. If your purpose is to use the computer for word processing, spreadsheets, and email, a video card will not be as important. If you’re using it for video games and other graphics-intensive programs, consider upgrading.

The final step is to choose your accessories, such as the monitor, keyboard, and mouse. Decide whether you need wireless or wired accessories, and what size and resolution you want your monitor to be. Today’s monitors are often super high resolution and large, offering an experience similar to watching television on an HDTV.

When you know what you want from your computer, visit Computer Fix to build a custom machine with everything you need.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Is Your Computer Running Slow?

Slow Computer?

Computers certainly make our lives and our work easier in many ways, and they have become a permanent part of daily life for most people. That’s why when they begin to run slowly it can be extremely frustrating. Whether you have had your PC for a while, or it’s brand new, there are a few common reasons it may be running slowly. Use this checklist to determine if your machine is suffering from these common ailments, so you can fix the slow computer and get it back to working like new again.

Reason #1: Spyware, Malware, Viruses

There are so many different ways that a computer can pick up spyware, malware, and viruses throughout the course of normal use that it’s important to check for it regularly. You should have a proper antivirus and antispyware program installed on your machine to help protect it, but also avoid doing things that usually result in spyware—surfing non-reputable websites, opening attachments in emails from people you don’t know, or clicking on links that you are not sure where they will lead. If you have a serious case of spyware, you may need to take it to a professional shop like Computer Fix to have it cleaned.

Reason #2: Overload at Startup

When you first get your machine, it probably only contains a few of the factory-installed programs. As you use it regularly, you install more and more programs that take up space on the hard drive and claim some of the start-up status, which can slow the machine down significantly. You can check out your start-up list by going to All Programs, and remove any that are unnecessary to have starting automatically when you turn on the machine. That is often a default setting, but it’s not necessary for all programs.

Reason #3: Not Enough Memory

Perhaps you purchased the computer and at the time were not aware exactly how much RAM you might need, or perhaps the memory capabilities have declined over time with fragmentation from opening, using, and closing various programs and files. Some programs may also be hogging some of that memory by not releasing RAM after it closes. You may want to consider adding more memory, which you can do on your own, or you can take it to a place like Computer Fix and have the experts upgrade your machine to make it a faster computer.

Reason #4: Fragmented Disks

Every time you create new files, delete old files, and open or close programs, the computer splits it up and stores the files in several different places. Over time, the effort to recover those fragmented pieces becomes difficult on the computer, causing excessive wear and tear on the physical components inside the machine. To optimize the system and avoid unnecessary effort for the internal components, consider defragmenting your disk every now and then to maintain drive integrity and realign the items inside the PC.

Reason #5: Redundant Programs

Your computer has a limited amount of space, so it’s important that you only install and run necessary programs. If you find the PC slowing down and you’re looking for ways to fix a slow computer, look at your list of programs and find out if there are redundancies that you can eliminate by uninstalling programs. There are also programs out there that can help you detect and identify redundancies in your system, then remove them.

These tips can help you get a faster computer without having to purchase a whole new machine. At Computer Fix can help get your machine back in shape, hopefully running like it was when it was new.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Keeping your Computer Clean

Why is it Important to Keep your Computer Clean?
On a fairly regular basis you probably clean your home, your bathrooms, your kitchen, and even your car sometimes. Do you also take the time to clean your computer? Most people are not aware that you need to clean a computer—both inside and out—and if you’ve never learned how to clean a computer before, it can be difficult to know where to start.

Why Clean Computers

You probably spend money and time thinking about how you can protect your computer from external threats such as spyware, viruses, and malware. At the same time, very few people understand how and how often to clean the computer to protect against a hardware failure from a dust and dirt.

Without regular cleanings, dust and other irritants begin to collect inside the computer, affecting the hard drive, motherboard, and even disc drives, which eventually adds up to a lot of damage and requires costly replacement parts. Over time all this dust can lead to overheating, lower performance, and damage to the random access memory (RAM).

How to Clean the Computer

You can begin by taking off the cover of the computer, and vacuuming the internal parts of the machine to remove any loose dust that has accumulated over the years. Next, get a can of pressurized air that you can spray in hard-to-reach areas, focusing a blast of air to continue removing dust and dirt. Finally, use paper towels to wipe down the wires, sides, and bottom so you don’t have lingering dust.

You should also vacuum or dust around the base to remove excess dust that is in the area and prevent it from getting into the computer, and check for proper air flow to keep things moving the right way inside the machine. Fans are designed to maintain the proper temperature inside your computer, which means if they are not working right, or they are not receiving the right amount of airflow, the machine could be at risk of overheating. Use these tactics to clean your machine at least twice per year, more often if you are able. If the build up is too much for you to handle feel free to make an appointment! Computerfix Salt Lake City is happy to serve you. Computerfix SLC 801-415-9595 

Cleaning the Inside

You can also keep the internal files on your computer “clean” by performing regular maintenance. In these cases, it’s important that you keep up with a regular schedule to ensure smooth operations throughout the life of your machine.

First, begin by reviewing all the programs and applications you have installed. Go through and find ones that are no longer in use, and remove them from the system completely (uninstall them). Too many programs, especially unnecessary and unused programs, can quickly slow your machine down.

Next, consider “defragmenting” your disk about once a month. This consolidates files and organizes them in an efficient way so your machine doesn’t have to expend extra energy trying to find them later.

Finally, make sure you have proper antivirus software installed and it is updated and running whenever you use your machine, especially on the Internet. Without it, you could end up with nasty computer viruses that could harm the computer.