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  Care & Maintenance   


Your computer, much like your car, will last longer and give you fewer headaches with a little preventative maintenance. The type and frequency of the care required is dependant on the environment your computer is in, how much you use it, and what you use it for.

For instance, if you live alone, you have no pets, and you use your pc for email and solitaire, you would probably wipe down your pc (and accessories) when you do your house cleaning, every few months clean & defrag the hard drive, and maybe twice a year use compressed air to spray out the chassis.  On the other hand, if you have a family (including some sticky fingered little ones), a pet or two, use your pc frequently and spend a lot of time on the internet, you will probably be wiping down your pc (especially the screen and keyboard) more often, might think about cleaning & defragging the hard drive once a week (or two weeks), and would definitely need to spray out the chassis more often.  Based on what you see, the first time or two you do your preventative maintenance, you will know how to schedule future maintenance.

Note: Your pc does not like liquid, heat, animal hair/fur, dust, or smoke.   Exposure to any of these can spell disaster for your computer.

Below are a few things you will need to keep on hand. You can purchase these products from any store that carries computers and/or computer supplies.
Compressed air
When using compressed air keep the can upright and don't shake it while in use. If the can is shaken, tilted to the side, or turned upside-down the chemical inside comes out in a frozen spray. Not really what you want to be shooting at your computer components.
lint-free cloth or your preference of computer cleaning products
Stores carry everything from lint-free cloths and containers of wet wipes to spray cleaners. As a matter of fact, Pledge (the furniture polish folks) makes an electronics spray cleaner and also carries pre-moistened multi-use wipes that can be used.
Your vacuum

With your computer off, wipe down your case, monitor, keyboard, mouse, and accessories with a slightly damp, lint-free cloth or one of the computer cleaning products you may have purchased.  Use the compressed air to spray dust, dirt, crumbs, and hair out of your keyboard, computer vents, and accessories (ie... printer). 


Again, with your computer off, open your computer case and check for dust, dirt, hair, etc.  If necessary, use the compressed air to spray out the interior.  Remember to keep the can upright while spraying the computer out.  Also, don't touch the components inside the case unless you are certain that you are grounded and do not have any static electricity.

Use your vacuum to pick up anything you've blown out of your keyboard or case and to vacuum dust from the vents on your monitor.