Have You Checked the Health of Your Small Business PC?
If you haven’t you are at huge risk of extreme failure!
Here are five tips to ensure your computer’s viability: I guarantee you, you will have problems if you do not follow these simple tips and when it happens, not if, you will be kicking yourself! Many of us including myself believe our computers are reliable and that we will never have a computer or hard disk crash until it happens. Yes, computer reliability has increased dramatically reducing the risk of failure, nevertheless no matter how reliable you believe, you cannot protect yourself against the unexpected, whether it is accidental or malicious. Once you have a problem all hell breaks loose as we begin to realize the possible of what we may have lost and just watch your stress level rocket!. All small businesses including my own CANNOT rely on a single system with no form of checkup and redundancy, it is just crass lunacy. however I bet some 95% of us just do that. Sure we understand the need to check the health of our computers, sure we make commitments to do it but it all comes down to a decision and sure enough we get distracted, we potential ourselves we will do this but we don’t.
You need to follow these five simple tips, they require no skill on your behalf, these are easy and simple to do:
TIP 1: Backup Your Hard Disk: Always have a redundant hard excursion that basically mirrors you’re PC’s hard driver. This method that every file you create as you are creating it is also produced on a backup excursion. This is really easy to do, there are external hard drives that you can buy with built-in software. These drives can be plugged into your PCs USB port. As an example I used Seagate Freeagent , if you Google them you will find a selection of good low priced drives (TIP 2: Check The Health Of Your PC Register: Your PC registry, basically controls all software running on your PC, frequently corrupts which can cause a large number of problems from unexplained performance issues and sometimes unexpected system crashes. For less than $30 you can get a registry cleaner and optimizer; this keeps your system in tip-top shape and really does continue your system’s performance. The product I used was regCure which was simple to install and use. It detects problems in your PC registry and fixes them without any intervention from you!
TIP 3:Check The Health Of Your Hard Disk: System performance is not only about the registry it is also about your hard disk. There is a FREE option in Microsoft’s windows operating system that allows you to check your hard disk for errors and for the file fragmentation, namely pieces of a file can be stored in many locations on your hard excursion, the defragmentation tool brings those file pieces together which makes your disk access faster as the system finds the file in one location and loads it. To find where these FREE tools are located on your PC simply select your hard disk icon in the ‘My Computer’ icon on your desktop, right click on it and select similarities. In similarities you will find a tool tab select it and then select error checking. Make sure you check both the automatically fix file system errors and examine for bad sectors and retrieve. This course of action typically takes several hours to complete and requires you to reboot your PC. I do this monthly and I start it before I go to bed at night so in the morning it has completed. Defragment for hard disk: Once you have checked your hard disk follow the same steps above but this time select defragmentation instead of error checking. This course of action again may take several hours to complete so let it run overnight. These two simple tips (3&4) will keep your hard disk fit and healthy and will keep your PC performance at its best.
TIP 4: Cleanup your internet files and cookies: I don’t know if you realize that when operating on the internet many small files are produced on your PC, some are permanent files that are deleted when you leave a site other files like cookies (aka HTTP cookies, web cookies, tracking cookies) are not. They keep on your PC and these cookies store information about your PC that websites use to continue specific information about users such as site preference, contents of your shopping cart, signed on position, including encrypted passwords etc. It is advisable to clean these files on a regular basis as they do provide some website owners interesting information about you and your preferences. I use the internet a lot, it is a part of my business and so weekly I cleanse my system of these cookies and permanent files. It is very simple to do. Go to your web browsers, I will use IE (v7.0) for this example, select tools on the toolbar menu, then internet options, then browsing history under the general tab then click on the delete button. You will get a large number of options but I usually select the delete all. You are done, that’s it!
TIP 5: Get virus protection for your PC: This is an absolute must. If you do not do this, you will regret it as viruses effectively corrupt your hard excursion putting you data at huge risk. There are many good products on the market. I use AVG Internet security, it just works quietly behind the scene doing its thing and today (touch wood) I’m nevertheless virus free and believe me I’ve been around some very shady areas on the internet
I’ve been in the IT industry for over 25 years and I think I have seen it all, but what is most potent is when a system crash happens to a small business whose livelihood is dependent upon its data. It can be devastating and very costly to retrieve data if at all possible. With the explosion of the home based businesses using PCs on the internet, the risk of PC failure has compounded many fold. Those who use computers just to access the internet have become complacent because we understand that our PCs are like our autos, we know how to function them but we don’t know what to do if they need fixing and unlike our autos we may truly lose something important that we cannot get back.
DON’T PREVARICATE, just follow these five simple tips and you will avoid the stress of losing your access to your livelihood. There is of course no 100% guarantee that you will have no problems but at the minimum you will have considerably reduced the likelihood of problems and if you do get any extreme failure if you have used a mirrored approach to your hard disk as I explained in tip 1 you will be up and running in no time with no loss of data.