By George Otte
Is your older computer showing its age? Before disposing of it and spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on a newer model, consider whether your workflow and budget might be better served by keeping it running.
With proper care and maintenance, your computer can outlast its life expectancy by a considerable margin. Start with these straightforward strategies, and do not hesitate to turn to a computer maintenance expert for guidance if you run into any unexpected issues.
Periodically Delete Unwanted Files and Programs
Regular system maintenance includes periodic deletion of unwanted or unnecessary files and programs. This requires an unsentimental, unsparing approach to your system’s contents: Like an old attic, basement, or storage unit, your computer most likely has a significant store of files and programs that you no longer need (or never really needed). Deleting those unnecessary files and programs frees up space and may increase processing speed and performance.
Keep Your Operating Systems and Key Software Up to Date
The latest versions of your operating system platform and key software programs not only contain useful, user-friendly features.
“They may also contain “patches” that address known vulnerabilities, boosting system security.” — George Otte
Un-patched operating systems can be exploited by attackers, with potentially negative consequences.
Use a Reputable Anti-Malware Program and Make Regular Scans
Another way to protect your older computer against malicious attack is to use a reputable, regularly updated anti-malware suite capable of defending against a host of threats. Choose a system that identifies and removes unwanted programs that you may not even be aware of, such as spyware and other forms of grayware.
Use Cloud-Based Storage and External Drives to Reduce the Load on Your System
For a variety of reasons, older computers are more vulnerable to data loss than fresh-out-of-the-box devices. The surest way to protect against unexpected and potentially disruptive data loss is to regularly back up your system’s files to an external location, ideally a secure cloud storage platform and an external hard drive used in conjunction.
Add More RAM
If you wish to extend your computer’s operating life significantly while noticeably improving performance, installing more RAM may be a cost-effective alternative to replacing the device altogether. Speak with a computer expert about the proper amount of RAM to add and the pros and cons of doing so.
Keep Your Computer Clean and Dust-Free
Keeping your computer’s physical casing clean, cool, and well-ventilated may extend its life and improve its performance. Be particularly mindful of excessive dust near fans and ports, as foreign particles may interfere with normal performance.
Protect Data With an Uninterruptible Power Supply and Power Surge Protector
Even if you consistently back up your data to a secure external repository, further protection may be warranted. Use an uninterruptible power supply in conjunction with a surge protector to mitigate the impact of an unexpected loss or surge of power, both of which can damage your system and permanently wipe some or all of its data.
What are you doing to squeeze more mileage out of your older computer? Are you thinking about replacing your old computer with a newer model instead?
George Otte is a Miami-based entrepreneur and executive with more than 15 years of multifaceted business operations experience.