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Computer and Accessory Maintenance

Maintenance of computers and their components can save you time and money in the long run. Like so many other electrical products, computers also need a bit of love and tending care from time to time.

Just as you wash your car or cut the garden grass, you must give your PC a spit and polish to keep it in tiptop condition.

We have compiled some easy tips for maintenance that we hope will help you get a long and pleasurable life from your computer and accessories.

If the mouse begins to stick and doesn't register up, down, left or right movements, then the ball underneath the mouse pad has most likely clocked up with gunk and dirt. Remove and clean the ball itself and the rollers situated inside the mouse casing. You can use a small screwdriver to scrape off any gunk that has collected inside the mouse casing. Don't use any chemicals or liquids inside the mouse itself as it may damage or completely break the unit.
Dust, drinks and food are the keyboard's biggest enemy. Normally a vacuum cleaner is great at removing dust and small particles that have accumulated in between the keys, but some particles can become jammed. If jammed particles are visible gently use a damp cloth or specific cleaning wipes in between the keys to help remove or loosen the dirt. Should you be unfortunate enough to spill fizzy drinks or tea onto your keyboard, unplug it from the computer immediately and mop up the spill with some kitchen towel. You can use a hairdryer to help evaporate any liquid that has collected in between the keys, but be sure not to get too close with the hairdryer itself, as they can become very hot and may cause damage. The keyboard must be completely dry before you plug it back into your computer and it's best to let it dry naturally for a day or two before you do try that. If the keyboard doesn't function properly or work at all after you have spilled something on it, then it is most likely damaged beyond repair and will need replacing.
Screens are pretty easy to maintain. Gently wipe them with a damp cloth or some polish from time to time and ensure any vents are free from dirt and dust.
Desktop PC
A computer is almost like a car, it needs to be maintained and serviced. Most if not all of this you can do yourself without having in-depth knowledge on computers and their operation. Desktop PCs need adequate space to allow hot air to be directed out from the unit by the fan. Ensure that the back of the PC always has at least 5 inches of space, so the hot air can escape. The fan situated inside the PC itself will need maintenance from time to time as it can become clogged up with dust and dirt. Remove the side panel of your PC and locate the fan and gently wipe it with a duster to remove any dirt. For those hard to get places using a can of compressed air is great at removing built up dust inside your PC. A vacuum cleaner can be used to remove dirt inside the PC chassis, but be very careful not to damage any components.
Laptops should ideally be used on tables or solid flat surfaces. This enables the vents and fan which are usually located underneath the laptop to dispersed heat naturally. Using a laptop on a cushion or on your lap can block the vents and lead to possible overheating. Gently wiping your laptop with a duster or damp cloth (including screen and keyboard) every week ensures it remains clean and free of dirt.
Printer and Scanner
Printers and scanners do not like dust. Remember to clean them regularly. Should you have problems with paper feed, such as the printer takes two sheets at a time or fails to pull one sheet into the machine, try a different type of paper. Most often, an inkjet printer works best with A4 sheets designed for inkjet printers. Different paper also provides different quality for text and graphics.
CD/DVD/Blu-ray Media
Even though all contents, such as games, movies and software are available to download via the Internet, discs still play a big part in the computer world. Discs can be quite fragile and susceptible to scratches, therefore you must ensure you handle them correctly. Always grab them from the edges and try to avoid putting your greasy fingers on them as this may cause reading and writing problems once inside the disk drive. If your discs are dirty, gently wipe them with some kitchen towel or a duster. When not in use, always store discs in protective plastic covers or their original plastic case.
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