Customer Support - Looking after your PC

Your local common sense solution for PC and internet support

Genaral PC Maintenance

Your PC is a valuable and important tool for your business or work. Look after it, and you will get years of use from it. Modern computers and software are however very complex and you will need to take some time to learn about them and understand what's going on.

This page is intended to give you a few pointers and tips about the machine hardware and some basic operating hints.

If you purchased your system through us, you will have been given some introductory training when the machine was installed, but if you have any further questions, do please call us or send an email to the support desk.

We are also able to advise on any additional software or hardware you may require in the future.


Looking after Your Machine

Modern PCs require very little maintenance, but a few simple precautions will help to keep it performing reliably.



With the exception of laptop machines, all PCs have fans in them to keep the components - especially the processor and power supply - cool. When the machine is switched on, warm air will come out through a grille (usually on the back of the case). It is important not to obstruct this grille or any other vents which allow cool air to enter the case.

For similar reasons, always keep the system box the way up it was designed to be. Don't stand desktop boxes on their side. Heat rises, and if the box is the wrong way up, can build up in unwanted places.

Your monitor will also need some ventilation, so don't box it in.


Disk Drives

Your machine will normally be fitted with a DVD drive.



Printers rarely give trouble, but it's a good idea to read through the manual and check on any routine tasks that may need doing.

Learn how to change the ink cartridges or toner in your printer, and always have spares available - printers have a nasty habit of running out of ink at the most inconvenient times.

We recommend that you use only the manufacturers original cartridges - they give less trouble and will produce a higher quality printout.


Other Routine Tasks


Inside the box ...

... is a NO GO area unless you know what your are doing. We would be happy to discuss any upgrades or system modifications you may require.



Looking After Your Data

The data which you hold on the machine may well end up being more valuable than the machine itself. Imagine what would happen if you were to lose all your letters, accounts and other work.

It Can Happen

It Does Happen

... so ...

Organise Your Files

Have some sort of logical place where your data is kept. We suggest that all your files are kept in folders in 'My Documents' and not mixed up with the various program files. Avoid cluttering the desktop with your working files.


Back it Up

If the data on your machine is critical to you, your job or your business, you should adopt a regular backup scheme. This will usually involve taking copies on to tape or another form of removable media, of your working area and / or changed files on a regular basis. We can advise on suitable schemes and the relevant hardware and software.

At the very least, take regular copies on to a USB memory stick, CD external hard drive of all your important documents and folders. Keep these disks safe.

For advanced users, more sophisticated software is available which will automate the whole process.

For 'business critical' data, it is a good idea to keep a copy of your data in a separate building to the one where the machine is - just in case of fire or other catastrophic happenings. On the subject of fire, if you are investing in a fire safe, get one that is approved for magnetic media, which require a higher standard of protection than papers.


Look After your System Disks

Keep the system disks and any other media supplied with the machine or additional software in a safe place.


If disaster does strike

We can help recover your data - click here for details.



Safe Computing

Computer Viruses and malware are here to stay and becoming more of a menace every year. Recent high profile ones have cost businesses many millions of pounds in time and effort. If you exchange data with other people, or are connected to the Internet, you should have - and use - one of the various Virus Protection packages available.

We use - and recommend - 'Kaspersky Internet Security' software. Other packages are available which will do the same job.

Even if you do not register your copy of any other software, you should register your Anti Virus software. This gives you access to all the latest updates. The Virus definition files (which tell the software what viruses to look for and how to eliminate them), should be updated at least once per week if not more often. Most modern software packages will do this automatically.


Spyware & Malware

Just a troublesome as viruses (and in many cases more difficult to remove) is 'spyware'. This is software which may get installed on your machine by visiting web sites, or installing 'free' or 'useful' utilities. This software may try to take over your web browser, present you with unwanted advertising (often adult content) and generally slow the machine down.


Tips for avoiding infection

Many viruses are passed on by completely unsuspecting people, so if you do get one from a friend, get in touch with them and tell them, so that they can check their system out.


Hoax viruses

Some of the more irritating viruses actually don't exist - there are many hoaxes going around. If you get a message about a possible virus from a well meaning friend, check it out before spreading the rumour further. The major Virus Protection vendors have comprehensive details of all known viruses on their WWW sites. See the list of links above.

Above all, don't panic! Stay vigilant and take sensible precautions, and the worst you will suffer is some minor annoyance.

Remember that having a good backup of your critical data is part of the anti-virus war. If all else fails and you have to completely rebuild the hard drive this may be your only copy.

And Lastly ....

Don't just switch it off! Shut the machine down correctly.


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