Biz Tips: 4 Tips to Help Your Business Computers Last Longer

Biz Tips: 4 Tips to Help Your Business Computers Last Longer

Biz Tip:

4 Tips to Help Your Business Computers Last Longer

Hardware costs can quickly pile up when you are running a small or medium-sized business, and the tools we rely on daily have the annoying habit of breaking when we need them the most. This often happens to old computers, a problem that is compounded by the fact that it’s not always obvious what’s wrong with the machine, which means your IT professional will need to spend time testing part by part until they puzzle out what the problem is.

The good news is that while there is no way to make a computer last forever, there are procedures you can follow to help reduce how often computer parts break. That can help your company save on hardware costs, and reduce time wasted due to hardware malfunctions. Here are the tips that can help computers last longer.

1 – Dust

Computers need ventilation to operate, as it prevents the parts from overheating and causing crashes. That’s why your PC and your laptop have internal fans, and some high-performance laptops even have additional fans that only engage when you are using the laptop for something demanding.

The problem with all this airflow is that it can also pull dust and other contaminants into the machine. These get stuck in the blades of the fan, limiting their ability to regulate temperature, which in turn can affect the longevity of your machine. So if you keep your machines in a dusty room, or near windows that open to a busy road, consider adding dust filters to the computer’s cases. These are usually cheap and magnetic, so you don’t need specialized training to install them.

Another solution is to switch to machines that don’t require active cooling. Tablets, cellphones, most Chromebooks, and a few other devices are designed to function without the need for fans, which makes them perfect for dusty environments.

2 – Maintenance

If you want your machines to last, it’s a good idea to hire IT specialists to do maintenance on the machines at least once a year. Common maintenance items include cleaning the computer fans, changing the thermal paste, cleaning up software issues, and more. Regular maintenance will not only help the hardware last longer but also help it operate more efficiently.

There are a few issues that should prompt you to call a repair specialist to check your machines ahead of schedule. Chief among them are electrical and heating issues. If you notice that computers start to slow down or shut down on their own after a few hours of work, that’s likely a heating issue. Computers are often able to detect their core temperature and shut down automatically if they are pushed past their operational limits.

On the other hand, static-like distortions in monitors can be caused by electrical problems. Depending on the issue you may even find yourself getting low shocks when touching the computer’s casing.

Electrical and heating problems are both good reasons to have a computer checked right away, as pushing the computer without fixing these issues could damage the hardware.

3 – Software updates

Software updates often improve how the operating system and other programs interact with the computer’s hardware. Improved efficiency allows you to perform daily tasks without demanding quite so much from the hardware, which in turn can improve its longevity. Updates can also solve glitches and other issues that are known to cause overheating or electrical problems in certain components.

As any good IT support technician will tell you, updates are also important to make sure your business is safe from cyber-attacks and data breaches. It’s important to make sure your machines are at least getting regular security patches if nothing else.

It’s also a good idea to occasionally wipe the machine’s operating system and start a new one. This removes all the bloat software and other gunk that may have accumulated in the system over months or years of it being used for work and other purposes. As a result, installing a fresh OS can often lead to a computer running much smoother.

4 – Incremental changes

It can be tempting to buy a whole roster of new machines once the computers you use for work start to feel sluggish and outdated. But before you call a salesman, call an IT professional first and describe your problem. It may very well be the case that your old hardware can be made to meet your needs by simply expanding the amount of RAM available, or switching the CPU on the workstations.

Switching parts is usually cheaper than getting new computers, and it allows you to get more mileage out of the parts you didn’t have to switch. On top of that, many of the tools commonly used by businesses today aren’t actually that hardware intensive, and the rising importance of cloud solutions is only making on-site hardware less important. This means that unless your business deals with complex rendering, editing, or design work, you can get away with using relatively old machines for quite some time.

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