What would happen to your car if you never changed the oil in it, never check the brakes, never took it in for a tune-up? It wouldn’t be pretty…or cheap. Just like a vehicle, you depend on your computer to connect you to the world. By keeping up with routine maintenance and small upgrades, you can prolong the life of your computer and avoid technological catastrophe.

Upgrading the RAM, also known as memory, in your computer is a great way to give it an instant speed and performance boost. Most computers use a portion of the RAM to run the video card. This can cause the machine to be slow, especially when streaming something from the Internet. Memory is also the cheapest upgrade you can make to a computer.

Many older systems are running on as little as 512MB of RAM. To give you a comparison, a standard system today would include at least 2GB. That’s almost four times as much RAM! Windows 7 requires a minimum of 2GB to run properly. If you were buying a machine today, we’d recommend at least 4GB of RAM. This will let the computer be useful to you for a longer period of time.

Memory isn’t the only thing you can tweak. Learn more about the hardware in a computer with the Purchasing a New Computer 101 blog post. When you bring your computer into our office for a tune-up, we will identify any performance issues and recommend the best options for your needs and budget. We will also optimize your software.

Keeping up with Windows updates and limiting the number of startup programs on your computer will keep the system running smooth. Temp files, empty registry entries, spyware, and bulkware will slow a computer down. We’ll take care of all of these pests during a tune-up, but there is free software that will help you keep things cleaned up. Our Helpful Software Page has recommendations for anti-viruses, anti-spyware, and other useful programs.

Maintaining your computer isn’t all about replacing parts or keeping up with software. A simple physical cleaning should also be done on a regular basis, ideally once a month. Open your computer’s case and use a can of pressurized air to gently chase away the vicious dust bunnies. Keeping fans and other components clean will keep your machine from overheating, which can damage parts. This cleaning is a routine service preformed on any computer that comes into our office.

We understand that despite all good intentions, life sometimes gets in the way of us maintaining things like we should. That’s why we now offer deals and specials to help you get it done. Bring your computers in for Tune-up Tuesdays to have Diagnostics, Microsoft Updates, Optimization, and Routine Maintenance for just $25! For more information, please call (706) 253-6362 or email info@pccopilots.com. You can find other great tips and deals on our Facebook page at facebook.com/pccopilots.