PC SURVIVAL TIPS
- Keep back-up copies of application programs and data files. Machines will CRASH
for a myriad of reasons such as an unstable operating system, installing or uninstalling software, a virus, power outages, hardware failures or "inadverdent" key strokes. Your PC will crash at some point in time. You won't believe this until it happens to you.
Floppy disks, ZIP disks, CD writers, tape backups and hard drives are in stock to
assist you with your backup tasks. How valuable is your data?
- An uninterruptable power source (battery backup) is highly recommended to provide
enough time to save data and safely shut down the PC when power interruptions occur.
Power "glitches" are a major problem with Windows operating systems.A "one-second" power "glitch" may corrupt files or the registry and potentially render the PC unbootable!
Battery backup units in various sizes sizes are in stock. Units up to 30KVA are available on special order. Power conditioners are also available.
- Whenever electrical storms (lightning) are present; unplug the PC from the wall
outlet. Also unplug the modem phone line from the wall jack. Incidently, this also
applies to other electronic devices within your facility such as radios, televisions,
clocks, telephones, microwave ovens, etc. Surge protectors DO
NOT protect against lightening. THE ONLY THING THAT WORKS IS TO
- Maintain system/software distribution disks in a safe place. These disks will be
required for software reload when a catastrophic crash occurs. This applies to driver
disks also. If you don't have the distribution disks; go buy them.
If you purchased a PC with pre-loaded software and did not receive the distribution
disks and manuals; then purchase these items from your supplier. Most low-end PC's
do not come with disks.
- Register each of your application programs with the publisher. Registration provides
you with access to patches, updates and some degree of technical support. If your distribution disk is lost or becomes defective; most publishers will replace registered software for a small fee.
- Maintain hardware and software documentation in a readily accessible coherent file. These documents may save many hours of troubleshooting when problems occur. Correct documentation may save many dollars when PC service is necessary.
- Install virus scan software and scan everything that goes into the PC. This includes
files downloaded via the internet and e-mail attachments. Disks obtained from friends
and game disks should be highly suspect. Viruses are common and may range from
annoying to catastrophic. Be sure to obtain frequent upgrades to your virus scan
software. New viruses are created every day! Some viruses may be very costly to
remove. It is far better to intercept a virus before it has a chance to infect your PC.
- Before installing any software; back-up critical data files. Only install one new
piece of software at a time. After installing a new piece of software; test previously
installed software as well as the new software. Frequently, installation of new software results in crashes.
- Before un-installing any software; back-up critical data files. After removing the
desired software; thoroughly test the remaining software. Only un-install one software
package at a time. Un-installing software frequently deletes shared files and causes
- Obtain third party user's manuals for each installed software package. These manuals
may save many hours of telephone time to "help" desks. Competent software support is
rare and generally very expensive.
- When working with an application program such as a word processor or spreadsheet; save
data to disk every few minutes. Strict adherence to this rule may save many hours of
data re-entry time when a crash occurs.
- When troubleshooting a problem; try only ONE thing at a time. If the attempted
solution doesn't work; restore the PC to it's original state. Keep a log book of
attempted solutions and results. Details of error messages, failure modes, hardware
changes and software installation may save many dollars when PC service is necessary.
- If you are not thoroughly familiar with electronics and computers; keep your "cotton-pickin" fingers out of the PC! Irresponsible poking around inside the PC can cause catastrophic electronic failures with resulting expensive repairs.
- When adding a new peripheral, such as a scanner or printer, to your system; back up everything first. When loading new software drivers and application programs; the registry and/or shared files are frequently modified thus potentially causing irrecoverable crashes. With back-ups and distribution disks available; recovery from a catastrophic crash may be accomplished by reformating the hard drive and re-installing everything.
- Install the PC and peripherals in a dust-free environment away from exposure to direct
sunlight or excessive heat or cold. PCs are designed for operation in an air-conditioned office environment (72 degrees F). PCs are particularly susceptable to cooking fumes, cigarette smoke and dust.
- The 120 VAC power outlet MUST contain a properly connected ground pin. Consult a licensed electrician to verify your power source integrity.
- Touching a properly grounded anti-static mat installed beneath the keyboard reduces
static electricity. Keyboards and/or motherboards may be destroyed by static electricity. Repairs may be expensive.
Static mats in a variety of sizes are in stock at K-TEK, Inc.
- Beware of the RIGHT mouse button! Right clicking the
mouse provides access to potentially very dangerous commands such as reformat and
delete. Inadvertently accessing these commands can erase your hard drive or delete
files and possibly render your PC unbootable. BE CAREFUL!
- New survival hints will be added from time to time. Please continue to browse the
K-TEK, Inc. web site.
Contact K-TEK, Inc. for assistance in implementing these survival tips.
Fax: (928) 757-8741