Nothing could be more frustrating than working against a deadline and just before you click save your computer system freezes up, losing not only the document you were working on but also making retrieval of all your vital files nearly impossible.
Nothing could be more frustrating than working against a deadline and just before you click save your computer system freezes up, losing not only the document you were working on but also making retrieval of all your vital files nearly impossible. Unfortunately, this scenario is not a ‘what if’ but more likely ‘when’ because a computer is like any other machine – prone to mechanical as well as software failure and requiring regular maintenance to keep it running in top condition. However, data loss is not always an absolute and can often be prevented.
These simple steps should become part of every computer user’s regular maintenance and will save a lot of headaches along the way.
Always remember to install critical security and software updates as well as service packs. These software updates are created to avoid common system threats and should not be ignored. If you are using Windows then scheduling an automatic update is the easiest way to ensure your computer remains up-to-date.
Protect your against viruses, spyware and other malware. Since most malware, specifically worms and viruses, are designed to destroy your data and software files, preventing them from being installed on your machine is possibly the best protection against data loss.
Though Windows Vista does have its own schedule for routine disk maintenance built-in as standard, it is also a good idea to check your disk for errors and run defrag from time to time manually. Older Microsoft operating systems do not schedule these functions automatically and should always be run at least once per month to ensure your computer is running in top form.
Protect yourself against power surges and complete power cuts. A computer that is shut down incorrectly, such as during a power outage, is more likely to have file corruptions.
Consider purchasing an external hard drive or other back-up option such as a virtual drive, and regularly back-up all of your important files and folders. Newer Microsoft Windows operating systems have built-in back-up software that can be configured to do this automatically at regular intervals. However, the additional costs associated with third party back-up solutions will more than pay for themselves if your hard drive crashes, requiring a specialist data recovery company to retrieve your important documents.
Excessive heat, cold and moisture can cause hardware failures that inevitably lead to data loss. Rough handling and dropping can also lead to a system crash but a frequently overlooked hazard, dirt and dust, can also lead to data loss by obstructing fans and cooling systems, causing your computer to overheat. Regular cleaning with compressed air should be part of every computer maintenance program.