Tech Tips - Business IT Support Tips
Posts Tagged ‘maintenance’
Friday, March 15th, 2013
We always ask new clients if they would like us to come out on a regular basis to perform routine computer maintenance. Regular maintenance on your computer systems can extend the life of your machines by many years, and in many cases will help prevent catastrophic failure. As an example, we recently came upon a laptop that was given to us for repair. The system hadn’t been maintained in over three years, and in this case the system fan had stopped spinning. The fan was locked up as a result of dust buildup.
All kinds of bad things happen to a laptop or desktop when a system fan stops spinning. Here, without air circulation the CPU (processor) became so hot that the CPU’s metal fused to the metal on the heat sink. As you can see in the image below, there’s actually a strip of metal from the CPU melted on to the heat sink itself.
Click to See a Larger Version
Unfortunately, this is a costly repair requiring a replacement of the fan, heat sink, and CPU. It’s not as bad as it could be, however. The system board itself didn’t melt. We’ve seen that happen on some systems in a similar situation where the system fan had failed.
This failure could have been prevented with regular maintenance. Dusting out your laptop and desktop fans and cases with compressed air will prevent heat and dust from killing them. Heat and dust are the #1 killers of computer systems and electronics! Just like your car, your computers need regular care too if you want them to last longer. Extend the life of your computers, let my PC Techs help you maintain them with regular visits. Give us a call, (602) 456-0150.
Tags: air circulation, cases, compressed air, computer maintenance, computer systems, computers, cpu, desktop, dust, dusting, failed, failure, fan, fused, heat and dust, heat sink, hot, laptop, machines, maintenance, melt, melted, metal, Processor, repair, replacement, spinning, system, system board, system fan, systems, years
Posted in my PC Techs News & Events | No Comments »
Saturday, September 18th, 2010
We do work for several restaurants and retail stores here in Phoenix, Arizona. These shops are all using windows based point of sale systems. While the software and database that run on the computers to transact credit card payments and process menu items are highly customized and supported by the franchise in most cases, the underlying operating system and hardware is not.
We have learned a lot about these systems and can say with certainty that the biggest issues we have run into are lack of proper backups and lack of spare hardware. When a point of sale system goes down for a store, especially a busy store, it is NO FUN. Employees need to process payments manually by hand and write out paper receipts. As you can imagine, the slowdown at the register does a lot to aggravate customers and employees alike. But there are three things that you can do as a retail store business owner to minimize downtime in the event of a system crash.
1. Perform regular system maintenance
Hiring a firm like my PC Techs to regularly maintain your equipment each month can save you from several hours worth of headache and hundreds or thousands of dollars in lost sales. Our technicians will visit your store and examine your systems for irregular performance. System errors, faulty hardware, failing hard drives, botched OS updates, and corrupted data can, in many cases, be identified and corrected before it becomes a larger problem. Dust can be cleaned out (the largest cause of hardware failure), and parts inspected. Unnecessary programs can be removed and system performance improved. The best part of this scenario, the repairs can be performed before or after regular hours, so customers never experience delay.
2. Perform regular, complete data backups
Usually during the same time as the system maintenance, our technicians can perform a complete data backup of all of your POS systems. This is important. When a hard drive crashes, you want to get your system back online as quickly as possible. To rebuild an entire system, restore data from on off site repository, and get all the hardware and software working correctly could take many hours. With a complete system backup, it could be as simple as popping in the right piece of replacement hardware and running a 30 minute recovery.
3. Identify and build an inventory of replacement parts
When a system failure happens, recovery time can be improved considerably when the right spare parts are kept on hand. Rather than buying hard to find computer equipment online, and waiting for it to be shipped, a replacement part can be obtained from storage and quickly installed to replace the broken component. That part can later be replaced to storage, so you always have a backup on hand for the next time disaster strikes.
When you think about the security of your data and your ability to transact business, keep in mind your local computer experts and ways that they can work with you to help improve the reliability of your computer operations. For help with the maintenance and emergency support of your POS systems, contact my PC Techs today. (602) 456-0150.
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Posted in Tech Club General | No Comments »
Monday, September 13th, 2010
The modern office is definitely an amazing thing to watch. Emailing, scanning, printing, digital document processing, online database systems, more. What isn’t done via computer in today’s office? As a business owner or manager in charge of running an office, it’s important to remember that productivity in a digital office is often directly tied to the computers that power the office. Office productivity can be boosted significantly with simple technology upgrades. When is the last time the computer systems in your office were upgraded? What about the network? ISP? Accessories, such as printers, scanners, copiers? How about recently added mobile computing technologies (laptops, smartphones)?
It is important for your office to stay up to date with the latest technologies. When humans using computers power the majority of the operations in your office, it makes sense that faster computers will allow for faster work and increased productivity. Computers that have become old and slow due to age act as a handicap to your employees, and will hold them back from performing at higher levels. In addition, the speed factor is not the only negative that comes from using old technology. Older computers, networks and accessories are more prone to fail, causing office staff to take time away from work to focus on bugs, viruses, errors, and repairs.
Every office should maintain a reasonable technology budget that allocates a reasonable amount of money to spend, every year, on technology upgrades. When planning this budget, you should go beyond simply looking to replace computers that break. You should be looking to make upgrades that will increase office productivity. Simple things like replacing still working old computers with faster units, installing faster printers, giving employees access to email while in the field via laptops or smartphones. In addition to upgrades, your budget should include regular maintenance. A technician should visit on a regular basis, as often as once per week. Your technician should keep your computers updated, solve minor errors, and perform cleanup tasks to increase performance. That will limit the amount of time office staff must spend fiddling with computers and will allow them to focus on their work.
Ultimately, faster computers in your office will allow your office to perform more efficiently. You will process more work and, as a result, your business will have the capacity to grow further and faster than ever before.
Tags: accessories, Arizona, backups, budget, bugs, business, cleanup, components, computer, computer systems, computers, copiers, data, database, document, drives, email, emailing, employees, errors, fail, faster, handicap, humans, increase, ISP, laptops, maintain, maintenance, manager, mobile, money, networks, office, old, older, operating system, operations, owner, PC, phoenix, power, printers, printing, productivity, repairs, replace, running, scanners, scanning, slow, smartphones, speed, spend, staff, system logs, systems, technician, technology, units, upgrades, viruses
Posted in Tech Club General | No Comments »
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