this is simple practical advice on maintenance you can do on your own computer

mouse  maintenance  !

remove the fan and vacuum the dust off the cpu and any other heatsinks, dust is really on ongoing maintenance chore !

there may be some benefit in rotating the position of the cpu fan on the heatsink to even the shaft wear if the fan is vertical !

the power supply needs to be taken out very occasionally, opened up and the dust vacuumed out !

the reason i am bothering to write this up is that computers are like cars, you need a certain level of competence with them to keep costs down and performance up and you can't buy it!

incompetence of services is a major emerging issue in the new society

an anti-static wrist strap should be used except in damp weather since static electricity build up bleeds away with damp air.

in actual fact i really only work on my comp in damp weather and don't use a wrist strap, but touch the computer case  (which is still plugged in, but switched off at the power point so the earth connection to the case is maintained)

get good quality matched ram a speed step above what the cpu will run as its top speed, its a little extra money for a better bin grade, only go the next speed step above and not higher though !

macruim reflect is good for cloning and data images, they have a free version !

when cloning or imaging, make sure the ssd or flash memory is as warm as possible, do some writes before to warm the chips up, the data lasts longest when programmed warm and stored cool !

cloning and imaging are always fragile, reduce the burden by a fresh boot (need to set right sata port in bios), no internet, browser or antivirus running

hard disks are so cheap now, you either buy a new one or recycle an old one, make the copy and put it on a shelf in the garage or a building away from the house to minimise shared fire or theft risk with the computer, they will retain the data forever if spun up say once or twice a year ?

how long ssd's will retain their data in storage is dependent on their wear, and the temperatures they are programmed and stored at  (warm programming and cool storage is best)

this copy policy has saved my data bacon about three times now and makes debugging disk problems easy

also the copying itself is a very effective stress test and you can gauge your ssd or hard disk reliability using crystaldiskinfo or diskcheckup to look at the s.m.a.r.t. parameters

backups  versus  archives

it is helpful to watch the smart parameters and keep a record to compare over time and a diary of what you do in the way of backing up with notes and dates!

samsung is a good brand for ssds !

how to easily and permanently  physically  destroy hard disk data !

to test ram  (chip memory modules)  use  memtest 86+

back up existing essential files with a usb stick, this is really basic, data needs to be covered about three ways at least

that's all there is to covering 80% of the issues with computers

computers are segmented, you just identify the segment

it's really just a case of identifying the point at which the computer is working and going from there !

does the computer  beep  when you turn it on ?

well if it does the motherboard has worked enough to turn on the speaker which means the cpu is reading the bios chip at least !

every three months or so you need to vacuum dust off the cpu and other heatsinks and also possibly inside the power supply every six months ?

in general i think cables, pcbs and flash chips are better stored for the longish term  not connected  to reduce metal to metal contact corrosion !


there are some good videos on you tube showing that some repairs are possible on hard disks !

first off, you can take the cover off in as dust free an enviroment as possible  (but a clean room is not necessary)  and rotate the platter anti clockwise  (in the direction of the head/s!)  while simultaneously prying the armature out to  unstick  it if that is the problem !

generally when a hard disk has failed you are not intending to reuse it, you only want to get essential data off it !

replacing ciruit boards involves bios updating in the new board, either by replacing a bios specific 8 pin chip or a controller with an integrated bios on on the new board with the old one !

as it is impossible for you to replace a controller with the bios in it, if you are buying a new drive make sure the bios is in a separate 8 pin chip !

use an eraser followed by isopropyl alcohol and cotton buds to clean the voice coil and head contacts and also the spindle motor  contacts  !

hdd  zone  for replacement pcbs !

scott moulton on using a small  tool  made out of sealed pill packing to keep the heads separate !

rather neat, the replacement of a hard disk  actuator  arm without a special tool !