Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

Computer Maintenance

You may not realize it, but your computer and your car have something in common: they both need regular maintenance. No, you don't need to change your computer's oil. But you should be updating your software, keeping your antivirus subscription up to date, and checking for spyware. Read on to learn what you can do to help improve your computer's security.

Getting started

Here are some basics maintenance tasks you can do today to start improving your computer's security. Be sure you make these part of your ongoing maintenance as well.

* Sign up for software update e-mail notices. Many software companies will send you e-mail whenever a software update is available. This is particularly important for your operating system, your antivirus program, and your firewall.

* Register your software. If you still have send them in. And be sure to register new software in the future. This is another way for the software manufacturer to alert you when new updates are available.

* Install software updates immediately. When you get an update notice, download the update immediately and install it. (Remember, downloading and installing are two separate tasks.)

An ounce of prevention

A few simple steps will help you keep your files safe and clean.

* Step 1: Update your software
* Step 2: Backup your files
* Step 3: Use antivirus software and keep it updated
* Step 4: Change your passwords

Developing ongoing maintenance practices

Now that you've done some ground work,, it's time to start moving into longer term maintenance tasks. These are all tasks that you should do today (or as soon as possible) to get started. But for best results, make these a part of a regular maintenance schedule. We recommend setting aside time each week to help your computer secure.

* Back up your files. Backing up your files simply means creating a copy of your computer files that you can use in the even the originals are lost. (Accidents can happen.) To learn more read our tips for backing up information.

* Scan your files with up to date antivirus software. Use your antivirus scan tool viruses and worms. Also, check your antivirus program's user manual to see if you can schedule an automatic scan of your computer. To learn more, read our tips for reducing your virus risk.

* Change your passwords. Using the same password increases the odds that someone else will discover it. Change all of your passwords regularly (we recommend monthly) to reduce your risk. Also, choose your passwords carefully. To learn more, read our tips for creating stronger passwords.

Making a schedule

One of the best ways to help protect your computer is to perform maintenance regularly. To help you keep track, we suggest making a regular "appointment" with your computer. Treat it like you would any other appointment. Record it in your datebook or online calendar, and if you cannot make it, reschedule. Remember, you are not only helping to improve your computer, you are also helping to protect your persoanl information.

Good luck!

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1 Answer

Our 93 cavalier with a 3.1 has lost oil pressure and there is a ticking in the engine. My wife told me the pressure guage had been dropping to 0 but would jump back up where it was supposed to be fair


first things first, change the oil & filter & run the car to see if the tic & noise stops . i see this alot people just forget or like you have issues that take thier mind of off the normal maintenance off the vehicle. the oil change should help and you have to drain the oil to see if there is any metal in it!! give that a try & dont use any additives until you have changed it . wayne

Feb 14, 2014 | 2001 Nissan Altima

1 Answer

slowing slow and probems keep coming


Hello Nancy,
There are many reasons a computer can slow down. Here are some maintenance procedtures you should do on a regular basis.
You should defrag your hard disk ona regular basis to keep your computer up to speed. Many of these tasks can be automated with the scheduling features in Windows.
Check for and install any operating system updates. Make sure you have "Automatic Updates" turned on.
Run a full system anti-virus and anti-spyware scan. Make sure your anti-virus and anti-spyware software are up to date. If you don't have these on your computer, there are many good free anti-virus software. Do a Google search for free anti-virus and anti-spyware. Also, clear the cache on your browser. Delete all history and cookies and temp folders. There are also websites such as http://housecall.trendmicro.com/ that does free online scans.
You should also stop unwanted progams from stsrting. To do this go to Start menu, enter msconfig, and click OK. Click startup and uncheck startup programs you don't use. Then click services and uncheck services you don't use. If after doing this and something stops working that you need, again bring up startup and services and re-check the ones you want to run.

These basic maintenance steps should help keep your computer running up to speed.
I hope this helps you.

Sep 30, 2011 | Matrix 226R (VPR226R) PC Desktop

1 Answer

egr code showing, changed it 2x's. and the gas cap, n the radiateor cap, n the( power stering lines, they where leaking, n sway bars). anyway what else will show egr code? H2O senser?


Common in automobile emission systems since the early 1970s, the EGR (Exhaust Gas Recirculation) valve controls an engine's emission of smog-causing nitrous oxides, or NOx. Its job is to route a portion of the exhaust gases back into the intake manifold. That lowers combustion temperature to below 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit - the temperature at which NOx gases form.

EGR flow is controlled by the engine's computer, which opens or closes the valve as needed. The EGR system is, for the most part, in the "out of sight, out of mind" category, and typical doesn't require regular maintenance. But if it gets clogged with carbon deposits, you'll see your "check engine" light come on, and a code (perhapsP0401or P0402 or P0403) will show that there is insufficient flow. That typically results from a vehicle being driven persistently on short trips that don't allow the engine to fully warm up. Flow problems also can be caused by carbon buildup due to failure to change the oil frequently enough.

A clogged EGR valve not only results in higher emissions, it can affect fuel economy and cause rough idling - even serious engine damage. Valves can usually be cleaned, but replacement is often recommended.

Advice? Make sure to put on some highway or freeway miles, and always change the oil according to the maintenance schedule in your owner's manual.

Jun 17, 2011 | Ford Expedition Cars & Trucks

2 Answers

my maintenance required sign is on. why is that?


You car's computer determined that your car needs to get its regularly scheduled maintenance based on the mileage of your car. You may just need an oil change. Take a look at the oil dipsitck under the hood.

Aug 17, 2010 | 2000 Honda Civic

1 Answer

not quite sure what is going on...


nah, I have over 203miles on mine. Still has a way to go. Check your plugs for the dying. For the shaking, try a tire rotation. Could be the tires as well. Have you hit any curbs recently?

Sep 03, 2008 | 1994 Nissan Sentra 4-Door

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