Like any other machine such as your car, washing machine, and iPhone, if you maintain your computer in the right way, it will be responsive and last beyond its usual lifespan of 5-6 years. Neglect this and expect your computer to slow down or occasionally give you the blue screen of death. While the lifespan mentioned usually deals with desktops, laptops can also last beyond this range but are more sensitive and susceptible to damage through neglect.

So, having these 5 essential maintenance tools will keep your computer running in tip-top shape, but do make sure you make full use of them.

Cleaning Kit

We did say “essential tools” right? This isn’t limited to just software. Regularly cleaning your computer at least once every 5 or 6 months will ensure that dust doesn’t accumulate so the fans have to work double time so the CPU doesn’t overheat. All you need is a blower (canned or electric, made for computers), a couple of soft brushes, a small soft brush to clean out the keyboard, and a cleaning kit for the monitor, usually consisting of a special soft cloth and liquid spray. Don’t use alcohol on your computer, especially on the inside.


Although all Windows computers have their built-in disk and registry cleaners, CCleaner is free and can help you with preventive maintenance via two tools to help keep the bad elements out of your machine. Not only can it keep your disk cache clean, it can keep your registry free of errors. Both of these issues can, over time, result in a computer running less than efficiently or, in worst case scenarios, not running at all. Using CCleaner regularly will go a long way toward keeping your machines running well.

HDD Scan

HDD Scan is a free hard disk diagnostic tool that supports standard drives, RAID arrays, Flash USB, and SSD drives. With this tool, you can scan for errors such as bad blocks and bad sectors, show S.M.A.R.T. attributes, and change a limited number of HDD parameters. By regularly using this tool on a monthly basis, you may avoid a catastrophic disaster. The storage device tests include:

  • Verification in linear mode
  • Reading in linear mode
  • Erasing in linear mode
  • Reading in Butterfly mode

Belarc Advisor

Think of Belarc Advisor as more of an auditing tool for maintenance purposes. It gives you a clear look into installed software, hardware, network inventory, missing Microsoft hotfixes, antivirus status, security benchmarks, and the like. Just download this free application, run it, and save the report as an HTML document.


While all Windows computers have their built-in defragmenter, Defraggler is one of the best defrag programs for free. It will defrag an entire hard disk as well as individual files or folders. You can specify what you want to defrag and how you want to defrag it. Defraggler also offers a portable version, so you don’t have to install the tool on every machine you touch.


This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Thursday, December 21, 2017 at 5:32:04 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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