Why should my PC have a Health-Check or Service?
What does a Heath-Check or Service include?
How often and how much?
Depending on your circumstances and PC usage, servicing is recommended on a 6 to 12 monthly basis.
The amount of dust and pet hair in the air surrounding a PC unit will vary between households (Keeping a tower on the floor will usually cause it to pull in more contaminants than one on the desk or table-top) so some computers will require physical cleaning more frequently than others.
Hardware faults can develop at any point due to many factors including component failure, voltage spikes, improper shutdown of Windows and more. Sometimes regular computer maintenance checks can detect impending failure (not always) thereby preventing costly repairs and data loss.
Think a regular PC service is unnecessary? Think again...
Not long ago a young gentleman brought me his PC to install a new DVD writer that he'd purchased. I installed the drive and the software right there and then and pointed out to him that the innards of his computer tower were extremely dusty and the cooling fans were making more noise than they should. I suggested he leave the unit for a while to be serviced. He declined and off he went.
A few weeks later he came in with the same unit. "It's dead" says he.
I booked it in and looked at it later that day. Here's what was wrong:
The cooling fan on the high-powered graphics card had seized from dust and lack of lubrication. The lack of cooling burnt out the graphics processor which in turn burnt out some of the surrounding electronic components and shorted out some circuits. The shorted circuits damaged the motherboard too.
The moral of the story? Our friend could have serviced the machine for a song, replacing or lubricating any suspect cooling fans. It would probably still be running today and he'd have all that money to spend on something more exciting...
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