1.4. Completing Maintenance Tasks

With the principles of preventive maintenance under your belt, take a look at what can be done for specific components. This section looks at each of the major components that make a modern computer, and looks at what tasks should be taken to properly maintain each of them.

1.4.1. Case and components

To keep most components in good health, regularly perform maintenance on your systems. The frequency for these tasks depends on the task, with external tasks being performed daily, weekly, or monthly; and internal tasks being performed monthly, quarterly, or annually. The following tasks should be part of your maintenance routine. Make sure that you

  • Have good airflow both inside and around the case. This will help prolong the system life.

  • Periodically clean the inside with a vacuum or compressed air to ensure that dust and dirt do not built up on the components or fans.

  • Verify that all the fans function.

  • Check the processor temperature by using internal sensor chips, relative temperature by touch, or a digital infrared thermometer.

  • Ensure that the heat sink and fan are clean and free of dirt and debris.

  • Check the position of expansion cards and removable chips to verify that they are correctly seated.

    Newer technology for slots has reduced the chance of chip creep. Still, chip creep can occur from thermal expansion and contraction, which happens during the heating and cooling of components. These heat changes can cause components — such as removable chips ...

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