Desktop PC Maintenance

Before you do any computer maintenance and repair please make sure the hard drive is working properly and that there are no viruses inside.

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Dust. Clean all dust that is located on the heatsink. This is especially important for Siemens desktops as they do not blow the air to the heatsink, but instead suck it from the heatsink and blow the air outside. Because of this fact, the dust layer that gathers on the heatsink is very large. I have personally never seen so many dusty heatsinks with any other desktop.

CPU thermal paste. Replace this every two years. Manufacturers say that it is thermal stable and not ageing, but it does age. This is especially true if there is a thick layer of thermal paste and the heatsink is not pushed hard enough onto the CPU, the thermal paste becomes a thermal isolator when it dries out.

Hard drive temperature. Check the temperature. This can be done with a finger touch. If the hard drive is extremely hot and you are not able to hold a finger on it for a long period of time, then it is better to back up the data and replace the hard drive. The best tool to use is HDTune. HDTune shows the hard drive temperature and is included in Hiren’s boot CD and UBCD4WIN.
The temperature can be checked with the CPUZ Hardware Monitor. The program interface is shown below.

North and South bridges temperatures. Usually these are hot. Especially the North Bridge. The North Bridge is located next to the CPU and is almost the biggest integrated circuit on the motherboard. The South Bridge is located further from the CPU and is usually in the lower part of the motherboard.

Buy a surge protector for the computer. This will not only protect the computer but will also protect other devices from power spikes that are generating the computer power supply. Every computer makes a little noise through the power line.

If you have critical information on the desktop and do not want to lose part of it during your work, or if you have a gaming time, then buy a UPS.

Double the memory amount on the system. Today, buying RAM is not expensive, you will be able to double the memory and make your system perform faster.

Upgrade BIOS. It is not recommended to upgrade anything on the system if it works perfectly. But, if there is an issue with the system stand-by or with something similar, then the BIOS upgrade would most likely help.

Make sure that Windows are up to date. A little know-how here. If the Windows update fails, then there is a big chance that the hard drive is faulty. I have seen this happen many times.

Update drivers. Windows 7 has generic drivers that can’t make most of the hardware. Get motherboard and graphics card drivers from the manufacturer or use the driver installation DVD that came with the cards. You will instantly see and feel the difference.
Or use DRPSU to automatically install drivers.

Perform a memory test with Memtest. This can not only reveal memory faults but can also tell you if the system needs cleaning. But, the memory test puts a lot of stress on the system.

Look to the memory modules. It is better when they are identical.  The same memory amount, the same speed, and from the same manufacturer. Also, look at the module topology which is the image of the tracks. If the image is the same on both of them and the chips are identical then you have a perfect match in order to utilize the motherboard’s dual channel capability.

If the image looks different or if the memory chips are different then most likely the modules have different latency. This is usually so small that it does usually matter. But, on some motherboards, this does matter and it sometimes does not even work properly.

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