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General Maintenance Guidelines For a Dell Computer

Oversigt: This article provides information about general maintenance guidelines for a Dell computer.

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Computer maintenance means keeping your desktop, laptop, or all-in-one computer in a good condition both internally and externally. A well-maintained computer looks good, lasts longer, and performs reliably. Regular maintenance helps increase the lifespan of the computer and protect the privacy and security of your data.

The instructions in this article provide basic maintenance guidelines to help keep your Dell computer clean and perform reliably when:

  • You must perform regular maintenance.
  • The computer was left unused for an extended period.
  • You move the computer to a new location.
  • The computer is running slow.

Clogged air vents or fan blades can cause overheating. An outdated driver, outdated security updates for the operating system, weak passwords can cause a potential privacy and security risk of your data. Running a regular anti-virus scan to check your computer for malware and running a hardware diagnostic test are proactive measures that you can take to quickly identify potential issues on the computer.

Cleaning your computer regularly helps extend its shelf life, saving you time and money on repairs and replacements. Remember that computers are especially prone to dust and overheating. A clogged air vent or fan blades can cause heat to build up inside the computer that affects the computer performance.

What you need?

WARNING: Before you begin, turn off the computer and disconnect the power cable from the computer and the wall outlet.
  • We recommended you wear disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
  • Turn off the computer and disconnect the AC power. Also, remove the batteries from laptops, wireless keyboards and mouses, and so on. Never clean a product while it is turned on or plugged in.
  • Disconnect any devices.
  • Never spray any liquid directly onto the product.
  • Moisten a microfiber cloth with a mixture of 70% isopropyl alcohol and 30% water. The cloth should be damp, but not dripping wet. Excess moisture must be removed if the cloth is wet before wiping the product. Using any material other than a soft microfiber cloth could cause damage to your product.
  • Gently wipe the moistened cloth on the surfaces that must be cleaned. Do not allow any moisture to drip into areas like keyboards, display panels, and so on. Moisture entering the inside of an electronic product can cause damage to the product. Excessive wiping potentially could lead to damaging some surfaces.
  • When cleaning a display screen, carefully wipe in one direction, moving from the top of the display to the bottom. Surfaces must be completely air-dried before turning the computer on after cleaning. No moisture should be visible on the surfaces of the product before it is turned on or plugged in.
  • After cleaning or disinfecting a glass surface, it may be cleaned again using a glass cleaner that is designed for display surfaces following directions for that specific cleaner. We recommend you avoid glass cleaning products containing Ammonia.
  • Clean any air vents on the front, back, and vented sides of the product. Lint, dust, and other foreign materials can block the vents and restrict the airflow.
  • Use a can of compressed air to blow the dust away from the computer.
  • Clean the LCD screen of the monitor or laptop with a soft, clean microfiber cloth and water. Apply the water to the cloth, then stroke the cloth across the display in one direction, moving from the top of the display to the bottom. Remove moisture from the display or LCD screen quickly and keep the display dry. Exposure to moisture such as rain or a liquid spill can damage the product. Do not use a commercial window or glass cleaner to clean the LCD screen of the monitor or laptop. Special LCD cleaning liquid, microfiber cloth, and tissues are commercially available to help you clean the LCD screen.
  • Discard the disposable gloves that are used after each cleaning. Clean your hands immediately after the gloves are removed and discarded.

You may experience some visible cosmetic changes to finishes over time as a result of the cleaning process outlined above on some surfaces. Other cleaning chemicals are harsh and will damage surfaces. Avoid using any of the following chemicals or products containing these chemicals:

  • Any chlorine-based cleaner, such as bleach.
  • Peroxides (including hydrogen peroxide).
  • Solvents such as; acetone, paint thinner, benzene, methylene chloride, or toluene.
  • Ammonia, such as Windex.
  • Ethyl alcohol.

Cable clutter can collect dust and get damaged. Cable stations and other cord organizers can help organize your work or study area. Take the time to declutter and organize the cables from the power strip and the cables from the computer. Some cable organization tricks like color-coding the cables, using cable clips or cable organizer panels help prevent damage to the cables.

Turning off or restarting the computer, often helps resolve many issues. Rebooting the computer regularly helps refresh the computer resources.

Restarting the computer is an effective way to clear the memory (RAM) and ensure that any errant processes and services that started are shut down. Restarting the computer closes all the applications and software running on the computer. This includes applications running on the taskbar and services that are running in the background.

WARNING: Before restarting the computer, ensure to bookmark open web pages, save any open documents, spreadsheets, or other unsaved work.

Windows updates can support your Windows operating system in many ways. Windows updates can solve specific problems, provide protection from malicious attacks, or even add new features to the operating system.

How to install Windows Updates in Microsoft Windows 11, 10, and 8 (8.1)?

  1. Right-click Start and click Settings.
  2. In the Settings panel, click Update & Security.
  3. In the left panel, select Windows Update.
  4. On the right panel, click Check for updates.
  5. Restart the computer after downloading and installing the updates.

Dell recommends updating the device drivers and BIOS as part of your scheduled update cycle. Device drivers and BIOS updates may contain feature enhancements or changes that help keep your system software current and compatible with other computer modules (hardware and software) as well as increased stability.

To learn how to download and install the latest drivers, see the Dell knowledge base article: How to Download and Install Dell Drivers

To learn more about Dell Drivers & downloads website, see the Dell knowledge base article: Drivers and Downloads FAQs

Malware infections can compromise the performance of the computer and expose your confidential information to third-party cybercriminals. Depending on the type of malware that is installed on your computer, malware can:

  • Reduce web browser speed.
  • Disrupt network or Internet connection.
  • Cause the computer to stop responding or fail unexpectedly.
  • Alter computer settings.
  • Allow unauthorized access to computer resources.
  • Capture and transmit personal, financial, and confidential information to third-party cybercriminals.
  • Corrupt personal data files and so on.

Running an anti-virus scan regularly is a good practice. Before you begin the anti-virus scan, ensure to update the anti-virus software. These updates introduce new software features or make improvements on current ones.

For more information about updating the anti-virus software or running an anti-virus scan, see the anti-virus or antimalware software manufacturers website.

Running a hardware diagnostic test can help you identify hardware-related problems and provide you with troubleshooting steps to help resolve the issue. To determine if your Dell computer is experiencing a hardware problem, it is recommended that you first run a hardware diagnostic test. Dell offers both integrated and online diagnostics.

Running a hardware diagnostic test using Dell SupportAssist

If the computer can boot into the operating system and has an active Internet connection, run a quick test using SupportAssist.

Running the Dell Pre-boot System Assessment test

If the computer cannot boot into the operating system or does not have an active Internet connection:

  1. Restart the computer.
  2. At the Dell logo, tap the F12 key several times until the One-time Boot Menu appears.
  3. Use the arrow keys to select Diagnostics and press the Enter key.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts and respond appropriately to complete the diagnostics.
  5. If the test passes, the hardware components are working correctly.
  6. If the test fails, ensure to write down the error code and validation code, and contact Dell Technical Support.

Fragmentation makes your hard disk do extra work that can slow down your computer. Removable storage devices such as USB flash drives can also become fragmented.

Disk Defragmenter in Windows rearranges the fragmented data so that the drive can work more efficiently. It improves the read and write time by consolidating data that has become scattered naturally throughout the hard disk over time and reducing the distance that the head has to travel over the disk platter.

WARNING: Do not run disk defragmentation on solid state drives (SSD). Solid-state drives do not require defragmentation because they read and write data differently than hard disk drives.

How to run disk defragmentation in Windows 11, 10, and 8 (8.1)?

  1. Click Start.
  2. In the search box, type: defrag
  3. Select Defragment and Optimize Drives.
  4. Select the disk drive that you want to optimize.
  5. Click Optimize.

Unused applications and temporary or junk files likely take up more space than you realize. These applications and files can affect the performance of the computer. It is important to free up disk space on the computer.

  • Delete temporary files using Disk Cleanup.
  • Uninstall trialware or unused applications.
  • Empty the recycle bin.
  • Clear the browser cache. Every browser has a different method for clearing cache and cookies.

For more information, see the Dell knowledge base article: How to Free up Disk Space in Microsoft Windows.

Passwords are a regular part of our personal and professional lives. The first line of defense to keep your computer and digital data safe is to use a strong and complex password. It is important that the passwords that you use are difficult to guess and that you use a unique password for each of your accounts.

A strong password must contain the following:

  • At least 10 characters, but longer passwords are encouraged.
  • Must contain upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Must be different from the previous passwords.

Some best practices to ensure that your passwords are protected:

  • Do not use passwords that are easy to guess such as date of birth, common words, names, and so on.
  • Passwords must never be written down, printed, or saved in an unencrypted manner using text files, word documents, spreadsheets, and so on.
  • Do not share or reveal your password to anyone.
  • If you suspect that the password is revealed to someone, it must be changed immediately.

Keeping files on the desktop can slow down the computer. Instead, organize similar files into folders where you can easily find them. This will also help streamline the cleaning process when it is time to delete old and unnecessary files.

  • Organize your files into main and subfolders.
  • Empty the downloads folder regularly. Keep only what is necessary.
  • Clear the desktop. Move the files from the desktop to a suitable folder in the structure that you created.
  • Name the files thoughtfully.
  • Use a folder structure that works best for you.

An unexpected computer crash or a hard drive failure has the potential to damage the personal data and important files on the computer. Backing up personal data is one of the most important part of computer maintenance.

Back up personal data to an external hard drive at least once a week. You can either choose to perform a full computer backup or manually back up personal data like documents, pictures, videos, music files, spreadsheets, downloads.

Online or "cloud" storage services like Microsoft OneDrive simplifies data backup. A cloud backup solution allows you to access your data from any device, anywhere.

For more information, see the Dell knowledge base article: How to Back Up Data on a Dell computer.

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Berørt produkt

Desktops & All-in-Ones, Laptops, Workstations

Sidste udgivelsesdato

03 jan. 2024




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