PC Build Part 5: Maintain

Security & Troubleshooting

Make separate Administrator and user accounts.

The account you regularly use should not be an Administrator account. (It is much easier to infect an account running as Administrator.) This can be managed in Control Panel\User Accounts\User Accounts\Manage Accounts.

Review Log Files

Run (Win + R) eventvwr.msc to open Event Viewer. Windows Logs and System > right-click System > Filter Current Log. Action > Save Log File As. Save the System and the Application event logs. Log numbers:

Shutdown and restart: 41, 1074, 6006, 6008

Longevity

Be reasonable.

Don’t ask your computer to do things it can’t be expected to do. You wouldn’t go pedal to the metal in your car on a regular basis… apply that principle to your PC. Keep an eye on your hardware monitor if things start slowing down.

Update the operating system and applications.

There may be security updates you don’t want to miss.

Mind international power differences.

In the US, electrical voltage is 120 volts; in Europe, it’s 240 Volts. Your PSU might have a switch.

Use secure connections when browsing.

Browser plug-in HTTPS Everywhere is an extension that enforces SSL security wherever that’s possible in Chrome, Firefox and Opera.

Replace or add additional parts.

I’m told RAM is one of the first components you’re likely to update in the system. It’s relatively cheap compared to other components.

How Do I Know When to Upgrade My PC or Just Build a New One?

Give or sell parts.

If you give away your hard drive, beware: the data on it may be recoverable, even after you have ‘deleted’ it. Guard against this with a program that encrypts the disk or does a thorough wipe of the data. In Windows, you can use the command line tool called Cipher.exe. In OS X, the Disk Utility will do the same job. You can also use a magnetic degausser.

Recycle parts.

At some point, though it’s hard to think about right now, you’ll be throwing out the precious components of your new build. Electronic products often contain hazardous materials so check with your local state or county for proper electronics recycling (eCycling) methods.

If you have other maintenance suggestions, please comment.

That’s it. PC Built. ✔

Me on my new PC