For many of us, computers are a lot like cars—we don't absolutely need them, but they can make life a great deal more enjoyable and convenient, we get to do and see things by using them that we probably wouldn't otherwise see and they both require regular maintenance to keep them in good working order. This is never more true than when talking about avoiding having to use data recovery software.
Avoid the Crash
Just like with motor vehicles, the best way to steer clear of data recovery and keep your computer in tip-top condition is to keep it from crashing. When your computer freezes up or crashes the potential for data loss increases exponentially. The following are just a few basic measures you can take to avoid a disastrous system crash:
- Utilize Basic Disk Utilities - You have several tools built in to your operating system (defragmentation, disk cleanup, error checking) designed to help keep your computer running at maximum capacity. Just like changing the oil in your car, performing these small tasks every few months can make a world of difference.
- Run System Updates - Keeping your computer's operating system current with the latest updates is key for optimal performance. If you're a Windows user, ignoring update prompts is like ignoring low and worn tires; the longer you go without addressing them, the greater your chances increase for a problem-and hence the possibility of lost data.
- Protect Against Viruses and Spyware - Computer viruses are designed for destruction and some spyware, like adware, can cause your system to lock up-posing a high risk for data loss. Like potholes and other unseen road hazards, viruses and spyware often appear before it's too late. By investing in some high-quality anti-virus software and anti-spyware software, you can avoid these dangers altogether.
- Use a Surge Protector/Power Backup - Power surges and power outages are a fact of life; both can harm your computer and cause data loss. Double-check your power strip and make sure it is also a surge protector. Also, if you use your computer for work or some other important role, consider purchasing a power backup unit. Although they cost a few bucks, power backups, like a spare tire, can keep your computer going long enough for you to avoid a major data loss situation, which in itself can be priceless.
- Give Your Computer the Royal Treatment - Just as you'd baby an expensive car, your computer also needs tender loving care. Avoid jostling your computer when you need to move it-a good rule of thumb is to handle it as if were filled with champagne glasses. Avoid exposing your computer to direct sunlight and to extreme temperatures-heat is your computer's worst enemy. You'll also want to keep your computer in a place where the air is not too dry, as dry air tends to promote static electricity. Lastly, keep the inside of your PC case clean. To do this, make sure your computer case is not sitting directly on the floor. Dirt from carpets and dust bunnies are easily sucked into your computer's case through cooling fans, settling on circuit boards and other major components. Also, every six months or so you (or someone experienced with computers) should open up your case and clean it out with a small handheld vacuum or compressed air.
By following these steps, you can avoid data recovery and keep your computer in gear and purring like a kitten as you speed down the information superhighway.