Types and benefits of computer system maintenance

user using screw driver on computer motherboard components for maintenance and repair

For a computer system to remain operational and serve the user for a long time it requires to be maintained, both software and hardware. Computer maintenance is the action taken to ensure your computer operates optimally. A well-maintained device will serve a user better and with fewer complications and issues.

There are 4 main types of computer system maintenance preventive, corrective, adaptive, and perfective. They are all aimed at ensuring the system can be relied upon and work optimally. The main benefits of computer maintenance are an optimized system, reduce cases of data loss, and reduced operational cost among other advantages discuss in the article.

Types of computer system maintenance

There are four main types of maintenance that you can use personally or as an organization to ensure your computer hardware and software are serving the client. Each type of maintenance is used to achieve different objectives and is done at different times. Computer maintenance should not be confused with repair as explained in this article on the difference between repair and maintenance.

Preventive computer Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is done to ensure we prevent the problem from occurring. They are types of maintenance that are scheduled. This is a type of scheduled maintenance that can be done and repeated for a period of time. For example, the IT department can plan to have preventive schedule maintenance of all IT equipment maintained quarterly.

Preventive maintenance can involve blowing dust on the hardware, ensuring software updates are all good, and deleting temporary files among other activities that ensure computers are working great.

Corrective Maintenance

This type of maintenance can also be called the repair of the computer. It is done when the computer stops functioning and you want to return it to normalcy. Its main objective is to ensure the computer is back in operation as fast as possible. It cannot be scheduled since you cannot plan when the computer will break down. 

Mostly corrective maintenance starts when the user reports the system breakdown to the IT department and now goes into action to rectify the problem. This can be done on both software and hardware.

Adaptive system Maintenance

This type of maintenance adds more capabilities to the system. Adaptive maintenance is usually done to improve the system for users by adopting new trends. For the hardware adaptive maintenance can include adding more computer RAM, adding a WIFI network card on a desktop, or other ways of upgrading a computer. The software maintenance can involve creating new reports, adding online capabilities, and adding new data entry fields to the user input screens among others. 

Perfective  Maintenance

The maintenance is done to make systems more efficient and reliable. These kinds of maintenance mostly are initiated by the IT departments who feel that a certain part of the system can work better. It can involve activities like adding more RAM or hard disk to a server, changing the type of network switches, etc. The software maintenance can include creating macros for repetitive functions, and changing system setting for optimization among others to increase efficiency.

Benefits of computer maintenance

When computer systems are properly maintained they have immense benefits to the organization since it reduces the cost of buying new devices. Below are some more advantages of carrying out maintenance.

  1. Early Detection of Issues: problems are detected early before they reach the level that they affect the whole organization. By using preventive maintenance organizations can be able to determine those devices that may have broken down and rectify that.
  2. Increase the speed of your computer: when computers are used for a long they tend to slow down due to many reasons. Maintenance can resolve some of these issues which will tremendously improve computer speed. This can involve operations like removing unwanted files to free space, removing some software from opening when the computer boots, etc.
  3. Optimize system efficiency: when computer hardware and software are maintained on time they work at their optimum level which gives the organization value for money and time.
  4. Prevent organization data loss: computer caries organizational data and if they break down they may lead to loss of variable data. Well-maintained devices ensure that the probability of breakdown is low hence more assurance of safe data.
  5. Prevention against viruses and malware: when software such as antivirus, security software, and operating systems are updated they ensure all loopholes for viruses and malware attacks are closed.
  6. Reduce operational cost: Operational costs in this respect are costs incurred when the system is down instead of serving clients. It also means the cost of major repairs that are occasioned by not caring out maintenance.
  7. Minimal systems downtime: system uptime means more work is done. When systems are not maintained at the right time they break down. It can take a long time to bring them to optimum functioning again which could have been prevented by scheduled maintenance.
  8. Reduce complaints from users: IT department of the organization can reduce the call from users who have system problems if they carry out maintenance. Maintenance can deal with problems before they escalate to levels that need immediate urgent attention.

Computer maintenance checklist

When carrying out scheduled maintenance you can have a checklist of things that you should try for optimum device operation. Below are some of the tips that you can use when caring out maintenance and computer repair.

You can customize the list to fit the device that you are maintaining and the size of your organization. The list is categorized under the hardware and software checklist.

Hardware maintenance checklist

  1. Keep the system unit and all components dust-free by blowing dust. Take specific note of dust on the power supply and computer processor fan to remove dust.
  2. Clean the computer monitor and other components using the right type of cleaning foam.
  3. After maintenance ensure all parts and cables are plugged in the right place.
  4. Around networking switches and other devices ensure cables are well arranged for easy troubleshooting.

Software maintenance checklist

  1. Update the operating system of the computer.
  2. Upgrade to the latest antivirus and security software.
  3. Check if all device drivers are working as expected. Update any firmware and other utility software that may have a newer version.
  4. Delete temporally files and programs that you are no longer using to free space.
  5. Run a disk utility check to ensure the disk is optimally working
  6. Create a backup of data frequently and before major maintenance.
  7. Remove programs that slow down computer booting from automatically loading during booting.