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Maximize Your IT Investment by Revitalizing Old PCs

October 21, 2010

With today’s ever changing computer technology, it is hard to stay to continually keep up with modern equipment. Many small business owners do not have the monetary means to follow the technology trends, but they do not want to compromise their employees’ productivity. Consequently, they find themselves making periodic purchases of new hardware while the old machines pile up in a closet.

Don’t consign those old PCs to the scrap heap just yet. There may be several some ways you to coax more productivity out of what you already own, saving your business some money and easing the burden on the local landfill.

PCs you own may have plenty of life left in them. But to get them in top shape can require a little attention. The longer a computer is used, the messier its hard drive can get. Viruses, outdated software, fragmented storage space and general clutter can turn a good piece of equipment into a real slowpoke.

To get your slightly worn PCs and laptops back in action, follow these tune-up tips:

  • Remove old programs, temporary files and the Web browser’s cache, cookies and history. Empty the trash folder, and while you’re at it, clean the keyboard. Use your disk utilities to scan the hard drive for errors, fix any corrupt sectors and remove invalid registry entries or broken shortcuts.

 

  • Also defragment the hard drive. A hard drive is composed of many sections, known as sectors. As files are saved, they are often divided into parts that are scattered across the drive. This slows down the system because the file must be retrieved from different locations. Defragmenting brings the pieces back together again.

 

  • Scan the computer for viruses and update virus definitions. Symantec.com offers a full range of antivirus, anti-spam and problem solving PC solutions. The Small Business Center section of their Web site has helpful, plain-English articles on computer maintenance.

 

  • Even with your best efforts, long-used computers may still suffer breakdowns—often when you need them the most. That’s why it’s also important to routinely back-up data on to a separate storage medium (e.g., CD, Zip drives, etc.) and keep it in a secure area. That will prevent your business from being crippled from a crashed PC.

 

Entrepreneurs of any age can profit from experience. Contact America’s free and confidential source of small business mentoring and coaching — SCORE Lancaster is a nonprofit association of more than 55 business experts who volunteer as mentors. SCORE offers free mentoring, business roundtables, business plan reviews,  and low-cost workshops.  Call us at 717-397-3092 or visit us online at www.scorelancaster.org.

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