neb – Severn Valley Business Group
 

Author: neb

neb

Email: neb@s2ftechnology.co.uk Web: www.s2ftechnology.co.uk

Speeding up your PC

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Speeding up your PC

We all want faster PCs – a slow PC can lead to frustration and inefficient use of precious time!

Here are some straightforward tips to get the best out of your PC:

Don’t install lots of unnecessary software

  • Printer drivers – only install the basic driver, don’t install photo editing software, ink buying apps, network monitoring apps that the printer manufacturer includes.
  • Registry cleaners – always do more harm than good and don’t speed up your PC. You will sometimes see adverts for registry cleaners on various websites such as software download sites – don’t be tempted to click on them!
  • If you are installing some software to test or it’s a trial version of software, always remember to uninstall it.
  • Always uninstall software from Control Panel – deleting the relevant folders will not uninstall the software.
  • Don’t install more than one anti-virus program. In fact, consider not using anti-virus at all – this does rely on good user education, however.
  • Uninstall software that’s never used.
  • Check Windows start-up items to see if there’s anything that can be removed from start-up.
  • Ensure your backup is working correctly so you can go restore files should you get over zealous with file deletion!

Ensure that the system is running its clean-up tasks

  • Check that defrag is running regularly (only if you have a traditional mechanical disk – SSDs don’t fragment and running defrag will potentially shorten their lives!).
  • Run the Disk clean-up wizard every couple of months.

Consider Installing a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply)

  •  A UPS will protect the PC from sudden power loss which should reduce the risk of disk corruption. This will in turn lead to a faster PC as the system doesn’t have to reallocate bad disk blocks.

Consider installing more RAM

  •  This will only help speed up a PC if you have lots of large programs open simultaneously.  4GB is sufficient for day to day office use.

Reduce the size of your email store

  •  The more email you have, the slower will be your email program – opening the program will be slower and searches will be slower.

Clean the dust out of the fan inlets and exhausts

  •  This will ensure that the CPU can reach its maximum operating speed without throttling down due to excess heat.

Replace the mechanical hard drive with an SSD (Solid State Disk)

  • Everything will feel faster
  • Boot times dramatically reduced
  • Program load times dramatically reduced
  • Internet browsing will feel faster
  • Accessing all files will be much faster
  • Potentially improved lifetime of the disk
  • Lighter and more power efficient in a laptop

Following these straightforward tips will ensure that your PC is running as efficiently as possible, leaving you more time to concentrate on running your business.

 

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Protecting Your Data

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What would you do if your company lost all it’s email?
Could you cope if a computer problem meant you lost your financial data?
If your phone was stolen, how would you retrieve all your valuable contact information?

A small business lives and dies by its data – protecting it should be as important as getting paid. As data capacities increase on all our computing devices, data backup becomes more important.

A well planned data protection regime should be like an insurance policy – we hope we never have to use it, but we need to make sure that it covers us properly if we do!

So, how should we protect our data?

Mobile devices (phones, tablets)
  • Make regular backups of the data via iTunes or Google (backup apps are available in the Play Store).
  • Switch on device tracking so that if a device is lost, there is a better chance of retrieving it (consider ‘remote wipe’ options if your device contains sensitive information).
  • Use a passcode for protection should the device be lost or stolen.
  • Consider encrypting your device (although this can cause performance issues on older or slower devices).
Office Computers

What should be protected?

  • Variable data such as email, financial, payroll and admin info.
  • Programs (such as Microsoft Office, Sage Accounts or Adobe Creative Cloud, for example).
  • Operating System (such as Windows or Mac OSX).

What are we protecting our data from?

  • Hardware failure (e.g. hard disk, power supply, motherboard)
  • Theft
  • Loss (e.g. laptop).
  • Fire, flood etc.
  • User error (accidental deletion).
  • Viruses

How can we protect our data?

BACKUPS, which have to be:

  • Automatic
  • Regular
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to restore from
  • Tested
  • Provide notification of any backup failures.
  • There should be an off-site copy (ideally on a different type of media from the primary backup). This means the data can be restored to different hardware should the original equipment become unavailable.
  • Consider the type of backup – Imaging, where the whole disk is backed up, can restore all data, (including programs and the operating system), or file and folder based backup.

Consider other measures to lessen the need for data recovery should the worst happen:

  • RAID for disks (where data is duplicated on at least two physical disks, protecting against a disk failure, automatically).
  • UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply). Protects against power loss so that computers can be closed down correctly without potential data corruption should there be a power cut.
  • A reglarly updated anti-virus program.

Consider data encryption for sensitive data (e.g. Bitlocker for Windows based PCs).

Finally, consider centralised storage for your data. This can be in the form of a server, NAS (Network attached Storage), or can be cloud based.  These have the advantage of storing all the data in a single place, meaning that only the centralised storage needs to be backed up, and not all the PCs in the network.

Data protection has never been more important than it is today – businesses depend on their data, so a well implemented backup plan can mean the differnce between success and failure – it pays to get it right!

Please contact us for any assistance with your data protection needs, at: Start 2 Finish Technology.

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