Preventative Maintenance

Phil Guy Computer & Repairs, based in Goosewell, Plymstock, Plymouth, recommend that you perform preventative maintenance on your system regularly dependent upon usage.  Our preventative maintenance service consists of cleaning the inside of your computer and optimising the operating system which help make your computer run quicker and with less errors.

First, we look at removing dust and particles that could potentially overheat or damage the components inside your computer. This includes your CD/DVD drive(s), floppy drive (if present), the cooling fan(s) on your power supply and processor.  We will verify that all the components in your computer are secure and that any cabling is firmly connected.

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CLICK ON ANY OF THE PICTURES TO ENLARGE. 

Pictures 1, 2 and 3 are the same PC.

Pictures 1 and 2 In these shocking pictures, you can see that it is impossible for the PC to be cooled as all the vents and fans are blocked. This PC had broken through overheating and some major replacement components were required. The computer would almost certainly have slowed down to a crawl before it finally gave up.

Picture 3 is the same PC after being cleaned.

Picture 4 shows hard drives in their bays covered in dust. This can lead to overheating and failure.

Picture 5 has the same issue as the first PC.

Picture 6 shows a CPU Fan and heatsink where the heatsink fins are clearly clogged and now unable to disperse the heat from the CPU. Picture 7 shows another PC this time with fan removed, you can see the dust blocking the fins

It is worth noting that Laptops are particularly vulnerable to overheating either through the user not allowing enough air to circulate beneath the laptop but also through dust particles that build up to form a mat of material between the fan and the external air vent that stops the laptop from breathing, it is imperative to clean this material out from time to time dependent on the operating environment.  Despite their names, "Laptops" need help if you are going to use them on your lap or on a soft surface such as bed quilt.  All you need is an upturned tray and place the laptop on it, this will allow enough air to circulate between the tray and the base of the laptop to cool it.  Failure to do so can result in catastrophic damage to the laptop internals.  Also, over a period of time the specialised cooling paste that is used to transfer heat from the CPU to the heatsink can dry up, become hard and then not able to do its job properly again causing overheating, we can look at renewing this and the thermal pads that are also used with the Video chips and heatsink.

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CLICK ON ANY OF THE PICTURES TO ENLARGE. 

Picture 1 shows a laptop fan that has been removed.  You can see the exhaust grill which has a thick mat of dust and hair which I have partially removed so as you can see what it should look like.  If the hot air cannot escape it circulates around the laptop instead and can cause catastrophic damage. 

Picture 2 shows a laptop heatsink still in place on the motherboard, you can see a piece of dried up paste that has broken away from the heatsink. 

Picture 3 shows the same heatsink removed and you can clearly see how some of the paste has dried up.

Second, we will check the computer once it has booted up into it's operating system. We will check your hard drive(s), check for malware (including viruses) and anything which may be causing (or potentially cause) your computer to not perform at its best. We will attempt to increase the performance of your computer using our experience in optimisation techniques.  If a computer is infected by malware then additional charges may apply for its removal.

Speeding Up A Slow PC or Laptop

Whilst performing preventative maintenance will undoubtedly improve computer performance, should you request it, it can be a good time to look at upgrading some components in your computer or install Microsoft Windows 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 to either make it run faster or work more intuitively.  Many of our clients are surprised at how little it can sometimes cost to upgrade a slow struggling computer into something that can adequately cope with your daily workload.  After looking at your computer to establish where the bottlenecks might be, we can provide you with a no-obligation quotation for the upgraded components or software.  In addition to performing maintenance, we will also apply any security patches or driver updates we feel are required.

Please note that under no circumstances will Phil Guy Computer & Repairs be liable for data loss when we perform equipment maintenance. We strongly recommend that you back up your data on a separate medium ( for example by DVD, external hard-drive, USB stick or on-line) on a regular basis. All business is subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business, a printable version of which is available here.