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100
votes
19answers
14k views

How do I physically prevent people from unplugging an Ethernet cable?

We have a crowded computer laboratory. We render free Ethernet ports for laptop users. But they don't carry their Ethernet cables with them, they unplug cable of a fixed desktop PC and plug it to ...
62
votes
8answers
23k views

Restoring performance and estimating life of a used SSD drive?

My old 128 GB SSD drive is about a year and a half old now, and I've since upgraded to another drive. I'd like to clean up my the old SSD to ... restore its performance to near-new levels ...
59
votes
9answers
4k views

Suck or blow? What's better for dust?

The guy at the local PC hardware store told me it's better to use a small hand-held leaf blower to blow dust out of your PC case than a hand-held vacuum cleaner. Why is this? I understand that fans ...
38
votes
10answers
4k views

Which malfunctions cause old computers to slow down and crash?

I've had a few computers of my own break after a few years of use, and I've seen computers owned by friends and family do the same thing. They either slow down (even running the original software ...
28
votes
7answers
41k views

Disable “automatic maintenance” in Windows 8

I'm running a few VMs, and suddenly I noticed my CPU fan was spinning louder than usual. I tracked it down to Windows 8 doing some "automatic maintenance": How can I turn this completely off? I ...
11
votes
5answers
12k views

use rm to remove files and directories recursively

is it possible to use rm to remove files and directories matching a pattern recursively without using other commands?
11
votes
5answers
8k views

How do I trim my Time Machine backups and find and exclude frequently-updated large files from bloating it?

Time Machine is nice because it Just Works and it does its magic in the background. But left to itself, it can really swell up due to either large files that you don't really need backed up slipping ...
10
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I preserve an unused computer?

I have a netbook that I am not using but would like to preserve for posterity. What precautions do I need to take to ensure that the machine does not undergo any deterioration? The machine will remain ...
10
votes
14answers
614 views

How to keep a windows machine clean?

I've just got a new Laptop. I've installed all applications I need, for now. Are there any best practices or tips on how to keep my windows machine clean and running smoothly? Or do I have to ...
10
votes
4answers
4k views

How does dust affect a computer?

It is generally known that dust makes computers slower, and that cleaning out the dust regularly can make your computer run better. What I have not seen, is why this happens. From what I know dust ...
10
votes
2answers
20k views

How do I safely remove keys from a keyboard?

I have a custom key I want to use on my new Deck keyboard, but I'm unclear how to safely remove existing keys from the keyboard without damaging them in the process. Should I use a special tool? A ...
9
votes
3answers
125 views

How often do drives need to be spun up?

I've got a Frankenputer that is used as a workbench PC to help fix other machines. As such, it's only ever used when something else is broken, so there are often long stretches where it's sitting ...
9
votes
1answer
462 views

Tools to (privately) annotate/markup a website for maintenance

I've been tasked with updating a website. Rather than proofreading and updating each page (one at a time), I want to make a single pass over the entire website, marking graphics/images/videos that ...
8
votes
7answers
7k views

How often should I dust the inside of my computer?

I would like to avoid frying my computer. I understand dust collects inside on the boards and the CPU cooling unit. How often should I open up the chassis and what process should I use to safely ...
8
votes
3answers
366 views

What should I make my computer do while I'm away from keyboard? [duplicate]

During the day, usually I'm away from my computer for 3-5 hours. I also sleep 6+ hours every night. I run Arch Linux x64 on my computer. Besides the usual things that do not require user ...
6
votes
2answers
166 views

UPS - practical maintenance advices to help end-user keeping batteries (classic lead acid models) in good shape

I have read that most (maybe all?) UPS devices for personal computing have lead-acid batteries inside. As long as its chemistry, compared to lithium-ion, is very different, I would like to know ...
5
votes
4answers
5k views

Is it safe to get dust out of a PC with an air blower?

I use an air blower to dust the inside of my PC every few months. I keep the PC fans from turning when doing this to avoid turning them into dynamos and possibly causing damage to the electronics. ...
5
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there general Linux periodic maintenance that I should be doing?

On Windows, I used to check every so often for disk fragmentation, delete large files, defragment, check through the registry for startup entries/process hogs, etc etc. While generally people say ...
5
votes
5answers
23k views

How can laptop keyboard keys be removed and replaced?

I'm trying to fix a laptop keyboard that has issues with keys on its left side. Just by feel, it's clear that something sticky got under there. There could be something crunchy too, but that might ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a way to compact OS X's swapfiles?

Is there a simple way to compact the /var/vm/swapfile0 etc, short of rebooting? They can get quite large if things start swap'ing, and my laptop doesn't have much free disc space..
5
votes
1answer
98 views

Is any special maintenance required for an edible ink printer?

Is there any special maintenance required in order to maintain food safety and keep the printer operating correctly? For example, do I need to manually clean the print head periodically to prevent ...
4
votes
8answers
436 views

What things should I run daily, weekly, monthly on my Windows machine?

What things should I run daily, weekly, monthly on my Windows XP machine? De fragmentation Scan-disk Full system scan Disk clean up Trojan checker malware remover or any other thing... And should ...
4
votes
3answers
9k views

Why does my computer slow down after being on too long?

I'm sure everyone has experienced it - if you leave a computer on too long, every once in a while, it needs a fresh reboot. I have a laptop, and I only hibernate it, but every week or two, I'm going ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

how to restore windows 7 to a know working state every time it boots

A couple of days ago my mother asked me to set up a computer at her house, she wants to use it to basic web browsing, video chat and nothing more. The problem is, neither my mother nor my sister know ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

What are the reasons for a Computer to gradually slow down after months of use? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why does hardware get slower with time? After freshly installing an OS, the PC is super fast, and after few months they are super slow. I regularly maintain the PC, my ...
4
votes
3answers
3k views

See all information about all processes, daemons, etc. running on Mac OS X

I like to view information about all processes (including every daemon etc etc) that are running on Mac OS X. I use: sudo ps -A Update: I also tried Activity Monitor as suggested by Alex. My ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Computer USB Port Cover

I have recently brought a computer with a unique design (which I thought was cool!). The USB port is facing upwards, meaning my USB thumb drive will be placed vertically, as in, in an upright ...
3
votes
2answers
273 views

Registry Cleaner, useful or not [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is it worth cleaning the registry? Hi, I’m constantly seeing Ad’s about Registry Cleaning. Each time I see one of those Ad’s I remember reading an article (don’t ...
3
votes
1answer
86 views

How do i reformat my Macintosh?

How do I completely clean out/reset/reformat/whatever my Macintosh? I'm talking a deep cleanse here. I'm willing to look at any free software that may aid in this. I'm running OSX 10.6.5.
3
votes
2answers
316 views

OS X Maintenance - how to keep the system clean?

I'm a .NET developer and a long time Windows user. Recently I've been working a little bit on OS X Leopard, trying to learn iPhone development. So far so good - Mac OS X seems like a great operating ...
3
votes
1answer
11k views

Certain keys on my keyboard stopped working

Ive never spilt anything on my keyboard and they do work some of the time. All the keys that aren't working are on one side of the keyboard, but its not the entire side... 123456789 qwertyuio[]\ ...
2
votes
3answers
354 views

Should I care about my HDD?

This is screenshot of HD Tune: Should I care about my HDD? Are these warnings important?
2
votes
1answer
116 views

What is the PCI card that tells you what's wrong with the computer?

First, I'm not sure if this is the correct place, so apologies for that. Second, I want to know how to easily identify the hardware faults. I heard about this PCI card that when connected to the PC ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I clean HOME folder in linux?

There is a way to clean in a controlled way the $HOME folders than usually save cache files? E.g: I have a .config folder with more than 300MB. How can I clean it?. Is there a program that can be ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Automatically executing Disk Cleanup on shutdown

I've been poking around trying to get Disk Cleanup to run when my Windows XP Pro SP2 machine shuts down. The main reason for this is to clean Local Settings/Temp to remove old junk automatically. (I ...
2
votes
2answers
133 views

Dust protection for new NAS

I just got a new Netgear ReadyNAS and I am a bit worried about DUST. What can I do to reduce the chances of dust damage ? Would mounting it to a wall or shelf help with this ? Can I build some ...
2
votes
4answers
464 views

Defragmentation stops and does not reduce below 52%

In one of my PC a single drive is not defragmenting. When i do it using windows defragmentation option the fragmentation does not reduce below 52%. I tried so many times and facing same problem. Then ...
2
votes
2answers
495 views

Should something be done if I drop my laptop on the floor and it looks fine from outside?

Are there any software / hardware tests that one should perform if this happens? Note No, I haven't actually done so. I just need to know about this issue beforehand should it happen in future.
2
votes
2answers
226 views

How to protect my portable HDD from physical damage? [closed]

I have a 1TB Portable HDD - Western Digital: My Passport. I usually keep it in my pocket and move around a lot, I wanted to know what I can do to protect it from possible damage (if there is any). I ...
2
votes
1answer
6k views

How to make changes in linux maintence mode

I notice when Linux boots in maintenance mode the filesystem is read-only. Is there a way to change this, perhaps remounting as writable? An example of this being a problem is that I was unable to ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Can a Raid5 array be optimized using defragmenting or other maintenance tools?

I have a Lian Li Ex-50 Raid Array setup to be 4x 2TB WD Black in a Raid5 formatted to HFS+ (journaled). The raid array is a hardware raid running through a Sil3132 chipset (SATA2 via eSata ...
2
votes
2answers
8k views

Automatically deleting 'C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Temp'

I'm trying to find a way to automatically clean/delete the temporary files from C:\Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Temp\ at shutdown/boot on my Windows XP Professional x64 SP2 machine. The ...
1
vote
8answers
264 views

Windows OS - well maintaining

I am planning to well maintain my desktop PC. It has the Windows OS (Windows XP) and connected to internet. I do the following activities, on weekly basis. Windows Update Anti Virus Update ...
1
vote
7answers
3k views

Does downloading Torrents cause excessive wear on hard drives?

I suspect that the most stressful to a HDD is being used as a target for downloading torrents. I plan to get a new HDD and use the old one only for storing downloads in progress. Is this true? How ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

is there a tool I can use that will show me the size of directories visually? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How can I visualize the file system usage on Windows? I was listening to the StackExchange podcast (either 28 or 29) and Jeff briefly mentioned a tool that you could use ...
1
vote
2answers
490 views

How do I maintain and clean a printer?

Just like computers, printers also collect dust and dirt over time which can staple up and cause opponents to slow down or move incorrectly. Unlike computers, they contain objects that move a lot and ...
1
vote
3answers
727 views

Is it normal for an AC adapter to drop voltage if it's not used by a laptop?

I'm currently investigating the livelihood of a laptop adaptor and I noticed, unlike another adaptor it drops voltage to almost zero after I also attempt to measure its current [while it did show ...
1
vote
2answers
307 views

Laptop burned after heavy OpenGL usage. Is there hope?

After programming for OpenGL and a 'slow OS' case for a couple of minutes the screen went blank. I shut it down with forcing it with the shutdown key and now there's no led at all with battery or AC, ...
1
vote
2answers
262 views

Clean the Dust Outside of the Computer Casing

No, I am not referring to the cleaning inside the casing; I want to know how to clear off the dust that gathers outside the computer casing, in the dark corners of the computer table, the forgotten ...
1
vote
2answers
175 views

How to clean hardware with an air compressor?

Can I safely use an air compressor to clean the internal components of a computer or might hardware be damaged if the air compressor is too powerful?