Posted by: on March 30, 2017 at 2:00 am

People spring clean for many reasons. Some because it’s what their parents always did. Some feel refreshed after getting everything out into the open and sorted. And some people realize that spring cleaning is a good time for preventive maintenance – and to head off issues that could come up down the road.

When we say “spring clean your computer network,” we’re not advocating a complete teardown – that could cause more problems than it solves. But checking off a few simple items can keep your business computer network equipment running cooler and smoother, resulting in less computer down time – or repair expenses – for your company.

canned air clean computers

Canned compressed air is an easy way to clean out the dust from keyboards, fans, and other computer parts.

No need to drag out the buckets and sponges; here are some ways you can clean up your computer network to prevent problems down the road:

1. Server

Where is the server? Ideally, servers should be in a dedicated room that is ventilated to prevent heat buildup and has a locked door for security. A locking server cabinet can also be acceptable depending on your office layout. Servers should not sit directly on the floor, and should not be in potentially wet environments, next to a sink for example.

Take out the trash. Sort and clear out other materials and excess equipment. Server rooms can tend to function as a catch-all for obsolete equipment. Recycle that old junk and give your server room to breathe.

Clear dust. Give all the equipment a quick wipe-down with a dust-collecting cloth. Break out the hand vac to get the dust bunnies hiding out in the corner. We’re not looking for NASA-level clean room status, just clean enough to keep your server from choking to death.

2. Desktops, Laptops, and Workstations

Clean and cool. As with servers, dust and excess heat are your main enemies here. Gently wipe down the case with a dust-collecting cloth. Use compressed canned air to remove any dust blocking the fan. And make sure papers and other desk items don’t block fans either.

If you have a computer that must stay in a dusty or high-particulate area, look into a dust case or replacing it with a “rugged” model that is built to withstand those conditions.

3. Desk Accessories

Keyboard. Hold your keyboard upside down over a trash bin and shake it a bit to dislodge any loose particles. Use canned compressed air to blow any remaining dust and debris out of your keyboard. Gently wipe down the keys with a slightly-damp antibacterial cleaning wipe. The goal here is to de-germ the keys without getting liquid inside your keyboard.

Mouse. The days of taking your mouse apart and swabbing it with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol are long gone. A quick once-over with a cleaning wipe should be all a modern mouse needs.

4. Cables and Adapters

Cables: Check along the length of the cable for breaks in the sheathing or fraying, especially at the connection point. Check for loose connections.

Adapters: Check for loose connections and tighten them, or replace the adapter.

Caution: Do not unplug anything that may affect other users, and do not unplug anything unless you are 100% sure where to plug it back in! Better to have to replace a cable due to an undiscovered breakage than to take down your network for the entire company! (Yes, that has happened.)

Now that your computer equipment is shiny and clean, when was the last time someone checked out what’s going on inside it? If it’s been a while since your system has been checked for updates, out-of-warranty hardware, end-of-life software or other issues, or if you’re plagued with spam, viruses, and downtime, fill out the contact form at the right to find out more about our Network Assessment. At your convenience, we’ll send a trustworthy and expert-level computer consultant to your office to check for anything keeping it from running at peak performance. Then we’ll give you a report showing where improvements can be made, in your timeframe and in your budget. There’s no risk, so contact us today!

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