Your Computer Needs Good Spring Cleaning


44By Terry Rogers

With spring finally here, thoughts turn to spring cleaning. Many people tackle cluttered garages, wash the streaks from windows and clear closets of items they no longer need. However, the home is not the only thing that could use a spring cleaning.

“Your computer also needs a good spring cleaning,” said Pat Coulter of Response Computer Group. “Your computer can have ‘debris’ that is causing it to run slowly or crash often. We offer a PC Tune-Up service for a $99 flat rate designed to do just that. Normally, we can complete the service with a 48-hour turnaround.”

During the tune-up, Microsoft Certified Technicians will check the hard drive for bad sectors. According to Mr. Coulter, a bad sector on a hard drive can cause corruption in the operating system as well as issues when the computer is booted. It can even cause loss of data, something no computer owner wants to have happen. The technicians also clean the fans which provided airflow to the computer, a critical function as a computer that overheats can suffer irreparable damage.

“One of the things we do is to remove Potentially Unwanted Programs or PUPs,” Mr. Coulter said. “These are programs that get installed when you download other programs and updates. PUPs are often hidden in free programs and can do many different things to your computer, including change your homepage and search settings. They can also install browser redirects, toolbars and questionable optimizer programs.” The technicians also delete temporary files created by programs in order to free up drive space and improve computer performance.

Malware is another issue that many computer owners face. There are many anti-malware programs available designed to remove these programs without contacting a computer professional, but some of the malware programs are designed to leave behind remnants that cause them to reinstall even after being removed by anti-malware programs. Mr. Coulter said that during their spring cleaning service, they run multiple removal tools to ensure that all remnants of any malware are removed.

Mr. Coulter said that the service includes installation of free anti-virus protection if the computer has none or the currently installed anti-virus program has expired. Response Computer Group installs Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender, which Microsoft provides for free on systems running Windows 7, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10. The technicians will also install any Windows updates that are pending and reset browser settings that may have been changed due to PUPs.

“If you do nothing else, make sure to backup any of your critical files, pictures and documents,” Mr. Coulter said. “Depending on the amount of files you need to save, you can back up to a thumb drive, an external hard drive or to a cloud-based service. This may save you from losing irreplaceable pictures or having to re-input data in the event of a system failure.”

To arrange for a PC Tune-Up as part of your spring cleaning, businesses and individuals can visit Response Computer Group at 213 W. Liberty Way, in the Independence Commons Business Park off of Airport Road. They are open Monday through Friday from 8 AM until 5 PM. Mr. Coulter said that no appointment is necessary for the PC Tune-Up service. For more information on the services available through Response Computer Group, individuals can give them a call at 302-725-3314.