Desktop PCs Tips

Read these 21 Desktop PCs Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about PC tips and hundreds of other topics.

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Are free antispyware tools available?

Free Antispyware Tools

It is imperative that your new computer system not only has an antivirus program but also secure against the entry of spyware. Some antivirus programs protect against spyware, but this coverage might not be enough.

There are free spyware programs available such as Spybot or Ad-Aware which allow you to scan your computer for spyware and remove it. It is also a good idea to setup and install a firewall onto your desktop computer, to help prevent the entry of spyware, and the exit of your personal information.


Cleaning a Desktop PC

Desktop PCs are not as portable as laptop computers, so they sit in the same spot gathering dust. With a weekly dusting, it is not always possible to clean the inside of the computer as well. Compressed air can be used for dust that is located inside the computer or in hard to reach places. However, this task should only be completed by someone who knows what they are doing.

You can start cleaning with compressed air by first turning off the computer and unplugging it from its power supply. Disconnect any equipment that is attached to the computer.

The next step would be to remove the computer case and ground yourself, to prevent any shocks or sparks.

Compressed air can be sprayed towards the areas with noticeable dust on them, being careful not to touch or disengage any connections.

A soft cloth can be used to wipe out the inside of the computer, as long as care is taken to work around the connections.

Afterwards, close the computer's case again, reconnect the equipment that was attached to it, turn on the electrical supply, and boot up your computer.

Should I buy a new computer or upgrade my current one?

Buying vs. Upgrading

With the drop in prices for new desktop computers, it is a good idea to consider the benefits of buying a new computer compared to having your old computer upgraded or replaced.

If extensive works needs to be done on the motherboard or hard drive, it is better to consider buying a new computer rather than putting more money into an outdated computer.

However, if the only work that needs to be completed on an old system is upgrading the operating system and buying new memory. You will save more than buying a new computer.

What is a desktop PC?

Desktop vs. Laptop

Because of its slender sleekness and size people are automatically drawn to the laptop. However, if this is going to be your main personal computer you might want to go for the desk version for two reasons. First, price -- you'll get more bang for your buck with a desktop. A computer rule of thumb: The smaller you go. The more you pay. Second, desktops are built to be able to expand & replace parts easier than its laptop counterpart.

What is a desktop PC?

Desktop death

It's a sick world out there. Lurking in some basement is some wacky techno-geek. Ready to release the next computer virus over the net. A virus is a file that executes by itself. It damages your desktop PC by replicating and attaching to your programs and destroying everything in sight. Recent remedies have proven to be helpful. Software like eTrust EZ Antivirus 2005 can provide virus detection and protection at a pretty cheap price. Also, network providers such as AOL are starting to provide virus protection software you can download. In some cases for free. Unfortunately, because another type of virus is always being created it is important to update this protection software regularly.

I love recyclying. Can an old computer be recycled or donated?

Recycle or Donate an Old Computer

After you have purchased a new computer, instead of tossing your old computer into the trash, donate it to a worthy cause. There are many recycling projects available that will take your used computer and donate it to someone who is unable to afford to buy a new computer.

People who have benefited from receiving recycled computers include those with disabilities and single parents or low-income families. Not only does donating your old computer help reduce the amount of items ending up in the landfill, it gives another person the chance to experience the joy of owning a computer. Also most computer recycling programs will provide a tax receipt for your generous donation.

How can I choose the right software?

Choosing The Right Software

If the new computer is strictly going to be a computer for the kids to play games or surf child-friendly Web sites, then maybe a low-end model computer is best. However, if the new computer is strictly for mom or dad to help them with their new home business, then accounting software might be installed. By considering the software you will need, this will save you the trouble of spending too much money on software you do not need.

There is so much to choose from! How do I make my selection?

Make Your Selection Based on the Whole Computer

It is common for most people when shopping for a new computer to only consider “space” and “speed”, meaning they will select a computer system based only on how much hard drive space it contains, or how fast the CPU or processor may be.

Only considering “space” and “speed”, you might end up with a computer that doesn't have a good amount of memory, and only a CD-ROM.

It is true the amount of hard drive space and the processor speed are amount in selecting a desktop, however there are other things that should be considered as well such as the brand of computer or the clarity of the monitor screen. Before spending hundreds of dollars on a system, make sure each part of the computer's configuration is enough to meet your needs.

What is a desktop PC?

A PC is truly a personal computer

A personal computer really is a reflection of its owner. A home business computer takes on a whole different look than an everyday personal computer. Before you buy the best thing to do is figure out what the primary use for your computer will be. If you are into video editing you're going to need a ton of hard drive space to handle those gargantuan gigabyte files. If you love to play network games you'll need to have a powerful processor to handle the speed, plus, a sharp monitor. So before you buy take a closer look at yourself.

What is a desktop PC?

Computing in comfort

If you know you are going to be spending a lot of time in front of your computer it's probably a good idea to make sure you invest in some comforts for your computer station. First, a desk designed for desktop. This usually includes a sliding area for the keyboard and lots of shelf and drawer space for books, CDs and extra peripherals. Also, while you're crunching numbers that last thing you want is to do a number on your back. An ergonomic chair is an easy answer. Last, to help prevent carpal tunnel syndrome a wrist pad should do the trick.

How Is The Desktop PC to be used?

Uses For Your Desktop PC

Almost all computers purchased these days will have software already installed on them. The typical software includes Microsoft Windows with Internet Explorer, games, and other software to create documents and spreadsheets such as Microsoft Works or Lotus Smart Suite. There is quite a number of other software that can be purchased as well to install on your computer, but before doing so, it is best to think how your desktop pc will be used, or even who will use it.

My computer is frozen! How do I fix this?

Unfreezing Your Computer

There are various things you can do to troubleshoot a desktop PC that keeps “freezing”. When a computer is referred to as being “frozen” this means that regardless of what key you press, the computer fails to respond.

The first tip for dealing with a frozen desktop is to figure out how the computer froze in the first place. Usually a computer will freeze after you have executed a certain command. This command could be something as simple as opening up a new file or installing new software.

If this constantly happens, try installing the software you recently installed and see if the computer still “freezes up”.

Another reason a computer can freeze is due to viruses and spyware. It is suggested that you reboot the computer using CTRL-ALT-DEL and running your antivirus or spyware program from Safe Mode.

A third reason why your system might be unresponsive could be due to hardware conflicts. By browsing in Device Manager, it will be possible to see any hardware that is having problems. Removing this hardware and rebooting should rectify the problem.

What are multimedia computers?

Multimedia Computers

There was a time when a multimedia computer was only reserved for graphics or game designers, or computer programmers. These days, many home computers are outfitted with the basic multimedia software and equipment.

Usually when one thinks of multimedia, audio, video, and games spring to me. But the term “multimedia” has grown over the years to encompass so much more than playing audio, video, and games. A multimedia computer can be used to chat on the Internet, develop business presentations, and create Internet Web sites. With the drop in prices for desktop computers, it is now affordable to be able to have a computer, which can view, create, and play multimedia.

How can spyware affect my desktop computer?

Your Desktop PC and Spyware

Computer security has become a hot topic for many consumers. There are new viruses and programs being released everyday, which infect your computer and cause your system to crash. However, other than viruses that are actively causing a problem, many people are not aware of the multitude of spyware available. Spyware is created to take over your computer, or intercept and transmit personal information from your computer.

Spyware such as adware can enter a computer by clicking links in emails from unknown senders, included with shareware, or visiting sites with “popups”. The adware will then transmit annoying advertisements to the infected computer, and generally slow down the system as it transmits this data.

Spyware can record what you type and use this information to steal your identity.

Where to can I buy a desktop computer?

Where to Buy a Desktop Computer

There are many places to choose from to buy a desktop computer. These places include a computer store, a general electronics store, and on the World Wide Web.

Most people will visit their local computer store in search for a desktop computer. The advantage of buying a computer here is that it is possible to interact with a salesperson who has a vast amount of knowledge about computers and can help you select a system that is right for you.

General electronics stores that do not only sell computer systems but also CDs, DVDs or televisions are becoming quite popular. Even though they may have a reduced amount of systems in stock, the benefit of going to a general electronics store is the opportunity to buy lower end models, which might not be available at the local computer store.

However, the World Wide Web is still a great place to shop for a new desktop. There are millions of Web sites online that offer both high and low end computers for sale. The main benefit of shopping online is the huge selection that is available just by clicking a mouse.

What is a desktop PC?

Desktop Definition

The desktop PC has come a long way in size and power since it hit the market in the 80s. In simplest terms a desktop PC is a personal computer that fits on top of the desk. The basic parts include a CPU, a monitor and a keyboard. Obviously, price comes to the top of everyone's list when PC shopping. However, it is important to remember that whatever you skimp on now may come back to haunt you in the recent future. The best PCs are those that offer you the best ability to expand. This might cost a bit more, but in the long run it'll cost you a lot less.

Would it be a beneficial to lease a computer?

Leasing a Desktop Computer

Instead of paying cash for a computer, you should consider getting a computer through a lease agreement. The first place to inquire about a lease for your computer is the companies that make them. If the manufacturer does not directly provide a leasing option for a desktop, many of them will be able to direct you to resellers that offer a lease.

It is also beneficial to look in your local telephone directory for places that lease computers to the general public. However, it is important to read the “fine print” before signing the lease agreement. This includes paying special attention to the length of the lease and who will is responsible for the costs of fixing the computer if it stops working.

How much space should my new computer have?

Amount of Storage Space

A desktop pc is a great family or business computer. Since desktop computers do not have to put up with the space and size constraints in laptop computers, the storage space for desktops computers can range anywhere from 40 gigabytes of hard drive space to a whopping 160 gigabytes of hard drive space. Typically, many people opt to purchase a desktop computer with at least 80 gigabytes of hard drive space.

How Much Would You Like To Spend?

How Much to Spend

When shopping for household items, it is a good idea to have a list handy with a plan to only buy what is on that list, and only spend a certain amount of money. This same type of plan should be adopted with buying a desktop pc. It is easy to enter a computer store or shop online and start to feel like a kid again. But in the end all we end up doing is “maxing out” our credit cards and buying a lot of items we do not need. Therefore, it is good advice to have an idea of how much you would like to spend before buying your new computer.

Are computer warranties worth it?

Opt For a Warranty

Depending on the brand of computer you purchase, and the vendor who is selling the computer, most desktops will come with a one to three year warranty. If a desktop you would like to purchase does not include a warranty, spend the extra money to buy at least a three-year warranty. This three-year warranty will usually include “parts and labor”, which means if something goes wrong with your computer within the next three years, the store will be responsible for doing the technical work and replacing the parts for you. It is advised that you read the fine print and find out what exactly is covered under your warranty, such as hardware malfunctions and not damage caused by you.

Are you looking for a new media machine?

Affordable and Upgradeable Media Machine

Buying a quality performance multi-media system can be affordable and not leave you in debt for years. A good multi-media system does not have to have high-end versions of every possible component. If you have a lower budget start with the mid-tier and upgrade as you can afford it.

You will want to start with mid-tier graphics and sound cards, 4GB of RAM and a dual core processor around 2.5 GHz. A 19 or 22-inch screen should be sufficient. Of course, you can go higher in any of these areas if you want, but it is not required to build a good desktop computer. If you want to add a Blu-ray drive for high definition and a slightly better graphics card for some gaming, that will move the price up a bit more.

You could add a TV tuner card and still come in under $1,500. These specs will give you a solid performing media machine that can be upgraded down the road. Add some good software and you'll have everything needed for photo and video editing, music, gaming and cinematic movie experiences.

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Guru Spotlight
Jolyn Wells-Moran