Preventative Maintenance
As with all computers, the major contributors to computer death are: Heat Electronic Static Discharge (ESD) Clumsy operator, or user damage. Heat Damage Most chips are susceptible to heat damage. For example, first generation pentium computers could not be faster then 90 mhz, because they would overheat and die. For a lot of computers, the manufacturer may have relied on:
  • natural heat dissipation
  • a power supply fan
  • a heatsink, without a fan.
  • a heatsink with a fan ESD Whenever you opening your case to add a card or do any work, ground yourself. The best way is with an ESD workstation or ESD wriststap connected to your work. If nothing else is available, at least grab firmly any metal in the case Analog All computers contain their analog/mechanical parts, most often failures occur because of a failure of these parts, causing intermittent problems. The most important thing for analog preventative maintenance, is to remember computers like to be kept clean and dry. Your computer can certainly use an occasional cleaning and a once over to ensure it is kept at it's best. Digital The heart and soul of your computer, "the electron, the bit...", harder to diagnose, but at most times the hardest to fix. Often damage to a digital part occurs well after you've repaired analog problems. If you're lucky, you've aquired spare parts of the major boards and are simply swapping out. If not then you have the challenge of finding parts, or paying a high level techie to search the board with a voltmeter and logic probe.