Frequently Asked Questions (Part 4)

Q) Should I “defrag” my hard drive?

A) “Defragging” (defragmenting) a hard drive is a process that Windows operating systems need to do to maintain optimum performance over time. This is due to the way Windows writes files to the hard drive. Before Windows Vista (XP and older), this had to be done manually unless you installed 3rd party software that did it on a schedule for you. With newer versions of Windows, the built-in defragmentation software runs automatically (usually on wednesday mornings) so as long as you leave your computer on at night during the work week, you generally don’t need to concern yourself with this process. The same goes for Windows Updates…

Q) How can I make sure I have a backup of my important files? Are back up services really worth it?

A) When it comes to backups, we recommend a strategy that combines a local backup to a USB drive or network storage device, as well as a “cloud” component that backs up your most important files offsite in case your building burns down or a flood happens. Windows has very capable built-in backup software that works great for the local backups, and we typically recommend a cloud solution called Crashplan that allows you to back up an unlimited amount of data for less than $10/month per computer. Feel free to contact us if you’d like help setting up a backup strategy for your home or office!

Q) The [hardware device] isn’t working. why?

A) When a specific component or peripheral device stops working, it can really be one of two things. Either a hardware malfunction (ranging from an unplugged cable to an actual hardware failure) or a software issue that usually revolves around the component’s driver. A driver is a small piece of software that allows the operating system (Windows or Mac OS X for example) to communicate and utilize a hardware component. We will usually start by making sure the hardware is connected and getting power to try and rule that out, then we may attempt to update the software driver by downloading the latest version from the website of whatever company makes the component. If nothing helps, that’s when we might consider replacing the hardware component. You can always reach out to a computer professional if you’re in a spot like this, too 🙂

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