Although there is no definitive answer to the life span of a desktop PC, most experts agree that it falls somewhere between 3 to 5 years. Amount of use, environmental conditions, and maintenance are a few factors that can skew the figures. There are a handful of things that can be done to help extend the life of your computer and increase its performance. Consider the following when trying to extend the life of your Windows XP PC.

Hard Disk Error Checking
Checking and repairing your hard disk(s) is a simple procedure. To run a disk scan open My Computer and right-click Hard Disk, select Properties, click Tools tab, under Error-checking click Check Now, check Automatically fix file system errors and Scan for and attempt to recovery bad sectors. These scans typically do not start until your computer is restarted.

Disk Clean Up
Removing unnecessary files is easy with the Disk Cleanup utility. Run the disk cleanup utility by clicking on Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup. Check the files to delete and click OK.

Disk Defragmentation
Files on a computer are broken into parts and stored in various locations on your hard disk. Defragmenting your hard drive helps put those files closer together and creates a larger contiguous space to create new files. Defragmenting will increase your computers performance. To run the disk defragmenter, click on Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter. Click on your disk and click Defragment button.

Surge Protection
Using a surge protector helps prevent the sensitive components of a computer from being adversely affected by fluctuations in power or lightning strikes.

Remove Unnecessary Software
Programs that are not used take up unnecessary disk space and resources. To remove programs click Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs and select the programs that are no longer used.

Keep it protected from threats
Keeping your computer behind a properly configured firewall and operating with up-to-date anti-virus will help keep your computer protected from threats that can damage your computer and stop it from operating.

Periodically Clean with Compressed Air
Accumulations of dust and environmental factors can have a significant impact on a computer. Periodically (every 6 months) open up your computer and clean the components with compressed air.

Finding time to complete these regular maintenance tasks may prove difficult for many business people. Through automation, our Freedom IT Professional clients have these regular maintenance tasks performed without business interruption during regularly scheduled evening maintenance windows. We estimate that this extends the lives of managed PCs by approximately 2 years.