To ensure that an OS remains fully functional, you must implement a preventive maintenance plan. A preventive maintenance plan provides the following benefits to users and organizations:
- Decreased downtime
- Improved performance
- Improved reliability
- Decreased repair costs
Preventive Maintenance Planning
Preventive maintenance plans should include detailed information about the maintenance of all computers and network equipment. The plan should prioritize equipment that would affect the organization the most if it goes down. Preventive maintenance for an OS includes automating tasks to perform scheduled updates. Preventive maintenance also includes installing service packs that help keep the system up to date and compatible with new software and hardware. Preventive maintenance includes the following important tasks:
- Hard drive backup
- Hard drive defragmentation
- Updates to the OS and applications
- Updates to antivirus and other protective software
- Hard drive error checking
Perform preventive maintenance regularly, and record all actions taken and observations made. A repair log helps you determine which equipment is the most or least reliable. It also provides a history of when a computer was last fixed, how it was fixed, and what the problem was.
Some preventive maintenance should take place when it causes the least amount of disruption to the people who use the computers. This often means scheduling tasks at night, early in the morning, or over the weekend. There are also tools and techniques that can automate many preventive maintenance tasks.
Security is an important aspect of your preventive maintenance program. Install virus and malware protection software, and perform regular scans on computers to help ensure that they remain free of malicious software. Use the Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool to check a computer for specific, prevalent malicious software. If an infection is found, the tool removes it. Each time a new version of the tool is available from Microsoft, download it and scan your computer for new threats. This should be a standard item in your preventive maintenance program, along with regular updates to your antivirus and spyware removal tools.
Some programs, such as antivirus scanners and spyware removal tools, do not automatically start when the computer boots. To ensure that these programs run each time the computer is booted, add the program to the Startup folder of the Start Menu. Many programs have switches to allow the program to perform a specific action, start up without being displayed, or go to the Windows Tray. Check the documentation to determine if your programs allow the use of special switches.