Keeping up with family computer maintenance

It’s so easy to slack off on family computer maintenance!  It’s one of those things that’s not often on your mind – until there’s a problem.

I’ve learned that the hard way this summer that I need to do a better job with regular computer maintenance.  Maybe you do, too?!

First, my computer died.  We noticed a terrible burnt electronics smell, and then it was gone.  It was a sad day – especially since I had neglected to back up to my external hard drive recently.  I was terrified I was going to lose some of my priceless photos and videos of my kids.

Luckily I have tech support available within my family.  I called my brother and asked for help.  Thankfully the computer’s hard drive was OK.  He helped me access data from the hard drive and pull it over to the new computer.  We retrieved the precious pictures and videos.  Yay!!!!   What a relief!  I quickly backed them up to an external hard drive.

The moral of this story:  Always keep your computer backed up on an external hard drive!!

Don’t have good intentions, and then forget about it, like I did.

Part of my problem was that my external hard drive was running out of space.  I’d had it several years, and it didn’t have the large storage capacity of today’s newer versions.  So I slacked off on backing up rather than buying a new device.  I was so dumb!!

Along with a new computer, I found a new 2 terabyte external hard drive on sale for $90 and snatched it up.  Amazon has the one I got, the WD My Book 2 TB USB 3.0 Hard Drive with Backup (affiliate link), for less than $100 at regular price.  It’s a small price to pay to safeguard family memories stored in digital form!

The new external hard drive has huge storage capacity compared to my older version.  Plenty of room for backing up everything regularly.

We discovered the second computer issue during a big storm over the weekend.  When I got the new computer I didn’t get a new surge protector/UPS.  I just assumed the old one was OK.  Bad assumption!

The battery backup didn’t work when the power was flickering during the weekend thunderstorm.  So our computer shut down improperly and then didn’t want to come back up.  I had to do a point-in-time restore.  Everything is working fine now, but it was time for a new surge protector/UPS.

When purchasing the new one, I learned that it has a three-year warranty.  That’s about the age of the one I replaced.  At the store, I was told that’s a standard lifespan for this type of equipment.  I didn’t see a battery indicator on the one I replaced, but I like that my new one, an APC model, has a battery indicator light to let me know when it needs to be replaced.

Amazon has the APC BE550G Back-UPS ES 8 Outlet 550VA 120V (affiliate link) for less than I paid at the store for a similar model.  With the free shipping, I probably should have ordered it from Amazon as a better deal, but I headed to the store as soon as the rain slowed down so I could get the new surge protection/UPS attached as quickly as possible. I don’t want any more computer issues!

I like the family computer maintenance reminders that Norton has at Home Computer Maintenance 101.  It’s not an overwhelming list, and helpful to keep things running smoothly.  I’m promising myself to do a better job protecting our family computer!

Wishing you well with your family computer maintenance!

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