Proper upkeep and maintenance are important aspects of owning a computer. We’re going to cover what’s involved with setup and maintenance of your trading computer which includes cleaning, dust removal & keeping Windows up to date. The good news is that you have to do very little to maintain one of our trading computers.
It’s actually very rare for high quality case fans to stop working, but it can happen. If your computer is older, and you notice a fan has stopped spinning or it’s making noise, then replacement might be necessary.
It’s important to maintain the same positive air pressure setup. We’ll cover that in the next section. If you need to replace a fan, contact us and we can help selecting an appropriate replacement.
Compter cases (chassis) have a lot of case fans to keep the system cool and functioning within designed specs. There are either intake fans or exhaust fans. We try to minimize dust and the need for cleaning with proper fan set up.
Intake fans draw cool air into the case. From an engineering standpoint, intake fans are much more important, continuous cool air entering the case cools the components.
Exhaust fans push hot air out of the case. Hot air rises, so cases with a more open top mesh panel allows the heat to naturally escape out of the top of the case.
What is positive air pressure? When the combined airflow of all the intake fans is greater than the exhaust, a positive air pressure is created inside the case. In a chassis with negative air pressure, there are more exhaust fans than intake fans. When this happens air will be sucked in through any crack, or opening it can, and you are effectively bypassing the intake fan filters to control the accumulation of dust. Neutral air pressure would be when the exaust and intake are balanced.
Positive air pressure is the best scenario for case fan setup. This will allow the least amount of dust to accumulate inside the chassis. The systems we design usually have two or three intake fans and one exhaust fan.
Computer case fans will draw in not only the air to cool the device but also unwanted dust and other contaminants. The good news is that we sell cases with dust filters, that is one of the main reasons we like Fractal Design cases so much. Take a look at the exploded view of the Fractal Design 7 case.
As you can see, there is a top, bottom and front fan filter. The front filter is the intake fan filter, this one will need cleaning most often since it’s pulling fresh air into the case. Removal is simple, just open the front door and pop it free from the top, it snaps back into place just as easily. The bottom filter slides out for cleaning. The filter on top can be accessed by removing the top panel first, the panel is held in place by small clips and pops out.
Other case models from different manufacturers such as the Lian Li 216 don’t always have dust filters. In that instance, you’ll need to blow out the inside of the case with a can of compressed air or an electric air duster.
Windows 11 automatically updates the computer and will force a restart after it’s done so. It can be frustrating to wake up one morning and the computer has been reset due to Windows Update. Instead of waiting for Windows to do it automatically it can be beneficial to check for updates yourself from time to time. Then you can update and restart the computer on your own terms.
You can pause updates in Windows 11, this is a temporary measure. We recommend keeping Windows updated frequently for security concerns, only pause them when absolutely necessary.
The “Advanced options” in Windows Update has a lot of settings that can be beneficial. One of them is to set “Active hours” so Windows won’t restart during the workday. There is also an option we recommend turning on – “Notify me when a restart is required to finish updating”. This setting is useful to at least let you know a restart is needed.
Good antivirus software is never a bad idea. There are a lot of free options out there, but also remember that Windows 11 has “Windows Security” baked right into the operating system.
Go to “Privacty & security > Windows Security”.
Under “Virus & threat protection” you can do a quick scan of you hard drive, this only take a minute or two to complete.
We also strongly urge our customers to set a login pin, password or use one of the security features such as Windows Hello.
When you turned on your computer for the first time you were greeted with the Windows out of box experience. You either had to sign up for a Microsoft account or create a new one. You get 5GB of free cloud storage with your Microsoft account, and up to 15GB of free Outlook.com email storage which is separate from your Microsoft cloud storage.
This is our preferred method of backing up your files. If you ever upgrade your computer all you need to do is login with the same Microsoft account and you’ll have access to all the stored files and email.
Need more storage? Microsoft has very affordable Home and Business plans. The Family plan is fantastic, it allows for up to six family members to share the same subscription and each person has their own separate cloud storage (up to 1TB per person). Take a look at Microsoft 365 here.
With a Microsoft 365 account you get Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, Microsoft Forms, Skype, Microsoft Teams, OneNote, Outlook, tons of storage, 1 to 6 users and even more stuff we probably forgot to mention.
Many of us here at Blue Aura use Microsoft 365, we encourage you to give it a try.
You don’t need to shut off your computer every day. In fact, we encourage our customers to leave their computers on all the time. It won’t hurt it or shorten the lifespan as long as you’ve got the system set to enter sleep mode after a period of time. Rebooting the computer every once in a while is helpful, especially if its been a few weeks.