PC Preventative Maintenance

Hard Drive


Clean the CD drives to help prevent errors during use. Clean with either Simple Green or 409 spray. Be careful not to get the insides of the drives wet.

Run Scandisk and Disk Defragmenter
ALWAYS run Scandisk BEFORE Disk Defragmenter! You may run both of these functions by going to the start button, programs, accessories, and system tools.


Double click MY COMPUTER

Click right mouse button on C: (drive) & get drop down menu

Go to Properties, click once

Click TOOLS TAB at top

Click [CHECK NOW] tab once

Click STANDARD once a month; THOROUGH every 3 months

Click Automatically Fix Errors

Click START and wait till finished

Close Scandisk Results Window

Close Scandisk Window


Double click MY COMPUTER

Click right mouse button on C: (drive) & get drop down menu

Go to Properties, click once

Click TOOLS TAB at top


WAIT till done (approx. 30 min)

NOTE: disregard message that says "you don't have to defrag at this time" HIT START ANYWAY! You can click [SHOW DETAILS] to watch defragging of hard drive. If you do not watch, it is best to turn your monitor off.

Steps to Clear your Cache and Set Page Updates

Internet Explorer keeps track of two things when you browse pages. One, the location of the page (stores this in the History Folder in your computer) and two, the page and images (stored in the Temporary Internet Pages folder)

History Folder
The history folder keeps track of the location of the pages you have seen. The folder is located in c:\windows\history.

Follow these steps to view/clear your History:

Open Internet Explorer

Click on the View menu item

Click on Options

The Options dialog box will appear

Select the Navigation tab

Enter the number of days you want to keep a history list

Click on Clear History

Click on View History if you want to see where you have been.


Before you begin, disconnect the keyboard. You can use your can of compressed air to blow the particles out of their hiding places, or you can use an electronics vacuum if you have one. If you need to remove any keycaps or the keyboard cover, do so carefully. Use a small amount of alcohol on a towel to clean each keycap and use a non-static-producing brush on the stubborn dirt. You also could use the foam eye shadow applicators dipped in alcohol to clean between the keys. Clean the rest of the keyboard cover with alcohol or general-purpose cleaner and a towel.


Clean the outside of the monitor with Simple Green, 409, or a similar cleaner.

Spray a cloth with glass cleaner and wipe the screen. If you attempt to clean an LCD screen, be careful not to press too hard on the screen. Be sure to use a clean, soft cloth.

Clean the outside of the monitor with Simple Green, 409, or a similar cleaner.

Spray a cloth with glass cleaner and wipe the screen. If you attempt to clean an LCD screen, be careful not to press too hard on the screen. Be sure to use a clean, soft cloth.

We do not recommend cleaning the inside of a conventional monitor (CRT) unless you are an experienced technician. The picture tube retains a high voltage even after the power is shut off.


Begin by unplugging the mouse from the computer. Turn the mouse upside down, and remove the mouse ball to access the X and Y rollers. A careful inspection of the small rollers usually reveals gunk.

Reassemble the mouse and clean the outside of it and the cord with a diluted solution of Simple Green, alcohol, or general-purpose cleaner and a towel. Reconnect it and test it to make sure it works.

Laser Printer

A standard checklist for customer responsibilities includes:

Keeping the unit clean (including vacuuming spilled toner and dust) and cleaning the paper feed path.

Changing the toner cartridge.

Cleaning the pad (Only applicable on certain machines).

Adding paper.

Knowing how to run the printer's self-test.

Replacing other consumables designated in the operator's manual.

Paper jams are the most common problem encountered with laser printer. These most often are caused by:

Paper feed path obstructions.

Paper tray and paper length mismatch.

Exceeding the printer temperature or humidity operating range.

Exceeding allowable temperature and humidity ranges in the paper storage environment.

Nonstandard paper size or weight.

Deskjet Printer

Eliminating ink streaks. DeskJet printers in dusty environments might occasionally experience ink streaks or smearing because of a small accumulation of debris inside the printer. It is recommended that you perform this cleaning every 3 months.

Remove the print cartridges

Turn the printer on and lift the printer's top cover. The print cartridges move to the center of the printer.

After the print cartridges have moved to the center of the printer, unplug the black power cord from the back of the printer.

Remove the print cartridges and place them on their sides on a scrap piece of paper.

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Clean the print cartridges

Dip a clean cotton swab into distilled water and squeeze any excess water from the swab.

Grasp the black print cartridge by the colored cap.

Clean the face and edges of the print cartridge as shown. DO NOT wipe the nozzle plate.

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Hold the print cartridge up to the light to inspect for fibers on the face and edges.

With the tri-color print cartridge use a clean, moistened cotton swab to avoid any contamination.

Clean the print cartridge cradle

Position yourself at eye level with the printer.

Locate the cradle that holds the print cartridges, then locate the three black, hook-shaped arms on the bottom of the cradle.

Using clean, moistened swabs, wipe the flat surfaces (shaded area) on the undersides of each arm from back to front. Repeat until no ink residue is seen on a clean swab.

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Clean the service station

Using a clean, moistened swab, clean the rim of the sponge holder.

Remove any built-up ink and fibers from the top of the sponge. If the sponge is higher than the rim, use the cotton swab to push it below the rim.

Using a clean, moistened swab, clean wiper 1 and the top surface of cap

Using a clean, moistened swab, clean wiper 2 and the top surface of cap 2.

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Reinstall the print cartridges

Reinstall the print cartridges and close the printer's top cover.

Reinsert the power cord into the back of the printer.

Print a test page. On the Printer Services tab of the HP Toolbox, click Print a test page.

Examine the printout for ink streaking.

Correcting missing lines or dots

Clean the print cartridges when you notice that the lines or dots are missing from your printed text and graphics, as shown in the left margin. The print cartridges can be cleaned from the HP Toolbox.

To clean the print cartridges from the HP Toolbox:

Double-click the HP Toolbox icon on the computer screen.

Click the Printer Services tab.

Click Clean the print cartridges and follow the directions on the screen.

If the preceding procedure does not improve the print quality, your print cartridges might be low on ink. Replace the printer cartridge.

Fax Machine and Scanner

Scanners and fax machines have lenses that get dirty. Remove the glass covers and clean them with Windex. Any dust inside these covers has to be blown out with compressed gas.

The rollers in the fax machines can be cleaned with alcohol. If the rubber is badly worn use Goof-Off. Be warned that Goof-Off will damage plastic parts and in some cases it will damage synthetic rubber rollers. If you're not sure, don't use it.

The outside of the cabinet can be cleaned with Simple Green or 409 cleaner.


Handling a Disc
The best way to handle a disc is by its edges. Many times discs are scratched when placing them in their protective sleeves or jewel cases. When handling your disc, avoid touching the shiny side of the disc (this is the side on which the laser reads the information). Although the technology to compensate for obstructions blocking the lens is very sophisticated, ordinary dirt, dust, oil, and fingerprints can drastically reduce your disc player's performance. Take care when returning your discs into their storage cases or sleeves.

Cleaning a Disc
Use a clean, soft cloth and wipe from the center of the disc towards the outside of the disc. Avoid wiping the disc in a circular motion ( this may damage the disc). NEVER USE any solvents on the disc - you may cause permanent damage to your disc. Do not remove labels or other protective shields from the label side of your disc. The adhesive is strong enough to pull off the foil on which the data is encoded, thereby destroying the disc.

This page developed and maintained by the Information Technology Department. Send comments and suggestions to helpdesk@ccri.edu .

Last Updated: 5/15/18