Computers very seldom stop working overnight.  In most cases, there are early warning signs to let you know of impending doom.

Here are 10 signs that you need to get a professional to investigate your system:

  1. Your workstation or server starts running slow, freezes up, or crashes frequently.
  2. You web browser has been changed to something else or your home page is changed.
  3. You are getting an unusual number of pop-ups, even while the computer is idle.
  4. You don’t know if you have anti-virus software on all of your computer systems, or you are not sure if the definitions are up to date, or you have no idea what an anti-virus definition is.
  5. You don’t know if you have a firewall in place or the last time it was updated.
  6. You haven’t performed a test restore of your data.
  7. You receive e-mail accusing you of sending spam or you find e-mail in your sent folder that you did not send.
  8. Your computer starts making noises.
  9. The fan is constantly running.
  10. You are getting an increasing number of error messages.

If any of these items are happening to you, you should contact an IT pro immediately to investigate.

In some ways, your computer is similar to your car.  Your car needs routine maintenance to keep it performing, and so does your computer.

As a computer owner, the worst thing you can do is to take a reactive approach to problems.  By the time the problem occurs, it will cost much more in terms of money and data lost, than it would cost to properly maintain your system.

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