- Tech

Desktop Maintenance – 5 Proven Strategies To Get ‘Er Done

The evenings are a great time for IT administrators to catch up on Windows desktop maintenance.

Generally, we recommend a monthly maintenance cycle on all desktops. But, if you’re like most administrators we work with, you might be putting these items off, on the back burner.

There’s no time like evenings and weekends to get caught up on these important routines.

Here are five proven strategies for getting caught up on Windows desktop maintenance, and perhaps they’ll inspire you to other “spring cleaning” makeovers:

1) Run defragmenter software. During the year, it’s easy for desktop computers in particular to get bogged down. People save content to their desktops, to the source and subfolders of their C: drives, and so forth.

They probably download music and videos and delete and install/uninstall tons of plug-ins and software. Schedule a defragmenting process to run on the desktops.
It’s a time-consuming process the first time around. If you haven’t done it yet, you can dedicate a couple weekends since employees will most likely be away from their desktops.

This is an excellent time to make sure all hard drives are optimized. We often do these for clients after hours or on weekends, one of the many virtues of being a 24/7 service.

2) Update antivirus and security software. In the past 12 to 18 months, new versions of just about every security program have come out.

All of the major vendors, such as Microsoft, Symantec and Trend Micro, have made enhancements to their security products, including better heuristics for detecting email based attacks, lighter footprints and, in general, enhanced protection.

3) Distribute new software and purge outdated software simultaneously. Have you been planning to update Office 2007 to Office 2010?

What about deploying those new shortcuts to your Remote Desktop Services or Terminal Services or Citrix implementation?

Now is the time for software deployments and manage these installations across desktops.

Most installations of major software suites, like Office, can run just fine without your presence.

A related Windows desktop maintenance task you can do simultaneously is to delete software that’s no longer used, such as deprecated instant messaging clients, unused line-of-business software, old plug-ins and pilot deployment applications.

4) Find unpatched systems and bring them up to date. Your patch management system probably gives you a lot of information about systems that it can’t touch or machines in which it encountered difficulty installing or removing updates.

If these systems aren’t laptops and stay on your network, now’s a perfect time to remotely access, diagnose the problems and correct the patches.

5) Rationalize printers and printing setups. Think about how your printers are currently set up, located, shared and secured.

Which printers are used a great deal, and which are hardly used at all?

Are your employees able to send jobs to any printer on your network, or is network connectivity limited?

It’s time for a new beginning.

Take the time to catch up on some of the Windows desktop maintenance tasks you want to do, but have been putting on the backburner.

Or better yet, hire a monthly done-for- you- 24-7-365-proactive tech support service.

It’s no problem if you already have in-house tech support. We work with businesses of all sizes and scope.