Small Business Professor: Upgrade your computer system without breaking the bank

By Bruce Freeman

The Small Business Professor

Courtesy of The Telegraph

February 19, 2015

Q: I own a small medical supplies company. I want to update my computer systems and keep my business running smoothly. I have a limited budget. Do you have any advice?

A: With a limited budget, you are more than likely going to want to spend it ensuring that your existing systems are functioning well and will continue to operate efficiently in the years to come, said Marc Bressman, president of Falcon Computer Consulting in New Jersey. Doing this might involve making some system upgrades (RAM, hard drives, et cetera) without necessarily purchasing a new computer system. Here are some tasks to perform:
With PCs, you might want to use a cleaning tool like CCleaner and also uninstall unused software that could be bogging down your machines. This will ensure you have adequate free hard disk space.
Anti-virus and anti-malware scans help ensure there are no infections hiding in your system. For PCs, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware is highly recommended.
These scans ensure the system itself is operating correctly and isn't experiencing errors or corruptions. For PCs, you can use CHKDSK, short for "check disk." For Macs, options include a disk utility scan. If possible, use manufacturer utilities to check different components of your computer system for any possible problems.
System updates ensure you have the latest patches and security updates and potentially set up your computer to download them automatically in the future. These updates also ensure that critical software are up-to-date.
Performing all these checks presents a good opportunity to make sure you have a robust backup system, which could include a cloud service such as CrashPlan. Be sure to practice recovering data from your backup systems to guarantee they work.
Finally, be sure you pay attention to signs from your computer that there might be problems in the future, such as warnings that pop up (these shouldn't be lightly dismissed).
When there are significant issues with your computer system, an IT professional can give you a quick assessment and allow you to make the best possible decision on how to proceed.
Bruce Freeman, an adjunct professor and co-author of "Birthing the Elephant" (Random House), is president of ProLine Communications. Readers may send him email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and follow him on Twitter (@smallbizprof) and Facebook.



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