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How to Maintain Computer Peripherals

Update the device firmware every 6 months. The term firmware refers to the software program used by the device’s components to communicate with the network and perform the various tasks required to accomplish its primary function. Manufacturers are continually offering firmware updates for computer peripherals that can significantly enhance the performance of any peripheral device.

  • Navigate to the manufacturer’s website and determine the location of the firmware downloads page. This page typically can be accessed from the “downloads” or “customer support” links located on the manufacturer’s home page.
  • Provide the required information when prompted. In most cases, you will need to provide the name and model number of the device, as well as the operating system installed on your computer, in order to locate the correct firmware update.
  • Follow the instructions provided for downloading and installing the firmware update. Once downloaded, the installation wizard will guide you through the process of installing the firmware update.

Clean peripheral devices as needed. Dirt, dust and debris can impact the performance of peripheral devices.

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  • Power down the device and disconnect it from the computer prior to cleaning. Neglecting to do so could cause damage to peripheral devices.
  • Use a can of compressed air to blow off dust particles and other debris from the exterior of the device.
  • Use a damp paper towel to wipe away any dust particles that remain after using the compressed air. Use a cotton swab lightly dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove grime and dirt from inside cracks, seams and other hard to reach places.
  • Use a microfiber cloth to clean LCD displays, camera lenses and device control panels. Do not use multi-purpose cleaners, which can cause serious damage to control panels, lenses and other types of displays on peripheral devices.
  • Follow the recommended maintenance schedule as directed by the manufacturer. This information can typically be found in the operating manual included with documentation that came with the device at the time of purchase.
  • Adhere to the manufacturer’s recommended best practices for use. These recommendations will vary by product and manufacturer. However, some of the more common examples include the following practices.
    • Power down or turn off the device when not in use. It is almost always recommended to turn off peripheral devices when not being used. When left on, devices, such as printers and hard drives, will wear out much more quickly. Protect peripheral devices from moisture and extreme heat. Stacking devices, placing them too close to other devices or heat sources, and storing devices in moist or humid environments can cause significant damage.
  • Use the recommended device settings. Follow the operating instructions specific to the task the device is being used for. For example, when printing photos from a multi-function printer, confirm that you are using the correct settings and media as recommended by the manufacturer. Likewise, remember to change the settings back before printing regular documents.
  • Use only the type and quality of media recommended by the device manufacturer. Peripheral devices are designed to work with specific types of media. Attempting to use media other than that recommended by the manufacturer can seriously damage the device and often will void any warranties.
    Keep device media in a well protected, low traffic area. Device media is easily damaged. Media like memory cards, disks, ink cartridges and paper should be stored in a cool, clean, dry space.
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Written by PH

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