Data and Software Maintenance

Computer systems require routine maintenance for their data and software to ensure efficiency and prevent breakdowns.

The maintenance tasks are outlined in the following sections.

Disk Formatting


New secondary storages need to be formatted before use.

Disk formatting refers to preparing a secondary storage medium for use by the computer system.

This includes structuring the initial data on the disk so that new data can be stored and managed effectively.




A computer virus is malicious software that is harmful to computer programs and data.

They are usually created to damage or disrupt the functioning of computer systems for malicious purposes.

Protective antivirus software  prevents infections from computer viruses and can remove existing viruses in computer systems.

Antivirus software removes existing viruses via scanning or searching through computer software and data for virus infections.

Software Updates

Both system software (including the operating system) and application software may require updates from the manufacturers for improvement to features and to fix  existing issues.   This process is sometimes automatic  or may require intervention from the computer user.

Examples include Windows updates, MS Office updates.



A backup is a duplicate or copy of data.   Computer systems are backed up to recover  from accidental or malicious data loss or corruption.

Reasons for data loss include

  • Theft
  • Hardware Failure
  • Viruses
  • Fire
  • Natural Disaster


Usually the backup is stored off-site in another physical location to the computer system.

Backups can be scheduled automatically or performed manually by the user.


Disk Defragmenting


Files stored on a computer may not be stored in continuous blocks of data.    A computer is most efficient when reading data that is stored in large continuous blocks.

Over time, files stored in computer system can become increasingly fragmented, beaning that they are stored in discontinuous blocks over the file system.

Defragmenting is the process by which files are re-joined into continuous blocks.

Defragmentation tasks are usually  scheduled and managed by the operating system, but can be manually performed by the user.


Disk Cleanup

Disk cleanup refers to the process of removing redundant and useless files from computer storage to increase the free space capacity for new files.

Files are cleaned from the recycle bin and other temporary storage locations.

Windows operating system provides a utility that performs this task that is usually managed by the computer user.



© 2018  Vedesh Kungebeharry. All rights reserved

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