Disaster-Proof Your PC
When it's time to get your game on, nothing's more mind-numbingly devastating than a PC that's down for the count. If you've spent much time with computers, you know the drill (if not, consider yourself lucky). You hit the power button to boot your rig and you're greeted with the dreaded Blue Screen of Death or a "No Bootable Device" message, that just won't go away, no matter what you do. Damn! [Insert gasp of desperation or heavy sigh here.]
Maybe you were contentedly fragging enemies when the power went out during a game save. Or, perhaps you were surfing the murky backwaters of the Internet or opening email for a special deal on "discount software" or "herbal enhancers" only to be blindsided by a virus, worm, Trojan or some other form of malicious malware. Whatever the case, at that moment frozen in time, your soul sinks and you feel that knot tighten in the pit of your stomach. Inescapable disaster has struck... or has it?
The good news is that your game rig, and all its irreplaceable data, need not be toast. Most PC catastrophes can be avoided with a bit of pre-disaster planning. This "how to" will walk you through a five-step plan to disaster-proof your system (even if it's a Mac).
Five Steps to Averting a PC Disaster
Most gamers, and computerphiles in general, donít contemplate disaster until it strikes. Of course, it's too late then. Savvy technophiles, conversely, prepare for the inevitable with a solid, easy to implement, unified disaster-recovery plan in place. So, letís get savvy!
Disaster-proofing your PC is a five-step process. Safeguarding your assets (i.e., saving your ass-ets) involves malware avoidance, hard drive partitioning (and/or multiple drives), disk imaging, data redundancy and hardware protection.
Step 1: Malware Avoidance
Your first line of defense against computer calamity is malware avoidance. Keep your PC safe against the ravages of viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware and other malware miscreants and you're ahead of the game. For this, you need to invest in a first-class security suite or assemble your own.
Most system builders offer a default option or two when you order a new PC, but you're usually better served by providing your own solution (some great rebates exist on security suites). Popular alternatives include, in alphabetical order:
All have their pros and cons, and offer varying degrees of protection, so perform a search on "security software" and reference the latest comparisons to help in your selection. Failing that, try asking for some advice on a forum! If these all-in-one solutions are too rich for your blood, assemble your own suite from free security software. Include a quality firewall, as well as antivirus and spyware apps. Programs worth consideration include, but are not limited to:
Basic Firewall Software
Whatever you decide, don't leave yourself, and your PC, unprotected. One of the best ways to secure your investment is to shield it against "infection" and "infestation" in the first place.