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Much as the name implies, preventive maintenance, often abbreviated PM, refers to performing proactive maintenance in order to prevent system problems. This is contrasted to diagnostic or corrective maintenance, which is performed to correct an already-existing problem. Anyone who has ever owned or cared for a car knows all about what preventive maintenance is. After all, you don't change your oil and air filter in response to a problem situation (normally), you do it so that your engine will last and you won't have car troubles down the road (no pun intended :^) ).
This chapter discusses some of the general concepts regarding preventive maintenance, the different types that are relevant to PCs, and how to set up a preventive maintenance schedule. The schedule can be considered a summary of preventive maintenance activities.