Top 10 Touch Screen Kiosk Maintenance Tips – #6 Media Maintenance

Jul 15 2013

Continuing our series on the Top 10 Touch Screen Kiosk Maintenance Tips, we going to consider your digital and print media and the associated devices.

Digital media is any storage device that stores digital data.  Print media is the materials that are used to disseminate printed information.  Your touch screen computer kiosk uses at least one device that qualifies as digital media, your hard drive.  Other devices that may be used in your touch screen system would be CDs, DVDs, Flash drives, solid state drives, etc.  You may be surprised that these items should be considered in your kiosk maintenance plan.

Magnetic media (hard drives, flash drives, etc.) are susceptible to failure due to power or other electronic issues.  Physical discs are susceptible to scratches and wear and tear.  So are you prepared for a media failure? 

Hard drives:  First and foremost, make sure you have a backup of the data on your hard drive which includes software and program content.  This can be as simple as copying the information onto a CD or DVD or may require you to get an external hard drive to install and make a copy.  If your kiosk system collects data and/or writes information to the hard drive, you may also need to defragment your drive occasionally.  This process re-organizes the information written to the drive to make it run more efficiently.  Typically this is only required if you are writing and re-writing a lot of data to the hard disc drive. 

If your kiosk system utilizes flash media, SD cards, solid state drives and the like, make sure you have backups of that media data also.  You can usually just remove it from the kiosk computer and put it in another system and copy the data to a folder.  You may also want to purchase duplicate media to create an exact clone of the media in case of emergency.  One note, SD cards come in different formats so make sure you get the correct one.

CDs and DVDs:  First do a visual inspection of the disc.  Are there visible scratches or concentric lines on the disc?  This is the first sign that you might have a problem.  It’s much easier to make a backup of the disc when it’s working than when it’s not so make sure you create a backup before you have a problem.  If you have read/write issues and do not have a backup you may still be able to create a backup.  Try the disc in another computer.  Sometimes the difference in the drive will allow reading.  If you are completely unable to read and copy the disc, there are kits that you can find that claim to fix scratches.  This may save you in a pinch.  One other note for CD and DVD drives, it’s also a good idea to vacuum out the drive.  Dust can get in there and cause scratching.

Other older media:  You may have a system that uses an outdated technology.  Besides duplicating the digital media, you may want to either purchase a backup drive or come up with a plan to transfer the data to a more current technology.

Video:  If your touch screen kiosk triggers a VHS video player, make sure you have a copy of the tape (they are magnetic and they do wear out).  You may also want to convert the contents to a DVD or electronic video file so that you can update the entire video playback system to a modern technology.

Printing media:  You probably won’t have an issue with the actual printing media (paper, etc.) however, printers do get dirty and a clean printer is a happy printer.  Vacuum out the media trays and if it’s a toner based printer, vacuum out any area you can get to.  For inkjet systems, take a look at the rollers and the areas where the ink is sprayed onto the paper.  You may see ink that can be cleaned with a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol.  Often printers with printing issues simply need a cleaning.  Also, your printer may utilize software to do other cleaning functions (like head cleaning). It’s a good idea to do this to get the best quality prints.

Media can easily be overlooked in your touch screen computer kiosks.  Use these tips in your kiosk maintenance plan and get more life out of your media. 

Have any additional tips for maintaining your digital and printing media?  Let us know.

Chris Meyer


CD Meyer, Inc./point2explore

point2explore is product line of customizable touch screen kiosk programs including interactive games and informational programs.  point2explore products are currently running in over 100 museums and have been used in corporate events across the country. Visit our web site at


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