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Cleaning/Dusting A Computer

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posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 09:38 PM
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Normally, I take my computer to Best Buy and shell out the $15 or so they charge to clean the fans and get all the dust out, but I've decided this is probably one of those things I should learn to do myself.

I was wondering if anyone else cleans their own PC's and if so, do you have any advice for someone trying it for the first time? I'm not a fan of canned air, so is it okay to use an air compressor? Do I actually need to disconnect and remove the fan to clean it? Should I just forget the whole thing, cough up the money and let the pros handle it? Any advice?

Thanks in advance,


TA




posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 10:00 PM
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I probably shouldn't post this but wth. I disconnect everything, pull the side cover off, take it out to the garage and blow it out with a compressor. I blow right on the cpu fan blades and give them a good whirl (makes a pleasant sound). lol A little care is given around the drives and power supply as in not going full throttle and I hold the nozzle further away and just give the clean looking areas a light wiff.

My disclaimer!! Every computer tech in the world will say this is nuts and will destroy your computer! It might! Don't blame me. I've done it numerous times with no problem and have backups/parts if I do break it. -Also don't care all that much, it's a good way to upgrade


I do the same thing with old tube radio's I restore. Just stay away from speakers and anything that either looks clean or like it won't like it.



posted on Nov, 5 2009 @ 10:15 PM
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reply to post by beezwaxes
 


I just got in touch with a friend of mine who does this kind of stuff for a living, and he says taking the air compressor route is fine as long as you don't let it get over 160psi, and you keep the fan from spinning too much/hard.

According to him, the dust can etch away at the CPU board if it blows too hard, and letting the fan spin too fast can eventually damage them. So what you're doing, and what I'm probably gonna do, should be fine.

I've just got the jitters about it because it's my first time, but thanks for the reply, it was reassuring.



TA



posted on Nov, 6 2009 @ 08:40 AM
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I use a can of compressed air.

If you do this often enough, there won't or shouldn't be much dust in there, so after the first good cleaning, just a gentle blast of air will clear out what little dust is in there.

I do it about every 2-3 months.



posted on Nov, 6 2009 @ 11:02 AM
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Remember whenever you open the case there is a (small) chance you could damage some of the more delicate components with the static you carry on your body / clothes... (really this is most important when your dealing directly with the processor - but it's still good practice.

The best thing to do is buy an ESD strap (Electro Static Discharge or something) they are cheep and will always keep you earthed - but I dont bother with one, I had to wear one when I was fixing laptops all day of course - they are a pain in the ass! - on your wrist they get in the way and on your ankle you keep forgetting they are there!!

Nah all I do is leave the power cable IN with the mains power OFF - right after you open the case just earth your self by touching some of the frame work of the case - or the screws would be better if the case has a coating - then your pretty much earthed (not perfect - but good enough) you can then pull the power cable out - and remember if you move around much - walk on carpet etc, earth your self again.


But yhea you don't really need to go doing all that just to clean dust - as another said a can of compressed air and maybe a careful hoovering around.

Ps. Cats HATE compressed air - great fun



posted on Nov, 6 2009 @ 12:19 PM
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reply to post by TheAssociate
 


How bout that, cool. I'm careful around the drives and try to blow the dirt out of the power supply through the fan but that's about it for precautions.

I work on and make things for a living so I'm not very shy about stuff like that. Most people would be surprised how the 'pros' do things. Sometimes it isn't pretty. -Please, nobody take that to mean the pro's aren't the ones to call for a lot of things as there are usually safety concerns to consider and they really do know things you might not.



posted on Nov, 6 2009 @ 06:40 PM
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reply to post by elevatedone
 



I do it about every 2-3 months.


Sounds like a pretty good plan. Think that's what I'll be doing from now on. It's gotta be a lot easier (and probably better for the computer) just to keep it clean rather than cleaning it out once in a blue moon. Thanks for the reply and advice!



reply to post by Now_Then
 



Remember whenever you open the case there is a (small) chance you could damage some of the more delicate components with the static you carry on your body / clothes... (really this is most important when your dealing directly with the processor - but it's still good practice.


You are 100% correct about that. I've installed ram, hard drives, cd/dvd drives, and various types of cards in the past, so I'm pretty comfortable with working on the inside of computers, but that is always excellent advice to remind everyone of. Thanks!


reply to post by beezwaxes
 



I'm careful around the drives and try to blow the dirt out of the power supply through the fan


Also great advice! Thanks.


I'm going to go ahead and give it a try tomorrow. I've got an old computer that I don't use anymore for a practice run, but after all the awesome advice, I'm feeling a lot more confident about the situation. Thanks again, y'all!


TA



posted on Nov, 6 2009 @ 11:56 PM
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You're supposed to clean the fans?
Uh oh.
brb.



posted on Nov, 7 2009 @ 12:10 AM
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reply to post by loneoak
 


They work better that way. If they don't look dirty, don't worry.

There are usually heat sinks inside that are more affected by dust. Less heat=faster/lasts longer.



posted on Nov, 7 2009 @ 12:22 AM
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Thanks for that. I'm not much of a housekeeper and it was the maid's year off so I kind of let things go.



posted on Nov, 7 2009 @ 08:30 AM
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reply to post by elevatedone
 


+1

Use Canned air and may I suggest a portable vacuum clear to pick up all the dust/dirt you blow out of the case.

When this is all done, use a clean qtip to remove dirt between the blades of all heat-sinks.




posted on Nov, 7 2009 @ 01:16 PM
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Yesterday, someone from a company that is part owner of the company in which I work, complained that her computer could not be turned on.

The computer was sent to "my" company (we are a small software house and now we also have a repairs shop) to be repaired, and after a power supply replacement it was sent back.

Until now everything looked normal (there must be something wrong with the wiring in that company's office, power supplies are replaced almost every month), but the guy that did the repair said that it was not a normal problem, apparently the power supply did not liked coffee, there were coffee stains on the air intake on the power supply and in several places inside the computer.

So, cleaning your computer is always a good idea, but keeping it away from coffee is also important.


When I clean my computers I usually take everything apart (including the power supply, if it's an older computer), and I even remove the heat-sinks and replace the thermal paste, but there's no need for that if we keep them clean.



posted on Nov, 7 2009 @ 02:39 PM
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That's why certain posts need a spew warning. We need an emoticon for potential spew posts. Think of it as a safety feature.



posted on Nov, 7 2009 @ 09:04 PM
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reply to post by mrmonsoon
 



When this is all done, use a clean qtip to remove dirt between the blades of all heat-sinks.

Good idea, man! Thanks for that. I don't know if/how true it is, but I heard not to get vacuum cleaners near the insides of computers because they may cause a static discharge, but I'm sure it's fine for cleanup after you close up shop. Thanks again for the reply and tips



reply to post by ArMaP
 



there were coffee stains on the air intake on the power supply and in several places inside the computer.



I honestly wouldn't be surprised to find a few coffee stains in mine





When I clean my computers I usually take everything apart (including the power supply, if it's an older computer)

I probably should do that, but I'm going to see if I can just get by with a thorough blowing-out. And I'm not entirely sure what thermal paste is, but it sounds like one of those things I shouldn't be allowed to play with (
), so advice appreciated but I'll probably skip that step. Thanks for the advice and the funny story!



reply to post by loneoak
 



We need an emoticon for potential spew posts.

Agreed


I decided to postpone the cleaning until tomorrow due to unforeseen circumstances involving all-you-can-eat shrimp, but I'm glad I did now: thanks again for all the advice, everyone!



TA



[edit on 7-11-2009 by TheAssociate]



posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 06:14 AM
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or if u dont have canned air just use a small fan to blow @^$ up,comon guis how can you give 15$ for cleaning?
just remove the cables,open the case,and use a brush to clean all the dust cmon!



posted on Nov, 8 2009 @ 05:49 PM
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Oh yhea - If your ever planning to taks the heat sink off the processor (maybe for a really good clean? Replace it?)... Make sure you've got some thermal conducting silicon paste, or the pads that do the same thing... After a few years it's a good idea to replace that stuff any way cos it can loose it's effectiveness.



posted on Nov, 9 2009 @ 08:55 AM
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reply to post by TheAssociate
 


"I heard not to get vacuum cleaners near the insides of computers because they may cause a static discharge, but I'm sure it's fine for cleanup after you close up shop."

It is true that you never "plug in power" for a computer on the same electrical circuit as a computer. It "can" cause damage.

I was referring to a hose from a vacuum cleaner in the case next to the canned air.

If this this is the first time for cleaning, "A LOT" of dust will be loosened from inside.

If not, make sure you do the cleaning "outside" with LOTS of ventilation.



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 08:29 PM
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I finally got around to it, and everything worked out quite well! Once more, thanks for all the truly good advice; I probably wouldn't have ventured to try it if it weren't for all the great tips. If ever I may be of service to any of you helpful folks, please don't hesitate to U2U me. Thanks again, y'all!


TA



posted on Nov, 15 2009 @ 09:23 PM
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reply to post by TheAssociate
 


I wouldn't know; there are mushrooms growing in my system unit:shk:



posted on Nov, 29 2009 @ 01:23 AM
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I use the compressor route @ 100psi. I don't like to spin the fans when I blow out the heatsinks so I simply just hold it. As for the power supply, a straw or something can be inserted to prevent the fan from spinning.




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