Dust. And lots of it.
Heat is a killer for PC's and dust raises the heat level in a PC about 20%. So let's get a vacuum with a hose and brush attachment,
and open up those cases today and suck all that bad dust and lint out of them. Here is how to do this so you don't ruin anything.
1. Turn the system off but leave it plugged in so you have a ground.
2. The important thing to remember here is to use a cloth or wear leather gloves so you don't create a static situation and discharge it through
your fingers. Don't rub the brush head real hard over components. Let the vacuum pull the dust out, don't sweep it with the brush. The brush
is used to loosen the dust.
3. Fire up the vacuum with the brush attachment and suck out the dirt by "GENTLY" moving it over vents, fans and the inside of the cabinet.
4. Remove the side, front and top covers if you have them.Vacuum the vents on the power supply and it's fan(s).
5. Vacuum the intake vents on the outside of the case, and the inside of the plastic covers.
7. A very important place to look for dust is under the mainboard and the back side panel. Dust will accumulate under there.
8. Never NEVER use an air compressor to blow out the dust. No matter what you hear, from anyone, don't do this. *There are a 1000 reasons for it.
9. Check all the voltage connections after you clean the PC. They can work loose overtime. I recommend that you pull each one and check the
metal connectors for any burning from a loose connection. Electricity has a way of finding the one spot it wants to make a connection with and this
kind of breaks that up so that one area on the metal doesn't become fatigued, and fail.
10. Now I do this one thing every year, just to see how things are in my case. You don't have to do this, but I found it helps my systems run longer and to
extend the MTF (Mean Time Failure) rate. I take my system completely apart clean it thoroughly and reassemble it. During this procedure I use a
product called "Big Bath" and I spray all the contacts and clean the mainboard really good. If you have smoke around your system, you need to
do this or the acids in the smoke will corrode the contacts and your system will fail earlier than it should. ++
11. When cleaning your PC, always use a good DVD cleaner disc that has the cleaning liquid that cleans the actual lens of the laser emitter. Never blow
canned air into a CDR/DVD unit. The mist that comes out of the can is extremely cold and can damage things in there. Take the top off and clean it
with a swab and some alcohol. Do not remove any grease you see on the gearing. Just get the dirt off the tray and around the reader arm.
12. Next take the cover off of your harddrive and vacuum it out. Kidding. Just seeing if you are still awake.
13. Vacuum the floor around your PC before you put it back.
14. To increase the resistance of your PC to clog up with dirt; I recommend raising it off of the floor about 2" or so. Especially if you have carpet. Carpet
attracts dust and the PC fans can suck it inside the unit easily. Even positive pressure cases get dust in them.
That is all I have on this topic. Once a year will do for most AC heat pump houses. The more open your house is, or the more dirt that is around your
house, dictates how often this should be done. Some people who live on farms, have to do this every 3 months or more. So just check it and keep it clean.
++When I owned my computer business I would spray the boards and the runoff would turn black from the tar in cigarette smoke. The smoke in the bars
when I played in my band would eat our electronics alive and tarnish the steel so bad it would turn brown.
Edited by #Smoke, 21 January 2013 - 10:39 AM.