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Ol Smoke

Clean your PC today.

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What do you get when you place a positively charged piece of electronics in a room with negative charged airborne particles?


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
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No kidding man! :P last time i cleaned my computer, the processor fan looked like this


And one more thing, why should you not use an air compressor to blow out the dust? Thats the only thing i use when i clean my compute and i have never hade any problems with it.

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the only reason i've heard not to use air is because it just places the dust elsewhere in the computer. Not sure about air compressors but this is true with canned air.

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We have an air compressor at home and it blows out everything! The only downside i can see with is if you inhale the dust. :P

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i just do my computer monthly in a computer store for a clean up, they ask 5 euro for it, when i touch, it probally will explode or something ;)

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Air compressor blows out the air alongside a long tube and in the way strong static electricity can built up.(Like when you pull off your sweater and get minor electric shock). When it reaches your PC parts it can burn down the delicate parts. I´ve never used any brushes(again infraction between dust\PC parts and the brush could build up some electricity). Its always a good idea to touch metal sink or central heating system to discharge yourself and then start with demolishing electronics.

(Personally I don´t like the general idea to let something plugged in the grid while fiddling with the electric parts).

But its really a good idea to clean the system in 3-6 month, depending on the PC parts(different parts from different manufacturers gather dust in certain speed) and increase the airflow thus decreasing overall PC temperature.


Oh btw if you even lift the sticker(at least some older ones had it) on the HD for split second your drive is ruined. Just a note to those who didn´t get the joke.

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I knew this would come up, so I will tell you why you don't use compressors to blow out the dust.


No matter how you do it, no matter what the PSI, you will imbed tiny particles into the connectors on your motherboard, and other electronics in your system.


Here is something for you guys to make, if you are going to work on your system. Most of us have extra AC plug cords for the power supply. So take one

and cut the hot ends off, leaving only the ground plug. (Some guys leave the neutral wire also**). Use this wire when working on the system. It will channel any

static away from the case. What you want to do with static electricity is create a large surface area of negative energy to channel the positive flow of electrons

away from the electronics. You want to dissipate the charge to a large area, not a small one. Lightning is the same way. If you channel lightning into a metal

rod the size of Utah, you will not even see a spark. But if you put up a tall metal rod about 6" around, the lightning strike will be very bright and dangerous.

This is why, in electronics labs you have a 6' x 4' (foot) non-conductive mat under the PC case. Then you attach a cable to it, to ground the whole area to the PC.

The larger the surface, the smaller the spark. Then you put non-conductive shoes on, stand on a non-conductive mat, and use a grounding strap from your arm

to the mat under the PC. This doesn't stop the creation of static electricity, it just spreads it out so far it can't be seen or do any damage to the contact.


When cleaning fans in the PC, there is an important thing to remember. That is....balance. When the fan starts off new, it spreads the dust evenly on the blades.

If you blow the dirt off the fan, it is now out of balance. You have to use a toothbrush to clean all the dust off everywhere on that fan blade. That's why cleaned fans

don't last long. They are out of balance and the bearings wear out quickly. In the case of the CPU fan pictured above, I would replace it.


By the way, I learned all this stuff the hard way. So you are welcome to not heed my sage advice. But when it costs you money you will say.... "Ol' Smoke was right"




**Only on 125V AC systems. Not European 220V. Important. 220V doesn't use a neutral wire. It uses 2 hots and a central ground

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I have this thing and it works extremely well for cleaning out my PC. Make sure to do it outside. An air compressor with a sports ball inflate needle on it works great too.





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See, now I need a way to do this, but with my laptop.


You still need to clean the filter on the back of your laptop where the cpu is located. Or take the small cover off that is over your cpu fan and

clean it.

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