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Thread: Computer cleaning question

  1. #1
    Platinum+ Member bhxtyrant's Avatar
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    Computer cleaning question

    Hey guys,Got a little questions for the pro's out there.The situation and question is rather simple but i just want to find out the safest method's.

    I have a PC that i had put away in a closet for months.Thoday i decided to pull it out as i need an older PC with windows 98 to try some testing with a program that seems to be incompatible with 2000/xp.Now seeing as the computer has sat for quite a while it's rather dusty inside and needs a good cleaning.Cleaning the case is simple enough but my main concern is what would be the proper way of going about cleaning case fans?

    Any safe method's would be appreciated as i'd hate to burn anything up

  2. #2
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Soft brush (I stole a makeup brush from my wife) and can of compressed air.
    Linux Mint Debian Edition

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    I vacuum without touching it with slotted tip (very strong suction) - be careful as regular household vacuums can generate static - or take it outside and use compressed air

  4. #4
    Platinum+ Member bhxtyrant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lynchknot
    I vacuum without touching it with slotted tip (very strong suction) - be careful as regular household vacuums can generate static - or take it outside and use compressed air
    Ah yes i know what you mean.Usually when cleaning a PC i remove all components and use a little keyboard vac to clean the boards ect,and a regular shop vac with slot attachment for cleaning the case.My main problem has aways been with cleaning Heat sinks,HS fans and case fans.Some of them can be very difficult to get a brush into because of there construction.I once tryed using Q-tips and that worked fairly ok but was time consuming and took many Q-tips

  5. #5
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    I take the fan off and take it outside using compressed air when really dirty. Inside for spot removals I use a central vac. I think the hose is anti-static as there's an outlet in the garage for wet/dry

  6. #6
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    if u have a good old air compressor out in the garage that works mighty well also....thats what i do anyway

  7. #7
    Near Life Experienced TZ Veteran zipp51's Avatar
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    I'm using Air Doctor compressed air with the turbo brush attachment.Works pretty good on heatsink fans.
    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

  8. #8
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    Hi Lynchknot,

    you may want to consider not vacuming at all, as the nature of static electricity would allow a static discharge to occur without touching any components. You are correct vacuum cleaners generate tons of static electricity. Many moons ago when I worked on copiers, we were given specialized vacuum cleaners and heard stories about guys that used a regular vacuum with dry copier toner - not a good combo

    Badger

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    I use a central vac that's located two floors below - my hose is anti static as it's designed for spills in the garage that could be flammable. I never see it "magnetize" dust even if I rub the tip on the carpet.
    Last edited by lynchknot; July 14th, 2005 at 05:18 AM.

  10. #10
    Triple Platinum Member Curio's Avatar
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    Use a paintbrush to loosen dust and dirt and a compressed air can to chase most of it out, when you turn it on the rest should blow out from the fans. Worth particular attention are the CPU fan and Graphics card fan - make sure that they can spin freely before turning on as sometimes caked dust left for a few months can prevent them starting up and then BANG - oh well didn't want that one.
    I'm using Windows 7 - you got a problem with that?

  11. #11
    Silver Member joshsiao's Avatar
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    I have the only choice of using the household vacuum here. So what i do is to leave the plug connected to the computer but with the power switched off. In Singapore, its mandatory to have 3-pin plugs. ie 1 live, neutral and earth. The earth will help remove any static created. Furthermore, I only clean the non-sensitive areas. All others are blown.

    Also, I clean it regulary in order to prevent dust from caking inside which makes blowing off the dust easier.
    "Never seem more learnt then the people you are with. Wear your learning like a watch and keep it hidden. Do not pull it out to count the hours, but give the time when you are asked."
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    Titanium Member
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    all computers are 3 prong.

  13. #13
    The Beast Master TZ Veteran PIPER's Avatar
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    next time, store it in a trash bag tied off...works great for me

  14. #14
    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    Using compressed air on fans can sometimes have a negative effect and force the dust further into the bearings and internal contacts.

    Compressed air is ok for motherboards and heatsinks,but for fans,brush and vacuum is the better option IMHO.

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  15. #15
    Platinum+ Member bhxtyrant's Avatar
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    Thanks alot for all the tips guys finished everything up and it's working great and looks brand new again lol.I found that a shop vac with small corner cleaning attachment worked very well for removing loose dust as the suction is concentrated to a smaller area then the hose alone,and a small tough bristled paint brush worked great for removing any persistent dust/dirt for the fans.

    "next time, store it in a trash bag tied off...works great for me"

    Indeed i usually always do but when i put it in there i didnt expect to not need it again until now.That ones kinda my "test PC" i use it for testing any problem hardware/software and such so i use it pretty frequently but as of late i haven't had to much time

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