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Old 05-13-2010, 07:58 PM   #1
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Vacuum out your PC


I just cleaned out my CPU fan & the PC is running much better
I vac'd out the fan, CPU fan, MB, all drives & inside the case
The fan was kicking on high so I knew it was clogged up
Took just a few minutes
I needed to remove 2 screws & the fan swung back off the CPU heat sink

PC is over 1.5 years old
If you have cats/dogs better to do it much sooner
I picked up a free PC a while ago from people who had a dog & never vac'd the PC
So it would overheat & shut down... I cleaned it out & it worked great

Not mine, but the crud builds up:





Don't forget the Video card fan if you it has one


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Old 05-13-2010, 08:44 PM   #2
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Vacuum out your PC


Every now and then I'll bring my PC outside and blow it out with the air compressor. Works great. I need to get a water filter for my compressor though. After excessive use it starts to spray a very fine mist of water. Only really noticeable if I hit my hand and it condenses.

I usually do other people's computers too, especially if they smoke in the house. Gets quite nasty. This one PC I did was so bad, I stood about 10 feet from it, and plasted 135PSI and just saw a big puff of smoke, it looked like a smoke bomb went off, but it was just dust.

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Old 05-14-2010, 03:29 AM   #3
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Vacuum out your PC


I have read somewhere that vacuuming can be dangerous to the sensitive parts inside there, that blowing the dust was a better idea.It looks like you actually took the offending parts out of the machine,so that would not be a problem
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:54 AM   #4
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Vacuum out your PC


I vacuum them all the time. You just have to make sure there is nothing that can be sucked loose before you start. Mine in on a hardwood floor with no pets and I try to keep things moderately clean. Not too much dust builds up in mine. My girlfriend has a rig I custom built with airflow in mind to keep it cool. She has a lot of pets and carpet where the PC is. That thing gets nasty. The last time I took it apart and cleaned it you could actually smell dog when the dust stated flying. Made me want to vomit.
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Old 05-14-2010, 07:15 AM   #5
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Vacuum out your PC


are you supposed to ground yourself before touching insides to rid static charge?
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:26 AM   #6
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Vacuum out your PC


It is a good thing to regularly clean the inside of your PCs and even laptops.

As chrisn said, be cautious of static electricity. Always keep one hand in contact with a metal part of the case to prevent the build up of static electricity or use a grounding strap attached to yourself and the case.

A word of warning about using compressed air to blow the dust out of the components. Always hold the fan blades stationary with something like a stylus or pencil while blowing, even with canned air, because the excessive rotating speed will kill the bearings. It's similar to using compressed air to blow wheel bearings dry after cleaning. They aren't designed to spin at such high RPMs.
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Old 05-14-2010, 08:56 AM   #7
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Vacuum out your PC


Yes always ground yourself
Better to Vac when it is not low humidity like in the winter
Our house is dry in the winter - more static electricity
Also on a wood floor

Most of the companies I have worked for we have had a Vac in the IT dept to clean out PC's
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Old 05-17-2010, 11:20 AM   #8
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Vacuum out your PC


The dust floor is about a foot or less. Is this physically on the floor? You'd get rid of most of the dust by raising it up.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:00 PM   #9
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Vacuum out your PC


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
I usually do other people's computers too, especially if they smoke in the house. Gets quite nasty. This one PC I did was so bad, I stood about 10 feet from it, and plasted 135PSI and just saw a big puff of smoke, it looked like a smoke bomb went off, but it was just dust.
Just spray it out with the power washer
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Old 07-09-2010, 01:24 PM   #10
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Vacuum out your PC


Great tip.

Oh, and keep your PC off the floor if you can. Traditional ATX PCs (most, today) pull cooler air in from the bottom of the case (usually near the front) and blow it out the top back. (where all the hot air rises) Unfortunately this means it sucks up all the dust rolling across the ground. Just putting it up on blocks can help tremendously. On the desk is better, but that can kill your desk space.
Some people even put filters in the front of the PC by the intake fan. If you get really fancy (and constructive) you could theoretically turn your PC into a HEPA filter I've only ever used the carbon filters.

Pets are bad and, as Squirrel said, smoking is loads worse for your PC. The tar in the smoke binds to components which then holds onto dust like a magnet. When this happens to your fans, they slowly cease to spin, overheating your PC. (Not to mention it becomes absolutely disgusting. I've had to refuse service on smoker's machines before. It was that bad.)

Vacuuming won't hurt as long as you don't get too close to small components. You can also blast the dust out with compressed air, as suggested as well, but that causes a real mess. Compressed air does loosen more dust though, as it usually has greater pressure of airflow. Just taking it outside beforehand is fine; the dust can go wherever it wants then.

I'm not going to tell anyone to do this, but I use a shopvac with the narrow attachment when I vac up my PC just for the stronger intake power. I also blast with air, as fans especially will loosen up dust if they're hit in two directions. (Since the air is constantly flowing one way or the other, hitting with both will nail it with the opposite of its normal airflow and get the gunk off faster!) I highly recommend this on the power supplies to avoid having to open them up and go inside where all the dangerous parts are. I'd even go as far as recommending the shopvac on the power supply as it should have a grill on any fans, so you can't hurt anything. (And remember to wear a breathing mask!)

When vacuuming fans, try to hover over the fan blades themselves; just one side. You can get the fans spinning (and singing) and if it is against its normal airflow, this is when chunks of dust seem to fly into the vacuum.

Some heatsinks can be so grimy that no 'touchless' option will work. Buy a disposable toothbrush.
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Old 07-21-2010, 10:08 AM   #11
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Vacuum out your PC


If you use a vacuum, you are supposed to use a portable hand held vacuum as a standard vacuum can generate tons of static electricity. Ground yourself isn't a solution as the problem is not the person but the quickly moving particles over the components and plastic. Canned air is the correct solution to cleaning a machine. Here is a good little piece about cleaning out your rig.

http://www.computerhope.com/cleaning.htm
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:16 AM   #12
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Vacuum out your PC


I clean the inside of my desktop PC every 6 months with bottled compressed air and constantly run an air filter in the room, which is the same room where 2 long haired cats hang out most of the day. My PC is going on 9 years old and still works like a champ, it could use some more RAM and a larger capacity C drive, but it works for me.
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:25 AM   #13
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Vacuum out your PC


What you can do is put a filter over the intake of your computer. This won't completely eliminate the dust, but it will help a lot. The filter will be easier to vacuum off than opening the computer up to blow it out.

Usually computers will have an intake vent or an intake fan in the front bottom underneath the bezel, this is where you would put the filter.

A piece of your wife's old pantyhose/stockings works good as a filter, FIY
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Old 07-21-2010, 11:39 PM   #14
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Vacuum out your PC


My God... please tell me you really did not VACUUM your computer.. It still works? You are a lucky guy! Canned air all the way, air compressers too, just make sure it doesn't spray any condensation with it.. canned air all the way..
-Software engineer.
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Old 07-22-2010, 08:46 AM   #15
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Vacuum out your PC


Been vac'ing out thousands of PC's for 20 years more or less
Never a problem

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