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  1. #1
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Keeping Away Dust from Computer?
    What's the best way to clean the dust that accumulates behind the stand-alone computer and what's the best way to keep the computer dust free in general?
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  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador MeeMaw's Avatar
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    I have found a air purifier unit in the same room cuts down on the dust and stuff that the computers seem to build up. Before I got my unit dust was a fairly big issue, but now less and less to worry about.

    Remove the dust from the air and it's doubtful it will build up in the machines.

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Your computer fan constantly sucks dust in. You can't really keep it out. You can do occasional maintenance though. Pull the cover off of the computer and use a vacuum cleaner with the blinds attachment (or whatever the long flat plastic one is called). Vacuuming the outside of the computer won't help much. Remove dust that's settled inside being careful not to bang it around in there too much. Make sure to vacuum the CPU fan in particular to keep it from failing prematurely. Vacuum all the fan grills such as on the power supply where a lot of dust collects. If you're not comfortable taking the cover off, you should have someone who knows what they're doing work on it.



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  4. #4
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed
    Your computer fan constantly sucks dust in.
    Another reason to shut them down at night. Less flow means less dust.

    We put a piece of tape on the unit and date the cleaning with the goal of going in every 6 months to get the dust out. I take the cover off and set it on a chair outside and blow it out with canned air. It's not supposed to be good to blow directly into your DVD or CD drive. That rams the dust inside.

    The nasty ones are where people had pets that shed a lot. If the owner smokes a lot around their PC the dust inside smells like an old cigarette filter.


  5. #5
    Full Member 1stAngel's Avatar
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    I hoover mine out around every month, as I have a Shepoherd dog that brings in lots of dust. In the summer I use a fan near the desk to keep cool and that seems to keep some of the dust out of my puter Not using it now though...would freeze me bits off Brrrrrrrrrrr

  6. #6
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    Wow, I never clean the inside of my computers. Don't know how and don't know I should . Will that be a problem?

  7. #7
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayfly
    Wow, I never clean the inside of my computers. Don't know how and don't know I should . Will that be a problem?
    Eventually it could be a problem of overheating.

    I vacuum mine out with a shop vac and a brush attachment for the fans, case, etc. and a nozzle for the inside.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice
    I vacuum mine out with a shop vac and a brush attachment for the fans, case, etc. and a nozzle for the inside.
    So you don't need to open the cover of your computer? What kind of vacuum are you using?

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador MeeMaw's Avatar
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    The problem with a shopvac is static electricity created by it. It's not recommended you use a vacuum cleaner to get the dust out of your computer. Very bad idea.

    Best solution if you have dust is to use a can of air (buy it at walmart) to blow out the dust.

    Though if you use a room air cleaning unit it cuts down on dust in the room considerably and you rarely ever (I haven't since using one) have to clean the dust out of the computer. Basically data centers use air filters for the A/C units and it's the same concept. Keep dust out of the room, and there won't be any dust on the computers (or your lungs for that matter).

    That's what always makes me think. Imagine if you have a computer filled with dust and gook. You are working in that same room and does that mean you are breathing in the same stuff? Yup. Nasty thought.

  10. #10
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mayfly
    Wow, I never clean the inside of my computers. Don't know how and don't know I should . Will that be a problem?
    If you don't know how, don't do it before you learn more about how to...

    Because you can do more damage than good if:

    If you walk across a carpet, and touch any part of the computer main board before you touch the metal chassis or ground wire first, you run the risk of frying some microchips with the static electricity that has build in your body by walking across a carpet.

    If you inadvertently bend any pins inside the computer while using a vacuum cleaner crevice tool, you run the risk of frying the computer when you turn it on.

    If you inadvertently unplug any wire, plug or board, you run the risk of going nut's after not been able to boot the computer.

    So if aint broke, don't try to fix it, unless you like to take things appart, like I do.

    -----------------------

    If the owner smokes a lot around their PC the dust inside smells like an old cigarette filter.
    I don't like to stick my nose inside the computer, so I will not comment on that...

    But the problem with smoking a lot around the PC is not the dust, it's the dark-yellow color that will eventually be painted to the outside of everything on the vicinity of that PC.

    ------------------------------------

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhia7
    What's the best way to clean the dust that accumulates behind the stand-alone computer and what's the best way to keep the computer dust free in general?
    The real best way to keep the computer dust free in general would be to not eat, drink, smoke, or do any other dirty activities around the computer but, since that's not going to happen, then you can try to do this...

    Don't place the computer too close to the wall or the desk hutch back, that way you can see the dust and be able to wipe it off, before it gets too heavy, also by not having the computer too close to a wall, you can easily vacuum behind it, everytime you vacuum that room.

    Using an small vacuum cleaner crevice tool, you can clean the entire outside of the PC tower, without doing any damage to the electronics inside.

    To clean the keyboard, I have found out that it's better to turn it upside down, and use one of those canned air cans to blow all the dust and dirt out of the keyboard, than just using vacuum cleaner alone, because the vacuum cleaner will not suck any particles that may be stuck under some of the keys, but canned air will force those things out.

  11. #11
    Full Member 1stAngel's Avatar
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    One of the reasons I gave up smoking was seeing the inside of my old computer.

  12. #12
    ABW Ambassador Greg Rice's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeeMaw
    The problem with a shopvac is static electricity created by it. It's not recommended you use a vacuum cleaner to get the dust out of your computer. Very bad idea.

    Best solution if you have dust is to use a can of air (buy it at walmart) to blow out the dust.

    Though if you use a room air cleaning unit it cuts down on dust in the room considerably and you rarely ever (I haven't since using one) have to clean the dust out of the computer. Basically data centers use air filters for the A/C units and it's the same concept. Keep dust out of the room, and there won't be any dust on the computers (or your lungs for that matter).

    That's what always makes me think. Imagine if you have a computer filled with dust and gook. You are working in that same room and does that mean you are breathing in the same stuff? Yup. Nasty thought.
    Any time you open a computer you need to make sure you're grounded before touching anything. In the 15+ years I've been building/fixing/modifying computers I've yet (knock on wood) to fry anything. Canned air is good for some things but doesn't remove the dust, it just moves it around. It is safer though. I've seen too many people fry their PCs by cracking them open and touching something.
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  13. #13
    Comfortably Numb John Powell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Rice
    Canned air is good for some things but doesn't remove the dust, it just moves it around.
    That's the reason I put it on a chair outside and let the breeze take the dust away from the unit as the canned air busts it loose.

    Ill use an anti-static strap if doing something more serious than cleaning. Dell sent a field repair guy out to change a video card under warranty and he didn't use a anti-static strap. It surprised me a little.


  14. #14
    Affiliate Manager bs0101's Avatar
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    I've found graphics cards with their own fans attracted siphon in the most dust. This increases the overall temperature of the other components and often is often why machines get much louder over time. It's really easy to remove the card and clean the cooling system with canned air. Once you've done a bit of research on how to do this on a machine it literally takes less than 5 minutes the next time. Plus you get that "Wow my computer doesn't sound like a wheezing Chris Farley" feeling, which is very satisfying.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Sal
    If you don't know how, don't do it before you learn more about how to...

    Because you can do more damage than good if:

    If you walk across a carpet, and touch any part of the computer main board before you touch the metal chassis or ground wire first, you run the risk of frying some microchips with the static electricity that has build in your body by walking across a carpet.

    If you inadvertently bend any pins inside the computer while using a vacuum cleaner crevice tool, you run the risk of frying the computer when you turn it on.

    If you inadvertently unplug any wire, plug or board, you run the risk of going nut's after not been able to boot the computer.

    So if aint broke, don't try to fix it, unless you like to take things appart, like I do.
    Good point, Mr Sal.

    I don't like to mess up with my computer since it is my money making machine . I don't like to take things apart either because I don't know how to put them back on

    Every of my computers served me for a few years before they were ready to be replaced by a new one. The one I am using right now is over 4 years old and will retire soon.

    I guess I will just leave the dust alone for now.

  16. #16
    ABW Veteran Mr. Sal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Powell
    Ill use an anti-static strap if doing something more serious than cleaning. Dell sent a field repair guy out to change a video card under warranty and he didn't use a anti-static strap. It surprised me a little.
    You should use the anti-static strap, it's recomended that you use the anti-static strap, by using the the anti-static strap you may avoid doing damage with static electricity, so never work around printed circuit boards without using an anti-static strap.

    Btw, I had to put that anti-static strap paragraph above as as real warning, bacuse it's the law of static electricity...

    But in all the many years that I worked in electronics in my past life, I used other methods to gound myself, because I never liked the idea to be attached to anything by my wrists.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeeMaw
    The problem with a shopvac is static electricity created by it. It's not recommended you use a vacuum cleaner to get the dust out of your computer. Very bad idea.
    The static build up on the vacuum tip is a warning I've always known about. When I worked on POS equipment I used my trusty vac on probably thousands of systems from mainframes to minis to PCs to terminals and never blew a single one. I stand by my favorite way to PM (preventive maintenance) computers, and it sucks!

    BTW, did you know that many things that produce/convert energy or do work sucks? People suck, engines suck, air conditioners suck, power plants suck, and the list goes on...



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  18. #18
    ABW Ambassador MeeMaw's Avatar
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    I still say the best way is to be preventive. Get a good room air cleaner and let it do the job for you. Rarely will you ever have to clean the "dust" out. Well unless you live in a dust bowl then it might be difficult.

    Also when using a can of air to blow out the dust, don't do it in the same room. Take it outside or in the garage and blow the dust OUT of the computer, and not make the mistake of just blowing it around. Cans of air can also find dust in areas where the vacuums can't reach such as in the Power Supply (yup there is a fan there too), and in some other places you wouldn't imagine.

    It's funny because the only computers I have to clean are the kids computers. They seem to attract the most gunk. I am thinking about getting them room air-cleaners as well. A good HEPA air cleaner will do wonders.

  19. #19
    ABW Ambassador MeeMaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Byerly
    The static build up on the vacuum tip is a warning I've always known about. When I worked on POS equipment I used my trusty vac on probably thousands of systems from mainframes to minis to PCs to terminals and never blew a single one. I stand by my favorite way to PM (preventive maintenance) computers, and it sucks!

    BTW, did you know that many things that produce/convert energy or do work sucks? People suck, engines suck, air conditioners suck, power plants suck, and the list goes on...
    So are you saying you suck as well?

    I know a lot of things that blow as well...

    ... but that's another story.

  20. #20
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeeMaw
    So are you saying you suck as well?
    Yep... and so do you! We all suck!



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  21. #21
    Newbie D_M's Avatar
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    Its not only the dust but also hair if you have pets.

    Amazing how much cat hair gets sucked into the computer. I usually open mine up once a year and blow it all out.

    DM

  22. #22
    Full Member kayecee's Avatar
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    Clean 'em? Pffffftttttt.... if it weren't fer havin' to go outside butt nekkid, I wouldn't pick up dirty clothes to wash 'em.... now I gotta clean the computer too? *sigh* Can't I just chunk muh old laptop out and buy a new one when it dies from 6 inches of dust and pet hair trapped inside?

  23. #23
    What's the word? Rhia7's Avatar
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    Thanks for the great discussion everybody
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  24. #24
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    One other thing, you know how your car always seems to run better right after you've washed it? Well...



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  25. #25
    Full Member TerriFalcone's Avatar
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    Cleaning at regular intervals works best. Compressed air is my method of choice but if you spend a few dollars you can also get a vacuum made specifically for cleaning electronics.
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