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Precautions before cleaning a full of dust computer?

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Hi there

Ideally, when cleaning a computer, its best to remove as little as possible, but it depends on your own level of knowledge too.

If your not comfortable with taking parts out such as drives, graphics cards, then you can open it up by taking the side off, or removing any lids/covers (Dependant on the computer type) and go over all the internal items with a can of compressed air and a very soft brush.

I use one of my wife's big makeup brushes to get into crevices and brush out the CPU heatsinks, fans, intakes and generally clean the system board too, then once all the dust has been swept off its surfaces, give it a good blow out with a can of air when the dust has been loosened which is normally sufficient for my own computer.

A few basic pointers:

  • Dont wear any watches or bracelets when doing this.
  • Avoid nylon clothing that builds up static.
  • Dont put the computer down on a carpet when cleaning it

To help keep it cleaner, its worth trying to keepthe computer well up off the floor too in normal daily use as most have air intakes on the front which will just suck up dust and dirt at floor level leaving you with a computer that would need cleaning VERY regularly and it can soon become a "chore to hate" and more importantly, shorten your computers lifespan if its spending most of its time dirty as things run a lot hotter, so computer performance is also affected.

Do you have a picture of your computer and its surroundings?

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I renovate old radio's & TV's as a hobby. Frequently they are covered in layers of dust & gunk after years of service.

Rich has it pretty much spot on, and I clear dust in a simllar way.

I use a paint brush and an old vacumn cleaner (with the hose attachment) to clear out the dust, as I am brushing it away.

I would concentrate on areas around the CPU and power supply fan intake.

In general this works a treat.

If the PC has been used in a smoking environment then the Nicotine & Tar can cause the dust to coagulate and form a thick gooey mess. I doubt you'll find this as it takes years to build up.

Getting rid of the Nicotine & Tar & dust mess is not so simple, it can be done, but does involve additional cleaning fluids and care.

If you need to do this, I'll help if I can.


Adrian (FJ)

Edited by Rich
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