Langa Letter: Getting The Grunge Out Of Your PC - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Infrastructure
Commentary
2/25/2005
08:43 AM
Fred Langa
Fred Langa
Commentary
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Langa Letter: Getting The Grunge Out Of Your PC

Fred Langa cleans the dirtiest PC he can find, and along the way shows you how you can easily tackle yours.

Step By Step Cleaning (continued)
Gently clean off any parts that didn't get thoroughly clean with the damp cloth. Swabs also can help clean the narrow spaces such as in heat exchangers; if necessary, you can pull off some of the cotton to make the swab tip narrower for really tight spots.

Continue cleaning the rest of the system, including the CPU/heat sink, and any parts you removed.
Continue cleaning the rest of the system, including the CPU/heat sink, and any parts you removed.

(click image for larger view)

A blast of compressed air finishes the job, and also can reach areas where your purely mechanical cleaning methods couldn't.



A final blast of compressed air makes the cleaned part like new.

(click image for larger view)

A final blast of compressed air makes the cleaned part like new.

Once you've worked around the inside of the case, work around the exterior: Use cotton swabs to clean the fans from the outside; and to hold the fan blades in place as you blast the fans clear with compressed air.

Work carefully and with a bright light when cleaning the power supply: Insert the spray tube deep into the power supply housing to clean the interior components as best you can; but use care not to knock anything loose as you maneuver the tube. And watch out! An amazing amount of debris may spew out as you clean.

Next, work around the exterior of the PC, cleaning as before.
Next, work around the exterior of the PC, cleaning as before.

(click image for larger view)

Blowing out a dirty PC will expel a surprising amount of debris, so you may wish to have a small vacuum handy to clean up any mess. It's generally best not to use a vacuum cleaner inside a very dirty PC, though: Vacuuming heavy dust accumulations can generate a static charge and may damage your PC's electronics. Blowing dust with compressed air is messier, but carries a lower risk of static discharge inside the case.



Yes, it's a little gross, but this kind of dirt and dust is far better in the trash than in your system!

(click image for larger view)

Yes, it's a little gross, but this kind of dirt and dust is far better in the trash than in your system!

When everything's cleaned, put it all back the way it was, including fans, heat sinks, etc.

After you're done cleaning, it's time to put things back.
After you're done cleaning, it's time to put things back.

(click image for larger view)

Compare this photo with Photo 12. Quite a difference, isn't it? This system will run much, much cooler now!



Cleaned up, this hardly looks like the system we started with.

(click image for larger view)

Cleaned up, this hardly looks like the system we started with.

Reinstall any and all connectors you previously removed, using care to get them back in their original orientation.

Re-plug any electrical connectors you removed...
Re-plug any electrical connectors you removed...

(click image for larger view)

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