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Author Topic: Ham fisted cleaning ....  (Read 2268 times)

Carol Haynes

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Ham fisted cleaning ....
« on: October 12, 2005, 07:33:35 AM »
I have just spent an hour cleaning my computer.

One of the joys of having cats is the volumes of fur that collect around the house (and my person).

I had noticed my CPU was running hotter than usual and figured it was time for a clean out. What I hadn't banked on was pratically an entire cat hiding inside!

If you are like me your computer looks a bit like a porcupine with bits of wire poking out all around, so the first thing I did was get some sticky labels and label all the cables so that the connectors all went back in the correct places - last time I took the system apart I forgot to do this and quite a few USB devices decided they needed new drivers. This time I was prepared!!!

'De-quilled' the box was taken to the kitchen and all external covers taken off result ...  not being able to breathe for the dust and volume of cat hair setting all over me, the worktop and the floor.

Every possible crack in the case, and vent hole was completely encrusted with grot. I started with the case parts and a sponge and got all that clean. Next step inside ...

All the drives were removed and dusted with kitchen towl. The front fan casing (I don't have a front fan) was removed and the furry creature in there removed. Then the front filter (yes there was a filter - not that you could se it!) dusted and blown through.

I then set about around the motherboard and plugin cards and the floor of the box with a vacuum cleaner. Yes I know they can produce static but I earthed myself and kept one hand on the components being sucked at.

The case fans and PSU fan were clogged up and they had to be removed to clean manually (guess who forgot to note which way round they fitted!). The CPU fan was also dusty but I was shocked at the amount of crud that had found its way in between the heatsking fins.

And so all sparkly and clean I put everything back together ... realising I hadn't labelled my 7.1 surround sound speaker cables - trial and error time at low volume!

Plug in switch on and look at the temperature (using SpeedFan). the CPU started to get warmer, warmer , warmer .... When it reached 65C I thought I had better have a look, slid of the case side and the CPU fan wasn't going around.

From past experience I new this sometimes happened if you over tighten the screws when refitting so I got out a screwdriver and loosened each screw a tiny amount. The fan started - but I caught it with the screwdriver tip. Next thing there were fan blades lying on the floor ...

As luck happens I had an old heatsink and fan for an ancient PIII so I canibalised that for the fan. It was a different size, but I have managed to rig it temporarily and seems to work OK.

Net result ...

  • Clean computer  :up:
  • CPU running temperature down by 10-12C (even with a dodgy fan)  :up:
  • Knackered fan  :down:
  • Bill for new fan  :down: :down: :down:
  • Feeling stupid  :-[

Oh well you live and learn.

Since I am ordering a fan, I have decided to splash out an extra £8 (about $12US) on a couple of silent case fans - so now I can have a front fan pumping air into the case and and new silent fan pumping air out of the back, plus a super high speed (but quiet) replacement fan for my CPU !!


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Re: Ham fisted cleaning ....
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2005, 07:42:15 AM »
Hey, you feel stupid, but you've given some good tips in your post - I especially like the neatly labled wires.  My laptop is neater, but then there is the room it's housed in, with piles and piles of paper all very carefully mapped in my mind so that if one page gets shifted I lose my way in the world.


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Re: Ham fisted cleaning ....
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2005, 07:58:32 AM »
good timing of this post -
i actually took a tweezer today and removed the *BLANKET* of dust that was covering my cpu fan.
result: cpu is now running 10 degrees cooler.
removing dust from fans i critical to having cool healthy computer..

i had a $250 graphics card fan stop one day, and it killed the card.
a clogged and stopped cpu fan will kill your cpu.

get yourself some of those compressed air canister and blow out your computer insides and fans occassionally.


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Re: Ham fisted cleaning ....
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2005, 11:42:00 AM »

get yourself some of those compressed air canister and blow out your computer insides and fans occassionally.

As crazy as it sounds, I actually use a 6hp shop vac with the hose reversed as a blower on all my pc's about every 6 months. I learned from experience that I should do this in they garage instead of the house (can you say major dust mess) and it is best to remove the optical drives first as they are not sealed. Maintain a little distance and use your hand as a diffuser. Works like a charm for me, but as with anything computer related, it is at your own risk.
I have an excellent memory.....now what was I saying ???