Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Clean Your Computer!

One of the biggest most important things a computer user can do to extend the life of their computer and keep it running fast, is actually pretty simple... keep it clean! Keep the dust off that top, shake all of that food out of your keyboard, dust your monitor, and blow out the inside of your computer. Now I know a lot of people would cringe at the thought of having to open up their computer, and I assure you, it's not as bad as you think. If you're using a desktop, it's only two screws, and you don't have to remove or touch any of the computer parts. If you don't know what you are doing, or are not familiar with the inside of a computer, I recommend you don't touch any internal parts.

If you plan on blowing out the inside of your computer, like you should, make sure to only use a can of compressed air that states it's for electronic devices. These can's of air have, I believe it's called frion, that keeps the air in the can dry so you don't spray electronic parts with moisture. Just make sure to use the included straw, and do not, do not turn the can upside down to spray with. The frion will come to the top and spray whatever, or whomever, you are pointing it at. This stuff burns, trust me, I've had canned air fights back in computer class lol.

Before you go to spray out your computer, make sure it is turned off. Then once it is completely shutdown, go ahead and pull the power plug off the back of the computer.. better to just be safe. Now (I'm talking about a tower)take out the two screws holding the side onto the computer. If you were facing the front of the computer, you would want to remove the left side. If you were to remove the right side, you would see the motherboard blocking you from seeing the rest of the inside. The side doesn't pull out, you have to slide it towards the back of the computer, just give it a nice tug... it'll be ok ;) Now take your can of air, make sure you are using the straw. If it doesn't blow any air out, you may have to pull the tab off the top of the can. Go all out with the air, blow anything and everything you can. You want to mainly blow at fans where dust likes to get trapped. Blow off those cards that stick out towards you from the motherboard. Once you are sure you've blown off everything, go ahead and piece back together your computer, you're all done. :)

I came up with this post, because I recently cleaned out a friends computer. He just started having computer problems, of the weirdest kind, and his computer hadn't been opened in years. When I first opened his computer, I was expecting the worst. I had my phone ready to record any video of the layers of dust that I'd see and blast it on facebook. When I did open his computer, my first impression was that it was extremely clean, but as I started to pull cards out (you don't have to do that) and blow off things, dust started flying out of everywhere. His video card alone, which turned out to be his problem, had gobs of dust flying out of it.

So hopefully this helps some people out there. If you are good about keeping the inside of your computer clean, the hardware will last you a lot longer. If you are using a laptop, you have a little more work to do. Generally you just pop off a plastic piece right below your lcd, right be where it mounts into the keyboard. You should see a couple screws that are holding your keyboard in place. Remove those and lift up the keyboard. This should give you full access to the inside of the laptop. Now that is for most laptops, like 90% My laptop at home is not like that. So you may want to refer to the documentation that came with it, or documentation on the manufacturers website.


Small Footprints said...

Great advice! One of the fans on our computer started running constantly ... and sure enough ... it was dirty inside. A minutes of cleaning it up and now it works fine. A little maintenance ... a lot less grief!

Hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday!

Small Footprints

Trouble.Thinks said...

Do you have any suggestions for if you plan on blowing up your computer

chris said...

trouble: hmmm, record it and post to youtube (o.O) hehe

Trouble.Thinks said...

lol - I'll keep that in mind