Every year, more and more productive iron appears on the market, requiring thoughtful cooling. And if dust gets in the way, the task of keeping your PC running smoothly becomes much more difficult. Read about two cleaning options – cosmetic express cleaning and full-fledged events with disassembling the power supply and video card.
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Why clean your computer from dust?
Any PC breakdown is stress for the user. Many people immediately start to panic about the possible loss of personal information: family photos, videos, passwords, etc. To reduce the likelihood of breakdowns, you should periodically perform a preventive cleaning of your computer. If you do not do it, the consequences can be as follows:
- Overheating of the processor
The computer chip has its own cooling system, which includes a cooler equipped with a heatsink. The fan tries to prevent overheating, but the accumulated micro-particles interfere with normal air circulation. It is better to clean the processor from dust once every six months than to face sudden computer shutdowns due to overheating or other troubles.
- Overheating of the video card
Discrete video adapters of modern PCs are equipped with cooling fans. They have low torque, hence the sensitivity to dust. At first, microparticles make it difficult to move, and over time, they can completely block the operation of the fan.
- Power supply failure
A fan is responsible for cooling the power supply unit. It provides protection against overheating of its elements and other PC components due to air circulation. A side effect of the process is that the parts of the power supply quickly become covered with dust. The real consequences are the failure of the power supply unit; if it overheats, it can smoke.
- Damage to the motherboard A
thick layer of dust accumulated on the motherboard sometimes causes a short circuit.
The contact pad is responsible for connecting the RAM to the motherboard. If there is dust in the RAM slot, do not try to insert a new bar there. The situation is similar with USB ports and other connectors on the case of the system unit. Dust can cause inoperability of external devices and wired Internet.
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Removing dust from the filling of the system unit is a simple matter. The first step is to arm yourself with a screwdriver. It may be needed to remove the metal panel of the case, and for fans of cleanliness – also for disassembling the components installed inside the system unit: a power supply unit, a video card. In the case of a complete cleaning, the last operations are not superfluous, but in order to take on them, it is advisable to have a certain qualification, at least a little experience in working with computer hardware.
PC cleaning tools also include:
- Paint brush, preferably antistatic. Using a soft brush, you can remove dust by a contact method without fear of damaging the microcircuits.
- A pocket-sized can of compressed air will help blow dust out of hard-to-reach areas.
- Household or car vacuum cleaner. It is better not to use the industrial one, since the fans can be crushed by a powerful jet of air. The vacuum cleaner will pull dust from the microcircuits, it is also useful when blowing out microparticles with compressed air using a can. If you blow through narrow spaces and collect dust at the same time, you will not need to clean the room later.
- Wet wipes are useful for removing dirt from the outer surfaces of the case.
To blow out dust, a hairdryer or a compressor is sometimes used instead of a spray can. A hairdryer, of course, is not so effective, and if you have already decided to use it, you should limit yourself to the cold air mode. People who are looking for how to blow out a dusty computer faster are sometimes advised to use a compressor. Here it must be remembered that such a technique can produce air under high pressure. Even 6-8 atmospheres is enough to damage, for example, a motherboard. Better to limit yourself to a vacuum cleaner.
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How to disassemble the system unit for cleaning: 2 options
For inexperienced users, the best option is express cleaning. At the same time, it will not work to completely rid the system unit of dust, but the risk of breaking something or screwing it incorrectly is minimized. Disassembly in this case consists of 5 stages:
- Turn off the surge protector or UPS to which the computer is connected.
- Disconnect the power cable from the system unit, release the connectors.
- We put the system unit on the table with the revision panel up.
- Unscrews the two screws that hold it in place.
- We remove the panel.
Surface cleaning is a good option for the first 5 years of using a PC, provided the computer is at home and not in a dusty production hall. Then you should make a complete cleaning yourself, by inviting a specialist or contacting a service center.
Now we will give a diagram of how to clean a stagnant computer from dust at home. Having unscrewed the revision panel, remove:
- processor (we remove dust from the fan, radiator, change the thermal grease);
- power supply unit (we untwist the case, remove dust from the microcircuit and the fan);
- a discrete video card (remove the fan, radiator from it, revise the thermal paste).
Before cleaning the motherboard, free it from the wires, remove the RAM.
Thus, complex cleaning involves the removal of components, fans, in fact, a complete disassembly of the system unit. For a user who has decided on this difficult job, it is advisable to take preliminary photos of the unassembled system unit from several angles. This will help to put everything in place later. However, photographing is not a panacea. To disassemble a system unit, you must have certain knowledge and skills: you need to know how and with what effort to pull this or that part, how everything works.
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What exactly to clean from dust?
First of all, consider the express cleaning option. The system unit is on the table. The mouse, keyboard, monitor, and other devices are disconnected. The revision panel has been removed. We take a vacuum cleaner with a narrow nozzle and collect dust from the internal surfaces: from the motherboard, video card, RAM and other things.
The processor fan is so clogged with dust that the vacuum cleaner cannot extract all of it. Then we blow it out with a can of compressed air. At this time, we keep the vacuum cleaner turned on so that microparticles do not settle nearby.
- Be sure to discharge static electricity from yourself before cleaning. To do this, just touch the heating radiator.
- The nozzle of the vacuum cleaner during cleaning should not touch the microcircuits and other parts of the PC. The motherboard sometimes fails even after a slight contact with a solid object. You can touch the details with a brush.
- Do not use a damp cloth to clean the inside of the system unit.
The second stage is cleaning the outer surfaces with a vacuum cleaner: there should be no deposits of dust on the connectors and ventilation grilles.
If you decide to clean the computer completely from dust, as it should be done once every five years, then down with the system components: processor, video card, and so on. We disassemble the video card and power supply for detailed cleaning.
Here is an example of the classification of computer cleaning in a service center:
|Replacing thermal paste||+||+|
If you go to the service, premium cleaning can cost twice as much as the basic one.
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How to protect your computer from dust
Computer geeks are trying to protect their computers from dust by using filters. With this approach, you can do cleaning much less often. The effectiveness of protection will be at its height if you block all the ways for unfiltered air to enter the housing. Protective devices are rarely found on the market, they are made from metal, woven or non-woven polyester, polyurethane foam and other materials. By form, filters are divided into:
Rectangular or round mesh made of metal or other hard material in a frame or with holes in the corners of the grill itself for fastening. The frames are usually sized to fit the outside of the power supplies. An important advantage of nets is sufficient air circulation. The second positive point is ease of maintenance, long service life. The main disadvantage is that if the mesh is sold in a frame, it is unlikely to be able to reduce its size; it will not be suitable for closing narrow niches.
- Soft roll-on filters on a self-adhesive base The
good thing is that the user cuts a piece of the canvas himself to the desired size. You can cut out a silhouette of any geometry. Soft filters are excellent at retaining dust, but they are less cleaned of it. The best option is one-time use. Accordingly, such protection becomes more expensive over time.
There are many instructions on the Internet on how to protect your home computer from dust using filters made yourself from scrap materials. To do this, use synthetic winterizer, chiffon, women’s tights, medical masks, and so on. All this information needs to be handled with caution. It is important to understand that filters impede air circulation, which means they interfere with the cooling of components . If maintaining an optimal temperature is a priority, the best solution is regular cleaning without the use of fabric or wire mesh protection.
Finally, it is worth mentioning non-filter prevention. To keep the system unit less dusty, it is advisable to keep it on a stand or in a niche of a computer desk, since microparticles like to collect on surfaces. If you have a long-haired dog or cat in the house, remember to comb it out. Try to reduce the amount of dust from the street entering the room during the season of open windows.