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Old 07-17-2007, 06:16 PM   #1
sycamorex
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keeping the computer clean


Hi
1. I've been wondering whether there are any tips on keeping the inside of the computer clean (obviously I'm talking about dust)
2. What's the best way to clean it?

I know that the (especially the first one) questions may sound slightly silly and obvious, but perhaps there are some effective ways that you do to keep it clean. Or perhaps you can't be bothered
 
Old 07-17-2007, 06:24 PM   #2
jschiwal
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Periodically open it up and vacuum out the area around the power supply and the places that air comes in. You can be little battery powered vacuums that you could use. Some people will use compressed air bottles to blow out dust from the power supply and the CPU fan.
 
Old 07-17-2007, 06:41 PM   #3
masonm
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I prefer compressed air to a vacuum to avoid static, unless the vacuum is specifically designed for computer equipment (the battery ones mentioned).
 
Old 07-17-2007, 07:24 PM   #4
raska
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How often do you clean your computer? One month? Two? maybe more?
 
Old 07-17-2007, 07:28 PM   #5
masonm
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Depends on the environment. I keep my machines in a pretty clean environment with air filters running all the time so I only clean mine out twice a year and there's very little in there when I do.
 
Old 07-18-2007, 02:52 AM   #6
sycamorex
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Thanks guys,

What kind of air filters, I've never heard of them, any link, please?

thanks
 
Old 07-18-2007, 06:16 AM   #7
masonm
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Just relatively cheap free standing units. You can buy them at Wal Mart. They do a pretty decent job, and the air conditioning does a pretty good job as well.
 
Old 07-18-2007, 06:49 AM   #8
b0uncer
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I also prefer compressed air over vacuum cleaners for two reasons: first, the bottles usually have a thin, long nozzle with which it's easy to clean places where vacuum cleaner can't reach, and second, because that way I'm less likely to destroy anything trough static electricity or beating If you find a very small computer-friendly vacuum cleaner I suppose it's all right, but I haven't found any that would be better than compressed air (and the air bottles don't really cost that much, they're light and easy to carry with you - and require no electricity, batteries etc. so they work pretty much everywhere).

As long as there is (and there always is) dust in the air, it will eventually get inside your computer, because the fans circulate air trough the machine. This is why filters are good. I myself don't have a filtering machine of any kind, but keeping the room clean (as in more clean than your garage) helps a lot already. Good filtering machinery can reduce the amount of dust flying in the room a lot, so if you're talking about production servers you don't want to "disturb" too often, go to the store and get one of those filtering machines that suits you. And in addition remember to clean the room from dust with the regular "water and a piece of cloth" -method; your filters filter the air, but if you try to prevent dust from getting to the air, it helps the filters and therefore your machines. Have a serverroom be uncleaned for a year or two, and there's a thick layer of dust - if not on the floor, at least on top of tables or cabinets (and it _will_ spread to the air from there).

As a last note I'd like to mention that the computer case affects the amount of dust taken in. Some models just allow more dust to come (and stay) in, some models less. There's no thumb rule (except that if there is no case at all, you'll get a lot of dust ), but you'll see if you have time to try. Remember that electricity draws the dust in, so better clean the machine often to keep things clean and avoid dangerous situations where (even a small amount of) dirt may flame up because of an electric fault.
 
Old 07-18-2007, 07:44 AM   #9
phil.d.g
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I use compressed air too. Compressor in the garage produces 150 psi , probably a tad too much for cleaning computers, but if you direct air across components rather than at them it does a very good job and doesn't break them.

I clean them maybe 4 or 5 times a year.
 
Old 07-18-2007, 12:01 PM   #10
alred
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>> "I clean them maybe 4 or 5 times a year."

that would be some rather long stretches of time in between ... ^_^


//i hardly clean(or blow !!) away the dust in my case ... but not others ...


.
 
Old 07-18-2007, 12:05 PM   #11
undeaf
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I find that a hairdryer is very effective, much more than a vacuum cleaner. It's safer and much easier because it works from a distance. If you don't have one at hand, a fan(AC) works too. Of course, a vacuum cleaner doesn't create a mess, so IMO for parts of the computer other than the circuitry it's better..

Last edited by undeaf; 07-18-2007 at 12:08 PM.
 
Old 07-18-2007, 12:13 PM   #12
jiml8
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I repackaged my main development workstation about a month ago. Several reasons why, but when I was shopping for a case a primary criterion was dust abatement. Where I live there is a LOT of airborne dust (being in a booming metro area sited in a desert tends to cause that..)

Since repackaging, all my goals seem to have been met (thermal, noise, space, dust abatement). Previously, I couldn't keep my machine cleaned out; it was literally a weekly chore and even so I was having dust related problems (spurious crashes, thermal issues at particular locations in the box...). Since then I have cleaned the air inlet filters once, and the interior of the box is showing very little accumulation.

My new package is an Antec P182 with an extra inlet fan. I also added a couple of extra internal fans.
 
Old 07-18-2007, 12:15 PM   #13
alred
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its something that you can actually imagine physically especially if you have a softer heart ... ^_^


//btw ... sometime a fine(but no finer) brush will do also ... just those "obvious" parts can be enough ...


.
 
  


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