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Merlyn 10-24-2005 06:49 AM

Cleaning up an old PC

I've picked up a second hand PC. I'm going to install Linux on it. The machine is filthy. Does anyone have any tips on cleaning it up? (Especially the USB ports, which are really dirty.)

Also it's really noisy. The fan is loud. Does anyone have tips on what I should do to fix this?

Finally there are two USB ports. Is the difference between the versions of USB 1 and 2 software only or software and hardware? In other words after installing a new distro of Linux, will it configure the ports as USB2?

Thank you for your help.

fouldsy 10-24-2005 06:56 AM

Most PC or hardware stores such as B&Q or Homebase should sell compressed air cans for cleaning purposes. That blasts out all the dust and muck off the internal hardware. Lint-free wipes can also be used, or a soft-bristled paint brush to clean things. That would clean up the USB ports too. The less dust, the better. The noise from fans may well be down to all the dust - you could replace them. Which fans are nosiy - case fans, CPU fan, pwoer supply fans? As for USB1 and USB2 ports, it's hardware based. You can get USB 2 PCI cards if you need USB 2 support, but simply loading a different module won't turn a USB1 port to USB2 unfortunately.

Merlyn 10-24-2005 07:00 AM

Great. That's perfect. I think it's the power supply that noisy. I'll pick up an air can tonight.

And I thought it was the case with the USB ports but wanted to check.

Thank you for your help.

fouldsy 10-24-2005 07:12 AM

No problem, glad to help! Noisy power supplies are quite common with older machines. Again, try blasting it with the compressed air, otherwise replacements are only 10-12 from most computer shops.

What distro you looking at putting on it once you get it all shiny :) ?

Merlyn 10-24-2005 07:34 AM

I'm a newbie. I've only played about with the desktop through Mepis and Knoppix.

I got a distro of Mandriva with Linux Format magazine, so I'm going to use that, until I get on-line and up to speed. Then I plan to use Debian unstable. And I'm going to use KDE as my desktop.

fouldsy 10-24-2005 11:19 AM

Mandriva is pretty good to start out with. Is a good graphical installer + hardware detection so you'll get a good feel for things. KDE is also a good starting place as it will be fairly familiar moving from Windows.

But then sure, move to Debian ;)

Merlyn 10-24-2005 11:47 AM

Excellent. That's good to know. Thanks.

Merlyn 10-25-2005 07:18 AM

I cracked open the case last night and used a compressed air can -- it had an amazing effect and made a big difference. I also installed Mandrake last night -- worked a treat.

fouldsy 10-25-2005 07:33 AM

Glad you're happy with your shiny new gubbins - told you in would make a little bit of a difference! Glad your install went smoothly too - enjoy :D

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