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virtualcomposer
11-13-2008, 10:20 PM
Just wondering the best way to really clean a desktop computer. I've tried the compressed air but it doesn't really blow that layer of dust that sticks to the boards and everything else. I would also like to clear the fans of dust as well. Is there a practical solution to really do a good cleaning??

Dexter2999
11-13-2008, 10:26 PM
Air
If you are worried about your mobo...a product called Blue Shower if you can find it is great for cleaning boards.
If you are cleaning your comp with air. Put a pen in the fan blades because if you blow a fan it can GENERATE power (think windmill) that can cause damage. The system isn't expecting power to be coming in that way.

oh...and Qtips

IMI
11-14-2008, 12:06 AM
Just wondering the best way to really clean a desktop computer. I've tried the compressed air but it doesn't really blow that layer of dust that sticks to the boards and everything else. I would also like to clear the fans of dust as well. Is there a practical solution to really do a good cleaning??

Do you or anyone else smoke around it? Because the tar from cigarette smoke will settle on components and it makes for a really nice "glue" which dust sticks readily to and makes it very difficult to get off.

Air is the best way, and as Dexter said, don't let those fan blades spin. I just go through a whole lot of compressed air when cleaning a PC, rather than wiping the mobo or PCI cards down with anything. QTips work well on plastic parts like fan blades.

But, ABOVE ALL, do not use anything which attracts dust electrostatically, like a feather duster. The last thing you want is static discharge on your motherboard as it can (and will) damage it.

For that matter, you should always use a grounded wrist strap whenever reaching inside your computer, or at least make sure one of your hands is in contact with the metal of the chassis at all times.

Mitja
11-14-2008, 02:00 AM
I use an air compressor, 3atm. Works perfectly for me. After the job it's like brand new!
And I do put a pen, or a screwdriver in the fans to block them.

Dexter2999
11-14-2008, 09:58 PM
This just in.... the electronics bench tech at work says NOT to use any chemicals on the mobo or cards.

It may clean but the residue can attract more dirt and cement it to the board. His words were "if he is going to so far as to use chemicals on the board he might as well chuck it in the garbage and get a new one".

Our old bench tech used to swear by the chemical stuff. Go figure.

IMI
11-14-2008, 11:56 PM
This just in.... the electronics bench tech at work says NOT to use any chemicals on the mobo or cards.

It may clean but the residue can attract more dirt and cement it to the board. His words were "if he is going to so far as to use chemicals on the board he might as well chuck it in the garbage and get a new one".

Our old bench tech used to swear by the chemical stuff. Go figure.

I wouldn't ever use any kind of chemicals on computer electronics. I figured that was a no-brainer. ;)

You do have to use 91% isopropyl alcohol and distilled water when cleaning off old thermal paste from a cpu or gpu heat spreader though, and companies like Arctic Silver make special chemicals for that too, although alcohol and distilled water work just fine.

Iain
11-17-2008, 02:15 AM
Fill a bath with hot soapy water and slowly immerse the pc. You must do this slowly or you'll ruin the microchips and cathodes.

Take it out after 2-3 hours, rinse with cool water and leave outside to dry.

JohnMarchant
11-17-2008, 02:30 AM
Fill a bath with hot soapy water and slowly immerse the pc. You must do this slowly or you'll ruin the microchips and cathodes.

Take it out after 2-3 hours, rinse with cool water and leave outside to dry.

Then use a wire brush to get rid of the hard to get stuff.Anything thats left use a sharp knife to chip it off, watch those chips though ;););)

arsad
11-17-2008, 03:44 AM
...
Take it out after 2-3 hours, rinse with cool water and leave outside to dry.

I think it would be safer to dry it in the microwave oven :D

IMI
11-17-2008, 04:27 AM
Fill a bath with hot soapy water and slowly immerse the pc. You must do this slowly or you'll ruin the microchips and cathodes.

Take it out after 2-3 hours, rinse with cool water and leave outside to dry.

I guess that would be OK for people with the time for it, and who don't want to pay for dry cleaning.

Andrew March
11-17-2008, 04:36 AM
I've heard that a quick dip in lighter fluid, then burning off the excess is really good for cleaning your PC, does a really good job on the hard drive as well.

JeffrySG
11-17-2008, 09:55 AM
I've always preferred a quick bath in hydrochloric acid - but that's just me....

IMI
11-17-2008, 10:07 AM
I've always preferred a quick bath in hydrochloric acid - but that's just me....

Must be rough on your skin, I'd imagine. I bet your dermatologist hates you. :D

RollerJesus
11-17-2008, 10:48 AM
I prefer the hairspray and lighter approach. AKA the dust-B-gone-with-Fire method...

JeffrySG
11-17-2008, 11:42 AM
Must be rough on your skin, I'd imagine. I bet your dermatologist hates you. :D

na... after a few times, you're all bones anyway... ;)

Hopper
11-17-2008, 02:53 PM
Don't over-engineer something that doesn't need to be.

The best way to clean your system:

A paint brush.

Yes... I said a paint brush. Go to the hardware store and get yourself a medium size fine bristle paint brush. You will get the most dirt, and dust off your system and in the tiniest of places than most any other solution (even chemical cleaner).

I'm surprised your bench tech didn't mention this Dexter. It's been an old engineers trick for years (EE techs, radio operators, etc..), but then again - he only mentioned not to use chemicals.

You can get to just about everything in the system (minus cd drives, etc). And it will get it all without damaging components or putting unneccessary force on delicates.

But if you DO choose to use chemicals - use denatured alcohol. It's the only thing that won't leave a residue.

Iain
11-17-2008, 03:31 PM
Yes... I said a paint brush. Go to the hardware store and get yourself a medium size fine bristle paint brush. You will get the most dirt, and dust off your system and in the tiniest of places than most any other solution (even chemical cleaner).


That's lazy. You're only hiding the dirt with paint.

Hopper
11-17-2008, 07:25 PM
That's lazy. You're only hiding the dirt with paint.
Shhhhhhhhhhhhh .. they don't know that.... :D

I've seen a few super geeks submerge their systems in mineral oil. That pretty much solves your dirt problem and cooling issues all in one swipe.

Pretty cool stuff actually. Too bad fish can't live in meneral oil. That would be F-ing awesome...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PtufuXLvOok&eurl=http://www.pugetsystems.com/submerged.php&fmt=18

IMI
11-17-2008, 08:11 PM
I've seen that before. Pretty wild stuff there.

CC Rider
11-18-2008, 09:34 AM
Important!

Do not use saliva to clean computer parts.
There are corrosive properties to saliva that can damage electronics.
Plus - some of those heat sinks can get pretty hot and burn your tonuge!

Hopper
11-18-2008, 07:32 PM
Important!

Do not use saliva to clean computer parts.
There are corrosive properties to saliva that can damage electronics.
Plus - some of those heat sinks can get pretty hot and burn your tonuge!
This goes for Komodo Dragon's also. You know ... kinda goes without saying, but you just never know with some of the idiots out there... sheesh...

ted
11-19-2008, 02:36 PM
This was the inside of my Sons computer. Note the writing at the bottom of the case. He knew this would kill me to see it this way.
I swear I didn't raise him like that! :D

CC Rider
11-19-2008, 03:35 PM
Wow!
How old is that machine?

ted
11-19-2008, 04:38 PM
Pretty old. He just got a new laptop for the family to replace it.

IMI
11-19-2008, 05:19 PM
This was the inside of my Sons computer. Note the writing at the bottom of the case. He knew this would kill me to see it this way.
I swear I didn't raise him like that! :D

Jeez, Ted, did he have it set up next to a table saw or what? ;)

Hopper
11-19-2008, 09:53 PM
This was the inside of my Sons computer. Note the writing at the bottom of the case. He knew this would kill me to see it this way.
I swear I didn't raise him like that! :D
Wow .. Sorry to hear that. So.. when does he come home from Iraq? :D

ted
11-19-2008, 11:10 PM
It does look like a sandstorm or saw dust hit it. :D
But honestly, my home edit sysytem would get about 25% this bad in less than 1 year. And I don't let it run all the time. I'd clean it when we moved it to put up the Christmas tree and it wasn't pretty in there.

Our studio computers are housed in a Air Conditioned room thank goodness.
It doesn't take long to gather dust in an open environment. But I've never seen one lile my sons.

Another reason to not leave the computer on 24-7 I guess. :)

akademus
11-20-2008, 05:01 AM
One thing I never do is to keep the box on floor it always picks dirt from carpets. Instead keep it on table, no matter how much space it is taking.

For your sons machine, Ted, it looks like it has never been cleaned before. I would just vacuum clean it and close it or take it to computer shop, they usually have compressed air cleaners (and if something goes wrong you can always blame them :) )

Tom Wood
11-20-2008, 07:04 AM
(and if something goes wrong you can always blame them :) )

We worked on cars when I was growing up. We had an old Ford that we really needed to get the front main pulley off. It had a big bolt in the center. We took it to a shop my dad knew, and the mechanic put a long handled socket wrench on it and bumped the starter. It was loose enough. He charged us $20 "in case something had gone wrong".

Rendesigns
11-22-2008, 09:01 AM
Back in the day I cared for intelligent Light fixtures. the fixtures were used in a big show that happened twice a day. They hung in a theater full of "haze" (that non toxic, hazard free junk that fills the air at many concerts that allows you to see the light motion and lazer effects better. The show also had a big finish where a bunch of pyro was set off. Subsequently the pyro stuck to everything, because of the Haze, and we would have to clean all the electronics in the room about once every other week. The solution we used was dump rubbing alcohol into a spray bottle, grab some paper towels, and go to town on it. The alcohol allows it to be wet, and able to be wiped, it is more of a solvent than water, and it dissipates much faster, leaving the surface clean. This simple method has been used many times over on some very expensive mission critical equipment. hope it helps.