Basic PC Maintenance

  Dowman 09:38 02 May 04

This is mainly for pc novices...

As professional IT engineer of 7 years, I have noticed that many pc owners have thier pc in their homes for several years gathering dust and dirt.

Friends and family have often contacted me regarding pc problems, slowdowns and crashes. I try and explain to them that pcs need regular yearly maintenance just like cars.

A basic clearout of old programs, temp files, internet cookies and history etc. should help.

The most common problem is pc slowdown. It helps to keep your pc in good running order, by cleaning the case, inside and out and cleaning the mouse, keyboard & monitor etc once a year.

Don't be affraid to open the case, and gently blow away the dust and fluff that builds up inside. esspecially around the fans of the CPU and power supply. These help to keep the pc cool. if they seize up your pc will eventually fail.

Use a can of compressed air or a hoover with a soft brush.

Clean that mouse as well, many faults with mice are dirt gathered underneath and around the ball and rollers.

Printers & scanners also must be cleaned as well, cleaning out the toner and ink from printers ensures that you will not get any dirty prints. Use a lint free cloth and a very lightly damp cloth will help.

Having taken out these tips you will find that your pc will give years of loyal service. I am still using 5 - 6 year old Pentium 2s 350MHz with 128MB memory without any problems.

Does anyone else out there clean their pc equipment regulary?

  christmascracker 10:37 02 May 04

Yep, I do mine every month and it's amazing the amount of dust and fluff that acumulate.

The cleaning out of cookies, temp files etc I do weekly.

  Gongoozler 10:54 02 May 04

When I recently replaced my motherboard, I was quite surprised at how much dust had collected in the matrix of the cpu heatsink after 2 years use. This dust wasn't immediately obvious when looking inside the case, but was no doubt having quite a serious effect on the airflow.

  BH34 11:50 02 May 04

Yes just like christmascracker I do mine every month and cleaning out of cookies, temp files etc weekly

  rickimalone 14:45 02 May 04

Same here, clean internal about every 6months and preety much clear temp files cookies as I go along......

My machine is primed for A1 performace.

AMD64-3000+--ASUSK8VDELUXE--1GB-CosairPC3200RAM--N'vidaFX5900-- = One mean clean machine =

  wee eddie 15:18 02 May 04

It might not be a good one.

So a few opinions would be useful.

Would a Hair Dryer (with the Heat turned "OFF" of course) be suitable for blowing the dust out of fans and cases etc?

I use the blow function of a wet/dry tub Hoover. It works wonders through my laptop.

I'm glad we got on to laptops - Dowman said don't be scared of opening up - however, as I've only ever looked at the screen and keyboard - have no idea how to open it without all the springs and sprockets falling out into a heap on the floor.

Anyone au fait with spring cleaning laptops?

  wallbash 16:17 02 May 04

After the humble mouse (please do your self a favour and go optical) it must be the keyboard that gets 'dirty' fastest! Went round to a mates who has a cat that likes to sit on the key board. Major clean called for,

  spuds 17:41 02 May 04

My computer goe's down the car wash every monday morning, without fail.A quick rinse and vacuum works wonders.

No, joking aside, what Dowman as stated made very sound advice. These are the sort of thing that are often overlooked.But be a little carefull with the Hoover, as sometimes this can dislodge things.

  Dowman 22:06 02 May 04


Laptops can be tricky.

A colleague went on a Dell Laptop training course and dismantled one down to it's bare case, and screws and springs can disappear. As he found out.

I personally have never had the chance to strip a laptop. Taking the screen apart is not be a good idea as the fine ribbon cables that connects it to the pc are easily damaged.

However, if you keep any vents and fans clear, then that will most certianly help.

Using a soft brush to remove those crumbs and dust from the keyboard will also help.

If anyone has any tips on maintenace of laptops, I'd be interested to hear from them.

As for optical mice, yes I have one but the others are recycled MS Intelimouse free from old equipment at work.

I forgot mention earlier: ALWAYS disconnect the power source before opening the case and wear a anti-static wrist strap, if you do not have one, then touch something metal beforehand to discharge any static electricity.

  stalion 22:30 02 May 04

clean registry once a week many unecessary entries in there every time normally 20 to 40 and everything else daily or weekly.Run norton find and fix problems regularly which normally finds many de-funct shortcuts.

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