question about cleaning the dust in my computer

  billy99 05:32 23 Jan 06

hi, a few weeks ago i opened up my computer and saw a lot of dust around the motherboard and other components, i was wondering if there is a way to clean all of this dust that is stuck to the computer parts without possibly damaging any of it.
thanks in advance for the input.

  PC Bilbo 08:00 23 Jan 06

The recommended way is to buy a an aerosol can of compressed air to blow out the dust from the mobo and fans.Maplins, PC World or local computer shop.

I also use a special nozzle attachment on a vacuum cleaner to carefully clear dust from the bottom of the case.

  Forum Editor 08:18 23 Jan 06

you can use cotton buds to clear obstinate dust deposits from awkward corners and from fan blades, but be very careful not to exert undue pressure on the blades when doing it.

If you use a vacuum cleaner do NOT allow the nozzle to make contact with any of the components, or the motherboard. The nozzle can carry a static charge powerful enough to kill your computer.

  hzhzhz 08:19 23 Jan 06

On one of the tv shopping channels recently they were selling a small air compressor and the guy said its perfect for blowing the dust dfrom pc keyboards etc. But air from these machines contains moisture and oil. Canned air is dry.

  keith-236785 08:26 23 Jan 06

pcworld sell a small battery powered vac for sucking the crap out of computers, it is £14.99 (or was last time i looked) you may find them cheaper elsewhere, but FE's advice is good regarding the static, please take care. as a desperation, close your eyes and blow, that will at least clear some of the dust, not a perfect solution but it might just get your pc working again if the HS/F is choked up.

im not sure about the best method, blow or suck....any ideas folks?.

  hzhzhz 08:28 23 Jan 06

The only problem with blowing is that you can blow the dust farther into small gaps. A bit like poking in your ears perhaps :-)

  hzhzhz 08:37 23 Jan 06

Also, If you physically blow the dust away with you r breath, that also contains moisture. I dont know if it would be enough to cause damage.

  hzhzhz 08:40 23 Jan 06

I reckon PC Bilbo has the best way with his special nozzle.

  PC Bilbo 14:36 23 Jan 06

To pick up on Forum Ed's comment yes I should have made it plainer than using the word "carefully" if you use a special nozzle on a vacuum cleaner.Never let it touch board components.

Having worked in the semiconductor industry in the 1960's , I can vouch for the fact that literally hundreds of CMOS chips were destroyed in our lab before it became required to wear Anti-Static wrist straps. Most cmos chips now have inbuilt diode protection which gives a LIMITED protection.

I only use this to clear the 1/4" dust I usually find on the case bottom when repairing older computers tat have lacked TLC.

  Totally-braindead 14:44 23 Jan 06

I use a new clean paint brush to loosen any dust before using a vaccuum cleaner but don't let it go anywhere hear the motherboard or other components. Word of warning here, as well as not touching the PC with the vaccuum also watch which vaccuum you use as the newer ones such as the Dyson have so much suction there is a risk you will damage the components of the computer.

  eqskey 15:06 23 Jan 06

I have cleaned out about 40 pc's.I would'nt use a vacum but I use compressed air or cans.Use bristle paint brushes not synthetic ones.I have found that these machines are very robust and found that over time I have become less delicate when handling them.They can take it.
The most important health advice is to do it outside.Doing this also cuts the risk of static to the near zero level.Indoor carpets and furnishings etc. are the biggest risk for static.
When finished leave it to fully 'dry' out before turning it on.

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