It goes without saying that the average computer user never gives a second thought to keeping the internals of their computer clean. Of course, this isn't a problem for computer service companies since it guarantees a steady flow of customers requiring occasional computer repair!
But for those of you neatniks who like a tidy computing experience, let's see what you can do yourself to keep your computer humming happily for years.
Before we get started, I should mention that using any of the following tips for cleaning your computer comes with a dose of risk, in that you might damage one of your PC components while cleaning it.
If that concerns you, then consider having Milford Computer Service handle your repairs for you and let professional take care of it. With that said, lets get started.
Cleaning up a computer and making it go from dusty and gunky to fresh and clean may be a difficult task, one that will take some time to accomplish.
However, cleaning your computer case every once in a while is highly recommended - if you want your system to continue performing flawlessly, that is. Cleaning your PC case and things like your mouse and keyboard will keep you away from all the dust, gunk, hair, crumbs and whatever else got a way in there since you bought your computer system.
There are dozens of reasons why you should keep your computer case clean, one of the biggest being heat. Things like hair and dust will eventually get clogged up on your coolers and components and this will prevent all the heat from leaving your PC - and extra heat is something your system does not want!
Want a happy PC? Then keep your fans (coolers) happy as well. How? By cleaning them of all the dust and other silent killers of your dear system. We'll also talk about changing the thermal paste that's found on your CPU which helps cool it (normally). Read on to learn more.
Gather the tools and appliances you plan on using to clean your computer case. Get some paper towels, an air compressor, roll the vacuum cleaner in (only for the mess you make around your PC case), maybe some cotton swabs and thermal paste if you plan on changing it.
You may also want to have a screwdriver ready, in case you need it to open up the side of your computer case. Another great thing to have handy is a dust mask, especially if you haven't cleaned your case for a long period of time. Now it's time to get to work!
In case you've been wondering about vacuuming your PC case, don't. Vacuum cleaners can create static charges which can potentially fry some of your PC components. Using compressed air to blow that dust away is always your best bet.
Now get yourself, your tools and your PC case in either a well-ventilated area or just go outside (don't do this if you see dark clouds when you look up). Once you open your computer case (don't forget to disconnect any side-panel cables if your system has them built-in first). Consider taking out the removable components such as your video card, hard drive and the RAM sticks. This will make things easier.
The Cleaning Process
Feel free to start cleaning the components you just took out of your PC case. You can start with the video card, as dust tends to pile up around the DVI/VGA ports, mostly. One good tip is to put a pen or pencil in between the video card fans in order to prevent it from spinning uncontrollably while you blow the dust away with compressed air.
Now aim the compressed air into the RAM slots and blow any piled-up dust away, this should take you a minute or two to clean properly.
Moving into the case itself, remember to use that pen or pencil trick to stop the CPU and power supply fans from spinning while you blow the dust away. Afterwards, if you want to really making the fans shine, consider using a cotton swab to polish the coolers.
Switching your attention to the bottom of your computer case will certainly result in a dusty view. Use your compressed air powers once again to get rid of it fast and then maybe a damp cloth to collect any leftovers with (damp, not wet).
You should be having loads of fun by now! Continue using the compressed air gun to finish off any dust hiding within many ports, enclosures, fans and holes inside your computer case.
After you've done all that, do a quick check around the case and make sure you didn't miss any dust-spots. One other way to keep things tidy inside your computer is to use zip ties and tie any loose cables together (in case you have a custom built PC).
Keep cleaning your PC case every few months and you will avoid heat problems. In the long term, this will help your system a lot! Now bring your PC into its home and plug all the cables back in. In case you are worried about making some of the components wet while cleaning it, make sure to leave it to cool off for at least an hour or two before plugging the system back on.
Power up and enjoy!