Friday, October 03, 2014

Keep it clean

I have a brand new computer to replace my four year old Dell. The new computer is housed in a case which has removable dust filters on the intakes so keeping it clean inside should be easy. All I should need to do is take out the filters, wash them, let them dry and replace them – job done.

That was not the case with the Dell and nor was it the case with any of the other computers I have owned. There was no intake fan on the Dell but there were vents to allow air inside which didn’t have dust filters on them.

This summer I noticed that whenever I used a web browser the fans on the Dell would speed up meaning that the computer was getting hot.

I therefore took the side cover off  to investigate. On preliminary inspection there did not seem to be a lot of crud inside, the fans themselves were pretty clean so I needed to look further. What I found was the vanes on the CPU cooler were filled with dust and there was a lot of fluff and dust blocking the intake on the fan that cools the graphics card. Using a blower and a brush I removed all the dust and fluff that I could and that seems to have done the trick.

The point I am making is that one of the primary causes of computer failure is dust inside. It chokes up the fans which leads to excessive heat build up and that causes untold problems.

If you have a computer that is more than a year old and you live in a dusty environment, you really need to remove the side panel and check it inside. Be careful not to touch any sensitive electrical components or you may kill them with static. Get in there with a vacuum or a blower and brush and remove as much of that dust as you can. It doesn't matter if you touch the fans but keep away from the motherboard and the memory cards.

If you are not confident about doing the job yourself, take the computer to a shop where they will clean it for you. Taking this simple step could save you an expensive computer repair and will keep your machine working quietly for longer. 

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