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Windows 7: Have you cleaned you pc lately?

28 Sep 2010   #1

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit
Have you cleaned you pc lately?

I purchased my Dell Vostro about 3 years ago. It has an Intel Dual Core E6550 2.33Mhz CPU. I loaded Speccy a few months ago and recently noticed that the CPU temp was about 50 C. I also noted the case fan switching to the high speed more frequently. Hmmm...

I pulled the side of the mini-tower case off and guess what? It looked like my grandmother's attic -- significant dust buildup on ALL components, including the CPU fan and heat-sink. After about 20 minutes of vacuuming and using damp q-tips to pull dust out of crevices (including the heat-sink fins), I put it back together and fired it up.

The temp of the CPU and HDD dropped a full 10 degrees C. They're running at 39 C, not 50 C. The CPU fan no longer changes to high speed and the Dell is once again very quiet. It's a happy camper.

I need to perform first echelon maintenance on this PC every 6 months or so -- not every 3 years.

I'll be even more attentive with my new build.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2010   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

With your new build, make sure that you get a case that has dust filters on it. I use Antec cases and they have been great for catching nearly all of the intake dust. I just opened my rig at home which is now about 15 months old and it's almost identical to the day I built it inside...very very little dust anywhere.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2010   #3

Windows 10 Pro x64

A Paint Brush is very handy for removing built up Dust in hard to reach places.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Sep 2010   #4

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

Ah, the artistic approach...

I believe I've seen some mini-vacuums that might work. Getting into the crevices of the CPU heat-sink is a chore. I would think that compressed air would also be useful in some areas that are difficult to reach.

The damp Q-tips really did a good job of pulling globs of dust out of the CPU fan and heat-sink.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2010   #5
Microsoft MVP


Someone may read this and use their vacuum in the case without taking precautions.

You must use plastic attachments, and even these can build up static electricity which if discharged by the electronics can fry the mobo.

Touch your hands and the vacuum attachment to the case to ground it constantly before getting near electronics. Try very hard not to touch the electronics. Never work on a carpeted floor.

I would still not use a vacuum even with the greatest precautions, except on my laptops where I use my shop vac to suck out dust from vents without opening it and don't touch it at all. I use canned air, artists paintbrush (repeat grounded) and cue tips.

Others may have more precautions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Sep 2010   #6

Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

Good thoughts. I used our small cannister vac which has plastic fittings. The Q-tips are not an issue and artist's paint brushes with wooden handles and natural or synthetic bristles shouldn't be a problem. If the brush has a metal collar to hold the bristles to the handle, I suppose that could be an issue -- but it's isolated between two non-conductors and shouldn't be an issue. Air brushing without the medium should be a good way to clean PC interiors.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Sep 2010   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit

Just get a can of Compressed air and blow it out.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Have you cleaned you pc lately?

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