Keeping Your PC in Great HEALTH
Lesson: We're Going In... Difficulty: Moderate
An important routine to begin this new year is to start cleaning out the inside of your computer on a regular basis; especially, if you use the computer as much as I do. I am not referring to the history or temoprary files either. I am referring to the actual inside of your computer...DUN DUN DUNnn! You may have never gone here here before, but I am challenging you to take an adventure and go where most never dare to go....haha
You might be very surprised to learn that dust particles can build up in every nook and cranny of your computer causing many problems including; a slow computer, over-heating, crashes, and complete melt-downs.
Have you ever watched a documentary on people who are religious gamer's?? One distinct thing that you might notice when watching gamer's is their ability to be creative to prevent their computers from over-heating.....some place cooling fans, mini refrigerators, multiple refrigerators, or even custom made mini refrigerators that encase the entire computer!!
You might be wondering why....Well, I will tell you why...it is to prevent the computer from over-heating and crashing/freezing. I can't say that this is a good thing to do; however, while using my HP doing graphic design last summer, I actually refrigerated my PC!! HA!!
One of the most common problems many gamer's have with their computers is over-heating. It can be the death of any one person trying to run programs using high amounts of memory, CPU, and running the graphics card to the brink. I decided to build this computer because I was having many issues with over-heating on my HP's. Big computer manufacturer's make the computer cases so compact, that over-heating is a VERY common problem.
Arizona gets hot in the summer and when the inside of my office is 80 degrees, my computer can hike far up into the 100's while I am using my graphic design programs. I resorted to refrigerating my computer on several occasions to save it from freezing, crashing, and complete failure. YES, I am that motivated!! I believe our A/C bill was around $600.00 that month and I am not even joking!! I had to run the A/C at 77 degrees to get my office cooled down to about 82. On top of the A/C running non-stop, I would also run fans and a mini refrigerator to keep the temperatures from spiking. It was a massive under-taking and my new computer custom-built has truly saved me from having complete and total melt-downs.
I run my graphic design programs as much as a gamer does and the computer usage is quite similar. In order to keep my computer running at top speeds, there are a list of things I do on a monthly or weekly basis as part of a healthy maintenance routine. For the last session, I discussed ways to clean out the "junk in the trunk" so to speak, and this week, I will show you how to carefully clean out the dust that builds up on the inside of the computer.
Here are some healthy tips before I being this lesson.
1. Always make sure to store your computer in a room or an area that has plenty of ventilation and space. Tight spaces can cause over-heating and harm to your computer parts.
2. NEVER, NEVER, work with your computer (laptop) directly on your bed, the couch, or on a blanket that will cover the ventilation fans!! This will not only over-heat your computer, it will also cause damage to the internal parts and in extreme cases, even melt wires.
3. DON"T eat or even NIBBLE around your computer. This is one of the most difficult rules to follow for most. I don't even have to tell you why, and if I do, then this tutorial might be too advanced..haha
Time to Get Your Tech-Head On....We're Going in...
Let's Gets Started
What You Will Need...
You will not need much for this tutorial. Get your computer/laptop, 1-2 cans of compressed air (possibly more if you have not done this before), and a stylish screw-driver. You can settle for a boring one...or.. you can stop by the World Market and pick up one to fit your style (and that your spouse won't steal).
You might need to look up your computer specs online of you are not sure how to open up your "power brain" (case). If you go onto the manufacturer's site, you should be able to download a PDF manual for your machine... For example,
1. I can go straight to the manufacturer's website by typing the brand of my PC case in a Google Search
I typed in: In Win (The Manufacturer of my PC Case) and then clicked on the DIRECT manufacturer's website. Make sure you remember that I built my computer, so my method will be different from yours. Always go to the "Help & Support" section of any manufacturer's website. This will get you straight to where you need to be.
Once I am there, I can look up the specific information for my particular case model (see below). If you look to the top left corner of the image, you will see a menu button. Once I click that, I can search for specific information about my model.
2. You can type in the exact model and manufacturer of your machine in the form of a question or statement (often easier than searching the manufacturer's site)
For Example, I typed: How to open the case of an in win dragon rider computer
and I found a nifty YouTube Video for my model: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-tYzhEx0UxM
You can also search specifically for your models' manufacturer manual and download the PDF.
Here are a few popular manufacturer site links I have included for your convenience:
SONY VAIO SUPPORT
WINDOWS PC SUPPORT
This is certainly not a complete list; however, it is enough to get you started in the right direction.
Now that you have...hopefully...found out how to open the case to your computer, I believe it is time we get started.
Before you remove the door to your computer case, make sure your computer is COMPLETELY shut down. I actually unplug my cords and position my case on top of my desk so that I don't end up tipping the can of compressed air to get into the tight places.
Un-screw the door to your computer case, being VERY careful NOT to yank the door off once you have the screws out. Some computers have fans on the doors, which are connected from the inside of the computer to the inside of the door (see the image of my computer above). Yanking the door off may cause damage to the wires...They should NOT be disconnected UNLESS you know what you are doing.
I only have 2 screws to remove. Most computer cases have only two screws located on the back of the computer case for the door, so if you are at your 5th screw, then you might want to rewind a bit and refer to your computer manufacturer's website for help.
Using Compressed Air:
NOTE: ALWAYS hold the can upright, never shake the can, and give the can a break if it gets too cold (this is why it is a good idea to have two on hand).
1. Begin spraying the dist off of the OUTSIDE of the case first. This will prevent you from having to re-spray the inside of the case after spraying the outside.
Spray the outside areas first, paying close attention to the air vents, fans and ports.
Now to clean the inside of the computer!! Make sure to have good lighting available when you do this. You may also need a small dust rag (not a terry cloth - -a lens rag will do just fine) to wipe up residual particles that just won't seem to leave. You are going to start at the top and work your way to the bottom of the inside of the case. The picture below is a little over one week's worth of dust. I have seen computers that have a thick layer over-all.
Don't freak if your computer has quite the collection. It will take you a bit longer to clean and you will need to use the lens rag to carefully wipe off the build-up on the fan blades (if they are accessible in your model).
As you can see below, dust builds up on the cooling tubes (those thick black tubes), the wires, on and around the graphics card, motherboard, and every part of every fan! And I even upgraded my fans to the "dust-resistant"ones...In case you are wondering what cooling tubes are, I have a liquid cooling system in my machine to help keep the temperature...well....COOL..haha
I start by spraying the fans at the very top from inside the case. To do this, I must tilt my case a bit in order to keep the can of the compressed air upright. You do not want to spray too closely to any of the parts. Hold the can about 2 inches from anything you are spraying.
Look at the image to the top right (below). I have highlighted the areas around the fan on my graphics card. This is often VERY dusty, so be mindful to keep your face at a safe distance from the dust storm that might occur.
Keep spraying the inside, making sure to be very careful NOT to disturb the smaller working parts of the "brain" of your computer.
If you have quite a lot of dust, you may need more than one can of compressed air on hand. Once the can begins to "sweat" you will have a hard time continuing to spray & you will need to switch out the cans.
Once you have finished spraying the inside of your computer, use the lens rag to clean the residual dust at the bottom of your case (if you have room to do so).
Make sure to position your door back on your case evenly, screw your screws (haha), and re-connect your computer. You are now ready to boot up! Your computer will love you for taking good care of him/her. Mine is a her, because she is white and glowy blue..haha
This is the end of my PC Tips Lesson 2; however, I will have more to come over the next few weeks! Thank you for stopping by and I hope that these tips prove to be helpful.
The colorful scribble frames are from my new "Cutest Backgrounds Ever" set.
Thank you so much for stopping by & following my blog! I LOVE comments & would love to hear if you attempted to clean out the inside of your computer!!
P.S. If you would like to join my collaborative Pinterest board and share things you create using my graphics, please feel free to leave your Pinterest link in a comment below - I love to see what my art inspires you to create!!