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Essential Computer Maintenance

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Dirty Computer

With everyone getting ready to work from home, it is important for everyone to know how to maintain their computers during this time.

Clean your computer physically. This may seem like a daunting task for people, but it is actually very simple. You need only one thing to do this properly if you keep up with your cleaning. That one thing is compressed air, either canned or from an air compressor. If you have never cleaned your system you may need a long very soft bristle brush of some kind to agitate any stubborn dust.

To do this properly you simply turn off the system, open the side panel of your computer, and blast the inside of your system with the air. If you are using an air compressor you may need to have a moisture barrier to prevent short circuiting your system with the condensation that builds up over time.  If you are using canned air DO NOT SHAKE THE CAN, this agitates the propellant and lowers the time you can use it.

Just point and shoot, you will see some white mist come out, this is fine as long as your computer is off. The can will get very cold during this time, if you lose pressure simply set the can aside for 15 minutes and go again. Make sure to get the CPU cooler and power supply clear to allow them to work more efficiently.

Doing this every few months you will not only see your computer working properly, but you will also extend its life overall. A cool system is a healthy system, dust is a great heat insulator and heat is what kills more computers than anything else. The steps are essentially the same for laptops, but without removing the side panel. Locate your system’s intake or exhaust. To do this easily, just turn the system on and use a small piece of paper to detect air flow.

If the paper is pulled against the system, that is your intake, if it is pushed away, that is your exhaust. What you want to do is blow your air into the exhaust first, then the intake, and then back to the exhaust.  What happens in laptops is that dust and hair will be pulled into the intake, and will become stuck in the exhaust. So you what you want to do is loosen that section first, most of the dust will exit through the intake, blowing through the intake will then force more of that dust out through the exhaust.

Then the final blow into the exhaust will hopefully knock enough loose that the natural airflow will push the remaining dust out when the system is running normally. If for some reason you do not have a fan in your laptop, very common with “thin and light” models, then you don’t really need to do anything as the system is cooled passively.

Also be sure to clean your keyboard and mouse. You can spray the canned air across the keyboard in a sweeping motion to get most dirt and other items out. Be sure to keep the can as upright as possible. If you would like to use disinfectant or a cleaner, DO NOT spray the keyboard directly. This is especially true for laptops. Simply spray a rag or paper towel with the cleaner and wipe it across the keyboard. You do not need much pressure, and be especially careful once again on laptops as their keys can be dislodged if caught on the edge of the towel.

If you would prefer a deeper cleaning of the system, we offer a physical cleaning service in shop only. We will disassemble the system to a point that gives us full access to the computer internals and then clean the system this way. This cleaning is more efficient as the dust that is knocked loose can exit the casing, instead of simply relocating.

Frankenstein Computers has been taking care of our happy clients since 1999. We specialize in affordable IT Support, IT Service, MAC repair, PC Repair, Virus Removal, web design and much more. Give us a call for remote support or drop in to drop off. Check out what our clients are saying about us on Yelp!