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Cleaning Inside Computer Questions


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#1 Harddriver

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 03:35 PM

Hi

My computer needs relieving of several months build up of internal dust.

I have 2 questions:-


1] I've bought an air-duster can from a computer supplies shop. However I notice that as well as 'clean' blasts of air, the can also occasionally expels an icy cold substance which leaves an initial white residue wherever it settles [which slowly fades]. This usually happens when the can is tilted so I try to keep it straight, but it is very difficult to avoid tilting just a bit while working.

What is this substance - can it be harmful to my computer parts, such as the exposed circuit boards [which are dusty and need attention]?

I'm assuming it's something to do with the gas that powers the air-duster, and I have noticed this with every can I have used over the years so this is not just a faulty one - but is this substance safe to land on my computer components?


2] Rather than using an air-duster to 'blow around' the dust, I would much rather 'suck it out' completely - i.e. using a vaccuum cleaner. However I was warned a while ago that this might be dangerous to my computer [for reasons to do with electricity or static, I can't really remember].

This is the setup: my computer is fully disconnected and open on a table, I plug in and switch on my vaccuum cleaner and carefully point the plastic sucking nozzle towards the various computer innards. I do not touch any innards, carefully staying a few inches away from all the components as I work.

The vaccuum is quite powerful and does a much more thorough job at removing dust... but is what I have described safe?


Thank you for any help on this, I think I'll wait for answers before I proceed!

:thumbsup:

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 03:41 PM

FWIW: Cleaning the Interior of your PC - http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/cleaning-the-inside-of-your-pc/

Louis

#3 Animal

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 03:51 PM

I would not use an AC powered household vacuum to even get close to the electric components inside your case. This due to the ability of the vacuum to create static electric charges which could potentially damage sensitive circuitry.

If you insist on using a vacuum, use one that is battery powered and wear an anti-static wrist strap.

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#4 Harddriver

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 04:14 PM

Thanks for the quick answers - the guide looks useful.

Can anybody comment about the air-duster residue I am still concerned about?

From Google I see many air-dusters boast 'leaves no residue'... I've always bought what I assume were good quality and dedicated computer air-dusters in the past, yet have always noticed the residue problem at slight tilts with the can.

Edited by Harddriver, 16 July 2009 - 04:15 PM.


#5 hamluis

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 05:14 PM

Canned air (or similar products) use compressed gases which liquefy under certain conditions.

That's why users are often told to

a. Shake contents vigorously.

b. Hold can upright, do not tilt

That icy cold substance would be somewhat analogous to liquified oxygen...in some respects. We think of oxygen as a gas, but (under pressure), it can be very cold liquefied product.

I don't really know, but that's my best guess about such.

Louis




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