29 Aug

Dust Bunnies Cause Computer Repair

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I had to share the experience of servicing a computer that hasn’t been moved or serviced in quite some time.

image003I couldn’t help notice the ring of dust around the power buttons and tray areas of the DVD drives. I knew dust was going to be an issue! When I opened the case, a few dust bunnies fell out!

  • The heat sink on the CPU (processor) is coated in a layer of dust.
  • The fins of the fans are bogged down.
  • The hard drive enclosure and wires are coated with dust.
  • The power supply is not ventilating well either.

As you can see this machine hasn’t had an internal cleaning in a very long time. Most people don’t consider their computer is breathing in all this dust and the consequences. Pets are a contributor to the accumulation too. Cat and dog hair are sucked inside by the computer’s fans along with the dust. If you have a pet, you should have your computer cleaned more often.

Computer fans are spinning to keep your computer cool. When they accumulate all this dust, the task of cooling becomes an issue. This customer was experiencing their computer randomly shutting down. It can be caused by either a hardware failure, software or environmental failure, such as: a bad stick of RAM, failing hard drive, bad power supply or a virus. In this case it was just dust!

By having your computer regularly cleaned internally you can prolong the life of your machine. Your components will not experience the damage of over heating.

image0022After taking the compressor to this machine and cleaning out all the dust bunnies, it looks new inside again. More importantly it is running with a more acceptable processing temperature and is no longer shutting down.

Taking your computer into a shop on a regular basis can save you time and money in the long run.

If you are a “do it yourself” type of person, remove your computer case and blow that dust out. If you have a compressor in the garage, use your lowest setting to blow out the fans and grills. You can purchase a canned air product such as Dust Off or any air duster, they do an effective job. It’s best to take your computer outside to clean it out. Believe me, it will get messy!

If you are unable to take it outside I would hold the vacuum about four inches (absolutely no closer to the main board) above the open side of the case lying on it’s side and use canned air to blow the dust up to be sucked away by the vacuum cleaner. I would advise that you never vacuum a computer main board itself as you may vacuum off an important jumper that you wouldn’t even know existed. These jumpers are very small and a very integral part of your computers’ functionality. A lot of static is also created by the vacuum.

If you’re not the “do it yourself” type of person, just have your local computer shop clean it out for you.


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