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Cleaning a computer with a regular vacuum

Foebane72

Well-known Member
I've just had a peek through the case of my computer and I can see that the dust of eons has lined the inside, and it looks ghastly at first glance.

I'm going to open it and try to get the hoover as close as I can to it, but should I be wary of doing that? I'm afraid of static buildup, but then the hoover hose is plastic, so there should be no worries there, right? In any case, I will keep the PC connected to the mains, but power off, and touching the case will earth me, right?

I have to do something in any case, the PC case fan has been making a noise that sounds like a hard drive thrashing about, even though the actual hard drive is silent. I think it needs a good seeing-to.

Any advice?
 

nacmacfeegle

Distinguished Member
"I'm afraid of static buildup, but then the hoover hose is plastic, so there should be no worries there, right?"
Wrong.
But as long as you are careful you will probably be okay.
Maybe buy an air duster if you are worried.
 

Foebane72

Well-known Member
I've heard some people use compressors on the parts (NOT compressed air cans) which is far more effectiive than hoovers or compressed air.

Yes, NacMacFeegle, I remembered the thing about static, wool and balloons.
 

Foebane72

Well-known Member
The answer is still the same as the last time we discussed the same question in March :)

Yes, and now, as then, I still figure it's rather risky, as sites I've read long before this old thread of mine led me to believe that hoovers were a no-no. I was frankly rather shocked to discover that people here use them, but as of this moment, I don't have any compressors or compressed air to hand. ;)
 

Chadford

Distinguished Member
Go buy a can of compressed air (Maplin or somewhere else).

1) ***GO OUTSIDE***!!! - put your PC on a table or something in your garden. Doing this inside is a mistake you do just the once!
2) Remove both sides of the case if you can.
3) Spray liberally, particularly into the PSU and around the processor fan.
4) Cough a lot.
5) Re-assemble - done.

:smashin:
 

John7

Well-known Member
Static *should* not be an issue for components that are properly plugged in to their relative sockets

I regularly blow my desktop out using a 6L mains powered air compressor (oil less) with no issues. The PSU is the most affected component and clouds of dust blow out of that!
 

Foebane72

Well-known Member
This is what greeted me when I opened the case:

pc-1.jpg


And this was the side panel I just took off:

pc-2.jpg

MODS: If I've accidentally hotlinked, feel free to edit this post

I took the hoover to the thick black cables from the PSU and to the floor of the case, and was careful not to let it get too close to the cards or the mobo. However, the side panel (that tube allows direct airflow to the CPU fan) was easy to clean all over.

I was only able to get some of the dust off with the hoover, so I won't be trying that again, and I was forced to poke my finger into the fans to get rid of the dust and gunge that had collected around them, although most of the dust was behind the fan on the CPU heatsink, which I couldn't easily get to, so I think blowing compressed air next time is the only option...

...as is doing all this outside and NOT inside (cough) ;)
 

SBT

Banned
Not a PC but I cleaned a PS3 that was far worse than your pic. I recon there was enough DNA to make about 5 SBT's :laugh:
Used a vax (not the wet type) and it worked a treat. I now have a very quiet PS3 :smashin:
 

nheather

Distinguished Member
I've cleaned out my PC Tower with a vacuum cleaner plenty of times - never come to any harm.

Have a degree in Electronics and messed around with electronics for over 30 years. Never worn an anti-static wristband and never killed an IC (with static that is).

Personally I think the static risk is over-stated.

Cheers,

Nigel
 
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richardb70

Distinguished Member
Did I read something a while back about the problems of causing fans to spin amazingly fast (when you're trying to get the dust off them with a vacuum) and zapping things? Could be bunkum but some people were recommending sticking something in the fans to hold the blades in place when you're doing it.

Anyway, I've hoovered my PCs a few times and no ill effects, touch wood (or case).
 

liamt

Distinguished Member
I've cleaned out my PC Tower with a vacuum cleaner plenty of times - never come to any harm.

Have a degree in Electronics and messed around with electronics for over 30 years. Never warn an anti-static wristband and never killed an IC (with static that is).

Personally I think the static risk is over-stated.

Cheers,

Nigel

+1. i havent worn them since i left college when you were forced to wear them. unless you build up static and then rub a chip you will be fine.

i use a hoover to clean mine or compressed air
 

Egg White

Distinguished Member
Yes, and now, as then, I still figure it's rather risky, as sites I've read long before this old thread of mine led me to believe that hoovers were a no-no. I was frankly rather shocked to discover that people here use them, but as of this moment, I don't have any compressors or compressed air to hand. ;)

have you got any balloons?
 

Saldawop

Distinguished Member
I always clean out my pc with the vacuum, usually it is still on at the time. I will occasionally turn it off and get the end of the hose in to all the nooks and crannies, in between the cards, the cpu fan. Maybe I have just been very lucky, but it's not been a problem so far.
 

DVD-Man

Distinguished Member
I prefer to use a small paint brush to agitate the dust and keep the vacuum nozzle aback a bit.

I'll get a picture of a manky pc next week and post it here if I can remember, it'll shock.
 

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