-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Cleaning Your Computer By Benjamin Bromiley
I have used this procedures many times with no problems but I must rely on your common sense so be careful. If you screw up you are on your own.
“I keep my house very clean, how could my computer get dirty” Yes but it takes maintenance; sweeping, vacuuming and dusting. Your computer [PC] requires maintenance to keep it clean also. The fact that you have to do this shows that there is dust in the air, the system fans will suck it in and deposit it inside the case, where it will become a problem sooner or later. When you clean you put more dust in the air, if you leave the PC running while you clean it sucks this dust in. Computers setting on the floor tend to attract the most dust. Pets, carpeting, cigarette smoking, gas or oil heat create more dust and grime. Grime or greasy dust cements the dust to the inside of your PC increasing the problem.
Some signs that it needs cleaning are: overheating, freeze ups, turning its self off, strange behavior and loud fans.
“Ok so how do I clean it?” Start by turning it off, unplugging it from the wall, removing any wires plugged into it and then placing it on a table where you will have room to work. Buy a can of 'canned air', find a soft brush and get your vacuum cleaner [the one with a hose attachment]. Yes your home vacuum, the cute little battery powered ones just don't work. Most computer stores sell vacuum attachments intended for use with PCs. These attachments are small enough to get in all the cracks and crevices, and the adapter that you use to connect them to your home vacuum is often designed to cut down the air flow to a level more appropriate for cleaning a PC. Vacuum the entire outside of the case paying special attention to the back panel, any USB ports and any ventilation openings. Open the case and find the Power supply [PS]. This is usually mounted on the top rear of the case. The PS will have a fan on the back and one on the bottom these are usually covered with a wire grill which is attached with 4 screws. If you can remove these to make cleaning the fan blades easer. NOTE: These screws also hold the fans on so don't allow the fan to go in so far that the screws can't reach them. Holding the fan blades so that they can't turn vacuum the blades and the surface around them. You may have to use the brush to dislodge some of the dirt if so vacuum it up right away. Using a flashlight look inside. If all you see is dust use the canned air to blow it ALL out, holding the fan blades so that they can't turn. HOWEVER if it looks as if Mt. Etna erupted in there you will have to open the PS to clean it. I know – I know it tells you not to do that but if you keep your fingers and metal objects out it is safe. If you haven't already done it lay the PC on its side. There are 4 screws in the back that hold the PS on the PC , remove these. In most cases there is enough slack in the wires to allow you to remove the PS and lay it on the case, if not you will have to unplug the wires. The main power wire going into the mother board has a clip on it that you will have to hold in. On the top of the PS there will be 4 tiny screws, remove these. Now pry the cover off. You will see a small plastic shield attached with a plastic pin. Remove these being careful not to loose the pin. Take your brush in one hand and start brushing every thing inside at the same time hold the vacuum so that it collects every thing that comes off. Look for hidden 'crap' in the corners and crevices. Use the canned air to blow any remaining dirt out. With that done if you haven't done it yet replace the wire grills over the fans and then the cover. Be sure to replace the little plastic shield and its pin. Replace the PS in the PC and vacuum up any dirt that fell inside the case..
Next lets clean the Processor [CPU] heatsink. This is the largest 'box' mounted on the mother board [MBB] and there will usually be a fan on it. Use your finger or a small tool to prevent the fan blades from spinning and with the vacuum and brush clean the fan blades. Using the flashlight look inside You'll probably see a great deal of dirt clogging up the fins of the heatsink. Using your canned air try to blow it ALL out. Clogged fins on the heatsink keeps it from cooling the processor. The processor begins running very hot, which can cause data corruption, system lock-ups, and even damage to the processor itself. Take the flashlight and look to see if it is clean, if not you will have to look to see if you can remove the fan. If so you can use the brush to dislodge the dirt and vacuum it out, if not continue with the canned air until it is all gone. In some extreme cases I have had to remove the heatsink but I don't advise it as the plastic clips are prone to breaking and they are a real pain to replace.
Now we have cleaned the 2 mos difficult items lets do the easy ones and get this job done.
Rear fans are next. These are held on by 4 screws and easy to remove. In most cases you will have enough slack in the wires so you won't have to unplug them but if you do remember where they plug in. Remember which side faces out, a piece of tape placed on one side temporally will help. After they are out they are easy to clean with the brush and vacuum. Vacuum up any dirt that fell inside the case and replace the fan.
On to the front bezel. This is the most forgotten area on the case. DO NOT try to pry it off. It is held on by 4 to 6 plastic clips which are located just inside the front of the case. A quick look will tell you if you have to press them together or just push them to one side. When this is done the front bezel will fall off. There may be a filter inside if so clean it. If there is a front fan clean it also. Vacuum up any dirt that fell to the bottom and wipe it out. Then just snap the bezel back on. With your brush dust the entire inside of the case and MBB and vacuum it out then use your canned air to blow any remaining dust out. Don't forget to blow behind the MBB.
I never saw this before today. Perhaps if I had I may not have purchased this new computer. A good cleaning might be just what the old iMac needs. Think I'll follow Sandy's idea and send it out, though.
That's a fair amount of cash...hope it does make your computer hold out longer though. I put a similar amount of money into my old PC because of the Black Worm virus I had picked up. It still never ran right afterwards. I ended up giving it away after Corinne gave me her old iMac. That lasted 3 years for me and now I have my 1st brand new computer. Hope it lasts for the rest of my life as it cost a really pretty penny. Well worth it, though.