Guide to Cleaning Your Computer, from the Outside In

Now regardless of your level of expertise or time spent surfing the web, if you only look at a computer as a shiny metal box or if you take them apart every day, you can benefit from knowing how to maintain one. Some times computers start to freeze up and sometimes they get very noisy like jet engines, the following article will show you how to deal with such problems and prevent them from ever occurring.

The first step is maintaining a solid physical performance. Your computer cannot do the actions and tasks you require it in cyber space if you do not maintain it physically in real space. Do not be afraid of your computer you can hurt it but if you follow the following steps then you will not. Dust, moisture and heat are the three enemies of a computer. Make sure the location of your desktop is away from highly moist areas, your basement should be fine, unless it is full of water but otherwise keep your PC dry just like any other appliance. Next battle heat; do not stick your desktop under your desk and pile papers around it to where it becomes a fire hazard. Your computer does not appreciate this and will loose much of its lifespan as a result of mistreatment. So keeping your computer cool and dry you now have to worry about a slightly more complex issue, which happens to be called dust. Dust is largely made up of dead skin cells and other pollens spread throughout the world. Dust is no big problem, you see it every day and some of us clean it off counters hourly. Regardless over time your desktop will collect dust, not on the outside where a swipe of the cloth cleans all, but on the inside where dust does much more damage.

In order to clean the inside of your computer you will need a screwdriver, some sort of compressed air, and a vacuum (for the dust). First you will need to unplug your computer from all power sources, this is very important when working with any electronic device. Remove the case of you desktop with the screwdriver. You should only need to remove the left side panel. This should give you access to the internal parts of the desktop. Do not remove all the screws, only the screws holding the side panel on. Before removing the side panel or touching anything inside the computer you will need to ground yourself in order to remove any static charge you may be carrying. This is vital! Touch the metal case of the computer or some other grounded object in order to remove any possible charge. Then proceed to open the case. Inside you should see several fan’s lots of circuit boards and your cables connecting your different drives to your motherboard. If you do not know what all these parts are then that is fine, do not touch them and do not touch anything to them and you will be fine. If you have compressed air then look for dust and spray the dust out of your computer, but do not touch or wipe any of the computer’s internal parts. Wiping dust from your motherboard is almost guaranteed to short circuit it costing you hundreds of dollars. Simply spray the dust out and use the vacuum to remove the excess. Also do not touch the vacuum hose to any of the computer parts. You do not need to get all the dust out, but removing most of it will provide you with a much longer lasting computer.

Once you are finished vacuuming and blowing all the dust out simply replace the side panel and screw it tightly back into place. This is best done by first making sure the side panel is fitting snuggly with the case. If it is not then remove it and try again. Finally replace the screws and plug your computer back in. Next time I will tackle computer maintenance onscreen rather than in the physical world. In the mean time I hope this has helped you realize the need for maintaining your computer and the simplicity behind doing so.

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