Dust!

I cracked open my case today to install my shiny new replacement PSU and was greeted with the refreshing gust of dust that is practically iconic to opening a computer.

I didn’t have any compressed air, so I nabbed the wife’s hair dryer, set it to “Cold,” opened a window, and took a few minutes to blow all the dust out.

Anyway, that got me to thinking – how often do you dust out your computer? On a regular basis? Only when you need to change something inside? Only when you think it’s a problem?

Also, is there anything better than compressed air for dusting the inside of a computer? I mean, are there any computer-safe vaccuums or cloths that you use or could recommend? I noted some dust buildup in the heat sink of my CPU, but the hair dryer didn’t seem to affect it at all, and I wasn’t daring enough to try and dig the dust bunny (perhaps a jackelope at this point) out.

About once a month I haul my computer out to the garage and blast all the crap out with an air compressor. It really is amazing how nasty it can get inside the case in such a short amount of time.

Once a month, or whenever it’s dirty. I have a case with a window on the side, which I’ve found to be quite practical in terms of keeping an eye on dust accumulation.

Once a month. It’s pretty dusty in Denver especially in the summer. I use canned air. About twice a year I take the case to my shop and blow it out with the air compressor. Canned air is a pain cause it always freezes up about 1/4 of the way through dusting.

A LOT. My computer IS my air cleaner.

Never. I don’t think I’ve ever opened up computer case in order to just blow dust out.

Sometimes I scrape the cat hair off the front grill.

Dust is evil. I’m allergic to it.

However, I only clean my computers when I open them. When I do, I use a vacuum.

Remember ladies – sucking is better than blowing!

I usually pull the heatsink and do the cleaning outside of the case, if it gets that bad. It gives me the opportunity to thoroughly clean the CPU and heatsink base of old thermal paste. Then I reapply fresh goop and am good to go. It makes a big difference in the running temperature (the dust cleaning, that is. I doubt the thermal paste drys out in a month or two. But it will dry out eventually).

Vacuums build up large static charges when sucking dust through a hose, if you don’t have a small battery operated vacuum specifically designed for cleaning the inside of a computer, or a vacuum with a static-dissipating hose, I would avoid cleaning your computer with a vacuum.

Unless you like living on the edge, then go for it, and hum the theme song to the TV show ‘Fall Guy’ when you do it.