Maintaining Your Hardware, Essential Maintenance Tasks

Maintaining Your Hardware, Essential Maintenance Tasks

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  1. Much like your home, a computer’s case, which is the housing unit for all of the PC’s hardware, such as your processor, CD drive, RAM, etc. is prone to collecting dust. Most people don’t think about this, and the fans that are inside the case to cool the hardware become caked with dust and the result is, your hardware begins to overheat. This is a definite cause of certain computer errors, which can be serious enough that you end up with expensive repairs or having to purchase a new computer entirely.

    I want to stress that if you are not comfortable opening your computer’s case, then please take it to a professional and have it done. Cleaning the dust from inside your PC must be done carefully; otherwise you could inadvertently cause more damage. Now, you will need some tools for this job, a Philips screwdriver for opening the case, an anti-static cloth and a can of compressed air. If you happen to have an air compressor that is a better alternative than the canned compressed air, as it can leave condensation behind. If you do use the canned air, wait 1-2 hours before plugging the power to your PC back in just to ensure that any moisture has dried.

     Once you have your case open, you will most usually have two fans inside,  one that is attached to the back of the case and one that sits on top of you processor unit. I personally like to have some q-tips on hand to get in between the blades of the fans because the dust can become caked on and just blowing air inside doesn’t always remove all of the grime.  Once you have cleaned the fan’s blades, use your compressed air or air compressor to blow all of the dust from inside the case.  After doing that you can use the anti-static cloth to wipe any remaining dust.

    Now you are ready to put the cover back on the case. Once again if you are using canned compressed air, just to be on the safe side, wait at least an hour before powering your PC back up. This will ensure that any moisture left behind has a chance to dry. Now I’m not saying that canned air will always leave behind moisture, but it is a possibility and it is better to be safe than sorry.

    Depending on how much dust accumulates in your home will determine how often you will need to perform this task. Personally, I live in a very dusty state, so this is something I have to do once a month. I find it helpful to keep an air purifier close by so that it can collect most of the dust rather than your PC’s fans sucking it in. Once you fire your PC back up, depending on the level of accumulated dust, you will probably see a noticeable difference in your PC’s performance. This is because as the dust collects on the fans, they don’t cool the hardware as they should, therefore causing the hardware components to heat up, which causes it to have to work harder.

    I just want to stress once again, make sure you are absolutely comfortable with this process, if you have any doubts, take it to a professional. Sometimes the trickiest part can be opening your computer’s case. You may have to Google your PC’s specific model to find out exactly how to open it. In my line of work I have seen many cases and spent several hours, not to mention pulling out some of my hair in frustration, just trying to figure out how to get the case open. Sometimes I think the manufactures hire people to just for the purpose of designing a case that is next to impossible to open.

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