Gizmos Freeware Reviews  

Go Back   Gizmo's Freeware Forum > Debating Chamber > System

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06. Apr 2010, 03:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Space
Posts: 366
Default Spring Cleaning: How Important is it to Clean up Your PC (Hardware)?

Who would have thought that cleaning the hardware would help with some slow computers?

ECT (2007): See the "Maintenance" section -- One possible reason for a slow computer is excessive heat. The rest of the article is about software.

Maximum PC (2009, XP): Step 2 -- Cleaning your PC can prevent fan jams and associated slowdowns. The rest is on software for the most part.

Other General Cleaning Guides:

Computer Hope: Keeps your computer in good working order and prevents the spread of germs. Use the checklist to determine how often to clean your PC. It has 9 general tips to keeping a clean environment around your computer and avoiding damage when you clean it (such as never vacuuming your computer!, don't eat or drink near it, turn it off first, don't get the circuits wet). Keep components cool and in working condition by following this component by component guide. Remember: "The computer keyboard is often the most germ infected items in your home or office, often it will contain more bacteria than your toilet seat." It nicely tells you why you need to clean each component.

Microsoft: You don't want your computer to fry! Removing dust helps keep components from overheating and prevents them from failing. Follow these 5 steps from "Millman's guide to a spotless computer system." Make sure to read the box on how to handle spills. Uh, and don't put computers in the microwave.

Ehow (2006): Lists 13 steps to cleaning your computer. Don't forget to ground yourself (step 7). See the tips and warning box (try to work in an uncarpeted area, don't touch anything inside, ignore sources that tell you to vacuum your computer). Some of the comments at the end recommend using a filter.

CNET (2005, looks newer): "At this very moment, dust bunnies may have your PC in a death grip." Follow these 7 steps to avoid disaster. Contains many video demonstrations. Step 6 has cleaning no-nos (don't use vacuums).

Directron (2005): Prevents computer shutdowns due to dust contamination, and dirty computers can become air pollutants. Static electricity collects dust over time. Prevent such problems with a clean environment, or follow this lengthy guide on How to Clean Your PC.
__________________
Live long and prosper.
Rizar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06. Apr 2010, 03:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Ritho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Planet Earth
Posts: 1,371
Default

Might I also say that many a notebook also suffers from heat problems because the heat sinks get clogged with lint. I have met several people who complain that their laptop was running hot, when it did not used to. A quick check showed that the fins were in some cases completely full of lint, and their cpu's were running near critical temperatures all the time.
__________________
The smallest good deed is better than the greatest intention.

Last edited by Ritho; 06. Apr 2010 at 03:31 PM.
Ritho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06. Apr 2010, 03:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
Site Manager
 
MidnightCowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: South American Banana Republic, third bunch from the left
Posts: 12,422
Default

My own tech always advised me never to attempt cleaning around the heat sink myself. If your assembly uses paste (or compound) you can make things worse by damaging this seal.

http://www.pcguide.com/ref/cpu/char/coolCompound-c.html
__________________
In love with life and desktops
MidnightCowboy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06. Apr 2010, 05:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
Super Moderator
 
Anupam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: India
Posts: 12,705
Default

Good topic ... and it comes at a very interesting time (as explained below).

Some really nice links there Rizar, I will have to take out time, and read them. For now, I will be replying without reading them.

IMO, cleaning the computer regularly is quite important. This helps keep things in shape, and avoid any disasters which might occur because of negligence. I have seen many old computers being clogged with dust, never being cleaned in years, or since they were bought. This sometimes does affect performance, and sometimes lead to a hardware failure.

I clean my computer once in a month or so. I have had occasional shutdowns because of over-heating. The dust clogs the fan, and it stops, leading to overheating of CPU. The wings of fan and also the spindle, get clogged. When that happens, I have to shutdown the PC, let it cool for an hour or so. In the meantime, I clean the fan, and put 2 drops of oil on the spindle, and it start to work great again.

To avoid any such overheating issue, I regularly clean my PC. Despite warnings on various sites for not to use vacuum, I do use vacuum on my PC to blow the dust out... but... from a distance, and for very short time. The sites say to use can-air, but I don't think we get that here in India.

My PC has P-IV, and these run quite hot. I have had to change the thermal compound of CPU in the past, twice. The thermal compound degrades with time, because of the heat, and needs to be replaced. Its been quite sometime since I did that.. and since few days, I have experienced random shutdown, and random hanging of the system. I checked the temperatures with SpeedFan, and the CPU is running very hot. So, its time to go for an overhaul of CPU... will be changing the thermal compound. I will be doing it in a day or two... that's why I said about the timing of this article .

Although, changing thermal compound is not that hard, but you have to be very careful with it. I dread doing it. The old thermal compound has to be cleaned, the surface of CPU cleaned... then a little amount of thermal compound has to be applied in the middle, so that the extra does not spill over when we put the heatsink back on. Problems may arise in fitting the heatsink properly too... and of course care has to be taken in handling the CPU... its a sensitive thing, if handled incorrectly.

To avoid damage due to static charge, it is advised to wear a static wrist band (don't know exact name). If you don't have it, then touching the metal body of the cabinet helps too.

Cleaning the PC regularly is helpful, and necessary. Should be done with caution though... and if you don't know how to do it, or are unsure of things... better to get professional help.
__________________
Anupam
Anupam is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06. Apr 2010, 11:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Space
Posts: 366
Default

@Anupam

Thanks, I was hoping someone would share their experiences with any performance improvements from hardware cleaning.

My system seems to run smoother since I recently cleaned it out. I used an air pump, which might be similar to a vacuum because I didn't know any better (not sure whether it's good to use or not).

But I also went back to an older drive image recently so it might have been that!
__________________
Live long and prosper.
Rizar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07. Apr 2010, 07:49 AM   #6 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Av_Crazy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 481
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anupam View Post
I clean my computer once in a month or so. I have had occasional shutdowns because of over-heating. The dust clogs the fan, and it stops, leading to overheating of CPU. The wings of fan and also the spindle, get clogged. When that happens, I have to shutdown the PC, let it cool for an hour or so. In the meantime, I clean the fan, and put 2 drops of oil on the spindle, and it start to work great again
where do u put the oil ? whts spindle ?

Quote:
The sites say to use can-air, but I don't think we get that here in India.
True

I use a vaccum too but from a distance ...

Nice Post Rizar
Av_Crazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07. Apr 2010, 08:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
Super Moderator
 
Anupam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: India
Posts: 12,705
Default

Rizar, I think the increase in system performance might be because of the drive image. I don't think you can see increase in performance just because of hardware cleaning.

Although it can occur on one account. I had recently posted my random hangs problem, on a forum, and asked for solution. Apart from random hangs, I had also observed that, while rebooting, and while memory check, the numbers would increase somewhat slowly... its like when lots of things are open on your computer, and it starts to work slow, and things seem to hang a bit... that kind. Normally, the numbers increase very fast. Also, I have two RAM sticks, and the PC would make two quick beeps when booting... but I noticed, the beeps came at a longer time interval than normal. This is something I had not seen anytime, and I wanted to ask about this. Seems its because of overheating of CPU... and it only occurs when my PC has been on for quite sometime. When I first start the PC, things work normally.

A knowledgeable hardware person on the forum told... that for P-IV, if they start to get too much hot, for whatever reason... then these CPUs lower their cycles, to lower their temperatures. So, you may experience a little decrease in performance, and things may seem slow. I don't know if this feature is there in newer versions of CPUs... higher than P-IV. So, if you rectify the problem because of which CPU is getting overheated, then you may see an increase in performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Av_Crazy View Post
where do u put the oil ? whts spindle ?
Spindle is the rod on which the fan rotates. Normally, its covered with a sticker, so its not visible... and not everybody needs to put oil there. But, for my fan, the sticker is off, and it gets sort of jammed, after a month or so, because of dust. So, I have to put just 1-2 drops of oil on it, and starts to work great again .
__________________
Anupam
Anupam is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07. Apr 2010, 11:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
Site Manager
 
MidnightCowboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: South American Banana Republic, third bunch from the left
Posts: 12,422
Default

This first link relates specifically to servicing the thermal grease

http://www.ehow.com/how_5895758_clea...e-off-cpu.html

...and this one is a complete tutorial including screenshots.

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tuto...torial118.html
__________________
In love with life and desktops
MidnightCowboy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07. Apr 2010, 12:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
Super Moderator
 
Anupam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: India
Posts: 12,705
Default

Thanks for the links MC. Those are good read. The article from BleepingComputer was quite thorough. I was glad to see that I observe most of what was written there. The idea to stop rotating the fan by using a pencil was a good one... noted.
__________________
Anupam
Anupam is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07. Apr 2010, 03:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Mostly planet Earth
Posts: 323
Default

Thanks for the useful post. Is there any any particular maintenance regime you would recommend for laptops?
HeWhoRocks is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 06:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 PL2