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Computer Clean Out and Dust Removal- Page 2



Your computer's fans play an integral role to keep your computer running cool. Your computer cooling system works similarly to the radiator in your car, where air is passed through a large block of metal. In a computer this metal block is called a heatsink. Most computers do not use water for coolant but this method is popular with enthusiasts who overclock their processors or other components. Overclocking means running a computer faster than what it was designed for, which causes extra heat that must be dissipated.




Heatsinks have many designs but all do the same job: transfer heat away from the processor with the help of a fan or liquid. Between the processor and heatsink thermal interface paste must be applied which fills the microscopic gaps between these two flat slabs of metal. Over the years this thermal grease compound can dry out which reduces the effectiveness of heat transfer through the heatsink and should be replaced. There may also be other heatsinks on the motherboard or graphics card to keep their chips cool.



When dust becomes excessive it can stop fans from working and cause instant death to the computer due to excessive heat. Before they fail, fans will usually get noisy when they are starting to strain under the load of dust, but fans can stop without warning if the computer's health has gone unchecked for a long period of time (over a year). Fans can also be lubricated using mechanical oil (not WD-40!) to extend their life and reduce whine.




An area not often inspected is behind the front fascia of a computer case. This cover may be removed in most types of cases and if not cleaned with the rest of the system, quickly introduces another layer of dust after cleanup. DVD and other optical drives, as well as the floppy drive, can fail due to excessive dust blown into their small enclosures.




excess temperatures caused by dust


Although dust is attracted to wiring because electricity running through them generates a static charge - which air and dust particles are attracted to, this computer's 'dust bunnies' were especially ...umm... sticky and springy. Upon close inspection, tight weaving of spider's webs were discovered!


Please do not attempt to clean your computer out yourself unless you are well prepared. When working inside computers you need to make sure you are properly grounded and do not touch the delicate circuit boards. Your body carries static electricity which can zap computer components by giving them an electric shock.   Dust masks are also advised!



The computer processor and motherboard are most prone to failure from dust and dirt gathering inside the computer, but all computer components are at risk. Video / graphics cards normally have a very small heatsink and fan assembly which can make a loud (usually higher-pitched) whining noise when the fan is starting to fail. When overheating starts to occur due to this excess dust it can cause strange display corruption and screen artefacts. Because other expansion cards may be located near the base of the computer they are also more likely to pick up dust.



When your computer overheats and crashes due to the dust build up, catastrophic component failure often occurs, rendering the component burnt out beyond repair. Most parts can be replaced but if the electrical disturbance caused by a short travels to the hard drive, then this can lead to loss of critical data which may or may not be recoverable. If your computer crashes while it is writing data to the hard drive, this can cause a physical drive failure or corrupt data.



Even though hard drives are fully enclosed, they still have microscopic air holes with thick filters to allow a tiny amount of air flow. A speck of dust can cause a hard drive head to crash, like scratching a needle across a record. Cleaning the hard drive casing as well as the drive bays ensures the risk of dust contamination is kept to a minimum.




Computer cases and internal components are designed with air flow considerations in mind. Air is most commonly drawn in from the front and/or side of the case, then blown out at the rear and/or top - usually via the power supply. Many computers also do not have a sufficient number of fans, or cables inside the case have not been tidied and block the air flow. In the above picture a ball of dust the size of a fist was blocking airflow to the hard drives.




Now that's what a heatsink looks like after a good clean!




Before                                                                                                   After  



Call Creative Computers today on (03)9546 0199 to book a service or Book Online for your computer clean out and dust removal service to ensure your computer's cooling stays effective and prevent component failure due to overheating or short circuits.


Computer cleanout service cost is only $44 for drop-off service or $99 for on-site service - both HALF PRICE with any other service!
Onsite dust out service requires a well ventilated outside area with strong lighting so a daytime service is usually needed. Pick-up and delivery is also available.




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