Clean the PC

Clean the PC: Remove the wool mice and ensure good cooling

Clean the PC: computer

Do you know Wollmäuse? These little fluffy "little animals" who like to hide under beds or in corners? Hard to believe, but they are mostly human!

We do not want to go into that much closer than they are made up of dander, hair and dust. Everyone knows them, everyone has them and they like to frolic around on the floor. Wherever big computers like to stand. These, too, absorb dust and other impurities by the air flow required for cooling and form wool mice inside the PC housing.

Actually harmless and quiet, they can neatly stir up trouble in a computer and even make for noise nuisance. If they block ventilation holes and cooling fins, the heat dissipation must be compensated by a higher fan speed. Many computers take care of it on their own and thus provide for increased background noise. It's time to clean the PC.

Why PC cleaning is so important.

Who does not work up a sweat when he has to solve big arithmetic problems or do heavy physical work? The same goes for a computer that sometimes converts several hundred watts into computing power.

That a computer converts a large part of its absorbed energy into heat is basically not bad, because it is released in the living room and replaces heating energy. Nevertheless, it must be able to escape from the PC case and thus create "space" for the still permanently delivered heat. Otherwise, a build-up of heat builds up, which can quickly reach 50° C. If the processor on the motherboard can not give off its heat due to the high ambient temperature, it continues to heat up.

An automatic in the computer now tries to compensate for the temperature by a higher fan speed. For example, the warm air should be transported faster from the CPU cooler or the air exchange in the PC housing should be increased. However, dust and woolly mice prevent the exchange of air, the cooling effect can not be compensated by even the strongest fan. In order not to produce even more heat, the computer now reduces its computing power and is noticeably slower. At some point, it switches off completely for self-protection.

So if you notice that your computer is getting louder and is not running as fast as usual, you may be able to fix the error by simply cleaning the computer.

Open PC housing for cleaning

Before you open the PC case, remove all cables and find a suitable table on which you have enough space. It is best if you reach the table or the computer from all sides. So you do not have to turn it over or lie down for the upcoming cleaning. Once the cables have been removed, press the power button once, as if you would turn it on. This frees the board of stored voltages.

Clean the PC: clean

Fluted screw heads save the screwdriver.

To open the PC case only a Phillips screwdriver is needed to remove the screws on the back. Occasionally, screws with corrugated heads are used, so you do not need a tool.

The side walls are held by concealed noses and are only slightly pushed back until they can be removed. Light depressions should simplify the shifting, but are only partially helpful. If the side panel can not be pulled by the flat recessed grip, push the entire side panel slightly against the PC case with the palm of your hand and push the wall backwards at the same time. If necessary, the housing can also be put on its side and pushed with both hands.

After the two side walls, the front can be removed. Not always that is necessary and sometimes the front can be secured by many screws. Take a close look at the edge of the metal front. If you only discover plastic nipples (clamps), they can be pushed forward slightly.

Clean the PC: computer

Press lightly against the PC case and push.

Clean the PC: clean

The PC front is often only plugged.

Caution: The front contains cable connections for LEDs, USB ports, switches or similar. Only remove the cables if it is clear to you which one is connected back to where later. Feel overwhelmed, leave the cable connections and fold the front only to the side. If the front now cleaned immediately, it can be fixed again. This prevents cables from loosening and becoming unassignable due to longer handling during PC cleaning.

PC cleaning with the vacuum cleaner

Clean the PC: compressed

With a narrow nozzle can also reach corners.

To cool the computer case, air is drawn through the case during each operation. It can hardly be avoided that also dust or woolly mice get into the housing and settle there. Do not be frightened by how dirty a rarely cleaned computer can be. This is not a sign of a dirty apartment - it simply can not be avoided.

In order not to distribute large dust deposits wildly, the vacuum cleaner should be used first. With an additional narrow nozzle almost all corners can be reached and the computer can be roughly cleared of dust.

However, avoid scraping directly over the board with the hard nozzle, which could damage small electronic components. Limit yourself to suction with the housing and ventilation grille in the housing. Even cables are an obstacle and are sucked. Down regulated suction is just as helpful as holding down the cumbersome cables. If you dare, you can also remove the cables and clean them even more thoroughly. For more information, see the case cooling section.

Remove dust from heat sinks with a brush

Heatsinks are designed to give off a lot of heat and therefore require a large surface area. Since it makes little sense to create large surfaces by plates or the like, have heat sink cooling fins. This creates a large surface despite a small design, which can give off heat to the environment. Depending on the heat to be disposed of, heat sinks can be equipped with an additional fan. Due to the narrow spaces between the cooling fins and the much moving air through fans, here are usually the thick woolly mice.

Straight patch heatsink and fan are but a sign that urgent good cooling is needed here. Wollmäuse and dust deposits prevent them however. Cleaning the heat sink is therefore particularly important.

Clean the PC: clean

Clean the heat sink with the corner brush

Clean the PC: heat

Carefully clean fan only

Well suited for this so-called radiator or corner brush. They have a long wooden stem, are angled at the head and have long bristles. By different sizes or widths, large areas can be cleaned as well as narrow spaces on heat sinks.

Attention: Many instructions recommend removing heatsinks for cleaning. Since they are often held only by a spring mechanism, this is in principle as fast as the installation. We strongly advise against it! Heatsinks perform their function only when the heat of the underlying processor can be optimally delivered to the heat sink. This is done by thermal grease, which should be renewed at each disassembly of the heat sink. If the heat sink is only removed and replaced, it is almost impossible to ensure a further good heat transfer. Damage to the processor or a poorer computing power can be the result.

Compressed air is perfect for PC cleaning

No matter how small a brush or strong a vacuum cleaner is, it is rarely possible to reach every corner with it. An optimal result can only be achieved with compressed air. As practical as compressed air is, there are some things to keep in mind when using it:

Clean the PC: heat

When working with compressed air, hold the fan wheels!

  • Unlike a vacuum cleaner, compressed air does not absorb the dust but distributes it. PC cleaning should therefore be done outdoors or in the workshop. Especially when using compressed air, it becomes clear which "masses" of dust and woolly mice can collect in a computer. Therefore, first vacuum the housing over a large area, then use compressed air to clean the heat sink and hard-to-reach areas, and then clean the entire interior of the computer again.
  • If you have your own compressor, you should only use it if it has an oil and liquid separator. Accumulated condensation or oil can cause component parts for shorts and a greasy film.
  • Each motor is reversed, like a generator, and produces a voltage when it is manually turned, for example by compressed air on the fan. This voltage can cause sensitive components on the board to be damaged because the level of voltage can not be controlled. A fan must therefore never be driven by compressed air.
  • If no compressor is available, so-called compressed air cans or compressed air sprays can be used. Like a deodorant spray or paint cans they contain compressed air, but without any additives. With a thin tube can be so narrow places reach. The compressed air is absolutely dry, but should only be released in short bursts. As heat is generated when pressing air, the air and the spray head cool down when the pressure is released, which can lead to settling of condensed water.

Caution: Fans powered by compressed air can create uncontrolled voltage and damage electronic components. Therefore, always hold the fan wheels and never let them turn by compressed air.

Check the wires and cables and close the PC case

If cables have been removed for cleaning, they must be reconnected properly. Also unplugged plugs should be overpushed to a correct fit. This can also be done for some order in the cable tangled, which improves the air flow in the housing.

Subsequently, the side parts of the PC housing are reattached and screwed. When inserting the side panels, make sure that they really sit with the entire surface before they are pushed forward and locked with it. It makes better, if the PC is on the side.

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Video Board: How To Clean A PC Right