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PC Spring Clean

Steve
Pro
Posts: 6,681
Thanks: 247
Registered: 13-07-2009

PC Spring Clean

Well a late spring clean. Been so long since I opened up a PC and took of apart the heat sink and fan that it took me about an hour and grey hair if I could get it all back together again. Plenty dust, hoover got most and a toothbrush got the rest. Also moved my desk and cleaned all the cables and hoovered behind and underneath. The amount of dust was a bit of a shocker there was even dust trapped under the heat sink on the CPU thermal paste. Thermal paste looked OK, would of liked to replace it but  I did not have any kicking about!!

 

Should keep it going for a bit and temps are looking a lot better now that I am booted up!

53 REPLIES
rongtw
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 6,325
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Registered: 01-12-2010

Re: PC Spring Clean

I like to clean mine regular , it looks better

Not that i am a show off but ,,,,,,,,,,,, couldnt resist as i did it yesterday Smileyred 1.jpg

 

 

red 2.jpg

 

 

 

 

Asus ROG Hero Vii Z97 , Intel i5 4690k ,ROG Asus Strix 1070,
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Steve
Pro
Posts: 6,681
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Registered: 13-07-2009

Re: PC Spring Clean

Your not going to get any critters lurking around in there are you. Also nice cables, very tidy. I bet you have been doing this for years? you build it all yourself? I am a rookie tbh and mines isn't a gaming rig. Might be going back in to replace the thermal paste as it will bug me.

Community Veteran
Posts: 13,921
Thanks: 514
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: PC Spring Clean

Been ages since i've done that. My little single core PC I've never bothered with - it had a years warranty sticked on it so i only took it apart for the first time to stick 2gb extra ram in there but never bothered cleaning it.

The big rig came full of dust despite having been "professionally refurbished" by the ebay seller. I think i might of picked out a few bits of fluff but it was such a complex looking beast compared to all my other machines i decided to leave it alone for fear of breaking it lol. I've never seen a machine with a cooling fan for the ram... but this machine has fans all over the place and looks quite complex to get apart so better left alone. I don't use it much these days though..

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Champnet
Rising Star
Posts: 234
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Registered: 25-07-2007

Re: PC Spring Clean

@rongtw As it's next to the sink can we assume it's water cooled ?Huh

 

rongtw
Seasoned Hero
Posts: 6,325
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Registered: 01-12-2010

Re: PC Spring Clean

@Steve yes i have built several in the past Smiley   and @Champnet  yup its AIO water cooled Thumbs Up

Asus ROG Hero Vii Z97 , Intel i5 4690k ,ROG Asus Strix 1070,
samsung 850evo 250gig , WD black 2 TB . Asus Phoebus sound ,
16 gig Avexir ram 2400 , water cooling Corsair H100i gtx ,
Corsair 750HXI Psu , Phanteks Enthoo pro case .
Steve
Pro
Posts: 6,681
Thanks: 247
Registered: 13-07-2009

Re: PC Spring Clean

@7up I am lucky this thing didn't catch fire to be honest, the amount of dust on the heat sink and the fan was really bad. Probably doesn't help having my PC set up in the bedroom. Not much inside my PC and I know the basics you def wouldn't get lost looking inside mine.

Community Veteran
Posts: 13,921
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: PC Spring Clean

This is one i cleaned out years ago:

screenshot_505

 

It really was bad! I had to take that outside and hold my breath while declogging it.

The next worst one was a friends laptop. It wasn't running properly (full of virus's) and the fan was just constantly on (and it was a loud one too). Naturally not being a big fan of .. fans (pun not intended it just worked out that way) I had to do something about it. I researched online and everyone was saying that model was defective and needed an additional copper shim fitted to draw the heat off the processor. This sounded a bit strange to me as these companies aren't amateurs, they know what they're doing when they design these things. So I decided rather than investigate that i would try to get into the fan unit itself. Turns out there was a hidden screw and when i got it apart i found out why the fan was working so hard constantly:

 

screenshot_505

 

Yes you got it, the cooling fins were completely and utterly caked with dust. When I got all of that cleaned out and reassembled the machine you couldn't actually hear it running. It was just totally silent. The owner collected it and thought I'd worked a miracle. How did I get thanked for reinstalling windows, backing up their data and fixing their cooling fan woes? I didn't. Yup, they even took the cooling paste with them that I asked them to pay for to complete the job. Not even a chocolate flaming biscuit and the owner and their partner both work in well paid jobs while i was in a massive hole at the time.

A month or two later they came back to me with the question literally phrased "there's something else wrong with if, do you want to look at it again?" My simple answer was "No not really!". Poor souls looked so hurt...

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
Posts: 4,596
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Registered: 06-11-2014

Re: PC Spring Clean

Wish I took pictures of it back in the day, but, one computer I had to work on at the computer shop belonged to a heavy smoker, and, it stank, it was yellowed badly on the outside, and the inside, yikes, it was CAKED in cigarette-tar coated dust, looked like that heatsink, but over EVERYTHING inside the computer, it was nasty, and it was cooked too, CPU baked, RAM baked, PSU baked, GPU baked, motherboard, dunno, never got into it that far, it was an absolute wreck, thankfully the customer took it away before I burned it, because that was just purely disgusting..........

 

But then, there was also the laptop that had been peed on too, but, at least that didn't leave the build room stinking for days... Shocked

Community Veteran
Posts: 13,921
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: PC Spring Clean

Yuck!!!

I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!
Community Veteran
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: PC Spring Clean

I've a woodwork dust extraction system in my man cave workshop. I used that for the first time a couple of months ago to help clean my PCs. Lightly using an air gun attached to the compressed air line, I loosened the dust around fans. memory, drives etc. At the same time I used the 6 inch flexible elephant trunk tube from the air extractor to suck up the displaced dust. It worked a treat. No more having to hold my breath to avoid breathing in the fine dust was great. No more just recycling the dust into the room. 

Keeping the dust down is important, I think I've already told the story on here of my Finance Director who decided to save money, by not paying for regular (once a year) PC maintenance. A clogged PC started to smoke and triggered a fire alarm. The embarrassment to him of having his accounts department (and the rest of the building) evacuated and a couple of Fire Engines at the front door, convinced him to let us clean his PCs.

Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Minivanman
Hero
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Registered: 04-11-2014

Re: PC Spring Clean

Back in my TV repairman days some of them were beyond stinking when you took the backs off - especially if there were dogs or cats in the house with the latter being the worst because they would curl up on top to keep warm. If there were smokers in the house the screens would have a thin (sometimes thick) film of tar over them, and come Christmas and as if flower vases were not bad enough, on top you'd find those little trees where of course the tinsel would quite happily fall into the works with obvious results.

Once took the back off one that had been reported as being dead only to find the coil cans and smoothing caps corroded, and the rest full of mouse poop. "How long has this not been working love" I ask this old lady, "Oh about nine years I think". Television went back to the workshop in a big plastic bag to be dumped, and Social Services were called to check out the lady.

Oh yes, and damp patches on the carpet behind the television...... you computer engineers don't know you're born! Wink 

 

 

 

 

 

All views expressed are my own but you can express them too if you want to be right about everything like I am.
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,912
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: PC Spring Clean

Many years ago I was a amature radio enthusiast and one shop run by a chap who sold and purchased that type of equiptment always took the back of anything before he purchased it and refused to buy anything that had been in a enviroment where people had been smoking due to the reasons given in earlier posts.

I recall wallpaper had to be changed every 3 to 4 years in rooms where people smoked unless you liked brown wallpaper.

Community Veteran
Posts: 2,211
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Registered: 18-02-2013

Re: PC Spring Clean

The worst I ever had was a heavy guy in a block of flats, I had a quick look at the problem and had to run back out his flat several times in just 20 minutes trying my best not to be sick.

@rongtw Noctua plus water cooling... Thumbs Up I see the open loops are getting cheap now using Aluminium rads enall.

@7up I've never seen one that bad, thats pure class!

 

 

 

Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 2,849
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Registered: 22-02-2016

Re: PC Spring Clean

I used to work as a computer engineer and our service department had a compressed air machine for cleaning out dust from components. This thing was big and on wheels and made a lot of noise when switching it on till it got the desired pressure. It was used for one of our clients as they were a cement manufacturing company and would send us printers caked in cement dust regularly. We used to bring our computers in once a month and give the insides a blast to get it completely dust free.

Before that job I worked in a PC repair shop and some of the computers that came through that door was enough to make us gag. One gentleman had about 3 inches of dust that had a very strong curry smell at the bottom of the case. The CPU fan had stopped working as it was sticky with the dust and oil. We didn't have the compressed air machine - we used paint brushes and a vacuum cleaner.

Nowadays, my PC case has dust filters and I just take them out every once in a while and get rid of the dust. The insides are immaculate and I don't think I have opened my case since I built it in 2015.

If you don't have dust filters, the best advice I can give to reduce dust inside the case would be raise the base unit off the floor by at least 6 inches. You can do this by having a PC case cage built into your desk or just place the base unit on top of the desk or on a shelf nearby.

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