There’s a form of “spring cleaning” that are actually a good idea to do on a monthly basis if you can.  Of course, there’s always stuff that gets in the way of doing things like this so it ends up being an annual or semi-annual event.

Cleaning out the computer case.  This applies especially to desktop systems but laptops aren’t immune to the need.  Simply open the case and look around.  Odds are that if you haven’t opened it in a while it’s going to be full of dust.

Take some time to blow that dust out of there.  Any electronics with dust in the circuits is a recipe for either a short circuit or a static electricity problem… either of which can kill sensitive electronics like your motherboard, memory chips or hard drive.  It’s worth investing in one of those cans of compressed air to get the stuff that builds up in tight spots.  Be sure to clean the cooling fans in the case, power supply, cpu fan, graphics card fan if there is one and all of the ventilation slots and holes.

Not only will there be less chance of shorts or static, the system will also run cooler and be less prone to heat related failures.  I learned about this one the hard way once when I lost a motherboard and cpu because of overheating caused by loads of dust.  Now I make it a point to open computer cases at least once every two or three months and clean out the dust.

Technorati Tags: computer+maintenance, dust, dust+removal, cooling+fans, cooling+vents, ventilation, static+electricity, short+circuit

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