Dirty PC

(YouTube link)

How many years does a PC have to sit to gather this much dust? My computer comes in a small brick, with little room to accumulate debris, but I still vacuum the vents occasionally to guard against cat hair buildup. How about you -how often do you clean out the inside of your computer? The discussion under this video at Geeks Are Sexy has lots of stories that start out "This is nothing! One time we got a computer that had....." Link

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I can certainly say I've seen just as bad if not worse while servicing PCs in a school system. The dirtiest ones I can say I've personally dealt with are ones that come from shop areas or the like. So, our ceramics teacher's computer, the wood/metal shop, some of the ones from the bus mechanics. Also, any personal computers I've worked on for friends who have pets and/or smoke.

Although I will say that while individually they are not that bad. The most horrible was the year we removed all the 10 year old computers from the whole system and had to lug them across town during the hottest summer in years. Hottest, dirtiest, grossest job I've ever done. I'd come home just covered in years of dust and who knows what that would get distributed into the air when we moved all those things.

As for vacuuming/cleaning your computers there are some Do's and Dont's:
1. Do: vac out the fans from the OUTSIDE of the case.
2. Do: use compressed air (can) to blow out anything from the inside
3. DO NOT: run the vac over the internal components in the inside of the case! (You risk creating static and static = potentially dead computer)
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I would like to add to nihil's rules, that if you need to have a CD, DVD, Blu-Ray or floppy drive work after cleaning, remove it first. Clean it separately by first vacuuming then blowing.
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