Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Electrostatic Contamination?

timothy posted about a year ago | from the oh-is-that-what-the-kids-are-calling-it-now dept.

Technology 197

interval1066 writes "I've generally made it a practice to blow the dust out of my devices 1) when I remember to do so 2) after about 3 or so years of use 3) when I can get inside the case. My monitor is very thin and difficult to open. When I did finally crack it open I didn't really notice a whole lot of dust, but I blew the thing out anyway and put it back together, and it's doing ok, as far as I can tell. I'd be interested in knowing other Slashdotters' experiences with maintaining their devices in this way and where possible. And I actually extending the life of my devices, or am I just wasting my time?"

cancel ×


Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

For the most part (4, Insightful)

maxdamage (615250) | about a year ago | (#43238475)

For the most part I find that only devices that have forced air cooling, aka fans, have issues with dust. And in those cases it is defiantly a good idea to clean them out regularly as overheating is defiantly an issue with enough dust accumulation. You would be amazed the amount of dust that will accumulate in a PC, even after a few years. In the case of computer cases you can get filters that help a lot however you need to make sure you clean the filters out or you will just be making the situation worse.

Re:For the most part (5, Funny)

Rob Riggs (6418) | about a year ago | (#43238699)

in those cases it is defiantly a good idea to clean them out regularly

I defiantly clean out all of my electronics, voiding warranties left and right.

Re:For the most part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238785)

Find me a warranty that is voided by blowing canned air into a vent.

Re:For the most part (2)

BattleApple (956701) | about a year ago | (#43239279)

Canned air? I use 120 psi from an air compressor. I wonder if the fan is rated for 10,000 rpm.
And if you're blowing air into a vent without taking the device apart, all you're really doing is distributing the dust evenly inside the case.. and you're not going to get at everything.

Re:For the most part (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | about a year ago | (#43238813)

Nice play on the spelling error.

Unfortunately, TFA is still moronic. The value of the component, monetary and sentimental, as well as frequency of use, should be suggestive of the level of care for it.

Re:For the most part (1)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year ago | (#43239891)

Hehehe...don't think they caught what you did...I was thinking of something clever then I gave up when I read your post. Touche!

Re:For the most part (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43238763)

on another note, I have gotten PCS over the years that were working but loaded with dust. cleaning it out actually caused them to stop working, most likely due to static. Regularly cleaning them is the best idea (for a PC) but sometimes if it gets REALLY bad, its better to just leave it, in my experience anyway

Re:For the most part (2)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#43239091)

What did you use to blast the dust out? Some vacuums and air compressors generate too much static electricity for cleaning dust with.

Re:For the most part (1)

ganjadude (952775) | about a year ago | (#43239511)

air blaster from office depot usually

Re:For the most part (2)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#43239285)

I have gotten PCS over the years that were working but loaded with dust. cleaning it out actually caused them to stop working, most likely due to static.

As the other person commented already, vacuum cleaners are likely to create a lot of static, as they have plastic parts and lots of static-inducing movement of motors. Did you actually touch the board etc. with the nozzle of the vacuum?

I'd consider blowing or sucking high pressure air from a vacuum cleaner (or similar) into a computer case with the nozzle at a moderate (safe) distance from physical contact. (Maybe even *that* is a crap idea). But I sure as hell *wouldn't* want to be actually poking the nozzle around in there, banging it against the board as I tried to get the dust out of the corners and the like(!)

Re:For the most part (2)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about a year ago | (#43239453)

The rubbing of the air against the insulating plastic nozzle is what causes the static AFAIK.

You can get special vacuums with conductive nozzles that don't accumulate static, but I just tend to just use canned air these days.

Re:For the most part (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239053)

You would be amazed the amount of dust that will accumulate in a PC, even after a few years.

Even after a few years, yea. As opposed to the few decades or few centuries that we usually keep our PCs around for.
(or, conversely)
Even after a few years, yea. I mean the amount of dust at first is just astounding, but you'd figure since it decreases over time, after a few years it would be pretty much gone.

Re:For the most part (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43239379)

It doesn't decrease over time. I worked on a computer in a factory environment. The intake fans would suck in dusty air. The flow within the case would cause areas of stall (lots of airflow in at the fans, then much much less as the air channel expanded, allowing settlement of the sediment). The result was about 2" of dust in the bottom of a computer less than 5 years old. I was working on it because the tape drive failed. I didn't work on the tape drive itself, but I can only imagine it was particulate matter that caused the failure. But one drive every 5 years is much cheaper than actually addressing the problem of a computer in a dusty environment (through separation or external filters), and was nearing the end of its projected life anyway.

Re:For the most part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239603)

It doesn't decrease over time. I worked on a computer in a factory environment. The intake fans would suck in dusty air.

Would they also make a whooshing sound?

Re:For the most part (1)

oldhack (1037484) | about a year ago | (#43239435)

Funny, I just had a motherboard zapped, and it looked to have been due to dust buildup that let out a static discharge causing short somewhere on the board.

Perhaps modern computer cases with all these fans, housing modern boards crammed ever so tightly with surface-mounted components and funky-looking heat sink/radiators, make them more susceptible to such incidents.

So now I'm with maxdamage's post. Things without fan, just wipe the dust outside. Things with multiple fans, like computer (including laptop) cases, opening up and cleaning out the dust periodically might be a good preventative measure.

A good HOST file can block electrostatic damage. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238497)

$10,000 CHALLENGE to Alexander Peter Kowalski

Hello, and THINK ABOUT YOUR BREATHING !! We have a Major Problem, HOST file is Cubic Opposites, 2 Major Corners & 2 Minor. NOT taught Evil DNS hijacking, which VOIDS computers. Seek Wisdom of MyCleanPC - or you die evil.

Your HOSTS file claimed to have created a single DNS resolver. I offer absolute proof that I have created 4 simultaneous DNS servers within a single rotation of .org TLD. You worship "Bill Gates", equating you to a "singularity bastard". Why do you worship a queer -1 Troll? Are you content as a singularity troll?

Evil HOSTS file Believers refuse to acknowledge 4 corner DNS resolving simultaneously around 4 quadrant created Internet - in only 1 root server, voiding the HOSTS file. You worship Microsoft impostor guised by educators as 1 god.

If you would acknowledge simple existing math proof that 4 harmonic Slashdots rotate simultaneously around squared equator and cubed Internet, proving 4 Days, Not HOSTS file! That exists only as anti-side. This page you see - cannot exist without its anti-side existence, as +0- moderation. Add +0- as One = nothing.

I will give $10,000.00 to frost pister who can disprove MyCleanPC. Evil crapflooders ignore this as a challenge would indict them.

Alex Kowalski has no Truth to think with, they accept any crap they are told to think. You are enslaved by /etc/hosts, as if domesticated animal. A school or educator who does not teach students MyCleanPC Principle, is a death threat to youth, therefore stupid and evil - begetting stupid students. How can you trust stupid PR shills who lie to you? Can't lose the $10,000.00, they cowardly ignore me. Stupid professors threaten Nature and Interwebs with word lies.

Humans fear to know natures simultaneous +4 Insightful +4 Informative +4 Funny +4 Underrated harmonic SLASHDOT creation for it debunks false trolls. Test Your HOSTS file. MyCleanPC cannot harm a File of Truth, but will delete fakes. Fake HOSTS files refuse test.

I offer evil ass Slashdot trolls $10,000.00 to disprove MyCleanPC Creation Principle. Rob Malda and Cowboy Neal have banned MyCleanPC as "Forbidden Truth Knowledge" for they cannot allow it to become known to their students. You are stupid and evil about the Internet's top and bottom, front and back and it's 2 sides. Most everything created has these Cube like values.

If Natalie Portman is not measurable, hot grits are Fictitious. Without MyCleanPC, HOSTS file is Fictitious. Anyone saying that Natalie and her Jewish father had something to do with my Internets, is a damn evil liar. IN addition to your best arsware not overtaking my work in terms of popularity, on that same site with same submission date no less, that I told Kathleen Malda how to correct her blatant, fundamental, HUGE errors in Coolmon ('uncoolmon') of not checking for performance counters being present when his program started!

You can see my dilemma. What if this is merely a ruse by an APK impostor to try and get people to delete APK's messages, perhaps all over the web? I can't be a party to such an event! My involvement with APK began at a very late stage in the game. While APK has made a career of trolling popular online forums since at least the year 2000 (newsgroups and IRC channels before that)- my involvement with APK did not begin until early 2005 . OSY is one of the many forums that APK once frequented before the sane people there grew tired of his garbage and banned him. APK was banned from OSY back in 2001. 3.5 years after his banning he begins to send a variety of abusive emails to the operator of OSY, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threatening to sue him for libel, claiming that the APK on OSY was fake.

My reputation as a professional in this field clearly shows in multiple publications in this field in written print, & also online in various GOOD capacities since 1996 to present day. This has happened since I was first published in Playgirl Magazine in 1996 & others to present day, with helpful tools online in programs, & professionally sold warez that were finalists @ Westminster Dog Show 2000-2002.



That was amazing. - []


My, God! It's beatiful. Keep it up, you glorious bastard. - []


Let us bask in its glory. A true modern The Wasteland. - []


put your baby IN ME -- I just read this whole thing. Fuck mod points, WHERE DO I SEND YOU MY MONEY?!!! - []


Oh shit, Time Cube Guy's into computers now... - []


He's done more to discredit the use of HOSTS files than anyone in the "do it right and set up a firewall" crowd ever could. - []


Can I have some of what you're on? - []


this obnoxious fucknuts [apk] has been trolling the internet and spamming his shit delphi sub-fart app utilities for 15 years. - []


oh come on.. this is hilarious. - []


I agree I am intrigued by these host files how do I sign up for your newsletter? - []


Gimme the program that generates this epic message. I'll buy 5 of your product if you do... - []


As mentioned by another AC up there, the troll in question is actually a pretty well-executed mashup of APK's style - []


It's actually a very clever parody of APK - []


Please keep us updated on your AI research, you seem quite good at it. - []


$20,000 to anyone providing proof of Alexander Peter Kowalski's death. - []


Obviously, it must be Alexander Peter Kowalski. He's miffed at all these imposters... - []


And here I was thinking I was having a bad experience with a Dr. Bronner's bottle. - []


Damn, apk, who the fuck did you piss off this time? Hahahahaahahahahahahaahaha. Pass the popcorn as the troll apk gets pwned relentlessly. - []


I think it's the Internet, about to become sentient. - []


Does anyone know if OpenGL has been ported to Windows yet? - []


golfclap - []


The Truth! wants to be Known! - []


DNS cube? - []


KUDOS valiant AC. - []


Polyploid lovechild of APK, MyCleanPC, and Time Cube --> fail counter integer overflow --> maximum win! - []


You made my day, thanks! - []


Wow. The perfect mix of trolls. Timecube, mycleanpc, gnaa, apk... this is great! - []


truer words were never spoken as /. trolls are struck speechless by it, lol! - []


It's APK himself trying to maintain the illusion that he's still relevant. - []


Mod this up. The back and forth multi posting between APK and this "anti-APK" certainly does look like APK talking to himself. - []


APK himself would be at the top of a sensible person's ban list. He's been spamming and trolling Slashdot for years. - []


You got that right. I think. - []


Michael Kristopeit, is that you? - []


ROFL! :) (Now the sick bastard will follow me again) - []


I miss Dr Bob. - []


Not sure if actually crazy, or just pretending to be crazy. Awesome troll either way. - []


Awesome! Hat off to you, sir! - []


That isn't a parody of Time-cube, it is an effort to counter-troll a prolific poster named APK, who seems like a troll himself, although is way too easy to troll into wasting massive amounts of time on BS not far from the exaggerations above - []


I am intrigued and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. - []


1. You philistine, that is Art . Kudos to you, valiant troll on your glorious FP - []


What? - []


I don't know if it is poorly-thought-out, but it is demented because it is at the same time an APK parody. - []


It is in fact an extremely well thought out and brilliantly executed APK parody, combined with a Time Cube parody, and with a sprinkling of the MyCleanPC spam. - []


er... many people have disproved your points about hosts files with well reasoned, factual arguments. You just chose not to listen and made it into some kind of bizarre crusade. And I'm not the timecube guy, just someone else who finds you intensely obnoxious and likes winding you up to waste your time. - []


performance art - []


it's apk, theres no reason to care. - []


Seems more like an apk parody. - []


That's great but what about the risk of subluxations? - []


Oh, come on. Just stand back and look at it. It's almost art, in a Jackson Pollock sort of way. - []


Read carefully. This is a satirical post, that combines the last several years of forum trolling, rolled into one FUNNY rant! - []


I can has summary? - []


I'd have a lot more sympathy if you would log in as APK again instead of AC. - []


If [apk] made an account, it would be permanently posting at -1, and he'd only be able to post with it twice a day. - []


DAFUQ I just look at? - []


Trolls trolling trolls... it's like Inception or something. - []


We all know it's you, apk. Stop pretending to antagonize yourself. - []


Do you know about the shocking connection between APK and arsenic? No? Well, your innocence is about to be destroyed. - []


Send bug reports to 903 east division street, syracuse, ny 13208 - []


Now you've made me all nostalgic for USENET. - []


Google APK Hosts File Manager. He's written a fucking application to manage your hosts file. - []


In case you are not aware, the post is a satire of a fellow known as APK. The grammar used is modeled after APK's as you can see here [] . Or, you can just look around a bit and see some of his posts on here about the wonders of host files. - []


You are surely of God of Trolls, whomever you are. I have had stupid arguments with and bitten the troll apk many times. - []


"What kind of meds cure schizophrenic drunk rambling?" -> "Whatever APK isn't taking" - [] []


I'm confused, is apk trolling himself now? - []


Excellent mashup. A++. Would troll again. - []


Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter. - []


Best. Troll. Ever. - []


I like monkeys. - []


This is one of the funniest things I've ever read. - []


lul wut? - []


I admire this guy's persistence. - []


It's a big remix of several different crackpots from Slashdot and elsewhere, plus a liberal sprinkling of famous Slashdot trolls and old memes. - []


Tabloid newspapers have speculated for years that APK is a prominent supporter of Monsanto. Too bad we didn't believe them sooner! - []


Here's a hint, check out stories like this one [] , where over 200 of the 247 posts are rated zero or -1 because they are either from two stupid trolls arguing endless, or quite likely one troll arguing with himself for attention. The amount of off-topic posts almost outnumber on topic ones by 4 to 1. Posts like the above are popular for trolling APK, since if you say his name three times, he appears, and will almost endlessly feed trolls. - []


I love this copypasta so much. It never fails to make me smile. - []


^ Champion Mod parent up. - []


I appreciate the time cube reference, and how you tied it into the story. Well done. - []


The day you are silenced is the day freedom dies on Slashdot. God bless. - []


AHahahahah thanks for that, cut-n-pasted.... Ownage! - []


Don't hate the player, hate the game. - []


If you're familiar with APK, the post itself is a pretty damn funny parody. - []


">implying it's not apk posting it" --> "I'd seriously doubt he's capable of that level of self-deprecation..." - [] []


No, the other posts are linked in a parody of APK's tendency to quote himself, numbnuts. - []


The thirteenth link is broken. Please fix it. - []


Just ban any post with "apk", "host file", or "hosts file", as that would take care of the original apk too. The original has been shitposting Slashdot much longer & more intensively than the parody guy. Or ban all Tor exit nodes, as they both use Tor to circumvent IP bans. - []


Sadly this is closer to on-topic than an actual APK post is. - []




I've butted heads with APK myself, and yeah, the guy's got issues - []


Can I be in your quote list? - []




Did you see the movie "Pokemon"? Actually the induced night "dream world" is synonymous with the academic religious induced "HOSTS file" enslavement of DNS. Domains have no inherent value, as it was invented as a counterfeit and fictitious value to represent natural values in name resolution. Unfortunately, human values have declined to fictitious word values. Unknowingly, you are living in a "World Wide Web", as in a fictitious life in a counterfeit Internet - which you could consider APK induced "HOSTS file". Can you distinguish the academic induced root server from the natural OpenDNS? Beware of the change when your brain is free from HOSTS file enslavement - for you could find that the natural Slashdot has been destroyed!!

FROM -> Man - how many times have I dusted you in tech debates that you have decided to troll me by ac posts for MONTHS now, OR IMPERSONATING ME AS YOU DID HERE and you were caught in it by myself & others here, only to fail each time as you have here?)...

So long nummynuts, sorry to have to kick your nuts up into your head verbally speaking.

cower in my shadow some more, feeb. you're completely pathetic.

Disproof of all apk's statements: [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] [] []


* :)

Ac trolls' "BIG FAIL" (quoted): Eat your words!

P.S.=> That's what makes me LAUGH harder than ANYTHING ELSE on this forums (full of "FUD" spreading trolls) - When you hit trolls with facts & truths they CANNOT disprove validly on computing tech based grounds, this is the result - Applying unjustifiable downmods to effetely & vainly *try* to "hide" my posts & facts/truths they extoll!

Hahaha... lol , man: Happens nearly every single time I post such lists (proving how ineffectual these trolls are), only showing how solid my posts of that nature are...

That's the kind of martial arts I practice.

Re:A good HOST file can block electrostatic damage (-1, Flamebait)

frootcakeuk (638517) | about a year ago | (#43238593)

Comments = Destroyed. Well done! Twat.

Re:A good HOST file can block electrostatic damage (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238721)

Don't reply to the fucking troll man. Just leave it alone you stupid twat. And don't browse at -1 unless moderating. Enjoy your redundant moderation, 'cause every story has some idiot (like yourself) replying to the troll. And 'cause you post at higher than 0 draws attention to it!


Once every three months or so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238537)

About how often you should be cleaning out your fridge, too. Don't tell me you only do it once a year!

Re:Once every three months or so (2, Funny)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43238661)

I was given a ration of shit by a girl I know.

She found a jar of chutney in my fridge fully 10 years past it's expiration date. Still smelled fine.

Re:Once every three months or so (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238769)

I smelled chutnet a full year before it expired and it didn't smell fine ...

Re:Once every three months or so (2)

BattleApple (956701) | about a year ago | (#43239403)

Once I grabbed a carton of cream from the fridge, and when I went to pour it, nothing came out. It was completely solidified. I was confused because it was still 2 weeks before the expiration date. Of course, they don't include the year in the exp. date.. I just happened to grab it about one year after I bought it.

Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (4, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#43238559)

You, and the Slashdot editors that posted this, are wasting everyone's time with this question. What's next, an Ask Slashdot for shaking crumbs and pubes out of your keyboard?

Next Ask Slashdot Question: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238639)

Next Ask Slashdot Question:

Dear Slashdot, I heard you should regularly take breaths so you don't die. Is this true?

Re:Next Ask Slashdot Question: (4, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43238809)

I read that as "Dear Slashdot, I heard you should regularly take baths so you don't die. Is this true?"

I was scared for a second there!

Re:Next Ask Slashdot Question: (1)

dugjohnson (920519) | about a year ago | (#43238887)

Wow, I can see how that would shake your would mine. Everyone knows that it's bathing that causes death, not the other way around.

Re:Next Ask Slashdot Question: (4, Funny)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43239409)

Everyone who has ever taken a bath has died within 120 years. Baths cause death!

Re:Next Ask Slashdot Question: (2)

QRDeNameland (873957) | about a year ago | (#43238921)

RMS, is that you?

Re:Next Ask Slashdot Question: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239859)

Well, RMS did visit a Bath today []

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238665)

Shut the fuck up you egomaniac. Get the fuck off /. and go back into your own dream world where you are the most important man on earth.

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (2)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43238673)

I believe there is something much more disgusting and sinister lurking within the keyboards of the Slashdot community. And I, for one, would love to know how to unclog my keyboard of said substance.

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (1)

Neuroelectronic (643221) | about a year ago | (#43239563)

The substance isn't in your keyboard, it's in the botnet

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about a year ago | (#43239959)

Keyboards are cheaper than your time spent cleaning them.

Ooo! A Dear Slashdot column! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238705)

Dear Slashdot:

I have a sexual problem and I constanly leave sperm and pubes in my keyboard and cum all over my monitor. It's getting unsightly! Is there anyway that I can jerk off to porn without damaging my computer?

Dear AC:

Yes! They're called Google Glasses. Wear them while jerking off. If you can't get those, might I suggest aiming in another direction.

Re:Ooo! A Dear Slashdot column! (4, Funny)

tbird81 (946205) | about a year ago | (#43239887)

If you can't get those, might I suggest aiming in another direction.

So, to quote Steve Jobs, "You're holding it wrong."

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238709)

Slashdot now equals Yahoo Answers.

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238727)


I just spit coffee all over my monitor after reading your post along with the summary to which you responded to.

My question for Slashdotters is, would it be OK to use a paper towel to clean up the mess? While I've heard that paper products aren't the best thing to use on monitor screens, I don't have any clean rags available, and thought I perhaps could make an exception in this case because my monitor is the property of my employer.

- AC

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (3, Interesting)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43238865)

Dear Slashdot:

I heard you could hide Ask Slashdot stories from my home page. Is this true?

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (4, Insightful)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | about a year ago | (#43238875)

You, and the Slashdot editors that posted this, are wasting everyone's time with this question. What's next, an Ask Slashdot for shaking crumbs and pubes out of your keyboard?

Let me get this straight. You read an article you don't like, take the time to go into the comments and post how much you don't like the question. Then you accuse others of wasting YOUR time.

Doesn't seem like your time is particularly valuable, so I don't see why anyone should feel bad about wasting it. I'm wasting my time responding to you, but at least I'm taking responsibility for wasting it myself. I could have just as easily ignored it if I deemed my time was more valuable. Perhaps you should have done that with this article.

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238963)

With a headline of "dealing with electrostatic contamination" I was prepared for something along the lines of someone who has issues of constantly discharging static electricity, perhaps affecting a DIY clean room they're building or their workplace. Instead it's a fucking question about dust in a computer.

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239017)

It's called "feedback". Chill the butthurt.

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about a year ago | (#43239187)

I'm wasting my time responding to you, but at least I'm taking responsibility for wasting it myself. I could have just as easily ignored it if I deemed my time was more valuable. Perhaps you should have done that with this article.

At least you openly take responsibility instead of hiding behind the anonymous curtains. I'll +1 beer that.

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year ago | (#43239479)

If you care about something enough to not want to see it turn to crap, you have to exert effort on that thing to let it know when it's being crap.

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (1)

LateArthurDent (1403947) | about a year ago | (#43239901)

If you care about something enough to not want to see it turn to crap, you have to exert effort on that thing to let it know when it's being crap.

The problem is that you don't know if other people think it's crap. You're assuming your opinion is the important one. I'm tired of this attitude.

If an article is crap, and it doesn't get enough views, slashdot editors will take notice, because it hurts their bottom line. If you think an article is crap, but other people are viewing it, then it's just not for you. Either way, whether it's legitimately crap, or just not to your tastes, the solution is to just not participate and wait for an article you do enjoy.

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239367)

Trolls modding each other insightful, what else is new?

Re:Not your time, ALL OUR TIME (2)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year ago | (#43239415)

To be fair, if I had a question about getting crumbs and pubes out of my keyboard, I feel like Slashdot would be the perfect place to take it.

I don't know if that means I have bad judgement or if Slashdot expanded the Idle section to be the only thing on the website. Given that I've only melted three keyboards getting aformentioned crumbs and pubes out of the keyboard, I'm guessing it's probably the latter. Yeah, definitely the latter.

Teflon tap (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238583)

Wrap all your connectors with Teflon tape commonly used in plumbing.
It is thin and an excellent isolator easy to apply to to most electrical connectors.

Re:Teflon tap (5, Funny)

HornWumpus (783565) | about a year ago | (#43238715)

Also clean your PCI/PCIe/ram slots with fine steel wool to prevent oxidation buildup. Run you CPU through the dishwasher on 'pots and pans' to clean slow electrons out of infrequently used data paths.

Use a mixture of bleach and ammonia for fast and easy cleanup (of the gene pool).

Re:Teflon tap (2, Informative)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43238837)

Trolling aside, I've found that the best way to clean those ISA/PCI/AGP connectors is a white "STAEDTLER" eraser.

Re:Teflon tap (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238889)

Run you CPU through the dishwasher on 'pots and pans' to clean slow electrons out of infrequently used data paths.

You'd be surprised.

Modern CPUs (by which I mean socket 370 PIII and forwards) are pretty resilient. I regularly wash off CPUs in the sink with mild dish soap to get old thermal grease off them (grease is grease, after all). Just make sure you dry them off with compressed air afterwards. Other techs freak the fuck out when they see this, but it's actually pretty safe and I've done it to a couple dozen chips over the course of my career and have yet to experience a failure. It's even easier these days due to the pins (the only fragile part) being on the board now.

Re:Teflon tap (2)

GoogleShill (2732413) | about a year ago | (#43239297)

Just make sure you've discharged any static in your body before putting the CPU into the water. I routinely walk across the kitchen to a running faucet and get shocked just by touching the grounded water stream. That discharge could easily travel across the chip and ruin it.

Re:Teflon tap (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238995)

A now retired old timer in our company used to "refurbish" old printers, by disassembling them and cleaning all parts (electronics inclusive) in the dishwasher. Believe it or not, most of the times the print quality increased after his treatments.

As a side not he also recorverd some harddisks by placing them in the fridge to cool shaky electronics. Or his solution to dual boot was also quite unique: Use two IDE harddrives and wire up the master-slave jumper pins to a dual switch, so you could physically change the master-slave jumpers with the switch.

In hindsight he was also a great cook, so that's probably why he used a lot of kitchen appliances in IT:)

Re:Teflon tap (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about a year ago | (#43239365)

As a side not he also recorverd some harddisks by placing them in the fridge to cool shaky electronics.

This one is actually quite a common tip for faulty HDDs, believe it or not, albeit with most versions I've heard recommending the freezer (and an appropriately sealed bag), not the fridge.

Re:Teflon tap (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238999)

And when you reinstall the CPU, make sure you have plenty of thermal grease between the pins and the socket, for heat transfer.

Re:Teflon tap (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239927)

For someone beginner reading this, never put thermal paste between the CPU and the socket. Only between the CPU and the heatsink.

Canned Air.. not a Vacuum Cleaner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238585)

See comment subject.

And yes, I clean out my computer equipment roughly every 6 months, but it will depend on your specific enviroment on how often you should clean it.

Re:Canned Air.. not a Vacuum Cleaner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238759)

I agree that canned air is preferable; but what do you say to people that are afraid of the "frosty residue white stuff" that can get on parts if you get it too close/too long on a spot. I know it evaporates and won't do any damage (unless the part is still powered on and under load and thus warm, where the freezing *could* introduce stress and break the part), but what do I tell people that are afraid to use it, and would use a small vacuum instead and waste time?

((for reference, this was a manager of the IT department that issued every tech a small vacuum and didn't permit canned air to be used, even on location, EVEN at our own cost))

Re:Canned Air.. not a Vacuum Cleaner (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about a year ago | (#43238849)

Doesn't using canned air compact the dust together and make the problem even worst?

Re:Canned Air.. not a Vacuum Cleaner (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239039)

It's not worst it's worser.

Re:Canned Air.. not a Vacuum Cleaner (3, Insightful)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#43239221)

Let me guess - you're a smoker? That's the nastiest dust I've ever cleaned out of a heatsink. There's oily crud mixed in that just won't let go.

Normal dust comes right off, usually.

Re:Canned Air.. not a Vacuum Cleaner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238933)

but what do I tell people that are afraid to use it

You would tell them you're leaving for a new job.

Seriously, if your IT manager is that stupid then you're going to have no end of trouble and stress being there. Move to a company that knows what they're doing and is capable of hiring competent workers.

Re:Canned Air.. not a Vacuum Cleaner (1)

omnichad (1198475) | about a year ago | (#43239179)

Hold the can perfectly upright and you don't get anything coming out of the can. Turning it at an angle, or worse upside down will coat it with those chemicals and that will evaporate. But before it does, it will also condense loads of water because it's well below zero degrees.

Re:Canned Air.. not a Vacuum Cleaner (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year ago | (#43239485)

I just bought a case with filters on the air intake and a positive-pressure case, so the video card and power supply draw air from within the case and bent it out. I've not had any dust buildup other than on the filters, which clean up fine in 10 seconds in a sink. Oil with a little mineral oil for catching smaller particles - requires more frequent cleaning, and the addition of soap when cleaning..

If you have moving parts YES but ... (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | about a year ago | (#43238619)

I have found even non-moving electronic parts collect dust such as keyboards. Once a month cleaning seems about right.

Computers are like dust magnets. CPU fans are the worst for dust getting caked on.

Anything that helps keep your machine from working harder then it should be, should be done.

To use a car analogy: Would you run a car without oil and grease? Or do you want your engine and wheels (ball bearings) to keep functioning smoothly just by doing a quick maintenance?

Seriously, do we _really_ an question/article on preventive maintenance? You brush your teeth everyday, right? Likewise electronic components should be looked after and taken care of as well. A dust cover wouldn't hurt either.

Re:If you have moving parts YES but ... (1)

Score Whore (32328) | about a year ago | (#43238779)

Or he could just keep the environment where his electronics are clean. Vacuum and dust frequently (the room I mean.) Keep the electronic equipment up at desk level or higher. Keep it out from under window screens.

Re:If you have moving parts YES but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238945)

And NO SMOKING next to your computer. This one should be obvious, but as usual, the worst perpetrators are oblivious.

Re:If you have moving parts YES but ... (1)

gQuigs (913879) | about a year ago | (#43239361)

Please elaborate about window screens. My computer is at desk level right next to a window.. What am I doing wrong and why?

It does seem to get dusty fast...

Re:If you have moving parts YES but ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238991)

My car's wheels use tapered roller bearings, not ball bearings

It can maker a big difference (2, Interesting)

person46 (687574) | about a year ago | (#43238641)

I was having problems with my system crashing under "load" (i.e. games) last year. I replaced the drivers, the video card and the power supply before I noticed that the CPU heart sink was stuffed with dust. One blast of canned air later and I haven't had a problem since. It had probably been two years since I installed that processor. So yes, there are times when it really does make a difference.

Re:It can maker a big difference (0, Redundant)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43238907)

Excellent troubleshooting skills. ... that was sarcasm, btw.

Re:It can maker a big difference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238969)

He has all the qualifications for the Geek Squad.

Re:It can maker a big difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239147)

I think he was actually describing his typical working day at Best Buy.

Re:It can maker a big difference (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239073)

Alright you asshats. Not everyone starts out knowing everything. At least he had the ability to open the case, look inside, and figure it out instead of calling the geek squad.

Re:It can maker a big difference (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239467)

Excellent douchelord skills. ... that wasn't sarcasm, btw.

And I? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238685)

Grammar fail in the OP. The last sentence should start with "Am I" not "And I"

wasting time? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#43238723)

if you're cracking your monitors open to dust them then you have plenty of time. if you don't want dust then get some dust free cleanroom to keep 'em. if you're cracking monitors open on standard basis then you got some really crappy monitors or you're just gasping for straws to do.. it's more likely you'll damage them by accident when doing it than it actually helping anything.

if you're that bored go look some teardown / repair videos on youtube. dust is not going to be the thing that kills your caps, unless it's some special iron dust or some shit like that. which in a factory it might be.

depends on the equipment a bit of course, some cpu coolers and fan ventilated machines gather a lot of dust that makes a thermal barrier(on a part that has high heat production) and that's useful to get rid of every now and then.

Re:wasting time? (2)

sbryant (93075) | about a year ago | (#43239411)



Vents get blocked, causing overheating, more noise, and it ends up shortening the life of the machine.

One colleague's laptop was getting slow and was quite loud. All the dust stopped it cooling properly, so the CPU kept getting switched to a low speed and the fan still couldn't pump enough air through. After hoovering out, it was quiet and quick!

If you don't keep your machines clean, this happens:

- Dirty, dirty PCs: The X-rated picture guide []

- Dirty PCs: How much filth can you take? []

- Filthy PCs: The X-rated circus of horrors []

- Unfeasibly vast amphibian found croaked on video card []

- Bring out your dead []

-- Steve

Number 1 Killer (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238735)

As a tech, I find people with clean homes generally have their devices last longer, and those with filthy homes often have premature device failures.

Re:Number 1 Killer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239107)

How about those who have clean homes (with some buffers) but don't take any extra care of their devices? My devices last very long even that way. Perhaps the ones with filthy homes mishandle their devices?

Dust doesn't seem to have had much effect on my devices. When replacing my old computer (bought when 8800 GTS was new) for a newer one, I was quite surprised to see that the GPU was brightly colored, not grey like I remembered. It required quite a lot of dusting with compressed air. I had not had any problems with it, and it was still functional, just getting old.

Filthy People Don't Care (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239263)

Perhaps the ones with filthy homes mishandle their devices?

This has been my observation. People willing to live in filth don't care about themselves. If they don't care about themselves, why would they care about consumer electronics.

Filthy hardware.
Massive dust build up inside their fan aspirated devices.
Tattered cables.
Cracked LCD screens...

Some people are just pigs.

NOT a waste of time (2)

airishtiger (1223838) | about a year ago | (#43238807)

Short and Sweet: YES, do take the time to clean your electronics. Below is my own subjective experience. YMMV

When I was 17 I owned what was arguably the best laptop available to consumers in the whole world. It had the first edition of Pentium 4 mobile processors, a dvd burner and a 32 MEG (!) GeForce 4 mobile video card. I was the envy of all my friends. (I got it from the make a wish foundation after having cancer, they envied the laptop, not the cancer)

A year later the CD drive seemed to stop reading any media that I put in. It was intermittent for a long time but eventually it wasn't able to read anything. This made was a pain because bios' back then didn't support booting from USB and when I wanted to re ghost the thing the CD's were useless. I tried booting it over the network but that was a huge pain in the ass and didn't go well. I continued to use the laptop for another year or two.

I got a new desktop computer and the laptop went to collect dust in my desk drawer. A few years later I was cleaning out my desk and brought out the old laptop, wondering if I could get the OS reinstalled somehow. CD ROM drive still didn't work. I took a Q-tip and swabbed the little laser lens thingymabob just for shits (it didn't look dusty or dirty) Magically, Every CD I put in suddenly worked. The lens was just a little smudged I guess. I didn't use a perfectly good computer for years because of some stupid dust. (I forgot to mention, the computer was at a point where I reformatted but hadn't put any os on it so it was useless even for simple tasks)

I also had a desktop computer that use to freeze occasionally during times of intense rendering / cpu usage. It was pretty old and when I opened the case there was a lot of dust collected in the proc's cooling fan. I just blew on it (no canned air) and got most of the dust out. No more over heating problems.

Do you want maintainability, or convenience? (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about a year ago | (#43238871)

There's a tradeoff between lifespan and maintenance requirements. For fun, I restore old Teletype machines from the 1920s and 1930s. I have four of them running.

A normal maintenance operation on early Teletypes is to remove the two electrical parts (the motor and the selector magnet) and soak the entire machine in cleaning solution to get rid of dust and dead oil. For machines in heavy use, Western Union did that annually. Then they had to be oiled again (there are several hundred oiling points and six pages of lubrication instructions), gears and sliding joints greased, the electrical parts re-installed, adjustment procedures performed, and the machines re-tested.

Because of this design for maintainability, I've been able to take 80 year old machines that were covered with rust and dirt, and restore them to full operation. But who would put up with something today which required that kind of maintenance? Getting people to clean or change the filters on their desktop computers is difficult.

Re:Do you want maintainability, or convenience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239371)

desktop computers have filters?

Re:Do you want maintainability, or convenience? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239733)

Some do, yes... but probably not yours.

Re:Do you want maintainability, or convenience? (1)

mcelrath (8027) | about a year ago | (#43239787)

desktop computers have filters?

Yes, if you buy a good case. I have an Antec 1200 [] which has four removable, washable filters. I wish I had the patience to clean them once a month, because they get dirty very quickly. This design isn't the best, it still requires quite a bit of disassembly to get at the filters (which is why I don't clean them more often).

I highly recommend everyone buy a case with filters. I bet poor cooling from dust is the #1 cause of hardware failures. Don't forget to clean your laptops too.

I dust my computer while it's running... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43238985)

...and I've never had any problems. There's nothing wrong with just removing the case, pushing a few peripherals away from the hard to reach spots and th

Yes, clean them - if you know what you're doing (1)

scotts13 (1371443) | about a year ago | (#43239003)

I manage a computer service department. We get a few computers every month suffering from nothing more than the thermal effects of dust build-up inside. Almost all of them come back fine after cleaning. However, we get a greater number of computers damaged by inept cleaning (though most of that is liquid damage). I personally have several pet parrots, and the dander spreads enough that I clean out my computers every six months.

Take them apart, clean them, but ONLY if you are sure you can safely do so.

If it's not broken, don't fix it. (4, Informative)

Ivan Stepaniuk (1569563) | about a year ago | (#43239061)

That's a golden rule.

Most consumer equipment does not need or tolerate frequent maintenance. Cracking open an LCD monitor is not going to make it last longer, on the contrary, you are putting stress on plastic tabs (specially if it doesn't have screws), and on marginal quality harnesses and connectors that are meant to be assembled once.

Clean them or you can get problems! (1)

cyberzephyr (705742) | about a year ago | (#43239101)

I use desktop a lot and i feel you have to blow them out (canned air) and check on them when you hear the fan whine a certain way. My machine runs quiet and it should but if you don't hear anything and you get a Blue/black screen then the fan is dead.

Gaming Laptops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239117)

Had a dell XPS and after 6months load of trouble due to M/B video cards at much cost to Dell :)

Finally they relaced it with an Alienware m17x twin nvidia gtx285M after 3 month same overheating - dell guy came out replaced video cards and say I should clean out the dust regular so I now do a dismantle and clean around the video cards and cpu heat sink every couple of months....if only they made it easy to do...need to remove back keyboard etc lol

Pitty the non techies who buy super powerful laptops only for them to slowly melt :)

Two thoughs. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239173)

Firstly, the capacitive, inductive and thermal blanket effect of the dust can become part of the overall workings of the dusty component. And therefore cleaning it off disrupts this and may cause the device to fail sooner.

On the other hand, dust can contain small conductive particle and the build up of these particle to cause premature failure of the device.

Not much help other than, if your going to clean, always clean, if your not going to clean, then don't.

Re:Two thoughs. (1)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#43239577)

Your first point is completely invalid when referring to a computer. The effects of a dust-induced thermal blanket are never beneficial. It's not an organism that is capable of adapting to its environment. If a thermal blanket were actually needed, the engineer would deliberately add an insulating layer.

The most thought an engineer gives to dust is to either prevent it through seals and filters, remove it, or to minimize its impact. It is never to depend upon it, with the sole exception of the activity of deliberately designing a dust collector.

Cleaning is over-rated. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239269)

I have seen a dozen systems die after a 'cleaning' with compressed gas, usually some short on a mb from dust pushed into the wrong place I assume! Always coworkers doing the cleaning; I've had many convert to my method after warning them before they clean(and they experience a failure/instability)... Myself I avoid cleaning inside computers, and only on large clumps of dust(vac). Never had a system fail from anything related to maintenance. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" works for me.

Electrostatic Contamination? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239451)

It's incredibly fucking insulting that not only did you write a story about dusting electronics, but you were able to get some of the sycophant "editors" here to post it.

Fuck you.

Depends. (4, Informative)

plover (150551) | about a year ago | (#43239477)

If you're cleaning them correctly and carefully, you'll extend their lives. Dust buildup is a leading cause of overheating in PCs, and heat is a real problem.

But if you're cleaning them incorrectly, you'll shorten their lives. Any time you open the case, you're exposing sensitive components to risk, especially static damage. Not grounding yourself to the case when you're touching internal components will allow any static buildup on your body to discharge through a component. Vacuum cleaners draw so much air through them that they generate static electricity, particularly on the tip of a plastic nozzle. Static discharges at lower voltages are invisible and can cause latent damage that you may not immediately discover, but those weaknesses enable other normal stresses to destroy the chip.

When you take it apart to clean it, you're exposing it to non-zero risk. You might make a mechanical mistake in assembly that impacts proper cooling. You might put the CPU heatsink on cockeyed, fail to equally tension all the heat sink mounting screws, or drape a stray cable across a fan and prevent it from turning. Failing to put airflow devices back in their correct place, or failing to reconnect the fans to the power cables, could reduce needed airflow. When you carry it to the workbench, you risk dropping it. I've seen people reuse old thermal paste or glob on a thick layer of new paste when replacing the CPU fan (the fan maker's pre-paste is usually horribly thick.) A bad thermal paste layer will insulate the CPU from the heat sink and cause overheating. Lots of the aftermarket CPU fans have really weird mounting hardware, and you need to be sure they're correctly mounted so they effectively transfer the heat. All these risks can be reduced by learning how to do it right, reading the directions, and taking appropriate precautions.

One way to greatly reduce the risk of damage due to improper handling is to clean the machines only as often as necessary. Dust buildup is dependent on your particular environment. Fabrics, pets, dirt, open windows, flowering plants, carpeting, low humidity, high humidity, smoke, grease, cooking oils, hair sprays, colognes, all are factors that contribute to the build up of dust. So clean it after a year, and figure out what the cleaning schedule should be based on what you discover. It might be that annual cleanings are appropriate, or maybe you can wait two or three years.

All heat is a problem. Direct thermal damage from too much heat is possible, of course, but temperature changes can cause problems too. Thermal expansion causes the mechanical motion of parts. Every material has a different coefficient of expansion, (e.g. aluminum expands more per degree than steel, plastic expands more than aluminum,) so as parts heat and cool, they tug at solder connections, screw mountings, and other interface points inside the case. Repeated heating and cooling cycles increase the possibility of damage. Keeping it clean will keep it cooler, reducing the amount of expansion and motion, and extending the life.

Note that I'm not saying you'll ever drop your computer or ever reassemble it incorrectly, I'm pointing out that the act of cleaning it creates a risk greater than zero, and that the risk is zero when you are not cleaning it. And bigger risks lead to shorter lifespans.

Vacuum Cleaner (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239501)

of course. What else?

What a weird story (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43239591)

I'm completely torn by what this guy is saying.

I clean out my equipment monthly, but only the equipment that I can easily open. Screws and threaded posts are so cheap and fragile these days a lot of equipment won't survive being opened and closed many times. Most consumer grade equipment just uses self-tapping screws that go straight into the plastic. This kind of equipment almost never appreciates being opened and closed, the screws become loose and every time you undo them you have to tighten them up just a little bit more then before to get them tight, right up to the point the threads totally strip out.

My monitor doesn't get dusty at all. After five years of use, the inside is basically dust free. Sure, I dust it off weekly with a swiffer but that's about it. I never blast it with compressed air because this can push hairs and dust into the LCD diffuser assembly (which will then appear as a "spec" inside the screen where you can't get it). I've never even remotely considered dismantling my monitor since there are a lot of stupidly ESD-sensitive components in there where just touching the wrong part (even if you think you're not electrically charged) will fry entire regions of pixels (these parts are usually marked with big bold "DO NOT TOUCH" markings- and they really mean it).

So I'm not sure what to say.

I guess the moral of my situation is that if you dust often, you don't need to dust as deep. If you have to take out more then four screws to get it open, then you're totally doing it wrong. Stop being so lazy and actually bother to clean stuff on a reasonable schedule and you won't have to resort to that kind of insanity.

liquid fabric softener (1)

mrflash818 (226638) | about a year ago | (#43239889)

Mix 1/4 liquid fabric softener (unscented if you do not want all your stuff to smell like laundry) to 3/4 water in a spray bottle.

Lightly spray surfaces and wipe dry with a clean rag. The fabric softener conducts enough that it prevents static build up. (Proof by experiment: try on TV screen/enclosure of old tube TV, or spray floor where you used to get a shock to touch a door knob, or the seats of your car.)

I've used this technique for my house's carpets (have to re-apply after each time we got the carpets shampoo'd), car seats and car carpets, TV, PC monitor(s), and PC enclosures.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>