Here we go folks! this post is about that thing we should do often but usually fail to do, ultimately resulting in the system failure of our machines!
Now what exactly is involved in regular hardware maintenance you ask? HO HO HO glad you asked...
The particulars of the routine are more or less the same no matter what kind of computer you have so I have compiled a short and ordered list that you may follow to spruce things up a bit!
1. Turn off your computer
2. Flip the switch in the back of your computer on the power supply to turn off ALL power to the computer
Or simply unplug it from the wall and wait about 30 seconds(for full power supply capacitor discharge).
3.Open up your computer tower(case) and set it aside.
4. Get some tissues and or Q-Tips.
5. Remove all card pieces. Such as video graphics cards or sound cards or memory cards. Handle them carefully and set them aside on a wood table or something. (Note if you are not comfortable handling your computers removable "plug and play" pieces then you can skip this step and move on).
6. Now this is where the cleaning begins... Chances are if you haven't cleaned your system in a while its going to be FULL of dust. Dust can cause functional problems some times so its best to get rid of it. All of it every where you can find/reach. Likewise do the same for your removed card devices if you did that step.
7. You wont be able to remove every spec of dust in your system so don't worry about that. Mainly the places you want to focus on are the parts known as "heat sinks" these are the big "grooved" metal pieces that are on top of vital circuits to keep them cool. They are also usually underneath some sort of fan. If you have finesse then you may attempt to remove the fan from the heat-sink to better clean it. But if you cant remove the fan then simply do the best you can.
8. Speaking of fans...Clean them. fans hate dust inside of them and on their blades so get it with the tissue or Q-tip.
9. Take a air compressor to it! Haha if you have one then it can be ideal simply to blow the whole thing out with an air compressor however not every one has access to one... You may be asking yourself why this is step 9 and not for instance 3 or so...And that's because if your computer is chalked FULL of dust n grime...you don't want to blow it up all over the place... get some of the major areas first with a tissue or what you will then finish the job with an air compressor. That's what I recommend... But of course for those of you who like dirt all over the place then go ahead and have at...
10. You're done make sure to put all of your removable pieces back together as carefully as possible. Any cards that are not put back precisely and securely as they were before will freak your computer out and may cause it to start beeping when it starts up. If it does then open it up again and try making your pieces more secure. Place your tower cover back on your computer and make sure you flip the switch on the back of the computer power supply back on =P Then you can turn it on again!
OTHER IMPORTANT NOTES...
It is a wise practice before you work on a computers inner parts, to ground yourself out... and all that means is while the computer is plugged into the wall, touch the metal part of your computer case for a moment or too to get rid of any static electricity you may have on you.
Also don't worry about the air compressor (should you decide to use one), damaging any electrical components, it wont.
Do not, I repeat do not use any type of chemical cleaner! NONE whatsoever. Only remove the dust with tissue and Q-tip and make sure there are no pieces of it left.