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I blog about the importance of keeping your software up to date on a rather regular base, but hardware needs to be checked as well. Before you think "I know nothing about hardware! It's only chips and shiny bits and bolts!" allow me to explain. Computers generate heat, and sometimes even a lot of heat. In order to keep things cool, there are a bunch of fans installed in your computer. Your CPU will have one, the motherboard may have one, the video card has one, the power supply has one... See where I'm going? Each of them is essential to the performance and life of the component it cools. Turn off your machine, make sure the power is off and open it up and take a look inside. Dusty, ain't it?

I used the vacuum too get rid of all of the dust, but allow me to warn you that it's not the best of ideas. Computers are delicate machines and they won't like a madman with a vacuum at full power rubbing the chips, motherboard and bumping into the hard drive(s). They don't like water either, so unless you are very careful with the vacuum cleaner (use it at the lowest setting) you can use a can of compressed air to gently flush away the dust that has gathered on and under the fans. Allow me to divulge that a heat sink covered in dust does a pretty bad job getting rid of excess heat.

If the compressed air doesn't get rid of the really clogged up fins or fans, try using a dry cotton swab - the kind you use to clean your ears with, but please : use an unused one, lol - and gently loosen things up before giving the compressed air another go.

Your machine - and in the end, your wallet - will love you for it.

Note : 4 critical patches for Microsoft products to appear on Tuesday. Remember to patch, and patch early.

Update : Amazing! Even under full load, the CPU is running approximately 10 degrees Celsius cooler then it was before I cleaned it out.

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This page contains a single entry by ServMe published on March 8, 2008 6:29 AM.

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