A reason why you should Clean your tower regularly.

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Cermage, Aug 29, 2009.

  1. Cermage

    Cermage GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Dec 2, 2007
    So here's a little story first.

    Beginning of last year, I built a computer for a mate who only wanted it for general work and no gaming. What i got him was a brand new P4 (yes brand new, store was flushing out all the old stock), an asus p4pe. i threw in an old mx440se, 512mb ddr and used a generic case. Yesterday he brought me the tower, saying he's having troubles with it. Its not starting. i open it up and there is dust everywhere. (didn't take pics but it was pretty disgusting). he's living in an apartment by himself, its mainly carpeted. i asked him how he got it to that state. he thought that leaving the case open was a good idea to let the hot air out and that putting it on the carpet would make it cooler. (not a good idea at all). i explained it to him why it was a bad idea. here's a couple pics.

    the motherboard after some light cleaning and removal of the stock hsf.

    the fan after removing it from the hs.

    the heatsink. this is what was most alarming.

    now this is only one years worth of build up. the thermal paste had began to crack as well.

    what had happened was the p4 was reaching ridiculously high temps because of the build up, damaging the motherboard. with damage, its managed to also fry the mx440se and fry the psu as well (cleaned the dust out, still decides not to do anything). he's one lucky fella now that prices are so cheap. brand new p4 parts are hard to find these days.

    so a warning and some advice.

    + clean your system regularly, get some canned air, clean the fans. you don't necesarrily have to pull the hs and fan off each time but try do to it every 2nd or 3rd month.
    +Keep your tower on top of a table if you have carpeted floors.
    +try not to keep your desktop in a closet. its not very well ventilated
    +dont blow dust out with your mouth! bad idea, whats going to happen when your fan gets covered in spit [​IMG]
  2. Joe88

    Joe88 [λ]

    Jan 6, 2008
    United States
    wow, that looks like at least 5 years worth of dust

    I can see inside my case though and see when dust is starting to build up d:
    there is some on the side case fan but thats about it
  3. Cermage

    Cermage GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Dec 2, 2007
    hard to believe eh? at first i thought he'd gotten somebody elses computer and swapped it. but they're still the same parts.

    i do monthly cleans regardless. i try my best to keep my case dust free. gets a bit hard at times when dust makes its way under the motherboard [​IMG]
  4. Jiggah

    Jiggah GBAtemp Maniac

    Nov 9, 2002
    United States
    Dust bunnies. Those things kill electronics.

    I'd look at the tower again and put filters on the intakes.
  5. Hop2089

    Hop2089 Cute>Hot

    Jan 31, 2008
    United States
    Keeping the case open wtf was the guy smoking.
  6. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    Not the worst I have seen (I repair machines for a garage on occasion- oil/grease laden dust results in me having to take a shower after fixing a PC) but nice going .Radiant's friend you certainly made top 5.
  7. Tokiopop

    Tokiopop Caffeine fiend

    Apr 14, 2009
    Mine had a 3 inch mountain of what seemed to be sand after not being cleaned at all for a couple of years. There was TONS of it! I'm not kidding, it filled up our vaccum cleaner!
  8. Elritha

    Elritha GBAtemp Addict

    Jan 24, 2006
    Yikes! That's alot of dust.

    Your friend must live in a very dusty enviroment for it to get that bad, even with the case open. Hopefully he learns his lesson now, about dust getting in, and destroying a proper airflow by keeping it open. [​IMG]
  9. Splych

    Splych GBAtemp's Lurker

    May 19, 2008
    Canada, Ontario.
    Soo much dust [​IMG]

    I should show my dad this... Since sometimes he keeps his computer open. Like one side of it isn't covered... But he doesn't do that anymore. Since all he had to do was get a new CPU Cooler and it didn't overheat anymore... Well not as bad.
  10. seedvt

    seedvt GBAtemp Regular

    Mar 19, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    He should invest in dust filters for each intake/exhaust fan.
  11. Chris_Skylock

    Chris_Skylock GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

    Dec 26, 2008
    no wonder our new GFX card was not accessible/ monitor not showing up.

    there were dust in our new desktop.

    I should check our PC every month then.

    Thanks for the tip
  12. mattsaysfooey

    mattsaysfooey Advanced Member

    Dec 13, 2007
    United States
    I clean,format,replace componets,app and driver install desktops for a living and that heat sink is probably the worst
    i have ever seen. At home and work i use rubbing alcohol,paper towels,q tips with a dust particle mask.
    I also can vouch for this http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/Se...mp;sku=V13-4200
    I have one in all three of my desktops and it dropped the gfx card temp like 9 degress instantly.
  13. Ireland 1

    Ireland 1 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Sep 21, 2008
    those photos are scary
  14. DSGamer64

    DSGamer64 Canadian, Eh?

    Nov 9, 2007
    A cold cold place
    [​IMG] Even my desktop isn't that dusty and it sits in the basement on a shelf under the desk. Granted it's been cleaned a couple of times in the last 6 years but I am thinking it is time to do a complete restore of the computer cause it runs so slow now.
  15. purechaos996

    purechaos996 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Nov 5, 2008
    United States
    cool thanks for that link im building a new PC and a few people said that the gfx card Im getting can over heat if not cooled well this should do the trick then
  16. Njrg

    Njrg Kinsoku Jikou Desu. ^.~

    Dec 24, 2008
    United States
    My Tower is on the floor and its open...

    I havent cleaned it in over a year and 4 months and it doesn't even look 1/7th as bad as that.
    I guess his apartment is either really filthy, he vacumes a lot, or the P4 is inefficient and easily reaches high temperature faster to force the cooling fan to blow/suck harder.

    Supposedly Dual Core's stay cooler longer, I don't know. I know that my computer has been running 24/7 for the almost 2 weeks (Restart every 4 days) and my heatsink is still very cool to the touch. Though the same can't be said about my Hard drive and Wireless Adapter card. Maybe I should let my computer rest for a half hour. [​IMG]

    And I have a strong suspicion that the dust is the P4's fault because I remember when I had a P4, I had to regularly clean out my heatsink (Yes it was on a desk) because the computer was overworking/overheating. My mother board BIOS was telling me it was reaching a temperature of nearly 208 Fahrenheit. I know if it ever got to 209 or higher, the computer would forcefully shut itself off and would remain inactive until it cooled to 160 Fahrenheit despite pressing the power button. I knew it'd be time to clean the fans and heatsink when the fan was louder than normal.

    Although I'm not second minding your advice, I just want to advocate it isn't as serious of a problem with more recent machines.

    And anyone with a P4, not only is it a good idea to regularly clean your computer for it's and your own safety, but a cooler computer performs faster (duh) than a heated one, so cleaning out dust every once in awhile can keep your processor running at the best to it's abilities. There are also other hardware and software methods to speed up your PC, but that isn't suitable for this topic.