Tag Archives: Computer Maintenance

Daylight Savings Time Ends – It’s That Semi-Annual “Clean Your Computer” Time Again

imageTo make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning, at the Spring and Fall time changes. Since we’ve adjusted our clocks back one hour today (here in North America), it’s time to rerun a primer on how to do a top to bottom physical cleanup of your computer.

Spring cleaning

Over the years I’ve noticed that many computer users are not too concerned with keeping the physical components clean; and they need to be concerned.  Computer maintenance involves not only keeping a computer clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, and adware – but, keeping the physical machine clean as well.

As regular reader TeX pointed out last year, when I ran this article – “Think of a place that hides more dust than the space under your bed.” He’s right – a computer system can collect an an amazing amount of dust.

image

No, this is not one of my machines. Winking smile

Physically cleaning your computer is potentially one of the most important cleanup jobs you’re ever likely to do. Here’s why – heat.

Heat is a component killer, and it’s the chief cause of CPU failure in computers. CPU failure, caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize.

Killer Dirt = Killer Heat

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically; the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages, and more.

Here’s a comment from my Australian buddy Mal, on last year’s reposting of this article – “Earlier this year, my computer started beeping at me. It was an alarm to say “I’m overheating”. I took off the cover and cleaned out all the dust, which was everywhere.

When I turned it back on, the temp at dropped 30 degrees Celsius. No wonder the machine was screaming at me. So a good timely article on your part.”

Keeping your computer in top shape, with a regularly scheduled cleaning program, will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run save you money.

Tools you’ll need:

Screwdriver

A can of compressed air

Cotton swabs

Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)

Paper towels or anti-static cloths

Water

Make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and be gentle when touching the components inside the case.

Open the case:

If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.

Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

Since the keyboard gets more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.

Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead, moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.

Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

I know this is a no-brainer, but before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

Previous postings of this article drew some very valuable comments from regular readers, including the following:

Vhick:

I always clean my PC one a month. In a tropical country like here, dust is everywhere. Clean, turn around, and there’s a dust again. PC cleaning inside and out is must here, because of very hot temperatures.

Georg L:

Cleaning is nice, but when doing so, one should also change the heat sink compound between hot semiconductors and the respective heat sinks. The CPU is most critical in this respect.

Volatile components evaporate over time, turning the compound into an effective heat insulator with a plaster-like texture. I suggest a change every second year in moderate climates, and an annual change in the tropics.

Just to follow up on Georg’s comment – earlier this year, a reader explained that he had rebuilt his machine and replaced all components (other than the CPU), and yet, the machine still locked up after just a few minutes of operation. I passed on Georg’s advice and voila – problem solved!

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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25 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Save Your CPU, Windows Tips and Tools

Check Disk GUI–Check Hard Drive System Integrity The Easy Way

This past week I put up a post on Hard Drive maintenance – Don’t Wait Until Your Hard Drive Goes “Clunk-Clunk” – Check It Out Now With These Two Free Tools – which led to a query from Michael F., as to whether I had checked out a super little freeware application; CheckDiskGUI.

In fact I have. I originally posted on CheckDiskGUI in November 2010, but since CheckDiskGUI was recently updated to version 1.1.1, I’ve retested it. While I didn’t find any noticeable improvements, I continue to see this application as part of a sophisticated computer user’s system toolbox.

Here’s why:

imageFrom time to time, as part of your computer maintenance routine, it’s a good idea to check your Hard Drive’s file system integrity, by running Windows system integrity checker – CHKDSK (short for Check Disk).

There are a number of ways to run CHKDSK. If you’re an old MS DOS hound like me, then you’re probably comfortable running from the command prompt, using the following switches.

/c – NTFS only. Skips checking of cycles within the folder structure.

/f – Fixes errors on the volume. The volume must be locked. If Chkdsk cannot lock the volume, it offers to check it the next time the computer starts.

/i – NTFS only. Performs a less vigorous check of index entries.

/l – NTFS only. Displays current size of the log file.

/r – Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information (implies /f ). If Chkdsk cannot lock the volume, it offers to check it the next time the computer starts.

/v – On FAT. Displays the full path and name of every file on the volume.

On NTFS. Displays cleanup messages, if any.

/x – NTFS only. Forces the volume to dismount first, if necessary. All opened handles to the volume are then invalid (implies /f ).

/? – Displays this list of Chkdsk switches.

After CHKDSK has completed (if you’ve used the /f, or the /r, switches, this will only occur following a reboot since the volume is locked when in use), you can then view the Application Log by launching the Windows Event Viewer.

If you’re more comfortable operating in a graphical user interface environment the following method will suit your needs.

In Windows Explorer open the volume’s “Property” Tab “Tools” – click on “Error checking” and then “check now”.

image

In this example, I’ve checked “fix errors”, and “recover bad sectors”, the equivalent of the /f and /r switches, in the command prompt. As I said earlier, these commands will not be executed, until a system restart.

image

image

This method is not terrible complicated, but it’s still lacking a report capability. Once again, the users must launch Windows Event Viewer in order to view the Application Log.

As an alternative to either of the these two methods, I recommend that you run the Chkdsk command using the free CheckDiskGUI application.

The following screen captures will give you a quick overview of this small, but fairly powerful application.

image

Read only results – no “Fix”, or Fix and Recover”, options selected. However, notice that a full report is available.

image

Executing in “Fix”, or “Fix and Recover mode”, will allow two options – you can either run the commands at system restart, or immediately – by choosing to dismount the selected volume.

image

System requirements: Win7 x32, Win7 x64, Vista, Vista x64, XP.

Download at: Major Geeks

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, Computer Maintenance, computer repair, Computer Tools, downloads, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, Hard Drive Tools, Software, System Utilities, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Daylight Savings Time Begins – It’s That Semi-Annual “Clean Your Computer” Time Again

To make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning, at the Spring and Fall time changes – just as I schedule my smoke detector battery replacement.

Since we’ve just recently adjusted our clocks one hour forward (here in North America), advancing into “daylight savings time”, it’s time to rerun a primer on how to do a top to bottom physical cleanup of your computer.

Spring cleaning

Over the years I’ve noticed that many computer users are not too concerned with keeping the physical components clean; and they need to be concerned.  Computer maintenance involves not only keeping a computer clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, and adware – but, keeping the physical machine clean as well.

As regular reader TeX pointed out last year, when I ran this article – “Think of a place that hides more dust than the space under your bed.” He’s right – a computer system can collect an an amazing amount of dust.

image

No, this is not one of my machines. Winking smile

Physically cleaning your computer is potentially one of the most important cleanup jobs you’re ever likely to do. Here’s why – heat.

Heat is a component killer, and it’s the chief cause of CPU failure in computers. CPU failure, caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize.

Killer Dirt = Killer Heat

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically; the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages, and more.

Here’s a comment from my Australian buddy Mal, on last year’s reposting of this article – “Earlier this year, my computer started beeping at me. It was an alarm to say “I’m overheating”. I took off the cover and cleaned out all the dust, which was everywhere.

When I turned it back on, the temp at dropped 30 degrees Celsius. No wonder the machine was screaming at me. So a good timely article on your part.”

Keeping your computer in top shape, with a regularly scheduled cleaning program, will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run save you money.

Tools you’ll need:

Screwdriver

A can of compressed air

Cotton swabs

Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)

Paper towels or anti-static cloths

Water

Make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and be gentle when touching the components inside the case.

Open the case:

If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.

Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

Since the keyboard gets more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.

Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead, moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.

Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

I know this is a no-brainer, but before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

Previous postings of this article drew some very valuable comments from regular readers, including the following:

Vhick:

I always clean my PC one a month. In a tropical country like here, dust is everywhere. Clean, turn around, and there’s a dust again. PC cleaning inside and out is must here, because of very hot temperatures.

Georg L:

Cleaning is nice, but when doing so, one should also change the heat sink compound between hot semiconductors and the respective heat sinks. The CPU is most critical in this respect.

Volatile components evaporate over time, turning the compound into an effective heat insulator with a plaster-like texture. I suggest a change every second year in moderate climates, and an annual change in the tropics.

Just to follow up on Georg’s comment – earlier this year, a reader explained that he had rebuilt his machine and replaced all components (other than the CPU), and yet, the machine still locked up after just a few minutes of operation. I passed on Georg’s advice and voila – problem solved!

If you have the time, and you want to give your computer system a total clean up, you should consider reading “Maintain Your Machine – 10 + 1 Free Computer System Tools”, on this site.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

2 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, downloads, Freeware, Save Your CPU, Slow Computer, Software, System Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free CheckDisk GUI Makes Running CHKDSK Easy

imageFrom time to time, as part of your Computer maintenance routine, it’s a good idea to check your Hard Drive’s file system integrity, by running Windows system integrity checker – CHKDSK (short for Check Disk).

There are a number of ways to run CHKDSK. If you’re an old MS DOS hound like me, then you’re probably comfortable running from the command prompt, using the following switches.

/c – NTFS only. Skips checking of cycles within the folder structure.

/f – Fixes errors on the volume. The volume must be locked. If Chkdsk cannot lock the volume, it offers to check it the next time the computer starts.

/i – NTFS only. Performs a less vigorous check of index entries.

/l – NTFS only. Displays current size of the log file.

/r – Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information (implies /f ). If Chkdsk cannot lock the volume, it offers to check it the next time the computer starts.

/v – On FAT. Displays the full path and name of every file on the volume.

On NTFS. Displays cleanup messages, if any.

/x – NTFS only. Forces the volume to dismount first, if necessary. All opened handles to the volume are then invalid (implies /f ).

/? – Displays this list of Chkdsk switches.

After CHKDSK has completed (if you’ve used the /f, or the /r, switches, this will only occur following a reboot since the volume is locked when in use), you can then view the Application Log by launching the Windows Event Viewer.

If you’re more comfortable operating in a graphical user interface environment the following method will suit your needs.

In Windows Explorer open the volume’s “Property” Tab “Tools” – click on “Error checking” and then “check now”.

image

In this example, I’ve checked “fix errors”, and “recover bad sectors”, the equivalent of the /f and /r switches, in the command prompt. As I said earlier, these commands will not be executed, until a system restart.

image

image

This method is not terrible complicated, but it’s still lacking a report capability. Once again, the users must launch Windows Event Viewer in order to view the Application Log.

As an alternative to either of the these two methods, I recommend that you run the Chkdsk command using the free CheckDiskGUI application.

The following screen captures will give you a quick overview of this small, but fairly powerful application.

image

Read only results – no “Fix”, or Fix and Recover”, options selected. However, notice that a full report is available.

image

Executing in “Fix”, or “Fix and Recover mode”, will allow two options – you can either run the commands at system restart, or immediately – by choosing to dismount the selected volume.

image

If you’re looking for anther tool to add to your computer maintenance toolbox, CheckDiskGUI is worth taking a look at.

System requirements: Win7 x32, Win7 x64, Vista, Vista x64, XP.

Download at: Softpedia.com

3 Comments

Filed under Computer Maintenance, computer repair, downloads, Freeware, Hard Drive Maintenance, Hard Drive Tools, Software, System Utilities, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Get Ready: It’s That Semi-Annual Clean Your Computer Time Again

Spring cleaningHere in North America, tonight is the night we adjust our clocks back one hour, reverting to Standard Time. To make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning, at the Spring and Fall time changes – just as I schedule my smoke detector battery replacement. So, today is the day I get out my cleaning supplies, and do a top to bottom physical cleanup of my machines.

Over the years I’ve noticed that many computer users are not too concerned with keeping the physical components clean; and they need to be concerned.  Computer maintenance involves not only keeping a computer clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, and adware – but, keeping the physical machine clean as well.

As regular reader TeX pointed out last year, when I ran this article – “Think of a place that hides more dust than the space under your bed.” He’s right – a computer system can collect an an amazing amount of dust.

image

No, this is not one of my machines. Winking smile

Physically cleaning your computer is potentially one of the most important cleanup jobs you’re ever likely to do. Here’s why – heat.

Heat is a component killer, and it’s the chief cause of CPU failure in computers. CPU failure, caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize.

Killer Dirt = Killer Heat

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically; the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages, and more.

Keeping your computer in top shape, with a regularly scheduled cleaning program, will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run save you money.

Tools you’ll need:

Screwdriver

A can of compressed air

Cotton swabs

Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)

Paper towels or anti-static cloths

Water

Make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and be gentle when touching the components inside the case.

Open the case:

If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.

Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

Since the keyboard gets more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.

Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead, moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.

Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

I know this is a no-brainer, but before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

Previous postings of this article drew some very valuable comments from regular readers, including the following:

Vhick:

I always clean my PC one a month. In a tropical country like here, dust is everywhere. Clean, turn around, and there’s a dust again. PC cleaning inside and out is must here, because of very hot temperatures.

Georg L:

Cleaning is nice, but when doing so, one should also change the heat sink compound between hot semiconductors and the respective heat sinks. The CPU is most critical in this respect.

Volatile components evaporate over time, turning the compound into an effective heat insulator with a plaster-like texture. I suggest a change every second year in moderate climates, and an annual change in the tropics.

Just to follow up on Georg’s comment – earlier this year, a reader explained that he had rebuilt his machine and replaced all components (other than the CPU), and yet, the machine still locked up after just a few minutes of operation. I passed on Georg’s advice and voila – problem solved!

If you have the time, and you want to give your computer system a total clean up, you should consider reading “Maintain Your Machine – 10 + 1 Free Computer System Tools”, on this site.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

10 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, Computer Tune Up Utilities, Freeware, Save Your CPU, Software, System Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools

Free CheckDrive – Detect And Fix Hard Drive Errors

Popular guest writer Rick Robinette, who is always on the hunt for the best in Freeware, has just come across CheckDrive, a great little Hard Drive error checking utility.

Here’s Rick’s review:

CheckDrive

Looking for and writing content for a blog is a job, especially when you are on the run; however, in my email this morning a company called  Abelssoft, dropped me a line about a new FREE hard disk utility called CheckDrive 2011, that saved the day and possibly my hard disks.

From my early testing of this utility, it is like using chkdsk (checkdisk), with a very nice GUI (graphical user interface). As with chkdsk, if errors are found on any of your drives, repairing those errors can take some time.

Failure to identify and repair errors on your hard disks  (in the file system), can result in data corruption; thus, the importance of an utility such as CheckDrive.

As always, maintain backups of your data prior to running any maintenance utility. This is the type of utility I usually run on a monthly basis to check the integrity of my disks.

If you are not familiar with chkdsk (checkdisk):

Chkdsk (Checkdisk) is a command on computers running DOS, OS/2 and Microsoft Windows operating systems, that displays the file system integrity status of hard disks and floppy disk, and can fix logical file system errors. It is similar to the fsck command in Unix.

On computers running NT-based versions of Windows, CHKDSK can also check the disk surface for physical errors or bad sectors, a task previously done by SCANDISK. This version of CHKDSK can also handle some physical errors and recover data that is still readable. – Wikipedia

image

CheckDrive offers you an easy way to check your hard drives for errors. CheckDrive may detect and fix hard drive errors that might appear on system crashes or when switching off your PC without a proper Windows shutdown.

If you’ve ever had a system crash, then CheckDrive is for you. CheckDrive is completely free! Download it today to check your system for hard drive errors.

CheckDrive – Features:

Check Hard Disks for Errors – CheckDrive offers you an easy way of checking your PCs hard drives for errors. Those errors can be fixed immediately if you like.

Shows Drive Information – CheckDrive shows info about your drives and determines if your hard drive needs to be cleaned or defragmented.

Detects current fragmentation of your hard drives.

Shows the amount of garbage on your disks.

System requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Win 7 (all – 32 and 64 bit).

Download at: Developer’s site (Abelssoft)

This is a guest post by Rick Robinette, who brings a background as a security/police officer professional, and as an information technology specialist to the Blogging world.

Why not pay a visit to Rick’s site at What’s On My PC. Like me, you’re sure to become a frequent visitor.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

4 Comments

Filed under Windows Tips and Tools

Save Time Money and Aggravation – Physically Clean Your Machine

Clean and maintain your computer, in 5 easy steps.

Spring cleaning

Recently, I was reading an article by another Blogger, in which he described and illustrated the “inner workings” of a typical PC. What I found surprising, was the number of comments from his readers, which made it clear that they had never seen the inside of their own PC.

Comments like – “Wow! Mind boggling to see what is inside the computer”; “Thanks for letting me see the inside brains of the computer”; “That’s all that’s in there? I was expecting more stuff.”

Computer maintenance involves not only keeping a computer clean of malware; viruses, Trojans, spyware, and adware, but in addition, keeping the physical machine clean. Physically cleaning your computer is potentially one of the most important cleanup jobs you’re ever likely to do. Here’s why – heat.

Heat is a component killer, and it’s the chief cause of CPU failure in computers. CPU failure, caused by dust clogged vents, which leads to reduced air flow, is a more common occurrence than many realize. In fact, in the last year I have seen 4 CPU’s, and a few graphic cards, toasted by excessive heat.

Overheating of the CPU will, at a minimum, cause the system to behave erratically; the computer spontaneously switches off, or restarts; frequent “blue-screen” error messages, and more.

Keeping your computer in top shape, with a regularly scheduled cleaning program, will prevent the inconvenience of having your system go down, and in the long run save you money.

To make it easy to remember, I schedule my computer maintenance and cleaning at the Spring and Fall time changes (this year I’m a week ahead), just as I schedule smoke detector battery replacement.

Tools you’ll need:

Screwdriver

A can of compressed air

Cotton swabs

Rubbing alcohol (70% is fine)

Paper towels or anti-static cloths

Water

Make sure you disconnect the machine from the wall outlet before you begin maintenance and cleanup, and try to avoid touching the components inside the case.

dirty_computer_pc_cleaning

(No, this is not one of my machines).

Open the case:

If required, use the screwdriver to remove the side of the case that’s opposite the motherboard. Blow compresses air over the components and interior of the case, keeping the can upright and nozzle four inches away from components.

Clean the power supply and the case fan with a shot of compressed air. Next, blow compressed air into the CD/DVD drive. Give the inside of the case a wipe with a slightly moistened cloth before replacing the cover.

Clean the exterior:

Wipe the exterior of the case with a slightly moistened cloth; repeat the wipe with a dry cloth or paper towel. Be sure to clean all case openings using this method.

Clean the keyboard:

Since the keyboard takes more physical contact than any other component, if you can, clean it on a monthly basis. Blowout in and around the keys with compressed air monthly and on your scheduled cleanup rub down the keys and case with a clean cloth slightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.

Clean the mouse:

Like the keyboard, the mouse gets substantial physical contact and requires cleaning on a monthly basis. If you have an optical mouse simply wipe it down just as you wiped down the keyboard. If you have a mechanical mouse then you need to remove, wash, and then dry the ball.

Next, clean inside the mouse with a cotton swab moistened with rubbing alcohol. Finally blow compressed air into the opening and then reassemble the mouse.

Clean the monitor:

Never spray liquid directly onto the screen. Instead moisten the cloth, or the paper towel, with the cleaning solution. Spraying the screen directly runs the risk of liquid penetrating into the monitor components.

Wipe the screen gently to remove dust and fingerprints. Never touch the back of the monitor. For laptop screens, buy a special cleaning solution available at computer stores. Do this weekly.

I know this is a no-brainer, but before you plug the computer back into the wall outlet, be sure all components are thoroughly dry.

To be certain you are doing all the right things to ensure you have “a healthy, smooth-running computer”, checkout TechPaul’s article – Elementary, My Dear Watson.

If you found this article useful, why not subscribe to this Blog via RSS, or email? It’s easy; just click on this link and you’ll never miss another Tech Thoughts article.

15 Comments

Filed under Cleaning Your Computer, Computer Maintenance, computer repair