Computer Maintenance

Diane, from Real Feng Shui Solutions, has asked recently about “blowing out your computer.” (Note that this is different from “blowing up your computer.”)

Computer get dusty, just like anything else in your house, so you need to occasionally dust them. However, you cant just take a feather duster to them and call it good.
What you need to do is get a can of compressed air from your local office supply store (it will say on the label “computer duster” or similar).
Once you have it, turn off the computer. Using short bursts of air, clean the dust from the outside areas of the case; anywhere you see dust, blow it away.

Diane also asked about opening up the case and blowing out the dust from the inside. This is a good idea, but there are precautions that must be taken, for your safety and the safety of your computer.
The easiest way to do it is to slide the side panel of of your computer where it sits, and blow the dust out. However, some cases are harder to open than others.

First, check to see if the side panels are held closed with screws, it probably is; you will need a fairly small Phillips head screwdriver to undo them.
Most computers have 2 side panels than can be removed, you want to remove the side panel that is opposite (further away from) all the plugs in the back of your computer.
The panel will slide toward the back of the computer, often with a click or thud as it releases.

Once it is opened, you will see the innards of your computer.

DONT TOUCH ANYTHING!

The static electricity in your finger is enough to seriously harm several of the components inside your computer.
Before you start blowing out the dust, touch a metal part of the case; this will safely discharge any static electricity you have built up.
Now, blow out the dust with short bursts just like you did on the outside. You should blow from an angle to allow the dust to have a way out instead of billowing up in your face.

If you are going to venture into the crevices of your case in pursuit of dust bunnies, always touch a metal part of the case before putting any part of your body (or the can of air) inside the case.

Remember, turn the computer off first, and always touch a metal part of the case before you touch anything else and you should be safe.

If, however, you do touch something and you feel a “zap,” back away from the computer and call me. Dont turn the computer back on until you have a computer professional inspect it.

I know this is wordy, but I hope it answers your question Diane.