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Cleaning motherboards and video cards


Foxtrot360
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A can of compressed air (but not a mechanical air compressor) that is designed for electronics, coupled with a vaccuum cleaner is usually the quickest, safest way to dust the guts of a computer.

Don't shake the air canister before use; unlike most sprayers where you want to distribute the contents evenly, with compressed air, it will only mix propellant into the air, something you don't want or need.

Keep the vaccuum hose near to the area being blown out, but not touching anything, while directing the compressed air to thoroughly remove particulate. The vaccuum is optional, but it will keep the cloud of dust from entirely resettling in the case or your working space.

As always, when working in a computer case, a clean, dry environment to start with, and ground yourself as best you can.

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If you are using compressed air, make sure you shoot it horizontally. Tilting it at an angle can cause it to spray out liquid. (Squirt it just off to the side before attacking the mobo to make sure). Also, I use a stiff bristle paintbrush to loosen the dust/dirt first.

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I know a certain member that cleans his PC with an air compressor...

The reason this is potentially dangerous is air compressors just pressurize plain old room air. You know, the stuff that's chock full of moisture.

Compress it, and spray it on sensitive electronics? Why not wet your hands liberally before installing new hardware? :wacko:

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So, the canned air shouldnt damage anything?

Yes, as the canned air that is specifically for electronics contains no water-based chemicals. It's still got liquids in it, but those tend to be petrolium byproducts that evaporate at room temperature, so if you do shake the can or accidentally get a bit of the 'liquid' on your components, it won't be there long enough to be of any risk.

Oh, and as per usual, the blantantly obvious: Powered off, unplugged, switch off the power supply, hit the power button to bleed the caps, etc. before trying. Just in case.

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I use an air compressor....

In general yes it will cause moisture and can harm your electronics if your not carefull. Bassicly moisture will cause an Arc and fry your electronics.

Probly a little risky but I've never had problems with it... I usually let it sit with the case open for 30 minutes to an hour afterwards.

Probly should even remove the battery before doing this aswell... should still have enough juice to fry it.

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