Physically cleaning computer hardware, both as maintenance and post-accident

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70
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3answers
7k views

I washed my USB drive. Any long-term risks?

I accidentally left a USB flash drive in my clothes, which was then washed with my laundry. This was a colored load, hot water. The drive survived just fine and was very clean. All data was still ...
59
votes
9answers
4k views

Suck or blow? What's better for dust?

The guy at the local PC hardware store told me it's better to use a small hand-held leaf blower to blow dust out of your PC case than a hand-held vacuum cleaner. Why is this? I understand that fans ...
41
votes
18answers
2k views

What is the best way to clean an LCD monitor?

I have loads of grubby finger marks on my monitor (mine and smaller people's). I'm not sure how to clean them off without damaging the monitor. What's the best way to safely clean dust, smudges and ...
39
votes
3answers
9k views

Removing dead thunderflies stuck inside an LCD monitor

This summer my flat was "attacked" by hundreds of tiny thunderflies, some of which managed to get behind the screen of my LCD. A few of the cursed creatures went and died right in the middle of the ...
34
votes
5answers
3k views

Can I use vodka to clean my keyboard?

I spilled beer on my keyboard a while back, and some of the keys are sticky. It's driving me crazy, and I don't have any isopropyl. Can I use vodka to clean it?
32
votes
7answers
1k views

Can I put keyboards in the dishwasher?

After a few years, keyboards develop a fine patina of what I refer to as "hand jam". I've heard that they can be safely cleaned in the dishwasher as long as you let them thoroughly dry out (like for ...
26
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12answers
21k views

What's the best way to get ants out of laptop keyboards?

What's the best way to gets ants out of a laptop?
24
votes
15answers
3k views

How do I clean dust from a computer?

As computers become faster and generate more heat it gets more important to have good ventilation, but that also increases the amount of dust sticking to the components of the computer. It's of course ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

How can I remove the smell of cigarettes from my computer?

I'm a smoker, and of course I smoke in front of the computer when I'm at home. Last Friday I moved out from my mother's house to my own, and since the computers were always turned on and the room was ...
15
votes
6answers
9k views

Cleaning a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic 4000 keyboard

This is one of the best keyboards for programmers. I read an article saying that running a keyboard through the dishwasher would clean it, but I'm unsure about a keyboard like this which has a faux ...
12
votes
10answers
3k views

How to clean a keyboard

My keyboard is a) full of dust and other particles that are flying around us (hair, skin parts etc) and b) very dirty (keys are not white anymore but dark gray - except on keytops where my fingers are ...
12
votes
4answers
10k views

What's using up my disk space?

My Vista 64 installation is to drive C, a 150 GB hard drive. I also have a 1.5 TB drive D. My C drive has 12.3 GB free. I don't know what's using up all the space. There's almost 83 GB !!! ...
11
votes
4answers
3k views

How do I clean my computer using isopropyl alcohol?

I bought a spray bottle of isopropyl alcohol, but I'm having a hard time to figure out how to use it to clean my computer. My two concerns are: Can I just spray it onto the motherboard? Or should I ...
11
votes
2answers
4k views

“Air Duster” sprays - are they safe for hardware?

I picked up a can of Air Duster spray to clean an old laptop. It lists no ingredients, so I figured it was just compressed air. But when I spray it, it's a liquid that smells somewhat like ...
10
votes
14answers
604 views

How to keep a windows machine clean?

I've just got a new Laptop. I've installed all applications I need, for now. Are there any best practices or tips on how to keep my windows machine clean and running smoothly? Or do I have to ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

How does dust affect a computer?

It is generally known that dust makes computers slower, and that cleaning out the dust regularly can make your computer run better. What I have not seen, is why this happens. From what I know dust ...
10
votes
2answers
18k views

How do I safely remove keys from a keyboard?

I have a custom key I want to use on my new Deck keyboard, but I'm unclear how to safely remove existing keys from the keyboard without damaging them in the process. Should I use a special tool? A ...
10
votes
11answers
10k views

How to prevent a computer from becoming dusty? [closed]

What are your best tips and tricks for keeping your computer from getting dusty? Do you use fans made especially to keep out dust (and do they work?) Do you clean obsessively around your computer to ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Tips for getting latte or soda out of your keyboard?

For the first time in my entire life yesterday, I accidentally spilled some latte in my ergonomic keyboard. The keys are starting to stick a bit now, and I was just wondering if there was some way to ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Washing electronics

I've read a related post, "Can you actually Wash a laptop?", but a more straightforward answer would be preferred (or if someone has actually done it). Consider a water contact with the motherboard ...
9
votes
8answers
14k views

How to remove keyboard grease?

I always wash my hands before using my computer, but after 2.5 years the keys have started getting a little greasy from my finger oils. What is the best way to clean this? EDIT: Clarification - it's ...
8
votes
5answers
480 views

Dusting Laptop keyboard

Is there a way to temporarily disable a laptop's keyboard in order to clean/dust it off, other than having to turn off the computer?
8
votes
7answers
6k views

How often should I dust the inside of my computer?

I would like to avoid frying my computer. I understand dust collects inside on the boards and the CPU cooling unit. How often should I open up the chassis and what process should I use to safely ...
8
votes
3answers
5k views

How to physically clean a USB connector safely

I have a USB flash drive, and the male USB connector on it has gotten rather disgustingly sticky (lent it to colleague with small child, he let the child play with it (never again)) Can anyone ...
7
votes
2answers
641 views

Is there any methods of “unyellowing” old beige PC parts?

I have some (really) old PC parts that I would like to repurpose for fun. However the beige plastic on some of them has yellowed due to heat or sun exposure. Is there any way to restore them back to ...
6
votes
7answers
550 views

How to clean a laptop screen?

I have a laptop that is about 2 years old, and the screen is getting very dirty, full of smudges from my fingers (yes, I know, I shouldn't touch the screen). The screen is not glass, it's soft and ...
6
votes
3answers
582 views

How to uninstall applications when the system is missing uninstall meta data?

I have a computer where somebody seems to have deleted the uninstall meta data from Microsoft project and other apps. I really need to clean up all the crap in the registry and basically do the best ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

Is it okay to vacuum a laptop keyboard?

Is it okay to vacuum a laptop keyboard? Would it cause any damage?
6
votes
1answer
184 views

Remove Possible Smoke Damage from a Desktop Computer

I had a fire in my house last week. I have several home brew computers that look like they have not received any actual fire or water damage. I've heard that the acidic qualities of the smoke may ...
6
votes
4answers
5k views

How can I keep my keyboard clean?

I know there are lots of articles out there on getting a keyboard clean, but I'd like to prevent my keyboard from getting nasty in the first place. The biggest problem isn't anything like food ...
6
votes
2answers
4k views

How to clean a keyboard in Toshiba laptop?

I have Toshiba Satellite Pro P300-1CG with slim keyboard. I haven't spilled anything major on it, but I often eat in front of the laptop while watching some videos. Therefore small drops of milk and ...
5
votes
4answers
4k views

Is it safe to get dust out of a PC with an air blower?

I use an air blower to dust the inside of my PC every few months. I keep the PC fans from turning when doing this to avoid turning them into dynamos and possibly causing damage to the electronics. ...
5
votes
9answers
4k views

How should you clean your MacBook Pro?

Mac users are supposed to be vain and perhaps this question vindicates that assumption – I'm talking about physically cleaning the machine. The screen and the silvery surface tends to gather a lot ...
5
votes
2answers
219 views

Creating hard drive backup images efficiently

We are in the process of pruning our directories to recuperate some disk space. The 'algorithm' for the pruning/backup process consists of a list of directories and, for each one of them, a set of ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Isopropyl okay to use on MacBook screen?

I've always used a mixture of isopropyl alcohol and distilled water to clean my computer screens (50% water and 50% * 70% isopropyl). From what I understand, these are exactly the same ingredients ...
4
votes
6answers
367 views

How should I choose a screen cleaning solution?

I saw the thread about cleaning screens with distilled water and a microfiber cloth, but if I want to get a specialized screen cleaning solution, what factors/properties should I look for?
4
votes
8answers
431 views

What things should I run daily, weekly, monthly on my Windows machine?

What things should I run daily, weekly, monthly on my Windows XP machine? De fragmentation Scan-disk Full system scan Disk clean up Trojan checker malware remover or any other thing... And should ...
4
votes
4answers
123 views

How should I clean a DVD?

What's the best way to clean a DVD?
4
votes
3answers
10k views

Do I risk destroying the fan if I use a vacuum cleaner on my laptop?

To get rid of dust that had gathered near the fan, I put a vacuum cleaner to the air intake (with the computer turned off). This removed the dust. It also caused the fan to rotate at a fairly high ...
4
votes
3answers
511 views

How to get pasta sauce out of your keyboard [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: How to clean a keyboard Possible Duplicate: How can laptop keyboard keys be removed and replaced? I was eating lasagna and it spilled all over the keyboard. ...
4
votes
2answers
344 views

How to prevent keyboard keys from getting greasy

I can get very particular and easily bothered by things like greasy keys and despite washing my hands before using my computer and cleaning my keys with alcohol almost every day, it's still always ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Computer USB Port Cover

I have recently brought a computer with a unique design (which I thought was cool!). The USB port is facing upwards, meaning my USB thumb drive will be placed vertically, as in, in an upright ...
3
votes
4answers
617 views

How to protect your Computer and Resources from Monsoon season

Well How do I protect my Computer from Monsoon Season. I just found out that in Monsoon season RAM and Motherboard gets slow and wet due to Moisture. Also my Keyboard becomes full of Fungus. How do I ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Can the bitterant in most canned air cause harm to my computer?

I need to clean the dust out of my computer. Previously, I have used canned air, but it seems now I cannot find any without a bitterant to prevent inhalant abuse. I just bought a can that says it is ...
3
votes
3answers
345 views

How to cleanup the computer from junk files?

I'm getting a new laptop, and giving mine to a co-worker. What program would you recommend to clean all the junk/temp/etc. files out ? Clean Windows install is not an option. Thank you.
3
votes
5answers
2k views

Can I wash an old cherry keyboard in a dishwasher? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Can I put keyboards in the dishwasher? I found a mechanical cherry keyboard (That looks A LOT like the IBM Model M but isn't) but it is disgustingly filthy, all keys and ...
3
votes
5answers
21k views

How can laptop keyboard keys be removed and replaced?

I'm trying to fix a laptop keyboard that has issues with keys on its left side. Just by feel, it's clear that something sticky got under there. There could be something crunchy too, but that might ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

What is a good tool to scrub MetaData from files?

I am curious if there is a good program that will remove MetaData from multiple document types? Some programs have a "prepare document" feature but it generally only applies to one file type or ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the best way to clean your dvd-burner?

What is the best way to clean your dvd-burner?
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there a HP DeskJet 5940 maintenance tool for Windows 7 x64?

According to HP, the printer is not yet supported on Windows 7, so this could well be the answer. The printer is supported by Microsoft's drivers, but as far as I can tell, this is just a basic driver ...