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Old 06-04-2010, 10:36 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cleaning the inside of a smoke damaged PC - Tips?

I'm gutting out my old Alienware, because I want to replace key components making it basically a new, powerful PC.

I used to live in a home with smokers, and the inside of the computer, the fans, vents, are just completely smothered in smoke dust.

I haven't taken it apart yet but I am sure the components are dirty as well.

I was going to use the standard Dust Spray/Q-Tip method to wipe down every surface, but I want to make sure it's safe to do so and that I wont damage the components I need to keep (Optical Drives/PSU/Sound Card).

Any methods you guys know of or just tips to make sure it goes smoothly?
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Old 06-04-2010, 10:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning the inside of a smoke damaged PC - Tips?

Canned air to get it out, or an air compressor. Air compressor works really well in the case of smokers dust; I've had to clean some really grimy computers from smokers before, and and air compressor took care of it all quickly. If you think you want to wipe components down...then I'd use isopropyl alcohol and a soft cloth. The alcohol dries fairly quickly.
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Old 06-05-2010, 12:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning the inside of a smoke damaged PC - Tips?

Thanks Carnage, I picked up a can of air duster and a bottle of isopropyl alcohol.

They only had the %70alc/volume one, I assume that's okay.

Gonna get started here in a few so should go fine.
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning the inside of a smoke damaged PC - Tips?

Should be fine; thats what I've always used to clean my processors off before I re-apply thermal compound, and I have yet to have any problems. Just make sureyou don't soak the cloth you're using with it...just dampen it.

Try to take care as much of it as you can with the canned air; I'm sure you'll be able to.
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Old 06-05-2010, 01:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning the inside of a smoke damaged PC - Tips?

Opened her up.. It's a disaster... Dust in the handfulls, literally, handfulls! It's embarrassing.

Luckily it's coming off the key components really easily. But I had to detach the cooling fans as they are going to need wiping down the air can isn't doing anything on the fans.

I'll have to remove the HD to get to one of the fans but that shouldn't be too much trouble.

Thought it wouldn't take long, it's gonna take a few hours and a few more cans of duster
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Old 06-05-2010, 05:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning the inside of a smoke damaged PC - Tips?

Yeah, for the big jobs, you usually need a few cans of air duster. That's why an air compressor works wonders for that lol.
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Old 06-05-2010, 06:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cleaning the inside of a smoke damaged PC - Tips?

Cool. It's almost done, there are a few fans I can't get to until I rebuild but that's fine.

Now I'm ready to order parts, and need to check compatibility. I put a post for it here: Upgrading - Compatibility Check Please!

Any help appreciated.
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