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Old 01-29-2011, 11:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hard drive dust issue

Ok well I had this hard drive for less than a year (western digital) and its already dying. I opened it up to put a new hard drive in...and there was not only (surface?) dust but also a big clump of it right on the hard drive (not good). However, this would explain why the hard drive would die so quickly.

Now my question is how to avoid this with my new hard drive, I dont really want to have to open this computer up to blow it out more than once a year. Its a DELL XPS 400, it has a fan and vent right above the hard drive so i dont really get how this happened so quickly, it wasnt THAT long ago since I cleaned this out last. Might even be under 6 months.

Im going to take the fan out hopefully and give it a good cleaning (hopefully its filthy or something) but it doesnt seem like its going to be very dusty. The green part (circuit boards) of the hard drive are facing up and mostly exposed...Im pretty sure from google Images that this is how its suppose to be. Now I had an interesting idea but Im not sure if its good or bad....and if I do it, it wont fit in it slot anymore so I dont think I can but, I found a like, har drive cover from an OLD OLD OLD 40gb hard drive and was wondering if maybe I should put that over it? Its like a rubbery thing that u can stretch over the hard drive and itll cover the circuit boards.

Bad part of this is, like I said, it wont slide into its slot though then, Im going to have to have it sitting on top of something without being secured, so Id have to be careful when moving the tower (very careful). it would just be sitting on top of the slot that its suppose to go in.

if the fan is clean, and I dont put the "hard drive dust cover" on, what can I do really anything? is it better that the computer TOWER (not hard drive) is out in the open? or should i switch to my enclosed desk. right now its out in the open on top of my rug, sitting next to my desk about half a foot from the wall. if i put it in the enclosed desk itll be i guess just more enclosed in the back...which wont really matter since tha hard drive is in the front of the tower anyway. but while im at it, are enclosed desks a bad idea? it wont be fully closed like a cabinet or anything but it does have sides on top left and right. its like this only without the doors http://1userverrack.net/wp-content/u...er-cabinet.jpg


thanks so much for any input, i really do appreciate it.
thank u!
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive dust issue

You mean dust on the connectors? The dust would not get inside the HDD, by the platters or header.

Just dust your whole case out once a month.
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Old 01-30-2011, 12:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive dust issue

Newegg.com - fan filters

These do wonders for keeping dust out of your system... but you will have to clean them off once a month or every other. For the most part you wont have to open up your case to clean them off though.

Like MM said though, It won't get on your actually hard drive. Being on the shell of the HDD is perfectly alright.
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive dust issue

They go over any fan though? Fans are dif, sizes no? Which fan(s) would I be wanting to put one of these or two of these over?

See thats what I dont want, as much use as I get out of this computer, I dont want to have to open it up every month really. Compressed air wouldnt be so bad I guess but, what is that like, condensation or w/e that shoots out of it at first sometimes? That stuff worries me. Ive cleaned aout my comp about 2-3 times the past, probably 2-3 years...thats about more right for what I want.

Also is an enclosed or wide open desk better for my computer to sit inside, or does it not matter? I want to switched to the enclosed desk I think.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive dust issue

Fan filters come in different sizes.

What's so hard about cleaning it? You hate cleaning your clothes, but it has to be done. Once a month isn't such a hassle. Compressed air is fine for cleaning up dust in your case. Your computer will thank you.

As long as you get airflow into your system, it is fine.
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Old 02-03-2011, 01:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive dust issue

nothing is hard about it, its jsut with 1000 other chores its a pain. this computers about 5 years old and ive maybe cleaned it 3 times? maybe 4? ithink ill stick to once a year ;/ i do have a question though, if i decide to use compressed air, what is with the...what seems to be like some form of liquid that comes out? im afraid to even clean a computer with it because of that stuff. do i also have to make sure i hold the can like perfectly straight to clean it? idk about with this computer but maybe ill invest in a bottle with my next computer, how many cleans do u think a bottle lasts? thanks a lot. if i didnt say this already, the area around the hard drive, in frontof the fan was filthy. so problem kind of solved. thanks all.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive dust issue

They do use liquid Nitrogen in there, but only air will come out with combined oxygen. Liquid can come out, but this is only when you blow for too long without giving it a rest for a few seconds. A few puffs shouldn't do much. Just make sure you turn your computer off while cleaning. Any liquid that would come out dries quickly.

Compressed air cans can last several years. All depends on how much you use and what capacity it has. Just always have extras around. Never know when one goes empty.

I and many here, on this forum, use compressed air for everything. None of our systems broke because of it.
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:08 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive dust issue

hmm sounds good il have to grab a bottle. thanks all.
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive dust issue

Quote:
They do use liquid Nitrogen in there, but only air will come out with combined oxygen.
No, sorry. It is not liquid nitrogen and that is not how these cans of "dusting gas" work. A quick look at the can contents (or a simple Google search) will show that these cans most likely contain difluoroethane or something chemically similar. It costs a lot of money to cool and compress nitrogen into liquid form (-196C) and the results would be damaging cold once disbursed. And these cans do NOT disburse or mix contents to form "air". It is not breathable so care should be taken not in ingest it while using. Sadly, because cans of spray paint are harder for kids to buy, these cans of compressed dusting gas are some times abused by "huffers" to get high. Because of that, when referring to these cans, the terms "compressed air" or "canned air" or the like is being discouraged and you will typically see instead cans labeled as Dusting Gas, Compressed Gas Duster or Dust Remover - not "air". Difluoroethane is used because it is cheap, and it turns into a liquid form suitable for canning at a much higher temperature than nitrogen or other gases. If you get liquid nitrogen on your fingers, they will be severely damaged almost immediately.

And you should avoid tilting the can when in use to minimize spewing the liquid form of the gas. The liquid form is not as effective at cleaning out dust for one, but because it is very cold, it can cause microfractures if sprayed on still very warm components due to rapid contraction of the matter. A rare event, but possible if a hot device is cooled too rapidly.

Many shops and technicians use air compressors. These are perfectly safe as long as the pressure does not exceed 90psi, and most importantly, as long as an in-line moisture and particulate filter, such as one of these is used. Regardless if you use a can of compressed dusting gas, or an air compressor or even a vacuum cleaner, immobilize the fans when cleaning. The compressed air or gas can cause the fans to spin beyond design limits and damage the bearings. You can buy bags of wooden Popsicle or glue application sticks at most hobby and crafts stores. I use these to hold the fans still while blasting the blades and surrounding vents.

While you can use a vacuum cleaner, extra care must be taken to prevent ESD damage. Air and dust particles banging into the nozzle end while zooming past creates extremely high static electricity potentials which WILL destroy ESD sensitive devices such as CPUs and memory modules. So if using a vacuum, which I do if raining outside, I wrap my hand around the nozzle and extend my forefinger out front planting it on bare metal of the case to discharge and prevent static build up. I keep it planted at all times. I then use a soft brush stir up the dust and push it to the vacuum nozzle.
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Old 02-04-2011, 12:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive dust issue

very informative thanks a lot. i used to huff this crap myself as a kid. messes you up.
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