How Often Should You Clean Inside Your Laptop?

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How often should you clean inside your laptop?
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 Siren.Kalilla
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By Siren.Kalilla 2011-05-04 23:35:01
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How often should I clean inside my laptop? As a girl I have to say that I'm not very knowledgeable about the hardware of a computer so I never take it apart, ever lol.

I felt like I have been taking care of it quite well monitoring the temperature keeping it defragged and clean of viruses, but what I have been failing to do is clean out inside my laptop.

Over the years the internal temperature has been climbing and been getting excessively hot. I personally have it on 24/7 (I know~ I just don't like shutting computers off! >.>;) with a pretty sick cooling fan underneath it and it has been staying cool over the years (around 5-6). Yesterday was the first time I've ever had it overheat and shut off while I was using it on my lap. So I decided it was time to open it up and see how much dust was inside.

I followed this guide on irisvista.com and got to this step and found the space between the vents (or heat sink? idk, so confused) and the fan was filled with dust/dirt/hair.



As much as I was surprised I really shouldn't have been since I never have cleaned it out~

The temperature is now a good 10-15 degrees lower (sitting at around 90-95 F for the hard drive) while on my cooling fan. That's great and all but I would like to know how often I should be doing these steps of taking apart and cleaning out the inside of my laptop.

Thanks for any advice <3!
 Cerberus.Eugene
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By Cerberus.Eugene 2011-05-04 23:41:46
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Components degrade over time, give off more heat, fans break down. Old computers are old. Laptops really aren't meant to be opened that much, but if you think that it's really necessary you really shouldn't have to clean it more than every year or two, provided you aren't going out of your way to get filth in there.

I don't think i've opened mine ever.

You've already said the bigger thing you can do. There are a lot of mechanical components inside a computer, fans, drives, whirly gigs. Give your computer a rest every once in a while, means less wear on the components, and less constant friction generating heat.
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 Caitsith.Mahayaya
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By Caitsith.Mahayaya 2011-05-04 23:45:46
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Siren.Kalilla said:
How often should I clean inside my laptop? As a girl I have to say that I'm not very knowledgeable about the hardware of a computer so I never take it apart, ever lol.

Pigeonholing your sex into a position of logical incompetence? An illogical emotional beast?

As for your question, it's usually not necessary unless your graphics start to act really weird(weird polygons and such), or if you hear your fan rev up. And even then those issues can usually be solved with compressed air being sprayed into your fan to blow out the dust.
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 Leviathan.Draylo
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By Leviathan.Draylo 2011-05-04 23:46:49
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you are a gril in RL?
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 Siren.Kalilla
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By Siren.Kalilla 2011-05-04 23:54:40
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Yes Draylo, and Mahayaya it was the other way around. My fan wasn't revving up at all, it hardly was blowing any air and I almost couldn't feel anything coming out from the vent.

And I'm simply saying I'm not very knowledgeable of computer hardware lol, as most girls would agree they are the same. I could learn about it if I wanted to but I do not have any interest or desire into learning everything about a computer. Just wanted to know how often I should clean inside which Eugene has mentioned once every year or two.
 Ramuh.Bekisa
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By Ramuh.Bekisa 2011-05-05 00:19:17
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Without any experience with electronics, I suggest you try some canned air and a vacuum to see what you can do without taking it apart. You can risk shocking yourself even when it is unplugged with the battery out; though not much since the capacitors in a laptop are fairly small. You also run the risk of ESD hazards (static) and psychically breaking connections, solder joints and small ribbon cables that can be next to impossible to fix.

Sad to say; things made today are meant to be tossed out and buy a new one. Laptops generally aren't meant to be opened other than the user maintenance-able spots for RAM and hard drives on the bottom.

What's most likely happened is it is just getting old. Even if it is still young in age, electronics age with time. Heat and stress age them faster -- just like us lol.
 Leviathan.Angelskiss
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By Leviathan.Angelskiss 2011-05-05 00:19:50
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Siren.Kalilla said:
Yes Draylo, and Mahayaya it was the other way around. My fan wasn't revving up at all, it hardly was blowing any air and I almost couldn't feel anything coming out from the vent.

And I'm simply saying I'm not very knowledgeable of computer hardware lol, as most girls would agree they are the same. I could learn about it if I wanted to but I do not have any interest or desire into learning everything about a computer. Just wanted to know how often I should clean inside which Eugene has mentioned once every year or two.
I would agree with you, my sister whos getting a degree in computer science might have words to say with you tho :3

Glad you got further then I could have though ^^
 Bismarck.Eburo
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By Bismarck.Eburo 2011-05-05 00:52:16
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Siren.Kalilla said:
How often should I clean inside my laptop? As a girl I have to say that I'm not very knowledgeable about the hardware of a computer so I never take it apart, ever lol.

I felt like I have been taking care of it quite well monitoring the temperature keeping it defragged and clean of viruses, but what I have been failing to do is clean out inside my laptop.

Over the years the internal temperature has been climbing and been getting excessively hot. I personally have it on 24/7 (I know~ I just don't like shutting computers off! >.>;) with a pretty sick cooling fan underneath it and it has been staying cool over the years (around 5-6). Yesterday was the first time I've ever had it overheat and shut off while I was using it on my lap. So I decided it was time to open it up and see how much dust was inside.

I followed this guide on irisvista.com and got to this step and found the space between the vents (or heat sink? idk, so confused) and the fan was filled with dust/dirt/hair.



As much as I was surprised I really shouldn't have been since I never have cleaned it out~

The temperature is now a good 10-15 degrees lower (sitting at around 90-95 F for the hard drive) while on my cooling fan. That's great and all but I would like to know how often I should be doing these steps of taking apart and cleaning out the inside of my laptop.

Thanks for any advice <3!

I had the same result, brought my 24/7 gaming temperature from 93 Celsius down to 72 Celsius... I also reapplied Arctic Silver thermal compound.

If you use your laptop primarily at home, in a room with a carpet, I'd suggest cleaning it out once per 4 months if you know how.
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By Artemicion 2011-05-05 00:53:51
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Obligatory

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 Siren.Kalilla
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By Siren.Kalilla 2011-05-05 02:17:52
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Okay Eburo I'll try doing that and see how it is then. Thanks everyone for your help <3
 Cerberus.Eugene
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By Cerberus.Eugene 2011-05-05 02:24:02
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4 months seems like way overkill to me, is your rug actively shedding or something? I could see you putting up with once a year if you have a very dusty environment, but taking a laptop apart 3 times a year seems like an awful lot of work. And everytime you unseat your heatsink and pop out your cpu you risk doing dmg to them. In any event seeing as if you google your question, these forums show up as the top result, nobody seems to have a professional opinion on it.

PS the fact you mention arctic silver by name made me lol a little.
 Ramuh.Yarly
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By Ramuh.Yarly 2011-05-05 02:41:59
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Reading this thread totally reminded me to do this. Awesome.

Once a year is more than enough... also, please don't use arctic silver, nor should you mention/recommend it to someone who doesn't know much about hardware. Most aftermarket thermal paste performs almost the same... I use arctic cooling mx-2 but that's only because it was on sale and luckily it wasn't as stupid as arctic silver to apply, nor is it electrically conductive.
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By Valefor.Ivaan 2011-05-05 02:48:48
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I usually put a vacuum to the fan entrances and suck at it for a bit every once in a while ^^
 Siren.Kalilla
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By Siren.Kalilla 2011-05-05 02:55:13
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I thought about doing that just figured if the fan spun too fast it might break it or damage it.
 Bahamut.Jetackuu
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By Bahamut.Jetackuu 2011-05-05 02:57:59
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Siren.Kalilla said:
I thought about doing that just figured if the fan spun too fast it might break it or damage it.
As long as the pc is off it will be fine, and Eugene is right, unless you're experienced bad build up (household construction, or sawdust/smoking a lot etc) once a year at the most would be plenty.
 Ramuh.Yarly
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By Ramuh.Yarly 2011-05-05 03:06:39
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Bahamut.Jetackuu said:
Ramuh.Yarly said:
Reading this thread totally reminded me to do this. Awesome.

Once a year is more than enough... also, please don't use arctic silver, nor should you mention/recommend it to someone who doesn't know much about hardware. Most aftermarket thermal paste performs almost the same... I use arctic cooling mx-2 but that's only because it was on sale and luckily it wasn't as stupid as arctic silver to apply, nor is it electrically conductive.
umm. Artic Silver:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835186038&cm_re=thermal_paste-_-35-186-038-_-Product

Quote:
The ARCTIC MX-4 is a metal-free and non-electrically conductive compound

That's arctic cooling, not arctic silver but I can see how you can easily get confused.

This is arctic silver (or at least what people are referring to when they say arctic silver):
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100007&cm_re=arctic_silver-_-35-100-007-_-Product
it was even featured in that video that Artemicion posted!

Arctic silver is brand/company AND product name... so it gets a little confusing.

However, Arctic Silver does have a product called Arctic Silver Ceramique that is indeed non-conductive, but it's a pain to apply just like its conductive counterpart.
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By Bahamut.Jetackuu 2011-05-05 03:11:03
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good point, it's 4am reading details instead of skimming is hard when one cannot see straight
 Siren.Kalilla
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By Siren.Kalilla 2011-05-05 03:22:19
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Artemicion said:
Obligatory

lol, so funny
 Ragnarok.Tuvae
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By Ragnarok.Tuvae 2011-05-05 03:24:14
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oh god i should totally do this. Ive never cleaned my laptop and ive had it for 7 years. The other day it started making this weird buzing noise like there was a beehive inside it >.>
 Lakshmi.Jaguarx
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By Lakshmi.Jaguarx 2011-05-05 04:12:43
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Artemicion said:
Obligatory


This made me lol way harder than it was supposed to! Hahaha
 Bismarck.Josiahfk
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By Bismarck.Josiahfk 2011-05-05 05:19:44
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Ragnarok.Tuvae said:
oh god i should totally do this. Ive never cleaned my laptop and ive had it for 7 years. The other day it started making this weird buzing noise like there was a beehive inside it >.>
you know tuv, there's always a chance...
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 Quetzalcoatl.Bossmaru
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By Quetzalcoatl.Bossmaru 2011-05-05 05:24:23
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I feel bad for leaving my computer on all the time, it's not a laptop though, but generally with all the computers I've owned I have taken the time to open them up and clean out all the dust/whatever that builds up over time.

Pardon me if this is a stupid question cause I'm thinking 'yes I should' but should I shut down my computer more often when I'm not using it?
 Alexander.Hecht
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By Alexander.Hecht 2011-05-05 06:30:39
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Bismarck.Josiahfk said:
Ragnarok.Tuvae said:
oh god i should totally do this. Ive never cleaned my laptop and ive had it for 7 years. The other day it started making this weird buzing noise like there was a beehive inside it >.>
you know tuv, there's always a chance...
 Bahamut.Jetackuu
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By Bahamut.Jetackuu 2011-05-05 12:08:18
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Quetzalcoatl.Bossmaru said:
I feel bad for leaving my computer on all the time, it's not a laptop though, but generally with all the computers I've owned I have taken the time to open them up and clean out all the dust/whatever that builds up over time.

Pardon me if this is a stupid question cause I'm thinking 'yes I should' but should I shut down my computer more often when I'm not using it?

It can go both ways, the surge done to a computer when it's turned on can be just as bad/worse for a computer than leaving it running for long periods of time.

I mean they leave servers running for long periods of time, usually with redundancy so they don't have to power them down.
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By Artemicion 2011-05-05 12:10:52
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Yeah, the process of repeatedly turning on a computer is stressful on the hardware, as a surge of energy is required for startup. IMO it's typically been best to leave it running when applicable for use in general vicinity of time. I'd only turn it off when you have no intention of using it for a prolonged period of time.

Laptops are another story though.
Their general lifespan is 3-5 years tops.
Every desktop I've built has lasted 10+ years.
 Bismarck.Eburo
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By Bismarck.Eburo 2011-05-05 12:22:12
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Cerberus.Eugene said:
4 months seems like way overkill to me, is your rug actively shedding or something? I could see you putting up with once a year if you have a very dusty environment, but taking a laptop apart 3 times a year seems like an awful lot of work. And everytime you unseat your heatsink and pop out your cpu you risk doing dmg to them. In any event seeing as if you google your question, these forums show up as the top result, nobody seems to have a professional opinion on it.

PS the fact you mention arctic silver by name made me lol a little.

Why, is there a joke about that? O_o There's not really anything funny about a product recommendation, maybe someone who is unsure of what thermal compound is will see "arctic silver" and instantly know they've got the right product. It's purchased at Radio Shack by the way.

Anyways, when I open my laptop, the heatsink/fan assembly is right on top, and takes 8 screws to remove. If you don't know how to release static electricity, and have random violent outbursts or the inability to hold something steady for a few seconds, you really shouldn't even be opening your computer. Otherwise, it's child's play.

It couldn't hurt to do it three times a year, maybe the fact you're thinking of how much maintenance work you put into it will help you appreciate and take care of your PC better. Also, think of 20 minutes of technical work vs. 3 months, 30 days, 23 hours, and 40 minutes of everything else.
 Siren.Kalilla
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By Siren.Kalilla 2011-05-05 12:27:20
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I think it also depends on the type/model of laptop. I know mine took 50 minutes just to get to the fan, and I hear about people only having to remove 5 or 8 screws to get to it.
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By Artemicion 2011-05-05 12:29:13
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Siren.Kalilla said:
I think it also depends on the type/model of laptop. I know mine took 50 minutes just to get to the fan, and I hear about people only having to remove 5 or 8 screws to get to it.

Totally depends on the manufacturer.
I'm at a loss when it comes to deciding which brand to buy for laptops. Though I've generally been a fan of Asus products.
Always have been pretty stable and long lasting through the years.
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