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  How damaging can dust be? 
 
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patata Jul 03, 2007, 07:46am EDT Report Abuse
Hi

Can dust and cat or dog hair damage a computer?

Thanks


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El Jul 03, 2007, 08:21am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
YES!!! I live in a 2 bedroom house with 2 indoor longhair cats and I clean out the inside of my computer at least 4 times a year. Most times when friends tell me their computer crashed and ask wilI I come take a look, I find their components stuffed with dust. Dust kills.
Jared

B Jul 03, 2007, 08:46am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
Over a short period of time: No.

Over a long period of time without any attempt to remove it: Yes

Dust is an insulator. When it builds up on heatsinks in large amounts, it impedes the heat sinks ability to dissipate heat. Therefore causing increasing temperatures which can lead to hardware failure. Dust build up on fans also decrease there ability to move air.

angryhippy Jul 03, 2007, 09:56am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
I believe electrical current can be transmitted through a hair, although I'm not sure. The real danger is clogged cooling avenues leading to decreased cooling ability. I have 5 cats and LOTS of friggin cat hair. Especially now when they are shedding the winter coat. Even with filters on my intakes I accumulate lots of hair and dust. I need to clean my system at least once a month. Especially bad is my Zalman CNPS 7000. The fins are so close together the hair/dust mixture really clogs it up quick. My Thermalright 120 extreme will hopefully be better. At least I won't have the problem of trying to access the fin slots behind a fan as was the case with the Zalman. I have an ink pen with the ink cart removed, taped to the end of a vacuum cleaner nozzle. It works great for vacuuming out small tight spots. I attach a flex straw to the end of the pen once in a while. That lets me flatten it slightly and insert it into my ROMS to vacuum out any dust accumulated in there. Ya I know it sounds lame, but it works quite well.

Get Hippied out!
http://www.angryhippy.net
Me at work: http://tinyurl.com/3nvncb3
My rig! A Blah blah.With a blah blah! SWEET! http://tinyurl.com/4yujmff
Da Beast! http://tinyurl.com/3sapr2b
i5 3570K 4.6GHz http://snipurl.com/26r3cot
Win7-8 Pro 64bit
john albrich Jul 03, 2007, 10:05am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?

In addition to above, it can of course also permanently damage the read/write heads or positioning systems of removable media devices such as floppy, jazz, tape, micro-disk, and other drives.

It can also lead to mechanical and/or optical contamination of the read/write head positioning system of optical drives, resulting in decreased performance, data errors, and drive failure. Optical contamination can usually be eliminated by compressed-gas cleaning. Mechanical contamination can sometimes be so bad the drive is ir-redeemable.

Adam Kolak Jul 03, 2007, 10:08am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
Compressed air works. My dad's got a Industrial Air Compressor in the garage, so I just pop the gun nozzle adapter onto the air tube and shoot out the dust of my PCs. But if you don't have one of those, then a can of compressed air does the trick.

Adam Kolak
Moderator, Hardware Analysis
adam@hardwareanalysis.com
DFI LP P35-T2RS | Xeon Quad @ 3.2Ghz | 4GB DDR2-1000 | 8800GT 512MB | See Profile
angryhippy Jul 03, 2007, 10:55am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
You have to watch out for those big compressors. Forcing air at high speed through a constricted opening creates heat allowing for condensation after it cools. Sometimes those commercial grade air compressors give you a bit of moisture along with the air. Especially so with the first blast.

Get Hippied out!
http://www.angryhippy.net
Me at work: http://tinyurl.com/3nvncb3
My rig! A Blah blah.With a blah blah! SWEET! http://tinyurl.com/4yujmff
Da Beast! http://tinyurl.com/3sapr2b
i5 3570K 4.6GHz http://snipurl.com/26r3cot
Win7-8 Pro 64bit
Adam Kolak Jul 03, 2007, 10:57am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
Yewdohnough Jack said:
You have to watch out for those big compressors. Forcing air at high speed through a constricted opening creates heat allowing for condensation after it cools. Sometimes those commercial grade air compressors give you a bit of moisture along with the air. Especially so with the first blast.

Yeah I know, but if you spray it nice and gentle and in short bursts its fine.

Adam Kolak
Moderator, Hardware Analysis
adam@hardwareanalysis.com
DFI LP P35-T2RS | Xeon Quad @ 3.2Ghz | 4GB DDR2-1000 | 8800GT 512MB | See Profile
john albrich Jul 03, 2007, 11:10am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
Yewdohnough Jack said:
You have to watch out for those big compressors....


Most of those compressors also output oil vapor in the air as well. Over time that deposits oil on the component surfaces and cause even more problems with dust. (That's why "regular" air compressors aren't used to fill SCUBA tanks...the concentration of oil in the air is dangerous to breath)

Adam Kolak Jul 03, 2007, 11:23am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
I have never noticed any oil residue on any the computers I have cleaned out with the air compressor.

Adam Kolak
Moderator, Hardware Analysis
adam@hardwareanalysis.com
DFI LP P35-T2RS | Xeon Quad @ 3.2Ghz | 4GB DDR2-1000 | 8800GT 512MB | See Profile
john albrich Jul 03, 2007, 11:56am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
Adam K. said:
I have never noticed any oil residue on any the computers I have cleaned out with the air compressor.


It varies from compressor to compressor. Some are quite bad...others relatively clean (but still unsafe for humans to breathe)

Adam Kolak Jul 03, 2007, 12:00pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
john albrich said:
Adam K. said:
I have never noticed any oil residue on any the computers I have cleaned out with the air compressor.


It varies from compressor to compressor. Some are quite bad...others relatively clean (but still unsafe for humans to breathe)

Well I sure hope the one we have won't damage my PC. I try not to blow it out to often with the air compressor, maybe 2 to 4 times per year.

Adam Kolak
Moderator, Hardware Analysis
adam@hardwareanalysis.com
DFI LP P35-T2RS | Xeon Quad @ 3.2Ghz | 4GB DDR2-1000 | 8800GT 512MB | See Profile
Fighting41 Tomcat Jul 03, 2007, 12:08pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
Just a note--it's usually not the hair that clogs as much, but the dander. All animals, be it our cats and dogs or us humans, shed dander as a natural part of our skins renewing themselves. This is what dust is mostly comprised of--dander. This is what tends to wind up inside our PC's and coat heatsinks, fans, and other stuff. Lint comes close in second place, especially if your PC is close to a dryer that vents indoors. Drywall dust can also be a problem. Pollen and other outdoor dust are biggies if you have open windows where your PC is at.

How damaging can this be? Well, simply put, there's a reason why comp parts are so squeaky clean when they are shipped to you--they're not meant to run well when dirty. I know it's almost impossible to keep that way, but we can try.

Other folks have posted in cleaning the insides of the PC, but I also try to take a holistic approach toward dust control. If the surroundings are clean in the room where the PC is at, then there is less dust in the air to be pulled into the PC.

It helps if you keep the area around your computer clean. I know many folks forget to vacuum the floor near where their PC's sit, leaving tons of dust bunnies to cluster over time in that area. If there are many dust bunnies outside the computer, can you imagine how many are going to be inside, where fans blow and compress them onto parts over time. No time to vacuum? Try dusting with a Swiffer duster--that stufff works wonder. Just NEVER use this INSIDE the computer because it's a static hazard.

Ensure that the air filter in the HVAC is regularly cleaned or changed (depending on the type you have) and put an extra filter over any vents in the room. Having your airducts professionally vacuumed once a few years works, too--you wouldn't believe the amount of crap that tends to come out of those ducts! Have good air circulation in the room--this prevents dust from settling too quickly. This may be hard for some of us, but keeping the little furry residents of the house from the comp room might help, too. I know it was hard for me because my cat Murdock loved to watch movies on the comp or listen to MP3's!

Granted, your room doesn't have to be as clean as the clean room of a highbay at a satellite manufacturing facility...though there is no harm with that!

"You've got to love what you're doing. If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or the soreness or all the aches and pains, and continue to play for a long, long time. "
--Gordie Howe, one of the best hockey players ever
Adam Kolak Jul 03, 2007, 12:11pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
I have my PC up about 4 feet or so off the ground, it helps keep most dust out.

Adam Kolak
Moderator, Hardware Analysis
adam@hardwareanalysis.com
DFI LP P35-T2RS | Xeon Quad @ 3.2Ghz | 4GB DDR2-1000 | 8800GT 512MB | See Profile
Bitmap Jul 03, 2007, 12:12pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
I've noticed if you have a good air-cooling system in your computer (3-4 fans at least) that the dust build-up is much less than many factory PCs (Dell, eMachines, HP) which tend to have only one fan, or no fan at all. I've cleaned out a couple of HPs with nearly a quarter-inch layer of dust just sitting there on the bottom of the case. I have 2 80mm intake, and 1 120mm exhaust fan in my case, so the air circulation is fairly good.

________
"None of you understand. I'm not locked up in here with you. YOU'RE locked up in here with ME." - Walter Kovacs, A.K.A. Rorschach.
Hans Moleman Jul 03, 2007, 01:43pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
I'm sure most of you know this, but the only thing worse than dust, is cigarette smoke. When dust and cigarette smoke mix inside your PC they make a gross rubbery kind of filth that sticks to everything inside your computer. I fixed a smokers computer once and vowed never to do it again. That thing was disgusting. Every single component inside the machine had that filth on it.

The girl had originally brought it to me because her CD drive stopped reading CDs. That was likely a result of the optical lens getting covered with all that filth. Cleaning that computer out was hard work. Compressed air can't even start to remove the sticky dust like filth that sticks inside a computer like that.

AMD Athlon64 X2 3800+
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CORSAIR ValueSelect 2GB (2 x 1 GB) DDR 400
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G. G. Jul 03, 2007, 01:44pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
you know...... I have several recipes for those long hair cats and dogs.... very tasty... so if anyone wants to try out one of my famous recipes... just send a note... mmmmmm mmmmm finger licking good.....

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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angryhippy Jul 03, 2007, 02:16pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
G. G. said:
you know...... I have several recipes for those long hair cats and dogs.... very tasty... so if anyone wants to try out one of my famous recipes... just send a note... mmmmmm mmmmm finger licking good.....

I've actually had both. They have this food thing in Greece. It's called Suvlaki. Chunks of marinated meat on a skewer with oregano grilled. These guys sell them on the corners. Well I used to go to this one and get 3 or4 of those everyday for lunch for a whole summer. When I got back home I got a letter from my cousin telling me the guy had gotten busted for using cat and dog meat. Tasted OK to me. Sometimes I wonder what else I've eaten. I remember one time i was in this fast chinese food place and i got this curried chicken. I walked up to the lady and said "you know I've been eatin' chicken for 40 years or so now, and I've never seen this part of a chicken. Can you tell me what it is?" " Her reply? "That chicken! You no like you throw away and leave!"

Man I go through a pound of tobacco about every two weeks and I never noticed any goo on the inside of my case. And I've been using the same case for like 4 years. Now the monitor screen, that's a different story. When HWA starts lookin beige I know it's time for a shot of windex and a wipe.

Get Hippied out!
http://www.angryhippy.net
Me at work: http://tinyurl.com/3nvncb3
My rig! A Blah blah.With a blah blah! SWEET! http://tinyurl.com/4yujmff
Da Beast! http://tinyurl.com/3sapr2b
i5 3570K 4.6GHz http://snipurl.com/26r3cot
Win7-8 Pro 64bit
Bitmap Jul 03, 2007, 02:40pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
So, not only do us humans get lung cancer, but cigarettes are now harmful to computers as well?? What next!? :P

Happily, I don't smoke. :)

________
"None of you understand. I'm not locked up in here with you. YOU'RE locked up in here with ME." - Walter Kovacs, A.K.A. Rorschach.
patata Jul 03, 2007, 04:09pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?
Thanks for all the tips i think all go off and clean my pc now :)

john albrich Jul 03, 2007, 05:14pm EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: How damaging can dust be?

I found out thanks to my doctor, to never use an ultrasonic humidifier in the same room as my computer. It apparently makes the water droplets so small, that it makes any dust stick to every plastic surface possible...including CDs and DVDs still inside their cases. The optical lenses of the drives were also coated with this very difficult to remove white residue (and I don't smoke)

Stopped using the humidifier in that room, and the problem went away.



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