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Thread: Laptop Cleaning

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    Laptop Cleaning

    In the newsletter titled Hybrid Hard Drives Finally Come of Age an information week article about cleaning laptops (http://www.informationweek.com/news/...yText=&isPrev=) was mentioned. I've read through this article and noticed a few things:

    The article says to use a cotton swab which I agree with but, I add one more thing which is isopropyl alcohol (commonly known as rubbing alcohol). isopropyl alcohol will attract more dust, remove the effects of oxidization (rust) and will dry quite quickly. When building a PCB from scratch we (my class) was taught to use isopropyl alcohol to clean off all sorts of stuff off our boards, especially what I'll call rust (if memory serves it's not technically rust when copper oxidizes) which forms quite quickly when heating (soldering) a copper board.

    The article also mentions the use of Compressed air. I've heard people swear by using compressed air while others say it will completely screw up a system. I've not actually tried using compressed air with my system but, I have vacuumed it before (which is what the manual says to do). I'm honestly not sure whether I should try compressed air or not but, I will mention that my laptop uses a single fan which takes air in from the bottom and blows it out the side (it appears to have a heat sink in front of the fan which probably wraps around the fan or something).

    In the past I have had issues with my fan but not since I opened my case (or really just removed the keyboard panel) and cleaned it out real good with alcohol and a cotton swab then started using an additional cooling fan which sits under everything but, the fan and provides some lift.

    Something I thought the article should have mentioned more about was some environmental aspects that not everyone thinks about (even if they're common sense). For instance: My grandmothers tablecloth is horrible for my laptop since if I lay my laptop directly on the table the cloth will get stuck in my intake (which again is on the bottom) and may actually melt if I leave it there too long (it's a plastic type material tablecloth).

    Another more obvious problem is areas with heavy dust.

    There's also humid area's (not mentioned in most manuals) which may not only increase oxidization rates but, also trap heat or even short out a laptop.

    Carpet is also quite bad for the same reason as the tablecloth.

    Really unless you can provide enough lift to keep your intake off the ground the best solution is probably a polished wood counter (doesn't conduct heat well and so long as it's not dusty you don't have to worry about particles).

    Finally, if overheating is a major problem I'd advise a cooling fan attachment. Mine is just a simple USB powered fan that basically fits under half my laptop and keeps my RAM/processor cooler while providing enough lift that my fan isn't suffocated by carpet or cloth.

    Any other tips or opinions on the whole compressed air thing are welcomed.
    Current Machine:HP Compaq 6910p with 4GB RAM, Core2Duo @ 2.20 GHz, Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset Family, Avast free, Malwarebyte's free, TP-Link wireless card (as the built in card has nothing but problems with empty solutions): The card identifies as "Atheros AR922X Wireless Network Adapter". [Not the best machine but it does internet, docs, and vids, and some games (PvZ, Spore)]

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    Compressed air is OK when done from a distance of 8 or more inches from the end of the little plastic straw. I personally would not blast it close up. As far as static electricity, I worry more about the cats getting near my laptops than walking with them on carpeting.
    Chuck

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    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    I use an air brush. The air flow is much 'softer'...

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    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I have used compressed air for years with good success. The only caution I would have is to keep the cpu cooler and video card fans from spinning by holding the blades to keep them form spinning too fast and ruining the bearings.

    Jerry

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    Lounger lostwages's Avatar
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    You should NEVER us alcohol on your screen.

    I found this at CES 2010 when Computer Outlook interviewed Doug Pircher of International Supplies.....

    International Supplies distributes a screen cleaner named Purosol which is safe for all computer, laptop, plasma & LCD TV, and hand-held device screens. It is non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

    I tried it on a 3-year old laptop and it did a fantastic job of cleaning the screen, even of cigarette smoke residue which other screen cleaners had failed to remove.
    http://www.internationalsupplies.com...d=22&Itemid=40
    Happy Computing,

    Rich

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    Silver Lounger Banyarola's Avatar
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    I bought some DustOff not long ago for my flatscreen TV and haven't used it yet but I di use it in my monitor and I was amazed at how clean it made the screen.....
    Purosol is also very good...

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    Interesting. I always use alcohol on my screen and haven't noticed any issues because of it (I've bad pixels and such but that's just bad hardware and abuse). I do conceive however that since every screen is different it may be a good idea to check online or see what the different types of screen (particularly material) are.

    I remember when I got my desktop (or rather my mom got hers) that there were two types of screens offered, 1 that had a better quality screen but wasn't as scratch resistant and 1 that was very scratch resistant but, not quite as good. It's important to note that by different types of screens I don't mean LCD vs LED vs CRT. Those are the technology behind the glass (sort of speak). The real question is what the glass/plastic is made of and how to clean the different types of materials found therein.

    I should also note that my mother claims that a film was left behind on that screen when I cleaned it with alcohol (it's her monitor and she usually uses something like windex).

    Quote Originally Posted by lostwages View Post
    You should NEVER us alcohol on your screen.

    I found this at CES 2010 when Computer Outlook interviewed Doug Pircher of International Supplies.....

    International Supplies distributes a screen cleaner named Purosol which is safe for all computer, laptop, plasma & LCD TV, and hand-held device screens. It is non-toxic and environmentally friendly.

    I tried it on a 3-year old laptop and it did a fantastic job of cleaning the screen, even of cigarette smoke residue which other screen cleaners had failed to remove.
    http://www.internationalsupplies.com...d=22&Itemid=40
    Current Machine:HP Compaq 6910p with 4GB RAM, Core2Duo @ 2.20 GHz, Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset Family, Avast free, Malwarebyte's free, TP-Link wireless card (as the built in card has nothing but problems with empty solutions): The card identifies as "Atheros AR922X Wireless Network Adapter". [Not the best machine but it does internet, docs, and vids, and some games (PvZ, Spore)]

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    The Owner's Manual for my Dell laptop states "NOTICE: To prevent damage to the antiglare coating, do not wipe the display with soap or alcohol".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kropot68 View Post
    The Owner's Manual for my Dell laptop states "NOTICE: To prevent damage to the antiglare coating, do not wipe the display with soap or alcohol".
    Figures. When I cleaned the screen it was after many years of having the desktop. I didn't even think to check the manual for something like that since I hadn't had any problems prior.

    Now that I think about it I'm not even sure I have the original manual (I do of course have an electronic version somewhere).
    Current Machine:HP Compaq 6910p with 4GB RAM, Core2Duo @ 2.20 GHz, Mobile Intel 965 Express Chipset Family, Avast free, Malwarebyte's free, TP-Link wireless card (as the built in card has nothing but problems with empty solutions): The card identifies as "Atheros AR922X Wireless Network Adapter". [Not the best machine but it does internet, docs, and vids, and some games (PvZ, Spore)]

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