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  1. #1
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    Cleaning a slow laptop

    I am not referring to viruses, etc. I have a slow laptop that probably is filled with dust, etc. I have read that there is a way to clean it and the keyboard, but I don't want to screw things up. Can anyone give me some guidance?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I would try getting some cans of compressed air and blow through the air vents on one side, through the PC. At the same time you could hold a vacuum cleaner near the vents on the other side to help move the dust out. These cans can be purchased at most retailers that sell PC's. You can also remove the HD and Ram access panels, carefully remove these and blow through there as well.

    If you are very adventurous you can actually take the laptop apart (be sure you know where all the screws go and how to put the HD and Ram back properly) and do a more thorough cleaning.

    I would go to the web site for your PC and see if you can find more info about this cleaning procedure.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

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    A laptop clogged with dust will not make a PC or laptop run slow on its own; though Ted's comments are very pertinent to a physically clogged up machine. Follow his advice and then consider the rest here:

    How much Ram is in the machine? How much is it using at idle? How much Ram is used when applications are running? How busy is the hard drive - is it swapping out to disk all the time?

    When is the machine slow? During boot, or on the internet, or unresponsive to mouse or keyboard input?

    What antivirus software do you have? Are there any error messages or other warnings evident?

    All those things may be symptoms of other underlying issues unrelated to dust in the fans and keyboard. There are many tips and tricks, but first we need to understand what is making it slow and when.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

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    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    You may have many apps starting with Windows. Each app you install thinks it is so important that it tries to load with Windows. Or an updater loads with Windows. Either way all these apps in background will steal resources.

    Try a little app I like called What's In Startup or a more robust app called Autoruns for Windows. Both will show you what's running in the background.

    These apps will help you sort out and disable or delete these un-necessary apps.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


    Sony Vaio Laptop, 2.53 GHz Duo Core Intel CPU, 8 GB RAM, 320 GB HD
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    Complete PC Specs: By Speccy

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grreatron View Post
    I am not referring to viruses, etc. I have a slow laptop that probably is filled with dust, etc. I have read that there is a way to clean it and the keyboard, but I don't want to screw things up. Can anyone give me some guidance?

    Thanks!
    Go to the manufacturer's website and look for some schematical diagrams on how to disassemble parts; Specifically how to remove the keyboard.
    If your uncomfortable with opening it up or disassembling a laptop to clean it, take it to a professional in a shop somewhere close by.

    Disassembling and cleaning a laptop

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    As Tinto said, more likely your performance issues are from software bloat than anything else. However, it would not be out of the realm of posibility that you no longer have good air flow and may be inadvertantly causing overheating issues. Do the physical cleaning first, then attack the bloat issue.
    Chuck

  7. #7
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    If he does have a heat issue due to dust buildup It may well slow down the computer. Most CPU's now choke back the CPU to reduce load and temp to protect the CPU. So it is a good idea to clean the vents and fans with compressed air first. If that does not improve speed then by all means go the software route.
    Clive

    All typing errors are my own work and subject to patents pending. Except errors by the spell checker. And that has its own patients.

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    Quote Originally Posted by curiousclive View Post
    If he does have a heat issue due to dust buildup It may well slow down the computer. Most CPU's now choke back the CPU to reduce load and temp to protect the CPU. So it is a good idea to clean the vents and fans with compressed air first. If that does not improve speed then by all means go the software route.
    Thermal throttling can and does occur on some CPU's if the BIOS is configured to do so. On it's own, a physically clogged system should not be slow all the time, but, heat kills and over time elevated temperatures can cause a slow degradation in components (e.g. electromigration) which can lead to system failures, crashes and data errors.

    Nonetheless, most likely cause of a slow machine is insufficient RAM to run the OS smoothly, unnecessary or bloated software loading at boot, malware activity (or poorly configured AV software), disk fragmentation, misconfigured OS and poor internet connections. Each have their own casues and own symptoms.

    Having said all that, a holistic approach is required and often there is more than one cause. Fixing a system configuration issue while leaving a machine clogged up with dust is not going the whole nine yards.
    In God we trust; all others must bring data.

    - William Edwards Deming. 1900 - 1993

  9. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I agree completely, but what can you do?
    As is often the case, too little information is provided to begin with in order to provide a decent response.

  10. #10
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    Be careful with using compressed air, if you hit the fan it can overspin and damage the magnets.

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