Cleaning Dust Inside Dimension XPS?


After installing a DVD drive and some memory, I've noticed that the inside of my Dimension XPS Gen 2 is very dusty.  Primarily, the dust is not on the motherboard/components, but rather, is collected in the corners and in small areas (even though I only had my PC for about 6 months).  I heard that dust can insulate heat, so would it be a wise idea to clean the dust?  Would it be wise to clean it regularly?  And how would I clean it?

Thanks for your time,


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3 Replies

Re: Cleaning Dust Inside Dimension XPS?


It is wise to clean inside a system regularly, I clean inside the case every six to eight months, using canned air [please read the instructions prior to using] and a small soft brush to clean the fans, grills and openings. For more general hints about computer cleaning, read the following, 


 Prior to opening the case, read the instructions in your owner's manual, regarding electric shock and electrostatic discharge


Message Edited by shesagordie on 08-16-2004 12:02 AM


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Re: Cleaning Dust Inside Dimension XPS?

Well, you've (re)opened one of the great cans of worms. You will get at least as many opinions on the proper method for cleaning a PC as there are PC owners.

There is little doubt that it needs to be done - frequency will depend on your conditions. I've seen PCs that are chock full of dust bunnies in just a few months, others that can go years without popping the top. Eventually, any PC not kept in a filtered clean room will need some attention.

The biggest argument revolves around how to do it - suction or blowing (no lewd joke intened, much) Some people claim that a regular household vacuum cleaner can induce bad static elecitricity. Some claim using canned air can force dust into small places and lodge it there. Both warnings have merit, but I think those are extreme cases.

My personal method is to use a vacuum to grab the big stuff, such as you see in the corners and along edges of motherboard, and to draw dust out of the power supply and other fans. Then grab the canned air to blow it out of hard to reach places, and especially out of the CPU (and other) cooler. FWIW, once I had a P-II heatskink that was just about solidly packed with dust - that took some work to clean out. Fortunately, that machine wasn't run very much, or very long.

While you have it open, be sure to check that all cards and cables are properly seated.

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Re: Cleaning Dust Inside Dimension XPS?

Personally I clean my system 3 times a year.  I take it outside and put it on the picnic table and blow it out with compressed air.  For the cooling fans I can access like the CPU and graphics card,  I use a Q-Tip dampened with Windex to wipe the fan blades to remove the stuck on dirt.  About once a year I go the extra step and reseat all the cards, memory and the processor as well as check all the cables to insure they are secure.  
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