Share this Page URL

Chapter 30. Free (or at Least Cheap) Com... > Wiping Gunk off the Monitor - Pg. 291

Free (or at Least Cheap) Computer Maintenance 291 Now for the tough part--inside the system unit. Before you poke your vacuum hose in there, you should be aware of the following precautions: · Use only a vacuum designed for computers or use a can of compressed air to blow out the dust. Don't use a Dust Buster, your regular vacuum cleaner, or your ShopVac. These can suck com- ponents off of your circuit boards and can emit enough static electricity to fry a component. A computer vacuum is gentle and grounded. · Be careful around circuit boards. A strong vacuum can suck components and jumpers right off the boards. Inside Tip Some PCs have a fan that pulls air from the outside and pushes it through the ventilation holes. If the system unit case has openings near the fan, cut a square of sheer hosiery fabric, stretch it over the open- ings, and tape it in place with duct tape keeping the tape away from the openings. Check the filter regularly and replace it whenever dust builds up. · Touch a metal part of the case to discharge any static electricity from your body, and keep your fingers away from the circuit boards, cables, and any other objects inside the case. Take the cover off the system unit and vacuum any dusty areas. Dust likes to collect around the fan, ventilation holes, and disk drives. Try to vacuum the fan blades, too. If you can't get the tip of the vacuum between the blades, gently wipe them off with a cotton swab. Some fans have a filter where the fan is mounted. If you're really ambitious, remove the fan (careful with the wires) and clean the filter. Wiping Gunk off the Monitor If you can write "WASH ME" on your monitor with your fingertip, the monitor needs cleaning. Check the documentation that came with your computer or monitor to see if using window cleaner on the monitor is okay--the monitor might have an antiglare coating that can be damaged by alcohol--or ammonia-based cleaning solutions. (If it's not okay, use water.) Spray the window cleaner (or water) on a paper towel, just enough to make it damp, and then wipe the screen. Don't spray window cleaner or any other liquid directly on the monitor; you don't want moisture to seep in. You can purchase special antistatic wipes for your monitor. These not only clean your monitor safely; they discharge the static electricity to prevent future dust buildup. Inside Tip