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Best way to 'clean' a laptop without opening it?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Black Panther, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    I'm going to web-note the seller about this but I'd want to see your opinions first..

    So a year ago my parents bought two MSI GT640 laptops, one for each.

    Lately my dad's been complaining that the fan was running loud and asked me to check the temps.

    Having 2 perfectly identical machines in the same house and ambient temperature it was easy to do a reliable comparison. Using realtemp on both systems just showing the desktop with no background processes except the basic ones - I got 45 degrees for mum's machine, and 60 degrees for dad's. The latter put me off from testing load temps..

    Probably dad's accumulated more dirt and fluff inside since he uses it for ~ 7 hours per day as opposed to mum's 1 hour a day...

    But the problem lies here. I turned the laptop upside down, it seems easy to remove the bottom for air-blowing. But there's a sticker covering the crucial parts which need to be removed, saying "warranty void if tampered with". :wtf: So taking it apart is out of the question.

    Is there a way to clean it effectively then? There's still 2 more years remaining of warranty, so that sticker is kinda precious for now...
    I know I can blow out the vent at the side with compressed air, but wouldn't that just dislodge the dirt and re-lodge it elsewhere inside? :confused:

    I hate to think of the fate of this laptop if I leave it like this for 2 more years. :eek:

    I do clean my own laptop regularly by opening it, and even replaced TIM for gpu and cpu.. but mine never had that sticker.

    What are your views?
  2. Beertintedgoggles

    Beertintedgoggles

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    The idea would be to dislodge the dirt/dust actually. Blow the compressor into the exhaust vent, then blow it into the fan intake, then repeat a few times. Also try to blow the air into any other vented intakes. Repeat it a few times and the temps should drop significantly if it's as dirty as you say. By repeating the steps you should be able to get the dislodged dirt/dust outside the laptop without needing to open it.
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  3. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    I would say if the manufacturer locks the access panel with a sticker voiding the warranty, I would address it with support. Seems to me if they don't want you to clean it, they need to offer the service for free.

    I know that is a long time to go w/o the laptop just to clean it, but maybe you can get something in writing that will bypass the sticker.

    To me if my laptop was overheating and they wouldn't allow a way to clean it, it would make me want to burn it and RMA it. So they can either help you or replace the laptop;)
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  4. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    Is it safe to use a large air-compressor instead of canned air? The air-pressure is much greater and it can do the job much more efficiently.
  5. Beertintedgoggles

    Beertintedgoggles

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    When cleaning the girlfriend's laptop or co-workers I use the large air compressor we have at work. I prefer it over the canned air. Some might complain about spinning the fan too fast, just use it in short bursts and it'll be fine. All of the systems I've cleaned (starting about 3 years ago or maybe more... damn time is moving too fast) are still running fine.

    Edit: Just for the sake of clarity, do it with the laptop OFF!
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  6. Jstn7477

    Jstn7477

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    Use a paper clip if you can to stop the fans, as spinning them with compressed air can cause damage to the bearings and/or the electromagnet driver IC. Other than that, the advice to use an air compressor is quite sound.
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    Crunching for Team TPU More than 25k PPD
  7. Velvet Wafer

    Velvet Wafer New Member

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    in my opinion, it also could help, to blow in air from the exhaust side, and hold a vacuum cleaner with as much power als possible against the intake on the bottom at the same time...
    after a few times spraying, it should be much cleaner than before :)
  8. Beertintedgoggles

    Beertintedgoggles

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    Actually a good idea! The reasoning is any electromagnetic motor (fan or whatever) is actually a generator as well. So by spinning the fan using an outside force will induce a voltage in the wires.

    So the better idea, stop the fan from spinning. Crazy beer way that has done me well so far, just use short bursts.
  9. dorsetknob

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    Dorset where else eh?
    "" Ello ""

    You should Jam the fan before reverse blowing air thru the vent
    DC motors are motors when powered but become generators (AC) when spun by hand/air
    you would not want to feed the ic/components with ANY AC VOLTAGE & CURRENT

    unless of course your looking to rma them under warrenty

    if you got a old working heatsink fan connect it to a volt/ammeter then spin it up useing compressed air
    look at your meter and see the voltage/ampage thats generated this is Simmiler to what you might feed into your equipment unless you jam that fan

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