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PC Maintenance

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by Error 404, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Error 404

    Error 404 New Member

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    I've decided to clean my PC today, as its getting a bit dusty. I have two questions!
    1) Am I able to clean my CPU heatsink with running water? I want to get all the dust off of it.
    2) Will oiling my fans make them quieter? My CPU fan is very loud starting up, I want to make it nice and quiet again.
    Any help will be appreciated!
  2. JATownes

    JATownes

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    I used water to clean my HSF once. It dried and was fine. And yes, oil will help quiet yur fans and keep them running smooth. Good luck. :)

    I use sewing machine oil.
    Error 404 says thanks.
  3. Error 404

    Error 404 New Member

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    I'll try using water, and I've got some nice sewing machine oil as well. I think I'll do some better cable management as well, improve the airflow.
  4. cdawall where the hell are my stars

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    you could just use compressed air on the HSF should be alot faster than the water
  5. douglatins

    douglatins

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    Yes compressed air is better than water, i can never wait enought to dry fully
  6. zCexVe

    zCexVe

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    Water+dust+electricity is not going to be a good combination.:D
    I recommend not to use oil for fans as when they get dry,it will make the situation worse.Can you use white grease instead?
  7. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891 New Member

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    Get some air in the can.... why would you clean it with water?

    Also, why are you oiling the fans? They don't need to be oiled
  8. renozi New Member

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    Over time dust can build up on the fins of a heat sink and using a can of air to blow it off still leaves tiny dust particles attached to the fins. So water and maybe a brush can be used to get all that off. Yes, it takes time for it to dry but the cleaner surface of the fins would attract less dust than fins with some dust on it because you have something for the dust to build on. Plus using a can of compressed air, no matter what it says on the can about environmentally clean or ozone safe, is equivalent to driving a car for a year last time I read.

    But yes, dust is inevitable especially in my 1200 case which moves a lot of air and has 9 120mm fans and a 200mm fan. So I use water and a brush to get all the dust off my TRUE and 99% isopropyl alcohol to get the old thermal paste off once about every 3 months (depends on how lazy I am). I clean my fan filters every weekend because my pc runs almost 24/7.

    I don't know about oiling the fans...maybe WD-40? anyone try that?
  9. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891 New Member

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    yea, I understand that dust builds up on the fins, fans, etc ...

    So its worth it to tear down your PC to remove "tiny" dust particles.

    I could understand doing that if it hasnt been cleaned in a year or 2 ... but every few months? lol, thats crazy. Also, if you need to oil your fans... its time for new fans. oiling them will not make a bit of difference.
  10. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Most 80m/120mm fans are sealed and do not require oiling. If the do need oiling, sewing machine oil is the way to go and only a very small drop is needed. Do not use WD-40. Water and a soft brush are fine on an aluminum/copper heatsink as long as it's taken off the motherboard first of course! Used compressed air to get it completely dry.
  11. renozi New Member

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    hey, I have a LOT of dust moving in my room! There's no way to control it! Lots of people go in and out of my room so they leave a lot of skin cells and fibers from their clothes. yeah, I know it's a little excessive to do it every few months but if you had this many fans and this much dust you'd do it too!
  12. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891 New Member

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    skin cells?

    regualr mainteance on a PC is very common every few months... but tearing down a PC to clean under a sink is just off the wall... even with a lot of fans

    And if that is the case, wouldnt it be easier to just add a few fan filters?
  13. renozi New Member

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    LOL yes skin cells, the average human shed about 1.5 pounds a year.

    And I don't really tear down my pc to clean it. Removing my fans and heatsink is pretty quick, it's the waiting to dry part that's long.

    You mean fan filters on each of the fans inside my case? That's something I haven't thought of, thanks! Maybe that will control the dust.
  14. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891 New Member

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    I think it'll help... Sure beats removing that stuff on a monthly time frame.

    I think newegg and directron sell them. or i'm sure you can visit your local hardware store and find something
    renozi says thanks.
  15. OmegaAI

    OmegaAI New Member

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    Oiling the fans will help somewhat with the noise, but most of the it comes from teh fans cutting through the air.
  16. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    whaddya think dust IS? little dead flakes of people.
  17. Error 404

    Error 404 New Member

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    I don't have access to compressed air, and I cbf going out and buying a can just to clean all my heatsinks. I'll wash my CPU HS with water and a brush, then use a hairdryer to dry it quickly. The other ones I'll use a brush with. Compressed air for me = my lungs. :)
    I'm doing a total rebuild because it is more conveniant for cleaning everything, and my computer needs serious cable management.
    It also has quite a lot of dust going through it, idk where it all comes from but I know it needs to be gotten rid of. I also need to hook up my 92mm fan to my power supply, but have been too lazy to do so until now. I've had my PC for 5 months now, and it needs a good clean!

    The CPU fan is annoying me also; when I switch on my comp, it makes an awful "wharrrrrrrrarrarrarr" sound for a few minutes then settles to a dull whine. Oiling it and getting rid of any dust in it will hopefully get rid of that issue.
    Thanks for people's help!
  18. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    water + heat = corrosion

    if you have copper, it will corrode rather fast the way you just mentioned. i did this with a zalman copper cooler once, and a week later half the heatsink was growing some funky green stuff.

    The CPU fan noise is cause the bearings are stuffed. Oiling it will only remove the noise - it wont stop the bearings getting worse, and outright seizing on you in a few months. just buy a new fan.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2009
    Error 404 says thanks.
  19. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891 New Member

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    I understand that. Its actually made up of a lot more then just skin cells.
  20. Melvis

    Melvis

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    Yes and yes, ive done both for yrs now and no problem what so ever ;)

    Just make sure u run the fan separate for awhile to run the excess off so it doesn't get on components etc.
  21. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891 New Member

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    lol and its really worth it
  22. Melvis

    Melvis

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    Well for the heat sink i only ever do it if the dust is that caked on there and that simple air pressure will not remove it, some really old comps that never been cleaned its almost impossible to get the dust off with just compressed air, so taking it off and cleaning it with water is the only way left. This happens very rarely tho, and only if its a must, but with a good case and filters, compressed air does great for the most part.

    I use grease in a can for fans that get noisy, does wonders, my 8600GT's fan got real bad once, got the grease in a can and its been quiet ever since :) and that was almost a yr ago.

    So all in all yes it is worth it, and its something that doesn't happen often, so im sure if you have a spare few hrs to get that done, then you wont have to do it for ages after that.
  23. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891 New Member

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    Again, air in the can once a month and the dust doesnt get "caked" on

    People are taking the most simple task of Pc maintanice and turning it into a house hold chore
  24. Melvis

    Melvis

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    Thats right, and thats what i do, i use compressed air every month to clean mine out, thats all it needs, and since i have filters it rarely gets dusty inside the case anyway.

    But what iam saying is for people that DON'T do regular maintenance on there PC's and have collected a F load of dust after many yrs, then compressed air doesn't work, it sets like glue sorta thing, and turns like into a solid, its nasty.
  25. Morrison5891

    Morrison5891 New Member

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    I agree 100%

    But now if someone doesnt clean out their Pc for a year, 2 years, etc ... they most likely have no experince in computers... there for shouldnt be pulling it apart.

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