• Posted: 28 December 2009 03:07 AM

    When installing a new graphics card in this mac pro I noticed how much dust had built up on the inside, inlcuding the mother board.

    Now it does not sound like a great idea to be hoovering the motherboard.

    but does the dust prevent the pieces on the motherboard from functioning properly?

    Is it necessary to clean this from time to time?

    How would it be done?

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    Posted: 28 December 2009 05:48 AM #1

    Yeah, you don’t want too much dust in there. It can cause problems apparently, for reasons entirely unbeknownst to me.

    A can of compressed air should do the job.

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    Posted: 28 December 2009 09:57 AM #2

    Two things

    The Short: Canned air will get the stuff out but it blows it all over the room. If you have a clean freak significant other you might want to use one of those tiny hand vacs and save the canned air for the really tough stuff. With the canned air a particle mask might save you a lot of sneezing.

    The Long: Years ago I was asked to look at a computer that was behaving oddly; shutting down randomly, freezing at odd moments, etc. I opened the case and the inside was stuffed with hair and lint and pet dander. I mean the case was completely full. We pulled a couple of pounds of dog and cat hair out of the thing. After that the Mac ran just fine. So yes, cleaning up the inside occasionally is a good idea.

    [ Edited: 28 December 2009 10:50 AM by geoduck ]


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  • Posted: 28 December 2009 10:00 AM #3

    here is no way I am going anywhere near this thing with a hoover


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    Posted: 28 December 2009 01:39 PM #4

    They do make vacuums designed specifically for electronics. You definitely want to avoid the static discharge that accumulates at the end of a vacuum wand.


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    Posted: 28 December 2009 01:48 PM #5

    Something along the lines of these

    I’ve also seen a lot of AA cell powered units. I’m not endorsing any of these. I’d check with you local computer store and see what they have.


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  • Posted: 29 December 2009 12:27 AM #6

    I’ve found the canned air to be the most handy solution and relatively inexpensive for the desired task. Here in Southern California the dust issue isn’t a worry. Even on a sunny winter day it’s comfortable to do the work outside. In a colder winter climate a garage can do. I don’t suggest spraying out a computer in a regular living space no matter one’s locale.

    One tip: The can and narrow nozzle doesn’t need to be up close to do the job.

    After cleaning I’d also gently reseat any removable cards to be sure the connections are tight and dust particles hadn’t entered the sockets.

    Oh yeah. Be sure the computer is unplugged and either use an anti-static band or be sure the first part of the computer touched isn’t a delicate component (in other words, tap on a metal part of the inside casing before proceeding to discharge static, etc). Dust seems to create a nasty static environment of its own.