8th June 2006
Do you have monsters living in your computer? You might, and not even know it. Well, they are not really monsters, but they can create a monster of headaches if you do not deal with them. These monsters are called dust bunnies. Sure the name might seem cute, but by allowing them to live in your computer you are only asking for problems. Dust and dirt are in every environment. Some areas more than others. If your computer is in an office of a company that does construction or manufacturing then the amount of dirt in your office can be many times higher than let’s say a doctor’s office. The dust and dirt in the air is sucked into your computer by the fans that are trying to keep your computer cool. This dust is then deposited on top of the many components that make up your computer. One of the worst places that dust can collect is on the heat sink that is on top of your processor. As your processor processes all of the daily tasks that you do on your computer it generates a great deal of heat. Every computer has a heat sink and fan on the processor to draw the heat away. If the processor is not kept cool, in short time it will stop and refuse to work until it is cooled down. Dust and dirt collect in the fins of the heat sink and severely limit its ability to keep the processor cool. Dust bunnies can also collect on the fans that are on your computer. The two main fans are on the processor and on your power supply. Through time these fans will slow down and eventually cease to operate. The monsters in your computer will also affect your hard drive and components such as your network card and video card. Dust is a conductor of electricity and can cause the circuits to short out and basically fry the component. How do you evict the dust bunnies from your computer? You will need two pieces of equipment. One is a can of compressed air which you can buy at any electronics or computer store and the other is your household vacuum cleaner. Open your computer case and take a look around. Don’t be afraid of the monsters in there because, little do they know, their days are numbered. Use the can of compressed air to dislodge the dust and dirt from all of the components. Keep the nozzle about 6 – 7 inches away from the area you are spraying. Be prepared to jump back because more than likely this will create a large dust cloud. After you have dislodged the dust bunnies use the vacuum cleaner to send them to their final resting place. While you have vacuum around the computer, take a quick sweep around the outside concentrating on the areas where you plug in your mouse, monitor, and other peripherals. Depending on where your computer is located will determine the frequency of extermination of the dust bunnies. As a general practice, every 3 months should be adequate.