Laptop-oscopy – Dust Removal Surgery

Cleaning your laptop can be quite tricky and dangerous to your machine if you do it wrong. Why clean it at all, you ask? Well, if you’re okay with paying a few hundred bucks to a service center to do something as ridiculously easy as dusting the inside of your laptop, go right ahead.

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Well, I donno what laptop-brand you have but mine’s a Lenovo Y460, so I’m going to stick with what I know while you use your God-given common sense to extrapolate. Start by getting yourself a rag cloth, not the fuzzy hand-towel kind but a smooth-fabric one. You’ll absolutely need a soft brush, not the one you use each morning and definitely not the makeup tool that women use to apply blush. This soft-brush is something painters often use to execute the more subtle shades. As long as the bristles are smooth and non-rough you’re all set.

Turn your laptop over, position it on something secure so as not to scratch the top of the lid and let’s begin ‘surgery’. Take a small screwdriver (this depends on the screw-type holding your machine together) and unscrew the important sections, not the entire ensemble, by which I mean the outer frame itself.

You’ll find screws holding this outer frame of your laptop’s base together. Do not mess with this one because the screws alone don’t hold this base-frame in place and any force you might apply to get it to give could end up making things worse.

My Lenovo has three sections covered by design-perforated lids to keep the inside ventilated. One of them I flip open using my fingers (this is a small area). The other two are bigger, held down by four screws each. Open them up, place them safely to one side and pick up the soft brush.

After this your logic will tell you how to perform dust removal surgery on your machine. For those of you who’re finding yourselves functioning a little slow today, this process entails you using the soft-brush to brush away at the insides of your machine.

You’ll be able to see the battery-heating metal-bars, the hard drives, the chips and plenty of other green-hued electricity propagating stuff. Because you hold in your hand a tool that’s quite soft, you needn’t worry about damaging or scratching any of the inner components of your machine. Now you know why I insisted on this earlier—I repeat, do not use toothbrushes.

Why are we doing this crazy surgery, you ask? Dust is a mean bunch of critters that accumulate inside your laptop. The mere fact that they sit on your chips means electrical flow is in some small way interrupted and, the older your laptop gets (like my 4-year old veteran survivor), this causes over-heating and, in rare cases, mini electrical-bursts that make your machine shut down for security reasons. This is just a small scenario of the chaos dust will certainly cause in their ever-growing reunion party inside your machine.

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The most important zone in your laptop you’ll need to clean is that small rotating fan dragging cool air in and puffing hot air out. This is obviously where dust first goes as it rides on the cooler air outside coming into your machine. You’re probably seeing the fan right now. Mine has two screws holding it down nice and firm, so unscrewing them, lifting the fan out and cleaning the vents has revealed to me once and for all that veritable dust orgies take place inside the fan-zone!

Remember not to remove anything you don’t know to put back or change anything you have no idea about. The fan is connected by a wire, so don’t go tugging on that like a bulldog offered a chew bone. After all’s said and done, screw everything back in place. Don’t screw stuff on too tight, mind you, keep it firmly twirled in and that’s more than enough.

Patch up this patient and take your rag cloth in hand. Clean your laptop screen; use the soft-brush to clean between the keyboard keys. Use lens cleaning fluid, if you have it, on your screen. Don’t forget to clean the area around your laptop. Any dust lying around gets sucked into the machine that much faster. Throw away your laziness for just a little while and you’ll have saved yourself a whole load of trouble.

If you have a laptop cooler, cleaning that is a good idea too. If your cooler is one of those retro ones that have a rotating fan on a simple frame that cost you a total of 300 bucks (this is what I use, lol) clean the blades, the sides and wherever you deem necessary.

Get rid of dust and you’ll have kept over-heating, short-circuiting, general uncleanness and more at bay from your machine. All it takes is about 40-minutes tops, something you don’t need to pay people to do for you. You can use that cash to get yourself something else you need, ether for your laptop or for anything else (duh!).

Image Credit: Vintuitive, Free Digital Photos.

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