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  1. #1
    Multi-platform compatible technicianxp's Avatar
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    Question Clean inside of computer with vacuum

    Hey there everyone.

    I've got a project at work in which I'm setting up a Compaq Proliant ML330e server for fileserving. Everything is pretty much ready but there is one problem which could even result in data loss (eventually), dust.

    The inside of the server is so heavily covered in dust that it's hard to see anything but the CPU cooler (okay I'm exaggerating a bit but it is bad). The reason for this is because while it was our main server for a few years it sat in a room on a carpet, collecting as much dust as possible with it's high-speed cooling fans.

    Now I want to clean out this server completely before I set it up again and to do that I need some kind of vacuum. I was considering a small handheld, (rechargeable) battery-powered vacuum to do the job. However I'm not too sure as to if it's safe to use one of those around internal computer components.

    Can anyone clarify if it's safe or not and if not then what should I consider getting instead?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Clean inside of computer with vacuum

    Just pull everything out, vacuum the inside of the case, and the mobo (out of the case), and put it back together again.

    Or get some compressed air.

  3. #3
    man of many hats....
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    Default Re: Clean inside of computer with vacuum

    I use compressed air to blow it all out.
    You can buy cans of the stuff or take it to someone whose got a compressor and blow all the crap out.
    Do we ever grow up or just learn how to behave in public?

  4. #4
    Multi-platform compatible technicianxp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clean inside of computer with vacuum

    Just one thing there are some parts of the server where the dust is stuck in such wierd places that even compressed air would have a hard time (mainly the front fan intake (no fan there but it's still the most clogged up part)).

    I'm not too keen on taking that server apart, mainly because the case design is wierd and it would take at least two hours just assembling and reassembling plus we need this thing running very soon. I will take off as many parts as I can though.

    So would a handheld vac be any good though? I'll get compressed air too as I know that will be useful.

  5. #5
    Baking. bob_doe_nz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clean inside of computer with vacuum

    Just go for what you can with the vacumn and then use a can of compressed air to clean the harder to reach places with a longer straw.

    Just avoid using the vacumn on exposed electronic components. e.g static electricity
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  6. #6
    Member bk T's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clean inside of computer with vacuum

    What are the main differences between these 2 - compressed air vs vacuum cleaner?

    One blows and the other sucks. Do they cause any different effects on the computer components inside the case?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Clean inside of computer with vacuum

    You will need way more than a can of compressed air if it is that dirty. I agree with EX-WESTY with regards to taking to someone who has a compressor. That should deal with the fan at the front of the case a lot better than anything else too.

    Just remember to hold the fans still with a pencil or something whilst blasting them so they don't spin out of control. You will find that the PSU and CPU fans will need quite a good going over to get the dust out - do them first.

    Oh, and remember to do the job outside if you can.

  8. #8
    Baking. bob_doe_nz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clean inside of computer with vacuum

    Didn't Andrwe93 recommend a leaf blower?
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  9. #9
    Multi-platform compatible technicianxp's Avatar
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    Default Re: Clean inside of computer with vacuum

    Well I've got one of those little 12v tyre pumps but that probably isn't the right thing for the job (or maybe it is... Let me know if it is).

    Other than that I'm not too sure where I'd find a person with a compressor in about 4 days.

    BTW the server won't be running when we clean it (just in case anyone thought otherwise).

    So compressed air is on the list, would the vacuum be safe if used on the server's insides while it's switched off? (The server is switched off that is). The low power rating of the vacuum would probably mean it's not too suspectible to being static-charged is it (plus the fact that it's made of plastic)?

  10. #10
    man of many hats....
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    Default Re: Clean inside of computer with vacuum

    Take it down to the local garage if they still have free air for pumping up the tyres. Put a small valve attachment in the end and away you go. I use compressed air at work so I have a cylinder outside in the van so I don't have to travel that far. You will get a cloud of dust out of the machine.
    Do we ever grow up or just learn how to behave in public?

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