Basic Maintenance

There are some things that just need to be done. Basic maintenance on a computer is one of them. Running a disk check, defragmenting the hard drive, updating software, updating anti-virus software and running scans all fall into this category. The one that everyone seems to forget is dusting (cleaning out) the insides. This isn’t really that difficult, a couple of screws take off the side cover (depending on the design of the case, pull a lever and the side comes off, no screwing around needed).

As an example, this last week I received a call from a client “My computer screen keeps going blank! I turn on the computer and it works fine for about 15 minutes and then the screen goes blank. I can turn the computer off and start it back up, but the screen just keeps going blank after a few minutes.”

I tell them I’ll be over as soon as I can to check it out.

PNY GeForce GT240 video card
Even with the dust blown out, the fan had already “bit the dust”

When I get there, sure enough the screens are blank and I can hear the normal computer noises coming from the case. I force a shutdown and start it back up. After running for about 10 minutes, sure enough, the screens go blank. I decided to take the side cover off to see what was going on.  A herd of dust bunnies break free as a open the side cover and make a run for the nearest cover.

With the side cover off, I turned the computer on and noticed right away that the fan on the video card was not turning. It wasn’t that it wasn’t on, it wasn’t turning. It was doing its best to turn, but just couldn’t quite muster the force to get past build of dust and grime. Even after blowing out the dust, the fan wasn’t free flowing enough to move under it’s own power. Chances are this could have been avoided with some regular, as in once a year (more often if you have pets are an abnormally dirty environment), maintenance.

This has been a PSA.

By Mark

I work in IT and ride Motorcycles. I do one to support the other.