Friday, June 21, 2024

Computer Care Tips

Cleaning of outer surfaces of a computer can be done with soap and water as long as the solution does not enter the internal parts of the computer. The solution should be applied with a lint-free cloth. The cleaning should be followed with an anti-static spray that can be made out of water and fabric softener.

Internal dust can be cleaned with canned air, a soft brush or anti-static vacuum. Anti-static vacuums are specially grounded to prevent static discharge like regular vacuums. Dust can contribute to overheating problems. Making sure that all expansion slot covers are in place can reduce dust buildup. Missing covers can also disrupt the airflow design of the case and cause overheating problems. Additional fans can be added to help cut down on internal temperature problems. Computer equipment should not be placed in areas of extreme temperature or humidity.

Oxidation corrosion can slow down or even prevent electricity from flowing through contact points. Oxidation buildup can be removed by rubbing with an emery board or eraser. It can also be cleaned with special cleaning solution.

Other internal components can be cleaned with Isopropyl alcohol and lint-free swabs.

Monitors should be cleaned with a soap and water solution with the power disconnected. Do not use household cleaning solutions as they can damage the screen. Monitors should not be opened unless you are qualified to work on them. Deadly voltage can be stored inside the monitor even a year after it has been turned off.

Computer components should be transported in antistatic foam or an anti-static bag.

Hard drives are vacuum sealed and should never be opened except by professionals in a “clean room”.

Important data should be regularly backed up and stored in a fire- proof safe or at a separate location for protection against fire or theft. Windows NT/2000 Emergency Repair Disks should be stored in a secure place where only authorized personnel can access them.

Because floppy disks are magnetic media, they should not be exposed to magnetic fields that can be produced by TVs, monitors, speakers, power supplies and appliances with motors. Floppy drive heads can be cleaned with a wet or dry head cleaning disk. Keyboards can tend to collect dust between the keys. They can be vacuumed with a small vacuum.

Mice need to occasionally have the X and Y rollers cleaned with a lint-free swab.

Electrical spikes(measured in nanoseconds) or surges(measured in milliseconds) can cause damage to system components or even data loss. Surge suppressors can prevent minor variances in power and provide a stable stream of electricity to the unit, however, they may not always work against larger surges.

Uninterruptable Power Supplies(UPS) provide power to the devices connected to it for a period of time in the event of power loss or sag for long enough to gracefully shutdown the computer and avoid data loss. Unnecessary peripherals such as scanners and printers should not be connected to a UPS as they can overload it.

Laser printers have several hazards that should be noted. The laser can cause blindness, the fuser can cause burns and the power supply can cause electrocution.

Toner cartridges, ink jet cartridges and batteries can be recycled.

Hazardous materials come with Material Safety Data Sheets(MSDS) that provide a variety of information as to how the product should be handled and disposed of.

Electrostatic Discharge(ESD) can be harmful to electronic components and cause them to fail. Low humidity, walking across carpet and appliance motors are some of the common generators of ESD. MOS devices are particularly sensitive to ESD and special care should be taken around them. Below are some of the prevention methods employed to prevent damage:

– Grounding straps are connected to a technicians wrist. You can ground the wrist strap to the earth pin on a wall socket. – Remove all metallic jewelry.

– Antistatic mats.

– Touching the chassis of the computer while plugged into a grounded outlet.

– Anti-static sprays can be applied to floors, computers and work surfaces.

– A humidifier can be used to keep the humidity above 50%.

An ESD wriststrap should never be worn when working with high voltage equipment such as monitors.

Computer equipment should be unplugged from the wall during electrical storms to prevent equipment damage and injury.

TechTutorials is a popular computer certification website devoted to providing free learning materials to candidates pursuing Microsoft, CompTIA and Cisco certifications. To access these resources visit

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