Computers get Filthy!

Laptop cooling system packed with hair and dirt

One thing I have learned from being in the computer repair business for over 20 years is that all computers get filthy. Whatever is in the environment around your computer will find its way inside your system. Laptops generally are more disgusting than desktops but they both will trap hair, skin, food, pet dander and insects inside of them.

Insects you say? Yes, if you eat around your computer (who doesn’t?) crumbs will find their way into the system. Insects will then find the crumbs and sometimes multiple inside of computers. We recently had an overheating computer that was only overheating due to a cockroach nest growing inside the CPU heat sink.

Disgusting, okay what can we do?

Computers like any other thing on planet earth need to be physically cleaned periodically. The exterior of the computer you can see if it’s dirty but the inside of the computer is not generally visible from the exterior. At least once a year you need to open your computer (or have a quality computer repair company clean it for you) and clean it out with compressed air. This is a good time to also inspect fans or any components to make sure they still are in good working order.

While you are in your computer, take a few pictures so you can compare what items look like to next year’s inspection.

What about spilled liquids?

Liquids and electronics are a no-no. You really should drink your coffee or orange juice away from the laptop. Since none of us do that and apparently most of us aren’t super stable, what can we do about liquids getting into the computer?

Unfortunately, not much, even a little liquid is enough to do significant damage. We see a lot of people spill their {insert liquid of choice} on the keyboard. On a laptop the keyboard sits right above the motherboard and generally it kills both of them (sometimes you get lucky and it’s just the keyboard). On a desktop your keyboard is at least much easier to replace, you just have to purchase a new one on Amazon, if you’re logged into your Amazon account you shouldn’t need the keyboard to make the order.

The biggest issue with a liquid damaged computer is to make sure you get the data backed up. Keyboard are easy to replace but data is not.

Make sure you have a good backup

It seems like 90% of our clients do not have backups and many of our more frantic calls into the office are from people without backups. Somehow this article about how gross computers are turned into a promo for backup… But I’ll tell you, there’s nothing more (mentally) disgusting than looking at a dead hard drive and having no backup.

Clean out your computers, control your liquids and above all else have a good backup!