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Computer Log 27

Well, I know the heat of summer is here, because I see the skate borders flying down the Oxbow Road (County Rt 21) outside Westfield NY. I hope they are careful coming down the hill, but it does looks fun!!

Heat is a big enemy of computers and other electronics out there, and with summer comes the heat problems. You may see a computer with a dust build up with the “Blue Screen Of Death” and after you let the computer cool down, it starts to work again.

There are several things you can do to keep your computer working. On a tower computer you can power down your computer and pull the plug on it. I usually take towers outside, remove the side covers and use an air compressor that does not spray oil and blow it out, but you can also use canned air.

I have notice that the power supply and fans associated with the motherboard of the computer usually have a large build up. The computer is like a static air cleaner and the environment and if there are smokers in the house the computer can even be worse. Some customers who also use a wood stove will have a large buildup.

I have one business who will every year blow out their computers using canned air and if you do not have access to a clean air compressor can air is a good thing and many electronic stores will stock the product to blow out the computer.

On a laptop, I will remove available covers and use canned air to blow out the computer. I have notice that laptops, because of the smaller foot print will usually not have as much dust. But because the computer has usually only one fan they can be prone to dust build up on critical parts and cause the computer to fail and usually it is the hard drive.

Now for the other items like printers and monitors. The new LCD monitors, I have not seen any fail due to dust but I have seen LCD TV's fail due to a severe dust build up due to a real dusty environment and are not recoverable. Printers will either work or not work and if it is dirty usually that shows up on the paper with streaks and usually the only fix is replacement because the cost of repair usually outweighs the cost of a new printer. If it is a laser printer, keeping the rollers clean with canned air. There are some cleaners for printers but I leave that to the pros. I find that keeping any printer out of the dust will usually extend it's life.

The older monitors that uses the CRT or picture tube technology are the biggest dust collector I have ever seen and since the time of the invention of the Television. This is due to the extreme hi-voltage that is used on the CRT, in the range of 25-50 thousand volts and dust is attracted to electricity. Smoke Busters you see in many public establishments and bars use a hi-voltage grid to help filter out smoke and clean the air. I had a dust filter that use a fan and hi-voltage center collector to clean the air, so a CRT is a natural dust collector, and can be a big fire hazard if left on unattended.

Franklin S Werren is a Computer technician and runs Chautauqua Lake Hosting and Franks Radio in Sherman ` NY. And can be found on the web at , and , also via e-mail at

Disclaimer: Neither “Franklin S. Werren” or the “Chautauqua Star” have received any money or promotional items in anything talked about in this column.

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Page last modified on June 30, 2010, at 05:51 PM EST