Computer Dust - Should you worry?

Dust and Dirt have plagued PCs from the beginning.  Yet, few articles can be found that clearly demonstrate the issue.  Here is one article, written by Larry Mingus and published in 1998, which demonstrates the damage caused by dust. The industry has not come very far in the last 25 years.
Computer Dust - Should you worry?
dirty ports

dirt inside computer

by:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Published: November 4, 1998
Addition: 01-10-99

Just a reminder to check your CPU at least every two months. This Intel Pentium 200 was clean four months ago. The top photo shows how the dust can hide, don't wait until you see the dust on the outside of the heat sink.

Pentium 200MMX Dust Photo (14489 bytes)

Pentium 200MMX Dust Photo - dirty heat sink


Original article:

Just how big of a problem is computer dust?

The computer below was clean as new a year and a half ago. No additional cooling fans, just a power supply fan (drawing air out) and a CPU fan. The owner of this system has a very clean house, it's just easy to forget about that computer tower under the desk.

I have read so many news group posts and website cooling projects that talk about or show systems with 4,5,8, and even one with 10 fans. Rarely a mention about dust, or just dismiss it as not a big deal. Well, it can be a very big deal if you don't stay on top of it with regular cleaning.

Nowadays, personal computers are being used in different ways than years ago. Hardly anyone 10 yrs ago used a personal computer as a home voice/fax answering system. Now it is becoming more common to leave a computer running 24/7 to handle voice/mail/fax. It's the 24/7 that quadruples the dust problem. Then take over clocking into account, throw in a bunch of extra fans most sucking air out and you can multiply the dust problem even more.

Some of you are probably laughing, saying, "I never own a computer more than a year anyway". Well, I think that is about to change, the speed of the systems being sold today are so comfortable for the normal end user that it is going to be real hard getting them to replace a P2-400. There was a very noticeable gain going from a P-133 to a P2-300. For the average user (not gamer) the noticeable gain is much less going from 300 to 400 and will be even less noticeable going from 400 to 500. I see people hanging on to their P2-300's and 450's for at least 3-4 years. Who knows, only time will tell... Remember Billy saying, "Why would anyone need more than 640k of memory?"

The pictures do most of the talking.

Dust in Modem Jacks Photo (10100 bytes)

Having problems connecting to the Internet? Check the modem jacks.

Dust in case slots photo (9679 bytes)


Dust in case slots photo2 (12382 bytes)

Dust on motherboard IC's Photo  (12123 bytes)

Dust in floppy Photo (2263 bytes)

People wonder why their floppy, CD-ROM, and tape drives quit working.

Dust in tape drive photo (3778 bytes)

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