I’ve been having a lot of trouble lately with my computer. It keeps crashing at pretty random times and loads. I’m familiar enough with things that I knew how to take the canned air and blow it out, but as I found out, that’s not always enough.

heat sink

When I took my computer into the shop, the tech pointed out a tremendous amount of dust around the heat sink. I’m talking dust bunnies here. The air can hadn’t gotten it in part because of the fan in front of it. The fan spins when the air can blows on it, and so the dust behind pretty much stayed put and built up and up.

Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to take care of.

As with anything else you do inside a computer, you unplug it first. No messing around with a computer that has any power coming into it.

Then he told me to take a paintbrush and wipe the dust away. If it stuck, a Q-Tip and isopropyl alcohol could be used safely to clean it up.

Once the dust was loosened, the air can could easily blow it all away.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that will turn out to be the only problem, as I still had a random crash last night, and there were some other interesting problems along the way, such as my computer losing track of the current date & time. But I do like to share some basic tips for this kind of thing.

Oh, and if you buy canned air, you will most often get a much better deal out of the three packs than with single cans. Stores around here charge around $5 for single cans, but only around $10 for 3. However, do also be aware of the possibilities of inhalant abuse, and keep such products away from anyone who might misuse them. The problem comes with many kinds of products.