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New Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-13-2008

Cleaning the Dust! Performance Issues

Lately my eMachine T3265 desktop PC has started running really slowly.  It's about four years old.  I've been told it could be a number of things:  RAM, processor or simply that there are too many dust bunnies living inside and it needs to be cleaned.  Because the dust bunnies are something I can probably handle on my own, I'm wondering what's the best way to clean the machine..... Once I've disconnected everything and have taken it outside, should I take the cover off and spray the entire INSIDE with air OR do I just simply spray the vents, fans, connections from the outside. 

 

I might not want to tackle this on my own.  So if I do decide to take this to the Geek Squad to handle, what additional things can they do as far as cleaning that I can't do on my own AND how much is that service?  What are the pros of letting them do it?  Also, do I need to bring it into a store or is this a service that is also provided in-home?

 

Thank you!

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Registered: ‎11-10-2008

Re: Cleaning the Dust! Performance Issues

[ Edited ]

I usually clean those things with a can of air. However I dont know where the official rule is on cleaning out a tower. You can only blow on certain components, others you risk the issue of ruining them  if youre not careful.

 

However I can feel a tone of voice in the way you type, and its suggesting you might not feel comfortable with opening the tower yourself and cleaning it out.

 

Hey , I can completely understand sometimes Smiley Happy

 

 

If you absolutely must, take it to a professional to minimize any losses Smiley Happy

Message Edited by hockeycanuckjc on 11-13-2008 10:51 PM
Best Buy Forums Super User since 2008. Please note I am not employed by Best Buy and I answer questions on my own time. If you find something helpful please add kudos to it. Should something solve your issue please remember to mark inquiries as solved.
New Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-13-2008

Re: Cleaning the Dust! Performance Issues

[ Edited ]

Thanks for the reply!  And you're right, I am a little bit nervous about doing this myself for the reason you mentioned...I don't want to get overly aggressive with the cleaning and literally blow components away.  Then I'd have bigger issues than I'm experiencing now with slow performance.  I'm sure after four years of dust and whatnot collecting it's going to be a mess inside.

 

So does dust build up like this really affect performance?  I've done everything I know to do like disk clean-up, defrag, removing spyware, virus scan, resetting modem, etc. and nothing is really helping.  I'm hoping the cleaning will help otherwise I guess I'll have to take it in for a diagnostic.

 

Typically, how often should this type of cleaning with the air take place?

Message Edited by HawaiiGirl on 11-14-2008 09:22 AM
Message Edited by HawaiiGirl on 11-14-2008 09:23 AM
Posts: 11,103
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Registered: ‎11-10-2008

Re: Cleaning the Dust! Performance Issues

Dust buildup can greatly affect performance, especially components with fans, it can get inside the ball bearings and what not and make the fan not work at all. Dust is also a number one killer with VGA cards and their fans as well. Im not sure how often you should clean as I take a look at my system once a month to see.
Best Buy Forums Super User since 2008. Please note I am not employed by Best Buy and I answer questions on my own time. If you find something helpful please add kudos to it. Should something solve your issue please remember to mark inquiries as solved.
Trusted Member
Posts: 151
Registered: ‎10-26-2008

Re: Cleaning the Dust! Performance Issues

Do not get the fans spinning to  fast or you can ruin the ball bearings.  Youll know when they are spinning it will make a noise.

 

Also, I never take the cover off to dust a laptop, just blow into the input and outputs on it. 

Recognized Member
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎11-04-2008

Re: Cleaning the Dust! Performance Issues

wow u really like doing colors.

 

cleaning out dust is pretty easy. there's no "official way" to do it.

 

1) if it's REALLY dusting, this is what i usually do. get a vaccuum cleaner. get the thinest hose u have with the vaccuum. suck up all the dust first.

 

2) get those air can thing. they are high pressure but don't worry, your computer component is solder on the board so nothing will come lose

 

3) while u're blowing the dust off inside the computer, use the same vaccuum cleaner to suck up all the dust that's flying off, because once u blow it off from one location, it'll just land on another location. so use the vaccuum to suck up the air borne dust.

 

and viola u're done!

 

or go buy a leaf blower. one blow, every dust will come off :-D (<---- do not attempt, cuz u'll probably rip everythign else apart too)

 

u said it was emachine right? im guessing low memory. u can try updating the memory. u'll be surprise adding another gig of memory can boost system performance. you got the emachine so i guess when you got the computer it was built barely enough to run the operating system.

 

if your not comfortable, u can bring ur computer in for 1) hardware diagnostic 2) optimization. sometimes hardware deteoriation cause computer to slow down too. heat can cause the parts to go bad. so the hardware diagnostic can actually detect if something is wrong.

 

optimization allows geeksquad to completely clean out your computer. software-wise. clean up the junk, tweak your registry, shut down unnecessary program that are running in the background. that will free up some memory for you to do other stuff.

 

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Registered: ‎11-10-2008

Re: Cleaning the Dust! Performance Issues

 There are free alternatives out there to optimization from GS..... But im not sure im allowed to mention them here Smiley Happy
Best Buy Forums Super User since 2008. Please note I am not employed by Best Buy and I answer questions on my own time. If you find something helpful please add kudos to it. Should something solve your issue please remember to mark inquiries as solved.
Recognized Member
Posts: 367
Registered: ‎11-04-2008

Re: Cleaning the Dust! Performance Issues

they do provide in home service too. they will charge you additional $100 just to make the trip. (covers gas, insurance, all the car's necessity)

 

so the optimization in the store is $39.99 (double check with the nearest best buy store.)

in home is $139.99 (double check with the nearest best buy store.)

 

u can go with free alternatives too.......... but "you get what you pay for." free services aren't usually the best service.

New Member
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-13-2008

Re: Cleaning the Dust! Performance Issues

Thank you for all these great replies!  And yes, I do like colors!!! 

 

When I bought the machine it came with 2GB of RAM.  How do I check to see how much memory I have? 

 

I was told to do ctrl/alt/delete and look at the performance tab.  When I do that, it says "Physical Memory K" Total 458224.  Would that be my memory and is that number low?  What should it be?

 

 

Regular Member
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎01-04-2009

Re: Cleaning the Dust! Performance Issues

you need to go to www.crucial.com from there run the scan that is on the home page. after you run the scan it will tell you the maximum amount of memory your pc can handle. write down how much memory it will hold, and what kind it is (DDR, DD2). go into best buy and they will get you what you need.