Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet

How to clean a motherboard to eliminate common problems caused by dirt.

This is something that most people don't even want to dare try to do. Most Desktop PC users have used their PC for a very long time, got a lot of dirt locked up in the case, and all over the mother board and still have never tried to clean them. Now from experience, some problems like even a USB port not working could be from dirt. An unstable motherboard could become stable upon successfully cleaning them. So before you conclude that your motherboard is damaged, you may want to try this first.

First I recommend that you turn off your PC for at least an hour, and with the appropriate screw drivers, open the case. Some Desktop cases may not use screws to lock the case so you may want to take a very close look at it to open it. Try to be patient throughout this procedure. Disconnect the power cable and any external connector to the system unit.

Now before you touch any component inside the case, you would have to touch briefly any bare metal part of the case to discharge yourself of any Static electricity. Now if you are not very familiar with the mother board and its components, you can get yourself a pen and paper and take a quick sketch of every connected component on the mother board before you start. You can also use a good digital camera to take pictures.

Now carefully take off each every component connected on the board. Please be sure to take your time so that it becomes very easy to reconnect everything again. Again keep on taking sketches or pictures especially of connections that look complex to you so you don't struggle with them when reconnecting. Take a careful look at the big fan (the processor heat sink) that you see on the board. Some may use screw drivers to remove, others you may have to flip or twist something to remove. Just take your time and you will figure it out. After you remove the heat sink, you would have to carefully lift a locker, to release the processor and then you carefully take out the processor. Be sure not to break anything. The long flat horizontally connected device(s) that you see on the board is/are RAM(memory). Pull outward on the lockers (ejector tab) on their edges and it will eject the RAM. To put them back, be sure that the ejector tabs are pulled outward and looking at the design of the RAM, carefully place it well in its slot and press vertically downwards on it till the ejector tabs lockup. Place all the removed components, separate from each other carefully on a table or any secure place.

Now look at the screws which hold the mother board to the case and with the appropriate screw drivers, remove all the screws. Now carefully get out the motherboard from its case. With the motherboard out, you can get any good brush or compressed air and properly clean inside the case. Now I recommend that you obtain any good washing detergent and carefully wash every part of the motherboard, rinse it thoroughly and be sure to completely dry it. An alternative, is to get an ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) safe compressed air and a good brush( which should be discharged of any static electricity by briefly touching it with one hand and the other hand touching an unpainted grounded metal or bare metal part of you PC case) to get rid of any dirt stuck on any part of the motherboard. When this is done, that all that there is. Reassemble (still with care) and enjoy.

Hope this is helpful and I wish you all the best.



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