Dusty Duty….

One of my duties today was looking into the repair of a T42 Thinkpad which had a peculiar problem with the screen turning off after about 5 minutes of having powered on.

What I wanted to talk about though, was not the screen or the backlight or even the video adapter. What I wanted to write about, and what took 2 hours of my day, was the state of complete filth in which I received the machine.

The Screen: The LCD look like 100 people had sneezed and/or licked it after while they each took a turn to wipe the LCD with their bare hands, forming an interesting ( but distasteful) modernistic display of swirls, smudges and “splats”.

The Keyboard and Touchpad: … was pouring over with …. food! Bread crumbs, sesame seeds, particles of either rice, potatoes or eggs were some of the materials found beneath and surrounding the keys – not too mention the dust which, in some areas, was thick and damp (oil? honey?).

The Hard Drive and HDD Bay: … was extremely dusty. There were about 7 pockets of clustered bundles of dust and all the surfaces were covered by a decent millimeter of dust.

The Rest of the inside: … was either lightly dusty or held dust in crud-like fashion. Every single ventilation hole or grid of holes was chock-full of dust and completely blocked. The Hard Drive vents and speaker grids were the worst and it took a full 15 minutes to suck, blow, wipe and brush those areas clean.
The PCMCIA slot area was a dust storage, and when attacking it I had to cough several times to get the billow of dust out of my lungs.
The CPU Fan spat out puff after puff after puff of dust particles and clusters, and every single corner, gap or hole was a pantry for dust and other items of once edible materials.

The Entire outside: …was a mixture of dust and oily smudges, and every port surrounding the machine was its own little dust-ville.

So it took me a bit over 2 hours to completely dismantle the unit and clean it out and reassemble it again so I could clean the “face” (outside).

This is a very sad thing for me to see… a perfectly good machine being cared-for so poorly. It is also only a matter of time before the dust allows some sort of short-circuit in the machine and you’re left with an ugly mess on your hands … all because you did not care for it along the way. Very sad!

Remember that it does not take much for you to maintain the cleanliness and order of a laptop — but if you let it get by without maintenance you will find it a major job to get it back in order down the road, or you may loose your $1000 investment in the bat of an eyelid. (Because of the nail the Kingdom was lost)


2 Responses to “Dusty Duty….”

  1. Joy Says:

    Can you give any suggestions how to safely clean the intricate parts of both laptops & desktops? My sons leave all sorts of debris on the keyboards of both – I used to vacuum the computers, but now the key caps are being sucked up into the hoover! The desktop keyboard isn’t too hard to clean, but how can I get out the grunge from the laptop? Also, sometimes I open up the machines to dust them, but I’ve been warned I can ruin the circuits. I noticed the fans of both are always full of dust, but it’s hard to clean properly.

    Thanks for any tips!

  2. Jack Says:

    Thanks for your request.
    We are currently working on compiling a series of do-it-yourself how-to’s on the topic of cleaning Desktops, Laptops and computer accessories.
    Please bare with us for now and, yes, don’t do anything that you may regreat a little while later.

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