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View Full Version : How to clean the inside of the Power Mac G5?


alexf
Jun 10, 2005, 04:38 PM
I am wondering how to clean the fans, etc. inside of my PM G5 - it's getting a little dusty in there, and I think it may help to keep the noise down.

Any suggestions, or is it just a simple matter of taking out the fans and dusting them and the inside of the computer (I won't touch the motherboard or anything like that)?

Any advice appreciated. :)

stevep
Jun 10, 2005, 04:49 PM
Try a soft paintbrush - possibly with a vacuum cleaner nozzle placed nearby in the case. The brush will lift the dust off the components. Assuming you're not a gorilla it's ok to clean the motherboard as well as the cooling fans etc. We clean all our machines at work like this.

alexf
Jun 10, 2005, 04:56 PM
Thanks for the reply.

Is it OK just to use a very clean cloth and "wipe" the fans and the inside?

MacTruck
Jun 10, 2005, 05:08 PM
Try a soft paintbrush - possibly with a vacuum cleaner nozzle placed nearby in the case. The brush will lift the dust off the components. Assuming you're not a gorilla it's ok to clean the motherboard as well as the cooling fans etc. We clean all our machines at work like this.



NOOOOO! Doing this you run the risk of knocking off transistors or something on the motherboard then having the vacuum cleaner suck them up. Use an air compressor ($90 at walmart) or get one of those air cans to blow the air out. This is the only way to clean a computer.

Rocksaurus
Jun 10, 2005, 06:26 PM
Open it up, take it outside, and blow all the dust out with canned air. It's really not worth the risk vacuuming or using water or any of that. Canned air is cheap and will last.

aussie_geek
Jun 10, 2005, 07:41 PM
Definitely DO NOT use a vacuum cleaner :eek:. It can create static electricity and can fry your board. One of my PC friends did this and zapped his motherboard after a spark flew off the metal nozzle of the vacuum hose.

Compressed air in a can is your best bet.

aussie_geek

stevep
Jun 11, 2005, 12:41 PM
If you going to knock transistors of the motherboard then you ARE a gorilla, and as I said, you should therefore not be allowed inside a G5.

I thought all modern vacuum cleaners have plastic attachments -if your vacuum cleaner has a metal nozzle then it must be very old and probably comes from Australia or somewhere........

Isn't anyone capable of applying a bit of common sense any more for gawds sake.

wdlove
Jun 11, 2005, 01:07 PM
If you going to knock transistors of the motherboard then you ARE a gorilla, and as I said, you should therefore not be allowed inside a G5.

I thought all modern vacuum cleaners have plastic attachments -if your vacuum cleaner has a metal nozzle then it must be very old and probably comes from Australia or somewhere........

Isn't anyone capable of applying a bit of common sense any more for gawds sake.

Its better to be safe than sorry and use the can of compressed air to blow the dust out. Any damage could void a warranty.

alexf
Jun 11, 2005, 04:14 PM
Thanks everyone for the comments and advice!

I ended up wiping the interior with a dry cloth and using a can of compressed gas to blow out the heatsinks and the fans.

Next round I will also remove the video card (to acccess the back fans) and the speaker fan to do a more thorough cleaning, as I have heard that this can lower your temps and thus make the computer quieter (a bit of an obsession of mine).

I have a Rev. B 2.0 G5 and my temps seem to be higher than average, even when it's cool out and i'm not doing much on the computer.

Is it normal that the same speed Rev. B machines (with the 970 FX) run quite a bit hotter than the Rev. A machines (with the 970)?

I am particularly concerned that my Memory Controller (U3) Heatsink is always pretty hot (around 150 Fahrenheit), even if the machine is just idling.

Any ideas?

mark6051
Jun 11, 2005, 05:36 PM
If you going to knock transistors of the motherboard then you ARE a gorilla, and as I said, you should therefore not be allowed inside a G5.

I thought all modern vacuum cleaners have plastic attachments -if your vacuum cleaner has a metal nozzle then it must be very old and probably comes from Australia or somewhere........

Isn't anyone capable of applying a bit of common sense any more for gawds sake.

Why would it be old and probably come from Australia ?

iMeowbot
Jun 11, 2005, 05:50 PM
Why would it be old and probably come from Australia ?
Before the invention of space age Teflon, Australia was famous for its steel vacuum cleaner attachments, with a reputation for making the finest in the world.

FireArse
Jun 11, 2005, 06:55 PM
I am particularly concerned that my Memory Controller (U3) Heatsink is always pretty hot (around 150 Fahrenheit), even if the machine is just idling.

Any ideas?

How are you finding this information out? Where are you looking to get the temp data from?

FireArse

alexf
Jun 11, 2005, 08:25 PM
How are you finding this information out? Where are you looking to get the temp data from?

FireArse

2 freeware apps: Thermograph and Temperature Monitor

macbaseball
Jun 11, 2005, 08:28 PM
How are you finding this information out? Where are you looking to get the temp data from?

FireArse

There are a few appplications that can keep track of it for you. I use one called Temperature Monitor.

Looks like alexf, beat me to it.

Cybernanga
Jun 11, 2005, 10:06 PM
I thought all modern vacuum cleaners have plastic attachments -if your vacuum cleaner has a metal nozzle then it must be very old and probably comes from Australia or somewhere........

Even plastic attachments can generate sparks from static electricity.

Ever run a plastic comb through your hair?

stevep
Jun 12, 2005, 07:22 AM
Right, here goes, I'll try and explain slowly how I clean the 25 machines I run at work (and have done for the last five years)-
*Take the side panel off.
*Hold the vacuum cleaner nozzle just inside the case at the bottom - it will be at least 50mm away from any of the components.
*Use the soft bristled paintbrush to lift the dirt off the motherboard, fans etc. The soft bristles cannot possibly do any damage to anything provided a reasonable amount of care is taken.
*Most if not all the dust gets lifted away into the nozzle.

Why do I use this method? Compressed air just stirs the dust up - its mostly dead skin cells and body hair btw so not particularly healthy to breathe in. And it has to settle somewhere again, probably inside the computer case. Also, aerosol cans are expensive and environmentally unfriendly even if the propellant is inert. A properly earthed vacuum cleaner should not generate a high static charge, and anyway if you're inside a computer you should be wearing an earthing wrist strap. If you get a spark off a metal hose attachment its likely that the vacuum cleaner itself has an earth fault.

The liklihood of sucking a soldered component off the motherboard is zero - unless you're a gorilla. If you don't feel happy doing a job like this you probably shouldn't have taken the machine apart in the first place.

LordRPI
Jun 28, 2005, 03:27 AM
Heh, my G5 wouldn't start today after blowing it out with canned air. Blank screen after the memory checking phase. Reset the PRAM, still the same thing. Booted up with an install CD and installed Tiger on an unused partition as I thought it could not find a startup disk. Installed fine, rebooted. Kernel panic at boot. "Could not find drivers for PowerMac Rev 7,2." Zapped the PRAM and it seemed to work. It's working fine now.

Funny huh?

I seem to remember in the glory days of electonics it was advised not to use anything that "blew" as it can force dust into areas where it can do damange. It was always suggested that dust should be "sucked" out as it has less chance of doing damage by not letting dust lodge into sensitive areas...

Just my $0.02

MacTruck
Jun 28, 2005, 04:03 AM
I think the best method, and it is one that works for me, is to kindly ask the dust to leave. It usually will. :)

LordRPI
Jun 28, 2005, 04:13 AM
Would have done the same except the Mac Genius at the Apple store insisted I do it :)

Actually now, my machine runs quieter. With the gobs of dust off the Radeon 9800, I don't have to listen to any more of that moaning noise when I sleep. Oh wait a minute, I've gotten so used to it so without it I can't sleep!

Ryan T.
Jun 28, 2005, 08:54 AM
I prefer canned air.