Sooo Much Dust!!

DesignFusion

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 4, 2008
34
0
Hey guys, Ive have my MacPro since the last update and have never really given it a spring clean. I opened up the case the other day and was shocked to see how dusty it is inside. I don't no much about how sensitive the insides are so am seeking advise on how to safely clean it. Do I need any antistatic gloves or anything? What are the ideal or suitable tools i should use... I've read people use hoovers but they just seem very harsh!? bearing in mind the cost of the machine i want to be extremely careful!

Thanks in advance
 

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hyram

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2009
190
0
I thought I was the only one that used a air compressor :)

Works great and gets into areas a vac can't.
 

BigJohno

macrumors 65816
Jan 1, 2007
1,392
395
San Francisco
OMG! Take it out side with a few cans of Compressed air. Take all the components out and blow them off separately.

I take mine all apart every month or so.
 

DesignFusion

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 4, 2008
34
0
I use an air compressor for a monthly blow outs....

I've never seen on like yours though!

Do you live on a sheep farm ??? :D
Haha no I dont live on a sheep farm, its just in my room but i barely ever switch it of normally just put it to sleep. I think its about time i change that though! Surely compressed air just moves it about? also dont you have to be careful as sometimes they throughout a little moisture?
 

d-m-a-x

macrumors 6502a
Aug 13, 2011
508
0
Haha no I dont live on a sheep farm, its just in my room but i barely ever switch it of normally just put it to sleep. I think its about time i change that though! Surely compressed air just moves it about? also dont you have to be careful as sometimes they throughout a little moisture?
Air compressors work good. A little moisture at first, give it a spritz in the air first.
 
C

champ01

Guest
After cleaning it make sure you turn it on outside.
Lots of dust will blow out the Mac Pro the first time.

There is a key command (which I can't remember right now) that spins the living daylight out of the fans when you start the computer.

So the steps are:

-Take that dust monster outside

- Touch a radiator (prevents getting a shock or damming the components)

- Take out your hard drives, RAM etc. (anything that is easily removable)

- Clean everything with compressed air cans (or just blow but don't spit or faint)

- Put everything back in Mac Pro

- Start the Mac Pro (with the key command I can't remember)

- Take it back inside. Job well done. :)
 

studio347

macrumors newbie
Nov 16, 2010
17
0
I'm more concerned about your health rather than the Mac. The picture tells more about the air quality of your room. Seriously!
 

Mactrunk

macrumors regular
May 12, 2005
157
49
My technique is kind of primitive...
I take my MP outside, open it up and use a leaf blower.
It's an electric blower and I use it on low speed.
Works really well.
 

NorCalLights

macrumors 6502a
Apr 24, 2006
592
76
I stick with canned compressed air when cleaning electronics... it's not the "greenest" option, but it is moisture- and oil-free. That's critical to me.

Do you have lots of cats? Dogs? You might think about an air filter. I just opened mine to check, and your Mac Pro looks much, much dustier than my Early 2009 model, and I've never cleaned it out. I have a dog, but I hear cats are the worst for dander and hair in electronics.
 

Dr. Stealth

macrumors 6502a
Sep 14, 2004
812
718
SoCal-Surf City USA
Also......

I keep my Mac Pro on my desk and it stays much cleaner inside.

Keeping them on the floor they get really dusty inside much faster.

Just a thought if you have the room....
 

mrh63061

macrumors newbie
May 30, 2010
23
0
I keep my Mac Pro on my desk and it stays much cleaner inside.

Keeping them on the floor they get really dusty inside much faster.
Really dude so many people throw the 45 LB. beast on floor, and having it on a carpet can even be the worse, even if you vacuum every day.

I keep mine off the floor and only clean it about every six months with an air compressor, and the dust is so fine and minimal.
After you blow out all the dust bunnies I'd think about elevating it so its not on the floor.
 
Last edited:

thefredelement

macrumors 65816
Apr 10, 2012
1,142
559
New York
I have this thing also, it works great. I haven't needed to clean out my MP yet but I used it on my old PC.

I also keep my MP (as I did with my old PC), on my desk. It's sexy as hell and I like looking at it and gets it away from all the stuff around the floor that you can't see but can accumulate inside the case.


I just got one of these,

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001J4ZOAW/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01?tag=5336090759-20

yesterday and will be trying it out on a PC tower tomorrow. The ratings and reviews seem good and I spend way to much money on canned air. I have a Saint Bernard and a Mastiff living inside so dust is a fact of life for me. One of the reasons I like Macs is how easy they are to keep clean.
 

brentsg

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,434
802
Unless you have so much dust in there that the cooling is compromised, it's just not that big of a deal.
 

fox10078

macrumors 6502
Nov 6, 2009
467
86
Unless you have so much dust in there that the cooling is compromised, it's just not that big of a deal.
Naw man, dust is like a blanket, traps the heat on the boards.

Just cause your air condition works doesn't mean you'll see a cool summer in a parka
 

brentsg

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,434
802
Naw man, dust is like a blanket, traps the heat on the boards.

Just cause your air condition works doesn't mean you'll see a cool summer in a parka
If the cooling is working properly then the dust is just unsightly. Obviously if temps aren't proper then cooling has been compromised by the dust.

I read crazy stories about people cleaning their computers out every month or two. That's not necessary. Sure, every 2 years probably isn't a great idea. There's a happy medium here.
 

DPUser

macrumors 6502a
Jan 17, 2012
914
225
Rancho Bohemia, California
Vacuum Cleaners work, too. A lot like compressed air in reverse... and you don't have to take the Beast outside. And you won't drive big dust bunnies deeper into your machine. If you want to do a thorough job, the compressed air will help, after you vacuum.

I'll definitely go +1 on the "get it off the floor" sentiment. Also, install temperature monitor and you can keep an eye on how hot your Mac is running.
 

JesterJJZ

macrumors 68020
Jul 21, 2004
2,421
757
Do you smoke? I only see stuff like this when people keep the machine in a place they smoke a lot.
 

thepawn

macrumors 6502
May 27, 2009
413
7
I use the small soft bristle brush and my DC35 to clean out my machine annually.
 

ScottishCaptain

macrumors 6502a
Oct 4, 2008
872
472
Vacuum Cleaners work, too. A lot like compressed air in reverse... and you don't have to take the Beast outside. And you won't drive big dust bunnies deeper into your machine. If you want to do a thorough job, the compressed air will help, after you vacuum.
This is a very, very bad idea.

There are two reasons why:

1) Large amounts of dust (even small amounts) traveling down an insulated plastic hose at high speed will cause a ridiculous amount of static electricity to build up. I've seen a spark cross a 3" gap (yes, three inches) from the metallic tip of a common vacuum cleaner hose, and into an electrical PCB. That particular piece of hardware was irreparably damaged- more then half the machine had to be replaced before it would work again (the motherboard, CPU, and video card were all busted).

2) Bristles on a standard vacuum cleaner are far too stiff to be using on a delicate PCB. It's not a matter of if- but when- you manage to knock off an SMT resistor, capacitor, or diode. Depending on what component gets knocked off (you probably won't even notice because these parts are tiny and will get sucked up before you even realize what happened)- you could, once again, irreparably damage your machine.

Using a household vacuum cleaner is about the worst thing you could ever do with a machine as expensive as a Mac Pro.

Either:

1) Buy some compressed air, and blow the machine out, or
2) Invest in an ESD-approved electronics vacuum

3M manufactures a nice unit for around $300 (http://www.amazon.com/3M-Service-Vacuum-Cleaner-SV-497AJM/dp/B0000WU8I2). These vacuums are ESD safe (the hose is totally grounded and will not build up any static at all), the bristles on the brush are soft enough to use on a PCB, and they're rated for cleaning up laser printer toner too (that is, the vacuum is guaranteed not to spark and ignite the toner).

Expensive, yes- but this is a PROPER vacuum for cleaning out electrical stuff.

Using anything else is just asking for trouble. If in doubt, use compressed air instead. There's nothing worse then having to replace a $800 CPU carrier or a $1200 CPU because you zapped your PCB or knocked a component off it trying to use your Dyson instead.

-SC
 

JesterJJZ

macrumors 68020
Jul 21, 2004
2,421
757
I use compressed air with a vacuum nearby to suck up all the dust that get's blown around.
 

DesignFusion

macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 4, 2008
34
0
Do you smoke? I only see stuff like this when people keep the machine in a place they smoke a lot.
No no I don't smoke, It sits on a carpet floor under my desk and whats worse is I've probably only switched it off a handful of times. I tend not to open in it as I don't want to break anything. The irony is by not doing so I have probably done more harm.

For most safety (and relatively cheap), what do people recommend as the dust is quite stubborn especially as i have used spray mount in my room before (stupidly I know, tough deadlines and all).

Ie cloths? what kind of alcohol? any brand of compressed air the best for sensitive electronics..
 
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