Sooo Much Dust!!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by DesignFusion, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. DesignFusion macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2008
    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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  2. Dr. Stealth, Jun 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012

    Dr. Stealth macrumors 6502a

    Dr. Stealth

    Sep 14, 2004
    I use an air compressor for monthly blow outs....

    I've never seen one like yours though!

    Do you live on a sheep farm ??? :D
  3. hyram macrumors regular

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

    Works great and gets into areas a vac can't.
  4. BigJohno macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2007
    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.
  5. DesignFusion thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2008
    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?
  6. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    Air compressors work good. A little moisture at first, give it a spritz in the air first.
  7. 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. :)
  8. studio347 macrumors newbie

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

    May 12, 2005
    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.
  10. NorCalLights macrumors 6502a

    Apr 24, 2006
    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.
  11. Dr. Stealth macrumors 6502a

    Dr. Stealth

    Sep 14, 2004

    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....
  12. Slow Programmer macrumors regular

    Jun 25, 2011
  13. mrh63061, Jun 8, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2012

    mrh63061 macrumors newbie


    May 30, 2010
    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.
  14. thefredelement macrumors 65816


    Apr 10, 2012
    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.

  15. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    Unless you have so much dust in there that the cooling is compromised, it's just not that big of a deal.
  16. fox10078 macrumors 6502


    Nov 6, 2009
    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
  17. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    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.
  18. DPUser macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2012
    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.
  19. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    Do you smoke? I only see stuff like this when people keep the machine in a place they smoke a lot.
  20. thepawn macrumors 6502


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

    Oct 4, 2008
    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.


    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 ( 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.

  22. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    I use compressed air with a vacuum nearby to suck up all the dust that get's blown around.
  23. DesignFusion thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 4, 2008
    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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