Protecting the health of your computer

Protecting the health of your computer

Computers are expensive, and with all major purchases you probably want to protect your investment. Luckily, it is not difficult to keep your computer healthy and in good working order. Maintaining a computer involves three things: keeping it physically clean, protecting it from malware, and backing up important files.

When dealing with computers, dust isn’t just unattractive—it can potentially destroy parts of your computer. By cleaning your computer regularly, you can help to keep it working properly and avoid expensive repairs. You can bring your computer into the shop and for $5 we can use our compressor to blow the dust out.

A dirty keyboard doesn’t look nice and can cause your keyboard to not work properly. Dust, food, liquid, and other particles can get stuck underneath the keys, which can prevent them from working properly. Check your owner’s manual to see if the manufacturer has provided you with instructions for your specific keyboard. If so, follow them. If not, the following steps are basic cleaning tips that can help keep your keyboard clean.

  1. Unplug the keyboard from the USB or PS/2 port. If the keyboard is plugged into the PS/2 port, you will need to shut down the computer before unplugging it.
  2. Turn the keyboard upside down, and gently shake it to remove dirt and dust.
  3. Use a can of compressed air to clean between the keys. We sell this at the shop as well.
  4. Moisten a cotton cloth or paper towel with rubbing alcohol, and use it to clean the tops of the keys. Do not pour alcohol or any other liquid directly onto the keys.
  5. Reconnect the keyboard to the computer once it is dry. If you are connecting it to a PS/2 port, you will need to connect it before turning on the computer.

If you spill liquid on the keyboard, quickly shut down the computer and disconnect the keyboard and turn it upside down to allow the liquid to drain.  The keyboard may not be repairable at this point, If the liquid is sticky, rinsing the sticky liquid off of it is the only chance for it to be usable again. You will need to hold the keyboard on its side under running water to rinse the sticky liquid away. Then turn the keyboard upside down to drain for two days before reconnecting it. The best way to avoid this situation is to keep drinks away from the computer area.

  1. Optical mice require no internal cleaning because there aren’t any rotating parts; however, they can get sticky over time as dust collects near the light emitter. This can cause erratic cursor movement or prevent the mouse from working properly. Mechanical mice are especially susceptible to dust and particles that can accumulate inside the mouse, which can make it difficult to track—or move—properly. If the mouse pointer does not move smoothly, the mouse may need to be cleaned. Unplug the mouse from the USB or PS/2 port. Remember, if the mouse is plugged into the PS/2 port, you will need to shut down the computer before unplugging it.
  2. Moisten a cotton cloth with rubbing alcohol, and use it to clean the top and bottom of the mouse.
  3. If you have a mechanical mouse, remove the tracking ball by turning the ball-cover ring Then clean the tracking ball and the inside of the mouse with a cotton cloth moistened with rubbing alcohol.

Let all of the parts dry before reassembling and reconnecting the mouse. If you are connecting it to a PS/2 port, you will need to connect it before turning on the computer.