Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dust Bunnies Attack!

I am basically self taught on all aspects of the computer. Trust me, that’s not saying much as I really just know the basics, but still. I remember close to a year after getting my computer, it was running extremely slow. My brother asked me how long it had been since I deleted cookies. “Say what?” I asked with a puzzled look on my face. Needless to say the answer was NEVER. But after watching him, I caught on quickly and make sure my cookies are deleted regularly now.

So when my computer started hissing at me last week, I didn’t know what it meant. But I knew it wasn’t good. I hoped it would just go away if I ignored it. Instead, it grew louder and the thing began shaking and vibrating. It scared me.

After googling “computer hissing”, I realized the problem was problaby dust in my fans inside the computer. “No problem,” I thought. I pulled out my Hoover vacuum and sucked out the dirt I could see through the air vents on the outside of the computer. There was a lot of it, but I managed to get it all. I thought my problem was solved. I was wrong.

The hissing continued. And the motor sounded like an airplane gearing up for a long flight. I realized getting the dust off the outside wasn’t enough. I was going to have to go in. I had no idea what to do.

I armed myself with my husband’s smallest screwdrivers, a flashlight, the Hoover vacuum, and paper towels. I was surprised how easily I was able to get the cover off the computer, the screws came right out and I placed them safely in a container so I wouldn’t lose any.

When I lifted that cover off the base, I gasped in shock. It looked like Dust-Bunny-Palooza had taken place at the bottom of my hard drive. Literally, there were handfuls, upon handfuls, of dust and hair particles. Five years worth of buildup. I couldn’t believe my eyes! NO WONDER MY COMPUTER WAS HISSING! It was struggling for air! Struggling for it’s mere existence, and it knew that it’s owner , me, was NEVER going to help it if it didn’t resort to extreme measures! It was literally begging for help.

It took me close to twenty minutes to gather all the dust from the bottom, the sides, off the wires, away from the fans, and vacuumed out of the smallest crevices. But I did it! And I did it without the help of anyone. I was proud of myself.

But then I found that putting the computer back together proved to be a little more complicated. I couldn’t get the sides pushed in enough to the base, and when I did, I couldn’t get the screws all the way in. And I had leftover screws. I couldn’t understand how I had screws leftover! I taken such precautions to keep them safe, and now I didn’t know what to do with them.
After playing around awhile, I still had one screw leftover but felt I had it on snug enough to work. I replugged in all the wires to the correct holes (most were color coordinated for my convenience) and pushed the tower back into position. And then (I kid you not) the side of the computer fell off and landed on the floor!!! Guess that one little screw mattered after all. SIGH.

In the end, I got it all fixed and guess what? No more hissing! No more shaking or vibrating either! Just a smooth running computer that is now completely DUST FREE and I can say I did it myself. Yeah me!


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