How do I clean out Vents? (Dell Inspiron E1505)

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How do I clean out Vents? (Dell Inspiron E1505)

  • My vents are dusty, had my PC for 1.5 years, payed a lot, and I'm getting crashes from overheating.

    How can I clean out the vents on my computer?

    Supplies, and steps would be very much appreciated.



    Thanks

    Message Edited by timhhi on 12-31-2007 11:51 AM
  • not sure how anyone else would feel about this but i would use a Vaccum and just vacuum some of the Dust out.  Make sure the dust is visablem if not it could be that you need more thermal Grease on the heatsink.
     
    also if you can buy a can of Compressed Air i would blow out the Vents if you can aim it correctly.


    Message Edited by Artillery on 12-31-2007 01:15 PM
  • Using a vacuum may not be the best thing to do since they can create static electricity.  You're better off using canned air.  It may take some work but the best thing is to disassemble the PC following the instructions here to get to the CPU fan.  Blow any dust out of the fan and any other fans inside the case.
     
    Where is the PC sitting when you're using it?  If it's not on a flat surface, you may be blocking the vents.  Setting the PC on carpet, beds, etc. is not a good idea.
     
    Lastly, if cleaning out the fan doesn't fix the problem, make sure the fan is working.  I think there are diagnostic checks you can run to determine if it is.

  • Ok, very helpful.

    First of all, I will try cleaning out the fan.

    Second, you say I might need more thermal grease? What do you mean by that?

    Third, the vents are sitting on flat surface, and lobbed in the air to get more air to it.

    Fourth, I'm unsure if its working, I'm pretty sure I can hear it, but I will check on that.

    And lastly, where can I get canned air? Where do I blow it into? (The vents on the bottom or on the left side there), and as for cleaning out the computer, what if I'm uncomfortable dissassembleing it?
  • Canned Air - it's typically sold with office supplies or computer accessories.  It's a can with a small tube on it.  An example is here.  When using it, you want to keep the can upright so the gas comes out and not the liquid.  The liquid won't hurt anything but it wastes the contents of the can.  My only concern with blowing into the vent is you may blow the dust farther into the system making it worse.  It's always better to blow it from the opposite direction.
     
    Thermal Grease - Unless you remove the fan assembly, you don't need this.  It's a highly thermal conductive but electrically insulating paste.  Something like this.  A little of it goes between the CPU and heatsink assembly (where the fan is) to promote heat transfer from the CPU to the heatsink.  Normally, this does not go bad so you shouldn't need any.  If for some reason you remove the heatsink, you have to clean both surfaces of all traces of the original compound and then apply new compound before reassembly.
     
    Opening the computer - Dell has provided good directions at the above link.  Basically, you need a clear, flat, well lit surface to work on and some small screwdrivers like these.  You remove the battery and power supply first, use the screwdrivers to pry the hinge cover off and then remove the screws holding the keyboard.  If you work slowly and keep touching something metal on the system, you should be OK.
     
    Testing the Fan - Dell diagnostics typically have a fan test where it will run the fan at full speed.  When it runs, see if it's blowing air out the vents.  You can see if it is in general while you're using the computer but unless the CPU gets hot, the fan may not run at full speed.
     
    If you don't want to do it - Find a friend who has worked on computers before or a repair place you can trust.  I typically avoid the "big box" stores and look for local shops and talk to them before doing anything.  If you tell them you want to first just have the machine blown out, they should have a reasonable charge for it.  After you describe what you want (not necessarily what's wrong), get a price up front for the work before they start.  If they don't give you a price, walk away.  Tell them that if just the cleaning doesn't fix it to call you before doing anything else and then if they do have to remove the fan or something like that, they can call you while the machine is apart for approval to do more.