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How to clean overheating PC

Your PC is overheating, and you need a quick solution.

These problem seem to occur always at the worst possible moment. So you have no time to call a professional to do the job – or you just don’t want to pay for it. Relax – it’s a quite easy task to do – so let me explain the steps :

The cable mess

For the first step, you have to power down your PC, and disconnect all the cables from the back. Always begin with the power cable !

Tip : If you are unsure how to connect the cables later, make picture of the back of the PC, and later use it as a guide.

It’s a good opportunity to organize your cables in a better way later. Take your PC to your garage, or any place at your home where the dust can be cleaned up easily.

Opening up

Open your PC with a screwdriver. Size 2 Philips screwdriver will usually do the job. There are usually two or three screws at the back of the case, at the left side, looking from the front. Take off the side panel by sliding it backwards. Lay down the PC on a flat surface on its right side. You will see all the components inside. Now you need some other tools : a vacuum cleaner, and an ordinary paint brush ( some 2 to 5 cm wide ).


After opening the computer case, you will see something like this :

Yes, it could be as ugly as this – and it’s even not the worst it could be!

I prefer using vacuum cleaner if you are doing it at home, because it disables the dust to escape in the surrounding air. Everything that comes off – goes to the dust bag. Of course be sure that the dust bag is not full, or the vacuum cleaner is not leaking.

You can use compressed air, but it will create a big cloud of dust around you, and you will need a dust-mask too.

Power up the vacuum cleaner, and suck in the dust that’s not attached to the surface of the components. Usually you can easily clean the bottom of the case, and accumulated dust on the various fences and cables.

After that, take the paint brush, and gently pressing it against the dusty components, brush off the dust, while keeping the pipe of the vacuum cleaner close, so it can immediately suck in all that comes off.

The most problematic parts are the fans. Dust attaches to them very strongly, and you have to pass with the brush several times.

Be careful with the sensitive components on the motherboard ! Do not press the brush against them too hard – it could damage them.

The most important parts are the fans and the heatsinks. Be sure that you cleaned them as much as you could.

I prefer taking off the fans, and cleaning them separately, but you better let a professional do that.

What I’m explained here , is just a first-aid action if your PC overheats because of the dust accumulation !

Job done !

Check the cables inside the case. Look for loose cables and fix them. Make sure that none of the cables are preventing fans from turning. Carefully return the side panel on its place, and fasten the screws with a screwdriver. Return the PC at its place, but for the first time, connect only the necessary cables : power, keyboard, and mouse. Power up the PC, and check if it fans are working smoothly. It could happen that some unnoticed dirt could block one of the fans making ugly noise. If it’s the case, open up the case , and check the fans again.

If everything runs smoothly, return all the cables, and voila ! Your PC is back in life !

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