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Computer CPU maintenance

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Computer CPU maintenance

PostSat Jun 27, 2020 11:48 pm

Not needed for a new computer. This procedure is directed more for older, esp computers bought as used. I smile when I see "Refurbished" as part of an ad for used computers. Maybe given the benefit of the doubt, it could be the seller test fired it up as their idea of refurbing it. Yeah right. Even more exciting when I see refurbished for a used SSD. Tested and wiped, probably, but refurbished?

This post was prompted by helping a not computer savvy friend who asked me to check his new to him (as in used) computer. He said he was attracted because the listing said "manufacturer refurbished". The idea being of an added confidence level of this computer that was supposedly looked at by some tech.

The first clue was when we opened it up, a couple dust bunnies rolled out. Looking further, the components were dusty but otherwise appeared to be ok. This computer had two filters that probably would have been better left out as due to their dust content probably did a fine job of blocking any air flow. Not good.

I have one of those handy dandy battery units for jump starting a car. It also has a small air compressor. Using a small screw, we defeated the end used to inflate a tire well enough to get enough air to blow out the computer. Not the best way, but good enough. I've heard of better methods.

We test fired it up and it booted ok with Win 7 Home. I downloaded a fresh copy of Win 10 for him. While doing this, it seemed as if the CPU was running just a little warm. Using CrystalDiskInfo

BTW, the free standard edition is all you need - located upper left hand corner under Quick Download.

which I have on my utility flash drive showed the CPU was running at 35 degrees C with a health Caution warning. Pulling the CPU cooler revealed possible problems. The cooling fins had some kind of oily film which was a perfect dust magnet. Blowing air thru the case wasn't enough to clean the cooler. Fortunately my friend has just bought a gallon bottle of rubbing alcohol. Using a small amount in a plastic container, we gave the cooler a bath.

Beyond this dust build up problem, I also noticed the thermal compound between the CPU and the cooler had dried up. Didn't appear all of the CPU had been covered with thermal compound either. So we cleaned off the old, dried up compound on both the CPU and the cooler and replaced it with new coat of Silver Arctic.

Here is a portion of a video showing one method to do this procedure. (Shown in the video is a new build.) (Probably have to skip the ad)

The last thing we did was to open the power supply and cleaned it. After reassembly, checked the CPU temp which now after an hour was running at 30 degrees C with a Good health status. Hopefully this "refurbished" computer will be better off after doing this maintenance. :)


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