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  Clean Your PC for Optimal Performance

Start with your mouse. You should clean your mouse every week. Simply remove the bottom and the mouse ball will fall right out. Make sure you catch it or you may be playing cat and mouse or chase the ball. Gently rub the rods and rollers inside until all lint is removed and your mouse is clean.

CPU Fans
The fans inside your computer system are a mixed blessing: On the plus side, they move air over heat-generating components, helping to keep your system cool. But they also concentrate dust both on the fans and inside your CPU case, which can cause heat buildup.

To get the maximum benefit from the fans, you need to clean out the dust at least twice a year. Go to your local computer or office supply store and buy a mini-vacuum cleaner and a can of compressed air. With these in hand, unplug your computer and open its case. Once it's open, be sure to touch the power supply periodically to discharge chip-frying static electricity.

CPU - [Mother Board, RAM and Other Chips]
Use the compressed air to clean dust from chips, circuit boards, and fan blades. The compressed air helps to clump the dust particles together, making it easier to pick them out or vacuum them up. With a clean system, your fans will do a better job keeping things cool.

Computer Desk
If your PC is located near a window, use blinds or shades to keep direct sunlight off the system. Leave space behind and above your system and monitor for air to freely circulate. Don't stack papers, disks, or anything else on top of any computer component.

Locate your PC where it is as free as possible from dust, dirt, pollen, and pet hair. Such contaminants coat the components inside your PC, interfering with the cooling action of your PC's fans

Get the supplies you need to organize your work area and keep your computer clean. Floppy and CD-ROM cases or racks File racks with folders for each family member's printouts.

Before you clean your keyboard, turn your computer off. Next, write down the locations of the keys so you can put them back in the right places. Use a thin screwdriver or a butter knife to gently pry up the rectangular keycaps.

Don't try to remove the Space Bar, Shift, Enter, or any other oversize keys -- it can be difficult to put them back in place. If liquid is present, sop it up with a paper towel. Use compressed air to remove hair, dust, and other loose materials.

If you find built-up gunk, use a mild household cleaner on a cotton swap to clean it up. Gently but firmly press each keycap back in place, following the layout in your diagram.


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