Fix a Noisy, Overheated Desktop

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Here in Michigan, there's no evidence that spring will ever come. The ground has been white for as long as I can remember. On the rare occasions when the snow melts, more falls the very next day.

Even so, the calendar says spring lies near, and that means it's time for spring cleaning. First stop: my PC. For the last couple months, my desktop's cooling fans have kicked on with increasing frequency, and they sound like jet engines. As of yesterday, I'd say they were firing up every 10 minutes or so.

When that happens, it's a sure sign there's too much dust inside the case. That causes components to overheat and, subsequently, fans to run faster (and more often).

Fortunately, there's an easy fix. I powered down my desktop, unplugged everything from the outside, and hauled it into my garage. I removed the side panel, then grabbed my trusty can of compressed air and fired bursts at all the fans and vents. The resulting dust cloud was--well, let's just say it's a good thing I was outside.

An air compressor will work just as well, as long as you're careful not to get too close to the components or blow too hard. That's delicate stuff in there; treat it as such.

Today, I'm enjoying whisper-quiet operation. The fans haven't kicked into overdrive once. If you haven't blown the dust out of your desktop in a while, I'd say now is the perfect time--regardless of what season it is.

By the way, this same solution can help you fix a noisy, overheated laptop as well.

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