Ok can i slightly advance this thread and ask about cleaning a laptop as in the memory etc.My mrs got a new laptop so im having our old one as well as my pc but it is a few years old now and i would like to get it cleaned up and a bit gunk free,what is the best way to do this.
I'm a computer engineer myself and to be honest I wouldn't recommend stripping down a laptop to clean it unless its overheating and locking up. There are so many tiny screws and interlocking parts that putting it back together without the know-how can be difficult! Plus they are designed to run and run, very little need for cleaning at all unless it sits on a fluffy carpet/rug when in use, that can knacker them quickly.
Originally Posted by rogsmith
Short answer - dont unless you have to. If you have to, hire a pro from yellow pages IMO
foxski,cheers for the reply.I wondered if i ask the question properly and i obviously didnt.What i ment was the actual system itself is now a few years old and clogged up etc so i wanted to try and get it cleared of all the rubbish thats collected over time (files etc etc) and get it back to some sort of decent state for use.It seems fine for everything really and im only using it as a second screen really.If you understand that question a bit better i would appreciate any sort of reply.
LOL I must admit the way I read the question was that it was physically dirty and you wanted to clean it externally.
The ideal thing to do would be to reinstall the OS from scratch, that's the best way of getting things running optimally. If it's a laptop it's possible that you can do that quite easily from a ghost image that they installed on the laptop when you bought it (for example Dell do this, as do a lot of other larger laptop manufacturers). Have a look around for anything on the start menu to do with backup/restore, I think on Dell they call it a restore feature.
If you do go for that option then obviously back up any important files first. Ideal way is to have a second partition on the HDD to save all your important files so that when you reinstall on the first partition your files are still there. But saving to an external HDD / USB stick / DVD are all good.
You will have to re-configure a lot of your applications though if you go for that option since you're effectively starting from scratch again (so email has to be reconfigured, all your applications reinstalled/reconfigured, etc etc), but if you can deal with doing that then that will make your laptop run the smoothest.
Alternatively if you're looking for less full on approaches then you can look at defragmenting your hard drive, removing any unrequired applications, checking the files that are set to run on start-up and making sure they're all things you really need.
Process explorer is quite a nice tool for checking what applications are running in memory and helps you flag up a lot of things that are running that don't really need to be running (mostly things that are set to start when your computer boots). You can use 'autoruns' to disable any programs that are set to run at boot that you don't want running. Having said that though both are fairly advanced tools (well intermediate anyway) so be careful with them, there are often a lot of things that run on a laptop that don't obviously seem necessary but actually are.
If you don't feel that confident then I'd say go for defragging your hard drive and uninstalling anything that you don't really need... although really re-installing the OS is the best option.
Originally Posted by munk
Couldn't agree more. New clean builds are just luvverly.
Unless you know what you're doing, I really wouldn't take a laptop apart to clean it. Even if you do, it's probably more hassle than it's worth unless overheating.
Be careful with using screen cleaning fluids - there's an off chance that some may damage screen coatings etc. The safest and cheapest thing to try first is just a good wipe with a microfibre cloth.
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