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Can't remove motherboard from a very dusty Dell computer to bloow off dust from backside

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August 27, 2014 3:06:57 PM

A friend brought her computer to see if it could be upgraded. it is a Dell but I don't know what model it is . She and her husband have had it for several years, but neglected to maintain it .there was a thick coating of dust on the outside, in and on the floppy drive, I don't know about the CD-ROM, and-lord agoshen-the same situation inside, including dust in and on the power supply,the heat sink, and the hard drive, as well as the system fan, and motherboard.. I am aware that dust can create static electricity which will short out, the motherboard, and I believe the power supply.
I blew out the dust from the case, floppy drive, what I could see on the motherboard, the power supply connectors, hard drive, iDE Cables, and fans with an air compressor at 100 psi. I removed the screws from the motherboard, but it will not budge,so I can remove it to blow the dust off its backside. The computer for all intents and purposes won't start up. the power supply fan, after I blew the dust out of the power supply worked when I did the paper clip test.
I don't have a camera to take and post photos of this computer's innards.it takes 8 screws to install the motherboard.Near the CPU is a upside down L shaped cover for several capacitors, but I can't see any other nuts or bolts on the motherboard. The case and other components were mfgr'd in 2004. the board has a P/N number but no model name.
is this poor victim of neglect worth trying to save?

a b V Motherboard
August 27, 2014 3:19:51 PM

Wouldn't think a pc still using IDE drives is worth saving if it costs you, you could try save the data on the drives by connecting it to another system. Damage would already be done if it really was housing that much dust.
Would be better off buying a new low spec pc at very cheap cost and capable of doing much more in what applications require these days
But since you are trying to save it, might be an option to try cutting up the case to get behind the motherboard if you can't get access from the removable fittings you can see/reach. Also ensure the PSU is not plugged in when using the air duster, as static can as you know, be an issue especially with such stated amounts of dust there
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August 27, 2014 4:12:29 PM

chris_shadez said:
Wouldn't think a pc still using IDE drives is worth saving if it costs you, you could try save the data on the drives by connecting it to another system. Damage would already be done if it really was housing that much dust.
Would be better off buying a new low spec pc at very cheap cost and capable of doing much more in what applications require these days
But since you are trying to save it, might be an option to try cutting up the case to get behind the motherboard if you can't get access from the removable fittings you can see/reach. Also ensure the PSU is not plugged in when using the air duster, as static can as you know, be an issue especially with such stated amounts of dust there


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August 27, 2014 4:20:53 PM

chris-shadez: Thank you so much for your helpful answer.
I blew off dust from the hard drive and made it slave to my master hard drive on one of my computers.all she wanted saved was her photos and videos. I
was able to do only save the phots and videos, as my computer said there was a problem with the consistency of the hard drive.
I agree with you, she and her hubby should either junk it and get another low cost PC, or take it to a computer shop and let them grapple with that old motherboard and upgrading the system.
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Best solution

a c 243 V Motherboard
August 27, 2014 4:31:58 PM

Except for the personal data, which you have apparently retrieved....a 2004 era Dell is not worth trying to fix/save/upgrade.

It would cost more, and perform worse, than any $400 Walmart box you could buy today
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a b V Motherboard
August 27, 2014 4:42:25 PM

Good job on saving the data, sorted! Definitely do not upgrade, a repair might even cost them a third of what a replacement pc could cost. Just get them a new pre-built pc, any spec sold today would beat that honestly. Unless of course you wanted to build a low spec for them
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August 28, 2014 11:44:28 AM

USAFRet said:
Except for the personal data, which you have apparently retrieved....a 2004 era Dell is not worth trying to fix/save/upgrade.

It would cost more, and perform worse, than any $400 Walmart box you could buy today


i agree wit you an hr shadez. It isno wotrthsaing.lthough that cae is turdy and could hld a micro moterboard if it(the motherboard can e removedvng
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