well I really dunno where this belongs so I'll post it here. Mods, please move if you find it necessary, thanks.
now onto my question. Is it safe to vacuum clean the inside of my PC with a corded handheld vacuum? I has a 7 AMP motor. I read it somewhere that corded vacuums are too strong and generate a lot of static electricity, is it safer with a weaker corded vacuum?
It just so happens that one of my co-workers said he just recently pulled out a hand-held vacuum (no idea on the specs) and clean his system. He did this with the PC still running. Not something I would try, but he suffered no ill-effects (could be he was just lucky this time).
Why not just use some compressed air to blow out the dust and then vacuum it up? You would probably have better luck getting the little straw in the nooks and crannies anyways, and wouldn't really risk damaging your system.
Next you're gonna want to spray Windex in there or something.
Really though I wouldn't. Compressed air is the way to go. You may also want to borrow a blow dryer or something to blow out the bigger dust bunnies, but of course don't point it at any one area too long lest it get too hot and die.
Yeah, I just read something on it as well. Supposedly the dust will hit the plastic walls of the the vacuum pipe and cause static electricity. Sorta like when you were a kid and sliding through the jungle gym tunnel causing static electricity and then at the end you'll get shocked. So its feasible, But I find the dust is heavy enough to make strong enough contact with the vacuum pipes. Also if your touching the ground(no shoes) the static electricity should be constantly discharged. Anyways I've put a shop vac to about a half dozen computers that people brought to me because they were old and I really didn't care if they died, but no electronics were ever destroyed. I suggest using compressed air can or an air compressor by hooking up one of those air tools to release the air when u hit the button, so you don't have to pay a few dollars a can for compressed air.
I also vacuum cleaned my kid's PCs with no ill effects. If the vacuum cleaner is too powerful, some hose have adjustment to put a small opening in the hose so that the vacuum power is not concentrated to the hose end so there is no danger of sucking any components. Using the vacuum cleaner accessories with the soft brush will also help to dampen the power...
I've used a vacuum several times, although my success does not prove that damage is impossible. Because I'm cheap AND because I know how tenaciously dust clings to surfaces, I have not used canned compressed air. Instead I use a small artist's brush to go over all the surfaces, physically knocking the dust loose. I keep the end of the vacuum close by to suck in the loose dust, but I don't have to push the hose (or the tool on its end) right up against components to loosen the dust - the brush does that.
Its like assembling a PC, if you are careless you can get unlucky and static electricity will fry something. Either dont take the risk or at least use the same precautions you would when assembling a PC (touch the case and the vaccum nozzle to keep them grounded, dont touch any components with the nozzle).
I would recommend NOT using the vaccuum's brush attachment. That's just way too risky.