My computer stopped working after blowing air in it

Hello I have a dell Inspiron 530s slimline desktop. I went to clean it out by blowing air in it to get the dust out I also removed the heatsink because it was covered in dust. But when I put it back together it wouldn't turn on. I tested the psu with a dmm and it still works. So maybe I messed up the CPU when I removed the heatsink? Any info is appreciated.
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  1. Hi,

    When you say it does not turn on, do you mean it will not POST or that nothing turns on at all? If you try just a minimal boot, with just the cpu (and its fan), video, and 1 stick of ram can you get to the BIOS screen or do the fans not even turn on? If your motherboard has a flea power led, does that turn on when you connect the power?

    Also, most dell power buttons change color during different phases of booting. Is yours showing any light at all, or is is solid orange, flashing orange, or is it going green?

    If you have no power doing just a minimal boot, try reseating everything, including the cpu and reapply thermal paste after cleaning it from the heat sink and cpu. I would also make sure that the cpu fan is connected to the right pins on the system board as well. Some computers will not start if they detect a fan problem. Something else you can try is taking the system board out of the case and try running it on a non conductive surface such as card board, to rule out any shorts to the case.
  2. Hi :)

    HOW did you blow air ???

    Please tell me you used a CAN and NOT a compressed AIRLINE ??? Which is much too powerful...

    All the best Brett :)
  3. Did you clean the thermal paste off the heatsink and reapply new thermal paste? If not start there.
  4. Wow thanks guys I will try all of the above and get back to you with my results. Also I used a vacuum.
  5. Brett928S2 said:
    Hi :)

    HOW did you blow air ???

    Please tell me you used a CAN and NOT a compressed AIRLINE ??? Which is much too powerful...

    All the best Brett :)


    Actually I've used an air compressor with a blow gun (which pulls in outside air into the stream) quite successfully a number of times to blow the dust bunnies out of my old desktop. Just have to make sure that no condensed water gets into the airstream (run the compressor on a low humidity day) and that you don't get too close to the components. I just take the cover off, haul the case out to the driveway and blow clouds of dust towards my neighbor's house :D.

    However I do not remove the cooler as there's no need to IMO - the blow gun does a great job of cleaning the Zalman 9700 fan & fins. I also make sure all cables are securely connected afterwards when hooking it back up at my desk.

    Probably a better solution would be to get some cheesecloth or old cotton T-shirt cloth and cover all the fan intakes with it, as a dust catcher.
  6. Using a vacuum was a bad idea, vacuums can create static in the metal tube and discharge on the mobo either through direct contact or through your hands.
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