Inside Your Computer

Your computer is an air filter.  If it's running, it's circulating air from where you are and blowing it through a heatsink (a radiator) to cool down the processor (the computing part) on your computer.

On this computer, we discovered the styrofoam peanuts were put there by a previous tech to hold the power jack in place....

When I'm doing repairs, I often find people mentioning their computer is running hot.

Dust often has a hard time escaping. These grills are supposed to help in cooling but sometimes end up acting like a dryer lint filter gathering dust and lint sometimes to the point where they are blocking and trapping the hot air from escaping.

When dust blocks the path out for the hot air, your processor can get so hot that the computer simply shuts off instantly.

Often, it's an easy job to get the dust out, and then the computer runs cool and fast again.

The job of this fan is to blow air onto the heatsink (radiator) behind it to cool it down, and therefore keep the processor from over heating.  How do you think that job is going right now?  

The blanket of dust behind the fan not only blocks the cool air from cooling the processor, but can also hold static electricity.  Misdirected static electricity can goof up computer commands or hang onto bad commands. 

These barrel-shaped cylinders with the peace sign on top are called Capacitors.  They filter electricity.  

Electricity is powerful and erratic and needs to have its flow controlled. Like a fire hose with no fireman would blow water in every direction, the fireman controls the power and flow of the water.  Capacitors do a similar job.

The center capacitor is bulged and leaking, and no longer filtering. The two outside capacitors are fine.

Since the bad capacitor is not filtering, the increased electricity is in a sense forcing the part it controls to have a seizure.

Bad capacitors can be responsible for the Blue Screen of death, Slow Start-ups, Slow Shut-Downs, the computer just freezing or hanging,  and other failures.

They can be replaced if you are handy with a soldering iron. But often, when multiple bad capacitors are present, your computer may be telling you that now is a good time to upgrade to something newer.

Amber,   This one is yours.