Jesus 'n Jim

A mainly PC (some Mac) site w/Software, Computer Repair Info, How-To's on Using Computers
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got pets and computer?

 

computer placement

for desktops and laptops, put it on top of your computer desk [with your monitor]. I know space is precious up there, but get it off of the floor and away from the pet hair that swirls around on the floor. you will be doing your cpu fans a favor. this probably means you aren't going to be using your laptop in the rug (not the best place for a hot laptop anyway - should be on a desk with a laptop cooler to keep it from going bonkers and locking up - forget those advertising photos of college kids using their laptop on their bed - if you are having problems, solve them).

cats

cats like to jump up around the computer and on the keyboard. keep them off.

dogs

some dogs shed lots of fine fur and it gets everywhere and in everything - do you know what I am talking about? In any case, the fur gathers in balls and piles on the floor. keep your computer away from the piles, please.

maintenance tips

periodic check

If your computer is acting strange, several things could be wrong (see list below) - check your cpu fans first for clogging:

  • cpu fins and fans clogged with pet hair or dirt. you may or may not be able to fix it yourself. I don't recommend it with laptops. Symptoms:
    • computer works fine for first minute, then goes haywire.
    • high-speed whine while computer comes up until the first graphic mode comes into view. lasts for about a minute. happens on HP's like the A305w. can be 1 of 2 things:
      • HP desktop computers only: LOUD high-pitched whine fan and grinding noises, Geforce 9500 GS-based HP m9340f video card. MSI now offers a free replacement for the black-covered-card only. see forum article, replacement card offer here (https).
      • clogged cpu fan! I have heard an HP a305w desktop pc whine loudly and growl and it had no video card. it was the cpu fan. you may need to remove the screws off of the fan to clean it off so it works better, and also to get at the dirty cpu fins. get an old toothbrush that's frayed on the edges, and if you can find a clean spot, push the toothbrush bristles down in there and scoop up the dirt so the dirt ends up in the bristles. repeat as often as necessary. when you are all done, get out the vaccuum and use the crevice tool (that's the one with the smallest opening) to clean the rest of the dirt out. Do your best - it may be grimy work.
  • spyware. is your Internet Security package up-to-date? you aren't running multiple antispyware/antivirus/Internet Security packages are you? have you done a full scan recently and has it completed successfully? you tell your kids to close the browser immediately if they ever see anything like "your computer is infected, would you like to do a free scan?" or "malware detected. would you like to try a free trial of/buy ...?" don't you? those little yes/no/ok/close boxes may be tricks that install spyware! (go to siteadvisor.com and install mcafee siteadvisor - it's free and it tells you if a site is OK or not). Yes, there is still antivirus software out there for DOS and win9x/ME (ESET offers a backrev NOD32 antivirus product) and anti-spyware (ESET offers a backrev Spysweeper product for win9x/me but you must specially download it).
  • bad power supply or power supply fan now spinning fast enough (had this happen on an HP desktop PSU(power supply) - with a metal nibbling tool I replaced power supply with standard ATX PSU)
  • If your machine is a number of years old, the CR2032 battery on the motherboard has died and needs to be replaced. You can buy one at an office supply store for a few dollars.
  • your motherboard is bad. If you have an OEM version of Windows (likely) and you are changing to a different motherboard, you will need to purchase a RETAIL version of Windows (I don't know if an upgrade would suffice, call microsoft) in order to change motherboards out. Major Manufacturers like Dell do not necessarily use cases that fit standard ATX boards. you may be able to order a replacement motherboard from your manufacturer. when you boot the windows CD/DVD, you will need to choose REBUILD if you are given the option. this will allow you to keep your existing files. If it is a different motherboard, you will need to replace your drivers with the ones that came with the motherboard. If you are sticking with OEM, you will need System Restore CD/DVD's. Some System Restore CD's, like that from HP, wipe the entire system and start over from scratch. HP usually puts a restore partition on the hard drive which you access via a keypress during startup.

anything else you should probably get a computer repair person in. I will leave that up to you.

laptops

I have found cat hair stopping laptop cpu fans.

This usually requires removing 40 small screws, often different kinds, all of which you need to keep track of which hole they went into because they are different lengths. And then there are the modules and boards and parts you must carefully remove (without breaking!). I have found laptops to be a considerable challenge to open just to get at the CPU fan. Once you have unclogged the cpu fan, the fan should be fine.

desktops

In the same way, pet hair can clog and stop cpu fans of desktop machines.

there are several fans that can get clogged on a desktop. there can be:

  • optional front fan
  • sometimes a side fan
  • sometimes a top fan
  • power supply (PSU) fan
  • optional back fan
  • cpu/processor fan