The weather turned nice today and since I had a few hours to spare, I thought I’d go ahead and disassemble the VAIO desktop I was bequeathed earlier this week.

In actuality it turned out I didn’t need to wait for the good weather because the inside of the machine wasn’t nearly as dusty as I anticipated. (I sometimes get sneezing fits on opening computer cases, because of the dust that billows out. As a habit I try to do it outdoors … which is why this was an issue at all.)

Here are a few “before” shots. You can see the ports for the add-on network and USB riser cards in these photos, and to give you an idea of the state of affairs before going under the “brush,” so to speak.


Here’s a first look inside the case.

That’s the power supply blocking the view. I never cared for desktop machines that needed to pack everything so tightly to the center. It’s difficult to get into the case without removing four or five other components that are unrelated. I suppose the public wants cute little computers though.

But Sony was generous in this one, and made it fairly easy to pull apart the case. Both the left and right panels come off with only two or three screws, the top panel has a single screw at its front, and the whole plastic front is a single piece that snaps into place with locking tabs that double as the front feet. So I’m willing to forgive the placement of the power supply. 😉

A better look at the guts.

Nice dust collection. Not as bad as I thought it would be though. Some of the components, strewn about.

The parts were exactly what the software reported — a Buffalo IFC-PCI4U2V high-speed USB riser card, an RTL-8029-based network connection and a Conexant/GVC F-1156IV PCI modem. Optical drive is a Mitsumi CR-48XGTE. The motherboard has a standard array of connections and ports, as you can see. Of course, the riser card makes the onboard USB ports a bit redundant.

Underneath the fan. …

An 800Mhz Duron and a Socket 462 Asus A7S motherboard, with an extra boost of PC133 for a total of 192Mb. Look at the dust in that heat vane! There’s enough in there to start a whole new planet! 🙄

After a good vacuuming and application of copious amounts of compressed air, I employed a healthy dose of dish soap, a scratch-free scrub pad and about an hour’s time. Internal components were wiped free of dust with a mix of white vinegar and water. And the results. …


I’m going to leave this to dry for a day or so, then reassemble it. Retest and restart, and then start on the connecting equipment. The final step will be a fresh software installation, and then to find someone who wants it. That might be the hardest part. 😦


3 thoughts on “Scrub-a-dub-dub

  1. Pingback: The red hot Ubuntu love machine revisited « Motho ke motho ka botho

  2. bk

    You seem to know a lot about cleaning computers. What would be the best way for me to clean my laptop screen? It has smudges, but I’m afraid to use the wrong type of cleaner.

  3. K.Mandla Post author

    If it’s one of the new high-gloss screens you should check the manufacturer’s web site for instructions. Last time I heard, glass cleaners (ammonia-based or otherwise) were a strict no-no for those screens.

    For older screens I use a 50-50 mix of white vinegar and distilled water, for cutting grime and dirt. If the screen isn’t that dirty, you can cut back to 20 percent vinegar, and it will work just as well.

    I believe the Dell web site used to suggest isopropanol and water in similar proportions, but I shifted to vinegar because it’s natural, and works just as well.


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