Meltdown/Spectre: Intel plans changes to protect future chips

Intel has reached one Meltdown/Spectre milestone and is moving on to the next one. The company plans to add “partitioning” to processors later this year to protect against two of the Spectre processor vulnerabilities, it said Thursday.

Intel said last week that it had begun sending patches for its Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge chips to its PC hardware partners, leaving just a few niche chips to be patched. That process has now been completed, Intel said Thursday, covering all of its processors released in the last five years.

Of the three side-channel attacks making up Spectre and Meltdown, the first Spectre vulnerability variant has essentially been patched via software. That code was originally authored by Intel, then routed to customers via hardware makers and Microsoft. Microsoft supplied OS patches as well as Intel’s microcode via Windows Update. But software patches alone won’t be enough to patch the second Spectre variant, as well as Meltdown. Both will demand hardware revisions, which will roll out later this year.

To accomplish that, Intel said it had designed “partitions” to protect against Spectre variant 2 and Meltdown. Those partitions will first appear within the next-generation Xeon, code-named Cascade Lake, as well as an unnamed 8th-generation Core chip expected to ship during the second half of 2018.

Put very broadly, Intel said these partitions would reinforce the protective walls between applications and privileged user levels that both Spectre and Meltdown breached by exploiting a weakness in speculative execution techniques. Though other processor vendors like ARM and AMD were also potentially affected, Intel’s chips were considered to be most vulnerable.

Leaked Intel roadmaps have already suggested that Intel’s desktop roadmap will be relatively spartan throughout 2018, with Coffee Lake chips dominating mainstream consumer PCs, and Skylake-X chips shipping for the enthusiast space. According to photos of its roadmap shared by KKJ.cn and others, Intel plans to update Skylake-X with a Cascade Lake-X chip beginning in the fourth quarter, along with Cascade Lake Xeon chips.

Intel said last May that the Cascade Lake Xeon chips will natively support what Intel calls “persistent memory,” essentially an Optane or 3D XPoint storage solution inside a DRAM form factor. It’s not clear whether Cascade Lake chips for the desktop will include the same persistent memory support.

What this means for you: The best way to protect your Intel-based PC from Spectre and Meltdown is to keep it patched and up-to-date—both from your OS vendor as well as from your motherboard vendor. (Microsoft has stepped in to provide microcode updates, assisting smaller vendors who wouldn’t or couldn’t provide timely patches.) What we don’t know is how serious Meltdown and Spectre will be, long-term—whether an exploit will ever arise that would force PC users to upgrade from vulnerable older chips.

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6 easy ways to keep your Android phone secure

1.Lock your phone (if you haven’t already)

  1. This seems like a no-brainer, I know, but there are too many Android users toting around unlocked handsets because they’d rather not hassle with a passcode. I sympathize, to be perfectly honest—PINs are annoying, particularly if you’re having to tap one in every time you want to use your own phone.

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2.Locate and wipe your phone remotely

  1. OK, so you locked your Android phone with a PIN or Smart Lock but you lost it anyway. Now what? Luckily, you can use the Android Device Manager to track your lost device and even wipe it if necessary, but only if you’ve enabled a pair of settings first.

    3.Make sure Unknown Sources setting is disabled

    So much for physical threats to your Android phone—now, let’s move on to something trickier, starting with malicious apps.

    Google does its best to make sure the apps on the Google Play store are free from malware, but it can’t protect you from apps on third-party app stores or web sites.

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    4.Let Android scan and verify your apps

    Even with Google busily screening the apps in the Google Play store, there’s always a chance that a malicious app slips through the cracks. With the right setting enabled, your Android phone can periodically scan your installed apps for malware.

    5.Keep your phone updated

    Hackers are continually changing up their strategies when it comes to cracking Android’s security features—and as they do, Google keeps releasing security updates to patch the latest known vulnerabilities.

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    That’s why it’s critical that you keep your Android device updated with the latest patches. If you don’t, you’re essentially leaving your phone wide open to attack.

    6.Turn on Chrome’s Safe Browsing feature

    Malicious apps aren’t the only online threat your Android phone will encounter. The web is rife with malicious sites that might try to steal your personal data via a “phishing” attack, or surreptitiously download a harmful app onto your handset.

Why do smartphone batteries explode?

Smartphones are cool. Explosions are cool. But combining the two? Not so cool. Sadly, though, exploding smartphones are a real thing. The risk may be fairly low, but that’s little consolation to those who’ve lost the use of their trousers – or worse…

Generally speaking, it takes an extremely serious manufacturing fault – or, more likely, series of faults – for such a catastrophic failure to occur.

But when it does happen, the results are dramatic – and often make headlines around the world. Most recently, Samsung suffered serious damage to their reputation in 2016 after a number of their flagship Galaxy Note 7 handsets spontaneously combusted, prompting a global recall.

Although stories like these are rare, it’s obvious why they capture the public imagination: none of us want to imagine that we’re carrying around a rectangle of highly volatile explosive in our pockets. But what actually causes smartphone explosions – and is there anything you can do to protect yourself?

The main offender: faulty hardware

When a smartphone (or tablet, or any other high-tech kit) goes bang, it’s almost always down to one faulty component: the battery.

After all, that’s where your phone draws its energy from – and an explosion is, as Wikipedia handily reminds us, “a rapid increase in volume and release of energy in an extreme manner”!

Here’s the basic version: all batteries have both ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ plates, which are usually kept separated by a non-conductive material. But if anything metallic happens to join the two plates – for example, if the battery is pierced by a metal object – then a short circuit is created.

Short circuits, by their nature, create an incredible amount of heat, light and other energy – and with the relatively large quantity of energy stored in the typical smartphone battery, this results in a serious explosion.

Now, modern smartphones use lithium-ion batteries which are, generally speaking, very safe. But if they’re overcharged without adequate protection, metallic lithium deposits can form between the plates, creating a short circuit – and that can be a recipe for a big bang, followed swiftly by calls to the fire brigade and your insurance provider.

Now, this is remarkably rare. These days, practically all lithium ion batteries have safety devices to prevent overcharging – but even with the best protection in the world, occasional manufacturing errors slip through the cracks.

What makes these errors particularly dangerous is that they don’t cause immediate failure. Generally, it isn’t until the battery gets warm that things get dangerous – and unfortunately for us, our phones tend to be at their warmest when we’re using them!

And it’s not always necessarily the battery itself that’s at fault. Anything that causes the battery to dramatically overheat can cause a catastrophic failure – including knock-off chargers and dubious third-party accessories.

If one of those overheats and conducts that heat to the battery, a big bang can often result – indeed, this is far more likely than a manufacturing fault in a genuine phone battery.

Keeping safe

So, how do you protect yourself? In the case of dodgy third-party accessories, there’s one simple step you can take to protect yourself and your phone: avoid lesser-known and generic brands.

In particular, China has a massive issue with unregulated third-party chargers and accessories, causing serious safety issues – so much so that Apple’s China-based website includes a safety page detailing the risks.

It’s not such a problem here in Europe, and most third-party manufacturers are held to the same stringent regulations that Apple are – but in the age of the Internet, it’s not difficult for dodgy devices to slip through the cracks.

As such, you should avoid buying generic chargers, cables and the like from unregulated marketplaces – whether in your hometown or on Amazon – and always check for good reviews and trusted suppliers when buying.

That should keep you safe from dodgy accessories – but what about battery failure?

First, the bad news: there aren’t always any clear or obvious warning signs to let you know that your lithium ion battery is about to fail.

Sometimes, a battery will start to swell and bulge before it fails completely, as the internal cells rupture and break. If you see something like this, ditch the battery as soon as possible – and try to do it safely!

But the bulge doesn’t always happen. If not, you might notice that your device is a little warmer than usual – but let’s be honest, our phones get fairly warm during standard usage anyway.

Perhaps because these faults are so hard to detect, mainstream manufacturers tend to be extremely quick and thorough with recalls: in 2015, gaming hardware giant Nvidia recalled nearly 90,000 of their high-end Shield gaming tablets after four devices reportedly caught fire. Similarly, Apple recalled a “very small percentage” of iPhone 5 devices in 2014 after identifying issues with the battery.

But these are big manufacturers, with stringent quality control procedures and the means to broadcast recall notices far and wide. Third parties don’t have the same abilities– and so, when it comes to buying replacement batteries, it’s always best to go with a trusted big-name manufacturer.

Final thoughts

The most important thing is not to worry too much: while dramatic, exploding smartphone incidents are incredibly rare – and by following a few sensible guidelines concerning third-party accessories, you can reduce the risk even further.

But it can never be entirely eliminated for as long as we’re using lithium-ion batteries. For that reason, it’s crucial to keep a close eye on all of your battery-powered devices for any suspicious bulging or dramatic overheating.

If you’re in any doubt at all, contact a tech support professional or your device manufacturer for further guidance – because with stakes so high, it’s not worth taking any risks.

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6 tricks to refresh your old PC

So your computer’s a few years old, and it’s not running as well as it used to. Unfortunately, this happens over time but if you’re not ready to give up on your old computer just yet, these tricks can help you get it running better.

Perform regular maintenance

One of the first things to do is a maintenance check, to make sure nothing’s causing your PC to slow down. You’ve probably got a built-in virus scanner, but if not you can get a good one online for free. If it’s just getting old, then this won’t make things start running super-fast, but it will make sure everything is working at its best. When it comes to an older machine, every little helps.

Use lighter programs

Some programs, like iTunes, are very big and use a lot of an older machine’s power to run. Older machines can struggle under the demands of these programs, so it’s worth checking if there’s an alternative. If you’ve got an iPhone, you’ll need iTunes to sync your devices, but when it comes to playing music, using a program like Spotify can really speed things up.

Use older programs

When there isn’t a ‘lightweight’ version of the program you want to use, there might be an older version. These are usually smaller programs than their newer versions, because they have fewer features. For example, if you don’t have the minimum system requirements to run Photoshop CS5, you can find a copy of CS4 and use that instead. Usually, the older version will be cheaper too, which is always nice.

Install a lighter operating system

One of the easiest ways to improve performance is to install a new operating system altogether. If it’s not something you’re familiar with, we suggest looking up a tutorial, or doing some research first, because it can completely change the way you work. The upside is a major speed boost. Linux is a popular choice, but you’ll want to find something that suits your needs.

Upgrading your hardware

If you’ve got a bit of money to spend on improving your computer, but don’t want to buy a new one, then upgrading the hardware is a good option. It’s not always possible on certain laptops and desktops, but you should still be able to upgrade the RAM and the hard drive as a minimum. RAM can give you a boost in some areas, but you’ll see the most benefit from upgrading the hard drive to an SSD (solid state drive).

Repurposing old kit

There’s a few things you can do to keep your old computer in use. The smaller it is, the more options you’ve got. An old laptop could be repurposed into a kitchen helper, being used for videos or recipes while you’re cooking.

Alternatively, you could turn it into a networked FreeNAS (Free network attached storage) box. This is basically a storage box that’s attached to your network, and any computer on that network can see the files on the NAS. It’s a great option for bigger households, or just when you don’t want to store a bunch of external drives.

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5 hints your computer is about to die

When you’ve had your computer for a while, there’s no way that you can predict when it’s going to stop working for the last time, but there are some warning signs that it’s on its way out. Look out for these 5 and you might save yourself losing your information. Of course, backing up your computer is a must, whether it’s working properly or not, but it’s even more important if your computer could be breaking.

Things to look out for

Software problems

If your programs are all up-to-date but keep glitching or freezing, it’s a sign that there could be something wrong. When software has problems, it can make your computer freeze, crash, or show errors.

If there’s only one program with the problem, it’s probably not the computer. If it happens on lots of programs, even after a virus scan or reboot, it could well be a problem. Make sure you’ve got everything backed up.

Hardware problems

Some small things can start to happen that you might not notice at first: your mouse or keyboard stops working, your pen drive isn’t being picked up, or there are black lines appearing on your monitor.

The first thing to do is to check that everything is plugged in properly because it might just be a loose connection. If the problems don’t go away, it might be a sign that the computer is starting to go.

Noisy parts

Noises or bangs coming from your computer are a bad sign. If it’s clicking or grinding noises coming from your hard drive, then it’s most likely the moving parts that are having problems.

If the noises seem to be coming from your fan, it could mean dirt or dust has built up – and that could make things start overheating.

Some parts are replaceable and inexpensive, but if it’s more serious, then it might be time to say goodbye.

Startup failures

Do you turn your computer on and see messages like ‘disk boot failure’? Or maybe your computer restarts itself in the middle of turning on. Either one can be a sign that the hard drive is failing, and unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about that except replace it (the hard drive or the whole computer).

But bear in mind that it’s normal for your computer to slow down a little bit over time, and you can give it a boost by clearing out old or unused programs.

Poor performance

Slow or unstable performance is normal with older computers and hardware, but there could be a couple of things making it happen. It could have a virus, or there could be serious hardware problems.

When you start experiencing things like that, you’ll want to make sure you’ve got everything backed up, because even if you’re a pro at figuring out computer problems, there’s no way to know exactly when it’s going to go.

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10 ways to clean your hard drive

Make Windows faster and more reliable by performing a set of simple household chores to keep it lean and mean

It’s frustrating trying to find things in a house full of clutter and the same can be said for your PC. The messier it gets, the longer it takes your computer to get stuff done and the more likely it is to crash during the process. So, we’ve come up with some simple steps to help you maintain and tidy up your PC, leading to a faster, more stable experience.

  1. Disk Cleanup

The Disk Cleanup tool helps remove redundant files from your computer. You access it by clicking Start and selecting Computer. Right-click your hard drive icon and choose Properties, then click the Disk Cleanup button. Once your drive has been scanned, a list of files will appear. Choose one to find out more about the files then tick the items you want to clean.

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  1. Clean up system file

To clean up more files using Disk Cleanup, click the Cleanup System Files button. If Service Pack Backup Files is available, and your PC is functioning well, select it and you’ll save more disk space. Choose More Options and choose to delete all but the most recent restore point to claw back even more space. Finally, click OK to clean your computer.

  1. Disk check

It’s a good idea to ensure that your hard drive is working properly. Disks can pick up software errors that stop data being managed effectively, or they can have physical damage on the disk surface. From the same disk properties dialogue you used to open Disk Cleanup, switch to the Tools tab. Click Check now, under Error Checking, and tick both options. Click Start then restart your computer for the check to take place. It takes a bit of time so be patient.

  1. Remove unnecessary programs

Getting rid of programs you don’t use can also help keep your PC ticking over in trim condition. Choose Start > Control Panel > Uninstall a program. When the program list appears, look for applications you definitely don’t use – if in doubt, leave it alone. To remove a program, select it and click the Uninstall button, then follow the wizard to delete it from your PC.

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  1. Defragment disk

Fragmented data basically means files that are stored in multiple pieces, scattered all over your hard drive. It takes your drive longer to stitch the files back together, which increases the wear and tear on it and reduces its lifespan. Defragging the drive fixes this problem, speeding up performance and protecting your hard drive.

Windows 7 and Vista automatically defrag your drive once a week. For XP users, you need to choose Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Defragmenter. Select the drive to process and choose Analyze disk, followed by Defragment Disk, if necessary. Note you should not defragment a SSD (solid-state drive), if you’ve fitted one in your PC.

  1. Startup items

Many programs are set to start automatically with your PC, but if too many are installed your computer will take longer to start. You’ll also find the overall performance of your PC is reduced, as too many programs are using up its resources.

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To manage which programs start with Windows, download a free program called Autoruns. For a guide to using Autoruns to remove unwanted programs from startup, click here.

  1. Windows update

For optimum performance, you need to keep Windows up to date. Important updates usually install automatically, but optional ones can improve performance too. Choose Start > All Programs > Windows Update and click Check for updates. When the scan completes, check the optional updates offered and install any you think might be useful.

  1. Update drivers

The latest driver updates can improve performance, fix bugs and add new features. Check the optional section of Windows Update for the latest driver updates for your Advent PC.

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  1. Indexing options

Click Start, type indexing options into the Search box and press [Enter]. Choose Modify and pick which folders and drives you want to index, to speed up future searches. If you index too many areas, overall performance is reduced, so try and get the right balance by choosing folders you might need to search in the future.

  1. Visual effects

Right-click Computer on the Start Menu and choose Properties. Select Advanced System Settings. Under Performance, choose Settings. Select Adjust for best performance and click OK to turn off all visual effects but improve overall speed.

How to check your CPU temperature

There are many important stats to keep track of if you’re interested in the working health of your PC, but few are as important as the temperature of major components like your central processor. If you’re not sure how to do so though, don’t worry about breaking out the mercury thermometers, there are a number of quick and easy ways to keep an eye on how toasty your CPU is.

In this guide we’ll walk you through exactly how to check your CPU temperature, from your motherboard’s own reporting tools, to great third-party apps for occasional checks, to software and hardware solutions that keep you in the loop whenever you’re system’s booted.

Windows apps

You don’t need to get into the nitty-gritty of UEFI/BIOS to measure your CPU’s temperature. Monitoring applications use the same physical temperature sensors in your system as your UEFI/BIOS, but make it accessible right through Windows. That means you can check it without a restart and you can also force your CPU to do something difficult so you can see how warm it gets when it’s working hard.

There are a number of first and third-party apps out there that you can use to get quick and easy access to your CPU’s temperature and a lot more information besides. Some of them can be a little overwhelming, but if you’re just looking to find out how to check your CPU temperature, our favorites listed below will see you right.

INTEL XTU

If you have an Intel Core processor, then Intel’s Extreme Tuning Utility (XTU) is arguably the best way to check how hot your processor is running. Although designed primarily as an overclocking tool, Intel XTU comes with a number of built-in monitoring functions as well.

Step 1: To find out how hot your CPU is when running it, download the program from Intel’s download center and install it like you would any application.

Step 2: Booting it up, you’ll be presented with a lot of information, but in the lower panel of the main screen, you’ll see a few pieces of key information about your CPU. Most important for this particular guide however, is the “package temperature,” and associated graph. That’s your CPU temperature.

Step 3: You can also see how hard your CPU is working by its “CPU Utilization” percentage. The higher that is, the more your CPU is having to do. If you want to see how it does under stress, you can use the XTU’s built-in CPU benchmark under the relevant left-hand tab.

AMD RYZEN MASTER

Step 1: If you’re running one of AMD’s new Ryzen processors you can make use of AMD’s own Ryzen Master tool. It works in much the same way as Intel’s XTU, but for Ryzen chips instead. Head on over to its download center to install the program.

Step 2: Alongside its core clock tweaking abilities, it also has a CPU temperature monitor you can view on the left-hand side. Like the XTU, there’s also a graph that can plot your CPU’s temperature over time, even breaking it down by the core, so you can see if individual cores are getting warmer than others.

Step 3: The Ryzen Master tool can also give you average and peak readings, so you can see how hot your CPU gets over a long period of time — great for those concerned about time of day or outside forces affecting CPU temperature.

AN ALTERNATE SOFTWARE OPTION: HWMONITOR

A classic PC monitoring solution, HWMonitor can tell you everything about the various components in your system, from the voltages they require — to the temperatures they run at. It doesn’t feature any sort of overclocking tools and its interface is barebones, but it’s clean, lightweight and easy to parse at a quick glance.

Hardware monitors

If none of the above methods are quite what you’re looking for when it comes to checking your CPU temperature, you could always opt for a hardware monitor. These typically come as part of fan controllers which slot into one of the optical drive ports on desktop systems. They sometimes use your onboard temperature sensors, but many come with their own wired thermometers to give you additional information about how hot your CPU is getting.

Note: These hardware monitors do require installation to some degree, so be prepared to open up your system to fit them, or pay to have it done by a professional.

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How to Charge Your iPhone Faster

When your iPhone’s battery is depleted, it can’t charge fast enough. Being stuck without your phone often means being stranded without social contact, your map, your music library and your video game collection among other things.

The iPhone doesn’t have quick charging technology built-in like some Androids do, but there are a few things you can do to make your iPhone charge slightly faster. The less your iPhone is doing, the faster it’s battery will recharge. This is why many believe switching your phone into Airplane Mode helps it charge more quickly, since this cuts off the phone’s ability to connect to the Internet and fetch information. If you still want to receive texts and calls while charging, there are some other settings you can change to make your iPhone charge faster. Turning off Wi-Fi, lowering the screen brightness, and disabling app notifications can help.

Apple also says removing your iPhone’s case may help it preserve battery life, especially if it’s overheating. If you have an iPad charger readily available, try charging using it to charge your iPhone to speed up battery replenishment.

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KNOWHOW guide to preventing your laptop from overheating

Some simple steps to prevent your laptop from overheating, and a guide to getting it running again if it does

If your laptop switches off for no reason, the likely cause is overheating. You should be able to tell if this is the case by touching the bottom of the machine. If it feels very hot, here are the steps to follow to get it running again. It should take you about thirty minutes. You’ll need a Philips head screwdriver, a flat-head screwdriver and a soft brush.

The first step to avoid overheating in the future is to ensure that the vents underneath the laptop are not blocked. You should keep it on a hard, flat surface or worktop. In spite of its name, it’s never a good idea to use your laptop on your lap, or on the bed or sofa. If you want to use it like this, you can buy a laptop support or stand that provides a flat surface for it to rest on and allows air to circulate underneath it and keep it ventilated.

If your laptop has already overheated, you’ll need to clean the fans inside.

Note: Opening your laptop voids the manufacturer’s guarantee. Please do so at your own risk. If you have insurance or your laptop is still under warranty, please contact the manufacturer or return it to the shop you bought it from for further help.

The inside of your laptop can get very dusty, so it will need a clean from time to time. To clean your laptop, follow these steps:

  1. Unfasten the screws and open the back of the laptop.
  2. Be careful to avoid touching anything in the laptop other than the fans.
  3. Using a cotton swab or small soft brush, gently wipe away any dust caught in the fans.
  4. Once you’re finished, place the cover back on and fasten the screws again.

Watching DVDs or having lots of programs open at once can consume more processing power –which can lead to overheating. If this is the case, you should change your laptop’s power settings so it’s not running on full performance. This can be done in Control Panel > Power Options.

Viruses and Spyware running in the background can also take up a hefty amount of power. To ensure your laptop is clean and not overheating for this reason, run a full anti-virus scan.

Leaving the problem can damage your laptop, which can include corrupting your hard drive. If your laptop is overheating, make sure you take the correct steps in fixing it or if you’re unsure of what to do, contact the manufacturer for help.

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Keep your laptop or desktop PC clean

Discover how to keep your PC free from dust and other dirt in this simple step-by-step guide

The build-up of dust and dirt in your PC does more than simply make it look scruffy. Over time it can affect its reliability and performance too, as the dirt clogs up your airways and fans, your PC runs hotter and components wear out faster and struggle to perform at their best. In this tutorial, we’ll reveal ways of safely cleaning out the dirt to keep your PC running at its best for longer.

  1. Assemble your toolkit

Start by putting together the tools you need for cleaning. Start with an anti-microbial cleaning cloth for cleaning the outside of your computer – PC World stocks an ESSENTIALS washable cloth that’s sensibly priced. Hard-to-reach areas can be cleaned using a can of compressed air, like this FELLOWES Mini Turbo Air Duster. You may also need a small handheld vacuum cleaner and a small, soft brush that won’t shed its hairs easily – a make-up brush or soft paint brush is ideal.

  1. Prepare to clean

Switch off your computer and unplug it from the mains before removing any other cables from the main chassis. Leave it a good 20-30 minutes to cool down, particularly if you plan to open it up to clean the inside. Place it on an accessible, clean surface such as a table.

  1. Clean the outside

Use your vacuum cleaner to carefully remove obvious dust from the vents and various ports (USB , network, monitor and so on). Try to avoid spinning the fans in the wrong direction when vacuuming near them to prevent possible damage – for this reason don’t use a can of compressed air. Once complete, use your anti-bacterial cloth to give the PC’s exterior a good clean, removing any additional dust and grime you find. Earbuds are a good cleaning tool for crevices, grills and other small gaps.

  1. Clean the keyboard

Don’t forget to clean your laptop’s keyboard – the can of compressed air and soft brush can help dislodge the worst of the dirt that’s fallen down inside it. Cleaning the keys themselves might require a brush with harder bristles to gently scrape off the dirt. If you plan to use a cleaning solution, use isopropyl to moisten a paper towel or damp rag to clean the tops of the keys, and a moistened ear bud to clean between them. Do not pour the solution directly on to the keyboard!

  1. Clean other devices

Use the cloth to clean all your cables and peripherals such as printers, removing any obvious dust and grime. Use your soft brush to clean inside any small holes to help dislodge any dirt inside. Look for dedicated cleaning products for certain elements, such as monitor screens.

  1. Clean inside your desktop

If you’re a confident user, comfortable with opening up your desktop PC, you can go further and carefully clean its insides too. We strongly recommend you wear an anti-static wristband, which should be clipped to the side of your case after removing the cover.

Start by using your vacuum’s nozzle to remove the worst of the dust inside, but make sure it doesn’t touch any of the components. For a more thorough clean, use short bursts of compressed air (any longer and you might introduce moisture) in conjunction with your soft brush or cloth to shift more stubborn dirt. Advanced users may also wish to take out expansion cards and cables to clean them, but make sure you know exactly where they came from!

 

Once you’ve finished cleaning your laptop or desktop PC, you should find it runs smoother, quieter and cooler – all without upgrading or repairing it.

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