Nuts, I'm being forced to open up the innards of my desktop computer at home earlier today. I've been trying to avoid doing this for a very long time because I really hate moving the computer out from its partition on my work desk, marking each and every cable before pulling them out from the back panel, removing the side covers and having to avoid all the wires and fans inside and then changing or installing new hardware.
This time, I have to change the Samsung DVD-writer from the rack. It's been giving me problems for the past few months as I've not been able to use it to write new DVDs and CDs. Worse, it also couldn't read my old archived material. So there's no choice but to replace it.
But possibly, it was also a good decision to do some spring cleaning here. When I opened the casing, the first thing I noticed was a thick layer of dust accumulated around the ventilation fans. I have four ventilation fans sucking away the heat from the microchip and mother board and they were thick with dust. I do remember reading somewhere that dust can actually hinder the performance of a computer. Under certain conditions, it was suggested that the tiny specks can actually help pass along mild electrical impulses enough to spoil certain hardware.
So there I was, vacuuming out the dirt before replacing the spoilt DVD-writer - my friend Eric from Kuala Lumpur asked how on earth could I spoilt my DVD-writer as his has been working fine for four or five years already - with another of the same make. In hindsight, perhaps I should have chosen another brand but I was too lazy to go shopping around on the island.
After that, it was the process of putting everything back together. And since I was already down on my knees, I decided to plug the Canon printer directly into the USB hub in the back panel. That too had been giving me problem for the past few months as it had kept asking me to go direct and not through an external USB hub. All problems are now solved and I can assure my wife that she can now do her work on the desktop without anymore interruption in the evenings.