Is a well-maintained motherboard forever? or Will he die anyway?

As a PC user, you will know that you have to do some regular maintenance on your computer’s hardware -especially in terms of cleaning tasks- so that it remains in good condition and thus extend its useful life. Exactly the same thing happens with the motherboard, but it is also necessary to take a series of precautions and care when handling it since, due to its size and number of circuits, solders, components and connectors, it is much more delicate than other elements. .

Tips for handling the motherboard

As we said a moment ago, the motherboard is quite a delicate element due to its large size and the number of components, connectors and welds that make up its entire surface. For this reason, when you prepare to mount, disassemble or even clean the motherboard there are a series of precautions that you should take in order to prevent it from being accidentally damaged.

Beware of static electricity

Always get rid of static electricity before touching it. The human body has a certain amount of static electricity, and touching no longer a motherboard but any other electronic element could damage it. To do this, just touch for a couple of seconds some metallic element such as a radiator or the side cover of your PC case.

Unplug everything before

Never touch the motherboard with the PC plugged in (and even less, on). It is obvious that you should never touch the motherboard with the PC turned on, but since motherboards have enough capacitors that accumulate energy even with the computer turned off, it is recommended that if you have to touch the motherboard, in addition to discharging electricity static make sure that the PC is completely unplugged from the power and, in addition, that it has been at least a couple of minutes since you unplugged it until you touch the component. Only then can you have guarantees that the electrical elements have been completely discharged.

Hold the motherboard properly

When you have to hold the motherboardNever do it directly from the PCB as it is one of the most fragile items. In the image above you have the correct way to do it: with your fingers underneath to hold, and above the area of ​​the RAM memory sockets, since the plastic and metal with which they are built gives that area of greater rigidity. Alternatively, the chipset heatsink area is good too.

Don’t hit the plate

When installing the motherboard in the PC case, always make sure to do it in diagonal, making the area of ​​rear connectors enter first and then placing it on the brass anchors carefully, making the holes coincide. Never slide it off, otherwise these brackets could scratch and damage the back of the PCB.

Use soft surfaces

If you take the motherboard out of the PC case (for example, when you intend to mount it or if you disassemble it for cleaning), make sure that you do not leave it on a metal or excessively hard surface, such as glass. It is always best to leave it on a cloth, antistatic plastic or a paperboard to prevent it from being damaged.

By following these five tips, you shouldn’t have any trouble handling a motherboard.

Cleanliness is essential

Clean motherboard

Generally, the motherboard is mounted in the PC case vertically, so the area that tends to accumulate the most dirt is precisely the upper one. Despite this, all areas of the motherboard, and especially the recesses that remain between the RAM sockets, heatsinks, PCI-Express sockets, etc. They tend to inevitably accumulate dust, and you already know that dust turns into soot with heat and this conducts electricity, which can lead to misfortune.

Therefore, the cleaning of the motherboard is as important or more important than that of any other element of the PC, and therefore it is advisable to spend some time from time to time to leave it as clean as possible, within what it fits. The ideal is to completely disassemble the motherboard from the PC, place it on a cardboard box and carry out a thorough cleaning, using a soft and clean brush and, if necessary, even with a compressed air spray for those nooks that are difficult to access. (Needless to say, don’t ever use a vacuum cleaner).

When cleaning the motherboard with a brush, make sure this is from Soft hair (Be careful with the typical paint brushes because they have very hard hair) and that it is completely clean. Never squeeze too much, pass the brush gently everywhere and always in the same direction if possible, so that all the dirt you remove from its surface goes to the same side.

Clean the base plate “on top”

Dust on a motherboard

However, if you don’t want to get into the mess of having to disassemble your entire PC to clean the inside, here are our recommendations for cleaning “above” that, at least, will help you remove most of the dust accumulated:

  • Turn off and completely unplug your computer.
  • Remove the side of the box and lay it horizontally on a solid, firm surface.
  • Remove the graphics card and RAM. If possible, also remove the heatsink (so you can take the opportunity to clean it as well and change the thermal paste).
  • Now, being very careful especially with the connections, clean as best you can with the brush. Here it is even more important to do it in one direction so that all the crap ends up on the same side.
  • Once finished, clean the area where the dirt has been with a cloth to leave it clean.
  • Reassemble the heatsink, RAM, and graphics card and plug it all in again.

Although this process is not, let’s say, a thorough cleaning, if you do it regularly you will get the plate to be more or less clean and thus extend its useful life.

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