Cleaning Your Hard Drive

So you empty your temp folder, run scan disk and defrag your hard drive on a regular basis to clean up your data, but what about the drive itself? If you have ever opened the case of a computer you know how much dust, tumbleweeds, lost bytes and other household dirt collects inside the case over time. Today I'll show you how to dismantle your hard drive for a thorough cleaning to ensure clean data and a longer life of your hard drive.

What you need

To achieve the best results, you should gather up these simple household items before you get started:
  • a screwdriver - you'll probably get by with just a philips-head, but a flat-head one comes in handy as well for prying pieces apart etc.
  • a hammer - you know, for those ornery parts that just won't budge
  • a can of compressed air - alternatively, the air hose at the gas station will do just fine
  • a clean cloth, e.g. one those nice linen napkins in the back of the kitchen cabinet for special occasions
  • a toothbrush - if you don't want to use yours, take somebody else's, they'll never notice
  • dental floss - my hard drives prefer mint flavored/unwaxed, but check with your drive firs
  • soap and water - or a dishwasher if you're lazy like me
  • some oil - preferably a spray can of WD-40 for easy application

The subject

First you need to remove the drive from your computer of course, so remove the cover, find the hard drive (tip: if it has a heatsink attached to it, chances are it's not your hard drive - try again, BillyBob), unplug the power connector and data cable, remove the mounting screws and pull it out. Place it on a clean cloth and take a look at this awesome piece of leading edge technology.