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Mac Notebook Tune-Up

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I've had my Core Duo MacBook for almost one year now, and it's been great. I take very good care of it, and I would like to keep it functioning/looking awesome for many more years. Is there any maintenance I should do to keep it in tip top condition? I know that the accumulation of dust is a major problem, but maybe this is more for desktop computers. Is it a good idea to open up my Mac and clean it out? Like, take out RAM and other stuff and clean it? Also, dust and other things have found their way down below the keyboard. I've heard that you can buy compressed air, and all you need to do is spray shots of air into the keyboard to clean it out.

 

Anything else for cleaning the hardware? Is there anything I should do for software? Everything seems to be running perfectly.

 

Any advice would be appreciated. I don't live near an Apple store, so I cannot easily go to a Genus Bar and just ask someone there.

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I've had my Core Duo MacBook for almost one year now, and it's been great. I take very good care of it, and I would like to keep it functioning/looking awesome for many more years. Is there any maintenance I should do to keep it in tip top condition? I know that the accumulation of dust is a major problem, but maybe this is more for desktop computers. Is it a good idea to open up my Mac and clean it out? Like, take out RAM and other stuff and clean it? Also, dust and other things have found their way down below the keyboard. I've heard that you can buy compressed air, and all you need to do is spray shots of air into the keyboard to clean it out.

 

Anything else for cleaning the hardware? Is there anything I should do for software? Everything seems to be running perfectly.

 

Any advice would be appreciated. I don't live near an Apple store, so I cannot easily go to a Genus Bar and just ask someone there.

I have a first gen macbook pro and I just recently backed it up and did a clean install then migrated things back. It's snappier and I cleared up lots of drive space by customizing my OSX install.

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Hmm, that'd be difficult for me because I don't have an external hard drive to put everything on in the meantime.

 

Any hardware maintenance?

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Hmm, that'd be difficult for me because I don't have an external hard drive to put everything on in the meantime.

 

Any hardware maintenance?

No hardware maintenance. Not much you can do on a notebook. You might consider buying yourself an external drive though as right no you don't have a backup so you are in danger of losing everything all the time.

Edited by joshr

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You should back up, back up, back up as Adam says nearly every show!

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Hmm, that'd be difficult for me because I don't have an external hard drive to put everything on in the meantime.

 

Any hardware maintenance?

 

Actually there is something you can do as far as hardware on the MacBook, if you're brave enough. Looking into the MacBook is very easy since the topcase (the piece of plastic with the trackpad and keyboard) can be just popped off. There are some screws in the battery compartment that need to be removed, as well as some of the ones from around the side of the 'book and three on the bottom. I don't remember which of these are needed to be removed, but I took them all out and then put them all back and it went fine. Now, if you GENTLY slide something like a plastic putty knife just under the top case you should be able to start popping the seals. They act kinda like snaps do on clothing, they're differently shaped, but same idea using friction to hold them together. once you've gotten them all popped up just take some canned air and blow around in there. Be careful because there are wires connecting the topcase to the rest of the computer so don't pull on it, just lift it gently. If you want to disconnect the wires, go ahead if you know how to do it properly. Just remember to plug them back in or you're going to have to do the take apart again. For more details google for a MacBook take apart they might have pics. I lost my beloved iBook to dust, and am going to clean out my new MacBook every six months or so.

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Also the fram around the screen can be popped off too. If you want to get a feel fro what you're going to be doing just do that. you can see what I've called the snaps. The ones on the monitor are much smaller and easier to pop off. I can take mine off with just my fingernails. If you do pry that off you can look in either of the top corners and see two rectangular prism pieces of metal, those are the magnets that hold your computer together. When it comes time to junk this computer I'm taking those with me.

 

-Tom

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I just use a can of compressed air and use that in the gaps. It blows the dust out, then I clean off the gunk my hands leave all over it with alcohol wipes.

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I just use a can of compressed air and use that in the gaps. It blows the dust out, then I clean off the gunk my hands leave all over it with alcohol wipes.

The alchohol doesn't hurt the finish on your macbook pro?

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Not at all. Apart from a couple of scratches it looks just the same as when I opened the box. You can get alcohol free ones if it bothers you, but these are what the guys at the genius bar recommended as what they use in store to clean the display computers.

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Not at all. Apart from a couple of scratches it looks just the same as when I opened the box. You can get alcohol free ones if it bothers you, but these are what the guys at the genius bar recommended as what they use in store to clean the display computers.

Yeah, that's what I use. I didn't know they actually recommend that you use that. That's awesome. I have always used isopropyl alcohol wipes on all my products (MacBook, iPod, DS, Wii, controllers, etc.). It doesn't hurt the finish and does not leave an odor--just cleans them up. I work at a hospital so I just take a bunch of the wipes home with me. You can just buy a bottle of the same stuff at a store.

 

Where do you buy compressed air? That could be a little harder to find.

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I get it from Maplin's here in the uk. They're an electronics shop, so have a look in somewhere that sells electronic components.

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I get it from Maplin's here in the uk. They're an electronics shop, so have a look in somewhere that sells electronic components.

Any decent electronics store will have canned air [always makes me think of spaceballs :)].

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Any decent electronics store will have canned air [always makes me think of spaceballs :)].

 

Never thought of Spaceballs when I buy canned air, but now I will every time. Thanks for the chuckle. Maybe I'll watch that movie after the Mets game.

 

-Tom

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Never thought of Spaceballs when I buy canned air, but now I will every time. Thanks for the chuckle. Maybe I'll watch that movie after the Mets game.

 

-Tom

Inhale it and you really might think of spaceballs :)

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You should back up, back up, back up as Adam says nearly every show!

 

 

 

it's true you should back up! I hade a windows box and the drive went dead I had to pay like.......well.....let us put it this way it was a 4 diget numer..to get that data back.

OnyX is a great matanace tool it will make you Mac a lot faster!

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I've actually switched away from alcohol wipes (for no other reason other than I couldn't get hold of any and my MBP was filthy) so I picked up a bottle of iClean from the Apple Store. It works pretty well too, and its supposed to be formulated for computers. It's a tad pricey though. £20 for a 200ml bottle.

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I wouldn't recommend opening up the MacBook just to try and dust it. I haven't noticed a lot of dust buildup in them, there's no reason to risk damaging anything just for that. The screw count to get the top case off goes like this:

 

2 on the right side

4 along the back

3 on the bottom

3 capture screws on the RAM/hard drive cover plate

4 inside the front edge of the battery bay

2 by the battery connector

3 by the RAM slots

 

Accumulation of dust isn't the major problem it's made out to be. Some models are prone to collecting dust, like the iMac G4 (our lab tech refers to them as vacuum cleaners). I can't recall ever opening an Apple laptop with a major collection of dust in it. Most of them are pretty clean. Tower models it's more reasonable to clear dust from just due to the ease of opening them, and their tendency to collect more of it.

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Not at all. Apart from a couple of scratches it looks just the same as when I opened the box. You can get alcohol free ones if it bothers you, but these are what the guys at the genius bar recommended as what they use in store to clean the display computers.

 

does that go for the MB blacks to?

 

My MB is full of finger prints. it looks sick. ever since my MB has come, i have a urge to keep cleaning my hands.

 

BTW can you tell me specificly what alcohol you are talking about?

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I have no idea about macbooks, since I've only used them on my macbook pro. They're just called alcohol wipes. Haven't got any around to tell you specifically what kind. It's not like I'm getting a bottle of the stuff and splashing it on a rag, there are individually sealed wipes designed for use on electronics.

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A few remarks. I would use distilled water, applied in small quantities on a smooth clothe (in no case paper towels or tissue paper, because it scratches) to clean, instead of alcohol. I wouldn't use compressed air, because it may cool (even freeze) locally, so the plastic suffers. I would rather use a foot pump (those which are used to inflate beach balls and air cushions). I've heard this tips and tricks from Robert Heron on the dl.tv podcast.

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for general cleaning, on the outer case I will dampen a paper towel with a 409 surface cleaner (I also use it to clean glass, forget which 409 product it is exactly). For the wrist areas on surrounding areas I use a Mr Clean Magic eraser to clean off caked in grime. In both cases I do my best to make sure that either are only mildly damp- so that excess liquid doesn't seep into the computer at all. It's worked very well for my iBook so far.

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just get iklear, its the stuff they use in the apple store and you can buy it there for $20. comes with cloth, spray, travel wipes, and some other cloth.

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If you want to and are brave enough, redo the thermal paste (use Arctic Silver 5!) :) The Core Duo-based MacBook/Pros were overheating because Apple put too much on.

 

Some people said that the reapplication caused temps to fall by 10+ Celsius.

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A few remarks. I would use distilled water, applied in small quantities on a smooth clothe (in no case paper towels or tissue paper, because it scratches) to clean, instead of alcohol. I wouldn't use compressed air, because it may cool (even freeze) locally, so the plastic suffers. I would rather use a foot pump (those which are used to inflate beach balls and air cushions). I've heard this tips and tricks from Robert Heron on the dl.tv podcast.

 

 

I used to use the compressed air on my MacBook but i suppose i can try using what you suggested, knowing what may happen. Thanks for the other tip on the distilled water trick, but what if you just used the non-alcohol wipes, would it still make any damages on my Black MacBook?

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