Byte Me Article 108 – Humid weather and computers don’t mix

Humid weather and computers don’t mix
– Wet Weather

26 January, 2013

Wow, the animal shelters will be busy this month – I have never previously seen it raining cats & dogs in Central Queensland like it has for the last few days!  The amount of local rain is astounding and even though the Fitzroy won’t break any height records, heaps of local rainfall records are getting washed down the creek.

Unfortunately, computers don’t have much of a liking for water or extended humidity.  We will get many calls about computers not starting or blue screening.  What is happening here?  Even if the computer has not had any water ingress the amount of recent humidity can be playing havoc with dust and fluff that was previously accumulated inside the PC.

2013-01-26 Byte Me Article 108 - Wet Weather

Combined with high humidity this dust & fluff now has increased electrical conductivity.  Previously, when it was dry it wouldn’t carry electrical current, but now it is damp and can either give you a short in the PC’s power supply or play havoc with the memory sticks and other internal connections.  The good news is that even if your PC won’t boot into Windows your data is still safe and sound on the hard drive.

Normally if the power supply is replaced (a simple job) or the computer is cleaned out and dried out then it will simply start to work again.  If however your PC has had water ingress then it will need replacement but again the data can be saved – even if it has gone completely underwater for a period of time.  This last fix however is more involved and would come at a higher cost.  Give us a call if you are presented with any of the above scenarios and we will get a solution sorted.

How do you avoid this happening in the first place?  We suggest never positioning your PC on the floor – especially if it is carpet.  Keeping it at around desk height and in a smoke free environment will result is very little dust accumulation and if you are taking the PC/laptop to a service centre once a year they should be cleaning it out as part of routine servicing.  We have a specialised air compressor and service bay just for this purpose. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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