Protecting RAM and IDE contacts from dirt/oxidation?

By tim.mcgovern ·
A friend whose computers I help maintain lives in a tropical climate and, of all things, insists on using his back porch as his office/computer room. Yes, there IS a roof, and everything is sufficiently protected from direct rain, etc., but it does become necessary for me to clean and reset the connectors for his RAM, hard drives, and optical drives periodically.

Is there some kind of compound (e.g. petroleum jelly) with which I can coat those contacts to keep them clean (without, of course, shorting out everything)? Are there any other solutions that could help - either instead of or along with such a compound?

For the record, due to the ways in which the houses here are built, air conditioning is rare (or infrequently used). The jalousie windows are always open, etc. so the environment inside the house is not much better than on the porch.


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There is a glue you can get for the IDE Connections into things like the Hard Drive and CD Drive.

I'm not sure how Petroleum Jelly would work.

Have you considered more internal fans to keep dust etc out?

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This is a problem in many area

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Protecting RAM and IDE co ...

I've seen moisture on circuit boards on many electronic items and in one case ferns actually growing on the circuit Board of an electric Typewriter.

Instead of a compound that lubricates these contacts you really need to seal them to prevent air from getting to them and attacking the contact points.

While I've never actually tried this there is a compound in a Pressure Pack Can that can be sprayed onto items and seal them tight so that no air gets to them. This is called Battery Terminal Sealer and is found in every decent Auto Shop to prevent corrosion on Battery Terminals.

I've never used it inside a computer and don't know how well it would work but it is non-conductive and if you apply it properly it should seal the parts together and prevent corrosion. Of course once something is moved the seal will be broken and it will need to be resealed.


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Caig Labs

by TheChas In reply to Protecting RAM and IDE co ...

Caig labs has been selling contact cleaners and preservatives for years.

I have used their products and find that they work very well.

Another thing you might consider is a twist on what the over-clockers do for cooling a system. Find a small dehumidifier system, and plumb it into the case to force dry air into the case. If you do a good job of filtering the air that goes into a case, there is less organic matter for the things that grow in moist climates.

Another option would be to modify a desiccator system to use as an outer case for the system. The electronics industry uses benchtop desiccators for storing moisture sensitive components.


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by tim.mcgovern In reply to Protecting RAM and IDE co ...

Thanks to those who responded.

The stuff from Caig seems to be the best for what we need, and we will pick some up the next time we are in the States.

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