HDD/SSD Cleaning

Like everything that has a sliding type of connector will eventually get dirty. Well actually anything that deals with a non sealed connections eventually get dirty over the use of these items. But, when it pertains to our computers almost everything in our computer uses some form of sliding type of connection.

Just like everything in our computer our HDD/SSDs connectors do get dirty over time, and sometimes may cause some minor inconveniences to us. For instance, lost HDD/SSD: where the thgese drives just comes up missing from our computer even though it is still plugged in: Bad transfer rates, where we start to lose the speed of which our storage devices transfers files to and fro: To BSOD, where we get the dreaded BLUE SCREEN Of DEATH. Each of these can happen plus more just because of a bad connection.

You can also apply this cleaning technique  also on our console counterparts drives. For the purpose of this guide I will be using one of my Seagate Momentus HDD.

Now this is a guide on how to clean the connector on your SSD/HDD ,  it may or may not fix your issue. This is just one step in multiple ways on troubleshooting our computers. I do not recommend doing this if you have no clue on what you are doing with your computer. If you wish to learn more about what you can do with your computer, I recommend you find a friend that knows what she/he is doing and have him/her help you.

As always Myself (Dragon) and the DGC do not take any responsibilities for your actions when it comes to this type of guide. It may or may not VOID the warranty on your HDD/SSD. So if you are willing to continue please read this guide thoroughly prior to doing these steps.

The things we will need to clean the connectors on the HDD/SSD , A soft bristled tooth brush, a soft rag (I am using an old sheet, located under the HDD), a pink refillable Jet Eraser, rubbing alcohol (highest percentage you can get). And we will need the HDD/SSD that needs to be cleaned, you can use this technique on any HDD/SSD 2.5-3.5″ I am using one of my Seagate’s Momentus HDDs. Oh and the dragon is optional ;).

A quick look at the SATA power and SATA connectors on the HDD

Showing that the eraser I am using is clean. To clean a eraser is pretty simple task, just run it up and down your pant leg, or on a clean piece of paper run the eraser over it.

With the eraser, gently and carefully run the eraser over the drives power and SATA connectors. Do not use to much pressure, as you can damage the drive itself.


As we can see the HDD SATA connectors were pretty dirty.

Now it is time for us to use the soft bristled tooth brush. Gently sweep any debris off of the connectors.

After we have finished cleaning with the soft bristled tooth brush, grab your soft rag and put some rubbing alcohol.

Then gently clean the connectors off.

As we can see the rubbing alcohol has pulled off the residual dirt off of the drive itself.

After completing these steps re-hook up the HDD/SSD to your computer and we are all done. This part of cleaning is not all that difficult to do, if the proper procedures are met prior and during the cleaning your drive will be undamaged. The key thing here to remember is to TAKE YOUR TIME, and DO NOT USE to much force.

Thank you.


Another Cleaning Idea

Now we all clean our computers out from time to time, we even go as far as washing our heatsinks, radiators, water blocks, hoses, fans, reservoirs,  Lap our heatsinks if it is needed replace the thermal paste on our heatsinks, etc. etc. (The list goes on forever).

There is one area that most people probably never do is clean the connectors that our computer components use to get hooked up to the motherboard, (These items I am talking about are the video cards, memory, PCI/PCI-E expansion cards). Is it out of fear, why most don’t clean these areas? Probably yes, a lot of us worry if we even look at the components sideways or even cross-eyed for that matter, that component will go up in flames. In reality this simple cleaning method is pretty safe to do (providing you take your time and don’t rush it or press really hard while you clean these areas). Well lets get on with this simple little cleaning guide.

If you are not sure you can properly do this the right way, or are completely afraid of doing this then don’t do it. Practice on older/broken hardware first to get an idea on how to do it properly. Or locate a electronic guru friend and have them assist you. As always I do not take any responsibility for your actions regarding your computer.

Things we will need to perform this little task. The item we are going to clean up, in this case I am using an 4870X2 video card that I felt it was time for a good decent cleaning. You can perform this on your memory, or any item that has a simple connector like we see here on this video card. We will also need a soft pink eraser, I picked this up and Wal-Mart, as you can see it is petty much the standard large eraser we all used through out our lives just make sure it is soft. A soft rag, I am using a Micro-Fiber cloth here, any rag or cloth works just make sure it is soft. And finally a bottle of 91% Rubbing Alcohol, the 70% stuff works as well, I prefer the higher % because it evaporates quickly and leaves very little residue.

This is the connector I was mentioning about, it is kinda hard to see how dirty this connector is because I just could not get the light to work with me. Any who on with the show.

Now time for us to grab our pink eraser, to make sure it is clean itself just run it up and down your pant leg to remove any residue off the eraser. (I suggest not to do this on bare skin because it will be rather painful, but if that’s your thing I wont say anything. Your secret will be safe with me 😉 )

Now gently, erase all of the dirt on the connector, use light pressure. if you have to use multiple passes then do that. The key thing here is to take your time and use soft hands.

Now flip over the card or item you are cleaning, and do the other side as well. Just repeat the same exact steps you did on the first side you cleaned.

Hmm, I told ya the connectors on my 4870×2 video card were dirty.

You will have small bits of eraser on your items connector, do not fret we will clean that up too. this is the first side.

And now the backside of the video card. Looks a lot cleaner then what it prior to me cleaning them.

Now grab your soft rag and put some Rubbing Alcohol on it, like so.

Then wipe down both sides of the connector. Again use soft hands and do not rub to hard. take your time, we have all the time in the world.

What this does is remove any eraser debris from the connector also polishes the connector itself. We can see I removed a bit more dirt off of the connector itself.

And now we are all finished up with the cleaning.

It is not hard for us to clean the connectors on our computer components. The true trick is taking our time and do it right the first time. Now the question I should answer, should you clean these connectors every time we clean our computers? No,it greatly depends on the area you live in. In high humid areas, I suggest cleaning these about once a year or six months, use you judgement if it looks way to dirty then clean it but if it looks a little dirty then no. Dry areas,I say at least every year, Look at the connectors when you clean out your computers, and use your judgement.