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My 40gb PS3 has recently started making dirty fan noises. On my PC I would remove a side panel and clean everything out with a can of compressed air. But I'm unsure if this is the correct procedure for a PS3.

So: What is the best practice for cleaning the fans on PS3? Can I just push compressed air straight into the vents, or should I take it apart first?

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This comment is way to late for this post but just for future visitors a quick heads-up. This may seem a very logical precaution for a lot of people but make sure that you dont have warranty left on your ps3 before taking it apart for proper cleaning. Opening the ps3 breaks a seal and so voiding your warranty. So any future damage done wont be covered because of it. –  Marco Geertsma Apr 11 '13 at 8:50
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I have cleaned my PS3 vents several times with no damage done... I've discovered that the PS3 is an easy to open/re-assemble system.

In my case I think is better to clean the PS3 internally ...

you can follow this video ... it shows how to open the case of the PS3 in order to clean it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6A6V7LlReI&feature=related

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I use a small paintbrush to clean out the dust in my ps3 system, might sound unusual but it does work as I have had mine for 4 years now and it still works perfectly. Also saves having to faff around opening up the system just to clean it out.

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Just like to point out that paintbrushes are often conductive, so using them on computer hardware may have disastrous results. Of course, that is not a concern for fans and such. –  kotekzot Feb 20 '12 at 20:45
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I have a can of compressed air/gas

Every now and again, I blow it through the vents on the side, back and underneath and I've not had any problems with my system

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