Freezing My PC, A Few Questions

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Mulsiphix, Feb 8, 2021.

  1. Mulsiphix

    Mulsiphix Maha Guru

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    My friend an I want to freeze this mid-tower PC for 24 hours. Contains both an M2 and several HDDs.

    Questions
    1.
    Will doing this repeatedly, say every two weeks indefinitely, cause harm to electronics within in any way, assuming they are allowed to dry sufficiently before being turned on again?
    2. If it is safe to freeze them, what is a good amount of time to let them dry before turning the PC on again?

    THE ACTUAL PLAN
    To clarify, the idea was to buy a chest freezer. Set the unit to be as cold as possible, put the PC in there for 24 hours. According to what I've read online no roach can survive an immediate change in climate like this. They can hibernate up to 10 to 14 hours (say a cold night) but further exposure will start to kill them off. At 24 hours, in temperatures of 32F or lower, they will surely die. Roaches are able to survive cold temperatures, but only if allowed to acclimate over time. A change this quick will not allow them or their egg sacs to survive.

    The PC comes out, compressed air is blow throughout the unit to dislodge dead bodies and eggs, and then the PC is left to dry on a floor with a fan blowing air inside it for two to three days to insure no water remains. The PC is placed on a large tape pad made of duct tape and power is finally restored. Large roaches get caught on duct tape. Tiny roaches can crawl across it fine. Roach eggs take two to three weeks to hatch.

    If the computer is frozen twice a month in this manner there should be very little activity within a PC at all. Tape pads are effective but over months time prove incapable of stopping every single visitor, as someone eventually gets inside, lays eggs, and an infestation takes root. My primary concern is for the electronics and whether they can take be refrozen in this matter over the course of multiple years. Twice a month is 52 times, 3 years is 156. It definitely add ups. Will the regular compression and expansion of plastics, metals, or circuitry within hurt any parts in any operational manner?

    BACKGROUND STORY (optional read)
    Friend asked me to help with a computer problem. I diagnosed it as a dead PSU over the phone, and when I investigated in person I found he had a horrible roach infestation in his home. Unfortunately, he has an autoimmune disease and using pesticides isn't a solution. He has consulted pest control experts and he is using all non-chemical roach methods recommended, but he cannot rid his house of them, only control their numbers. Unfortunately, electronics are perfect hive locations, because of constant warmth and being tight cut off spaces. His PC PSU was no exception. I cleaned it out, tried a PSU I had handy, and his PC is fine.

    At this point the question is how to save this PC from dying and reduce the potential for roach assisted (dropping, dead bodies, egg sacks) short circuiting. To the roaches, the PSU is a closed ecosystem. If a single roach gets in, it lays eggs, the eggs hatch, and that generation lives inside the PC, likely feeding on the remains of other dead roaches. They never have to leave in order to thrive. Despite his best efforts to prevent access into the PC itself, they always find a way. So he has accepted that for the time being, roaches aren't going anywhere.

    He relies on a PC for everyday work, so he needs to protect it from failure. He has a solid data backup solution, so this conversation is only about protecting future hardware failure. We read online that freezing roaches and their eggs will kill them off. After that, he can blow any remaining bodies out with compressed air. If he does this every two weeks, it should prevent any real hives from establishing in the future.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2021
  2. KissSh0t

    KissSh0t Ancient Guru

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    Do not freeze the pc..... especially if this individual relies on it to work.

    The smart move would be to just take apart the pc and make sure there is nothing inside it.

    As for the cockroaches use something like cockroach baits, I use them myself and they kill cockroaches.

    Vacuum house, keep house clean, don't leave food out.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    Freezing electronics generally is a bad ideea.
    Condensation will occur and the oxidation and corrosion will start first at microscopic level, only to spread.
    In layman's terms, the cure is worse than the disease.
    And cockroaches are attracted to moisture, so take this in account.
    Instead, keep the room, desk and computer super clean. Put some silica gel sacks inside to computer to extract any moisture.

    Make a dough from equal parts water, flour and boric acid. Spread this dough around in visible areas. Cockroaches will eat it and die.
    Spread that dough through the house omitting the very room where the computer is.
    This makes the house the "battlefield" and the computer room sanctuary.
     
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  4. Mulsiphix

    Mulsiphix Maha Guru

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    Oh wow, glad I asked about this first. We were planning on picking up a new freezer for the PCs this weekend. Thank you very much for the information gentleman. It is greatly appreciated. Time to look for a new plan of action to protect these PCs :oops:

    @KissSh0t: I was looking into these and they seem to definitely fall under pesticide products. Which is frustrating, because baits have the opportunity to spread to other roaches and potentially kill off way more lives than the single insect that eats it. His autoimmune is absurdly sensitive to pesticides. They can cause great pain and inflammation to the point of debilitating his ability to walk, among other things. I wish there was something like this was that was natural and not man-made.

    @anticupidon: There are actually four computers. I felt it would be easier to make this post about one, even though it applied to all four. They are in two rooms in a small home. His primary office is in the dining room a few feet away from the kitchen counter. They are practically the same room with two computers in there. The other major living space contains three computers. It is right next to the dining room, though there is some space between them. That space is the media space of the room where a massive hoard of electronics are amassed. I don't know if it is possible to create the battlefield/sanctuary layout you suggested, though your words evoke pleasant imagery :p

    -----

    The infestation is over two years old. They are firmly rooted in the home. His old computer died outright, his new computer was infested within weeks, and that PSU died about six months after being turned on for the first time. His game plan needs to change but without pesticides he feels like the battle cannot be won. While it is possible to keep the population in check so that roaches aren't crawling the walls in daylight, all electronics in the house are targets. He has been using duct tape pads under electronics to help reduce traffic, but it doesn't work on babies, only the larger roaches. So each new device eventually gets infested.

    We discussed borax as well, but he has a three year old and he is afraid she might get into any bait lying around. Boric Acid looks like it might be safe if consumed. As long as the quantity isn't too high. I checked Wikipedia and it states:

    According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, "The minimal lethal dose of ingested boron (as boric acid) was reported to be 2–3 g in infants, 5–6 g in children, and 15–20 g in adults. [...] However, a review of 784 human poisonings with boric acid (10–88 g) reported no fatalities, with 88% of cases being asymptomatic."
    I will go ahead and suggest this mexture to him anticupidon. Thank you for suggesting it.
     
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  5. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    Build also DIY "Venus traps"from PET bottles. Glue traps -cockroaches are stuck there and die of starvation.
    Another wonderful mix 1:1 sugar and baking soda. When roaches ingest water, well things will change abruptly for the cockroaches... baking soda and water will create lots of gas, rupturing the innards of the insect, killing it.

    Glad to hear that my years of technician repairing computers in restaurants kitchens can help to elaborate a strategy and win this war on cockroaches.
    Good luck!
     
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  6. rflair

    rflair Don Commisso Staff Member

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    Blowout the PC outside.

    Since you were willing to spend money on a freezer your could get a big clothing vacuum bag, https://www.amazon.com/TAILI-Storage-8-Combo-Comforter-Pillows-No/dp/B0823B3BY2/ref=sr_1_43?dchild=1&keywords=vacuum+clothes+bags&qid=1612841811&sr=8-43&th=1 and put the PC inside and suck out all the air, leave it sealed overnight or longer.

    You could probably use a tough garbage bag, vacuum and zip tie if you have them, should work OK but don't know.

    Thing is they're roaches, don't want to ask or insinuate what kind of conditions your friend has supplied for their survival, they go where food is readily available and/or food garbage. He could have a tough battle.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2021
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  7. Raserian

    Raserian Member Guru

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    I would suggest hire a pest control company and move out till all the chemicals evaporate/disintegrate. Maybe they can find and destroy their source too. Freezing and taping stuff is likely just temporary and a time consuming labor. His house must be a really gross place to live. Once the house had been cleaned do the chores frequently and do not leave food around.
     
  8. Mulsiphix

    Mulsiphix Maha Guru

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    @anticupidon: Thank you again good sir :D

    @Raserian: From what we have both read pesticide residues can last for years and years. Even trace amounts are enough to aggravate his Autoimmune condition.

    @flair: How does your approach deal with the roaches? Is the idea to put them into an oxygen deprived environment so they suffocate or to vacuum them up? I checked and seems cockroaches will suffocate without oxygen after 40 minutes, but I am questioning whether a vacuum bag would be truly air tight, since they are made of plastic. But that does get me thinking... dried ice melts releasing CO2. CO2 is heavy and would displace oxygen. I wonder if I can put the PC's into some sort of CO2 trap and suffocate them without the need for a freezer. I would just need an air tight container to put the PC in as well as a way to melt CO2 inside there without the chance of it spilling onto the PC. Seems a lot faster than the four days needed for freezing PCs.

    Concerning His Home

    His house is actually pretty darn clean. It is just old and full of nooks, crannies, cracks, and god knows what kinds of building materials were used to make it. I imagine the house itself is delicious and a food source, given roaches eat almost anything. He used to lived in a much bigger place, his wife left him, and he had to move into a drastically smaller place almost overnight. He barely gets by financially now, so he can't afford to store his belongings anywhere but his tiny home. He lives in a sea of boxes. It is relatively clean otherwise, and the roaches were there when he moved in, but he didn't know it. He bought it years ago so there isn't much he can do about it now and he owns the home so there isn't a landlord to ask for assistance.

    They appear to thrive primarily in the electronics in the home. Though I imagine behind the walls is where the true population resides. Roaches can live off of a ridiculous amount of food sources, including each other. I think once a population reaches a certain tipping point they can merely exist in the walls indefinitely without the aid of serious pesticide. He lives in a humid area so I imagine water isn't hard to come by.

    It is a crappy situation but I have no idea how to overcome it. If he can get his life together financially he can get out of there. He is trying real hard and his computer is his meal ticket out of there. So we're trying to figure out how to win in a situation where the odds are greatly against him.
     
  9. rflair

    rflair Don Commisso Staff Member

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    The idea is to suffocate them. It works, its actually recommended when you move if there were bed bugs and/or roaches to vacuum seal all clothing/bedding to kill them in transit.
     
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  10. Mulsiphix

    Mulsiphix Maha Guru

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    That is actually a pretty darn good idea! Okay, so here is my next question. Even if the bag perfectly form fits around a big metal box (the PC), there will still be a large amount of air within the PC that did not get sucked out. It isn't a true vacuum, so oxygen will remain. Theoretically it will dissipate as the roaches breath it. But how long it takes for them to use it all up and then suffocate is something I don't know how to calculate ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     

  11. rflair

    rflair Don Commisso Staff Member

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    Ya it's an experiment. But the vacuum should create a semi vacuum, that's why I suggested leave it overnight, there may be space in the case but much less air and hopefully the roaches if any use what's ever left and die.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2021
  12. Astyanax

    Astyanax Ancient Guru

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    the bag will not fully cling to the chassic until all air is removed,
     
  13. CrazY_Milojko

    CrazY_Milojko Ancient Guru

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    There is a glue for mouse traps, think it should work for roaches too because back in the days we used to use it down in the basement of our house for small mice infestation and there were crap load of all kind of bugs and spiders sticked on it every single morning. That one we have used had no smell, no toxic vapours, was no toxic for humans or pets, it was some kind of non-coloured liquid we poured on cardboard in critical basement areas. Funny thing... weeks after we had finished with mice infestation one day our young cat went down to the basement and found one of those cardboards with still active glue on it we had forgotten to remove, he was so stuck to it... it was insane, had to bath him in the tub for hours with warm water, shampoo... and it didn't helped a bit, we thought he's done because cat was so exausted of battling with the glue and with us trying to wash him for hours. Finally my wife googled to use vegetable cooking oil to remove that glue and after another two hours of "oil batle" we finally made it, all 5 of us lol, glue was completely removed, cat was dead-tired but alive and because of vegetable oil (think we used almost 2 liters) cat fur was shiny like never before, young cat has learned a valuable lesson... and I know it's kinda weird to say but we, all 5 ouf us, we had so much fun and laugh that afternoon washing the cat on all kind of different ways :D

    You could use that type of sticky-cardboard-traps to completely surround the computers, no way roaches can get through that glue and reach PC cases and electroinics inside of it. Prior to this make sure to completely clean inside of computer cases with compressed air, a lot of it. But this glue thing is not a long term solution, you have to fight with roaches on a completely different level if that friend of yours want's to get rid of them for good. Maybe it's a good thing to consult local pest removal service, explain the situation about your friends health issues and then build the strategy based on naturaly made... things ...whatever.
     
  14. rflair

    rflair Don Commisso Staff Member

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    Tacky strips will be useful, it's the roaches crawling the cables, efficient critters LoL.
     
  15. Mulsiphix

    Mulsiphix Maha Guru

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    Oh that poor cat! I'm glad to hear they recovered thought ⊂(・▽・⊂)

    He actually started out with glue and he occasionally would step on it. So he switched to duct tape which would at least allow him to keep the sock he was wearing. The original "catch them" glues were so viscous they would smear and spread enough to require new footwear. Currently he has a pad of duct tape surrounding the PC and a glue box nearby. We read today about how roaches dislike the smell of boric acid. So we were going to mix that with borax, which will injure or outright kill them if they cross it, into a powder and then dust thin strips of duct tape to outline his current tape pads with (like a moat). Hoping this three part solution (scent, sticky, cutting action) is enough to deter them from the PC altogether (っ⇀⑃↼)っ

    I hear you on the pest expert consultancy. That is definitely the next step after we establish a way to deal with the immediate threat to his vital electronics. Fighting the war against the infestation will likely take a bit more time. It is very good advice, thank you :)

    Ugh! And here I thought I had this thing figured out. There are certainly many cables. Any ideas on protecting this method of entry?

    - - - - -

    Alright, so here is a slight modification of @rflair's idea. Use a plastic garbage bag (cheaper, can mold it to the case a little bit to reduce air pockets), zip ties to seal it (twist the bag top like a towel and use three or four zip ties along the twist to prevent air flow), and oxygen absorbers. Found a strong set on Amazon for about $0.65 per packet (one packet = one use).

    1. Open the packet inside a case, adhere to case in an upright position.
    2. Seal case and place into garbage bag
    3. Form fit garbage bag to case and seal to best of ability
    4. Leave overnight and check on in the morning.

    Total cost is relatively low, garbage bags will be reusable if zip ties are used, and total time invested is significantly shorter per scourge than freezing. Should be easier than vacuum bags. Had the hardest time sealing them with that sealing bit they come with in the past. I think this is worth a shot. I am going to order the stuff and give this a try this weekend. I will let you know how it turns out!! o_O
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2021
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  16. rflair

    rflair Don Commisso Staff Member

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    Is the PC on a desk or the floor?

    If on a desk then you want as few cables touching the floor, hopefully just one, an extension cord that everything plugs into, or UPS.
    It's all going to come down to isolation.
    Isolate one cord and desk, maybe that's optimal.

    I've seen infestations, they like warmth and food nearby.

    Take care of yourself dealing with this, don't bring the critters into your environment.
     
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  17. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

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    Fighting cockroaches is a long, uphill battle.
    They are the worst when it comes to electronics.
    Laptops to them are a heaven. Warm environment, lots of food (most people eat when sit Infront of their laptops).
    I had my fair share of infested computers and I don't miss them. Not a single bit.
    Hope that you won this battle OP.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2021
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  18. Raserian

    Raserian Member Guru

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    Well unlike desktop, you can take away your laptop when you are not working, I assume if he would have a laptop and after finishing his work he could put it somewhere and store in a closed bag, where the insects would probably not reach it.
     
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  19. Mulsiphix

    Mulsiphix Maha Guru

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    Unfortunately we are dealing with a PC on the floor. Isolation is a good idea but I'm not sure how practical it is given his particular arrangement. I'll talk to him to see if he is open to moving things around a bit. There is just so much electronic stuff I imagine we can't elevate everything. We need to find ways to keep them from getting into them. I'm hoping the boric acid/borax "moat" approach I described earlier will bear fruit *fingers crossed*. I will let you guys know how this turns out. Thank you all so much for your advice and time. We greatly appreciate it (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧
     

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