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How to safely clean a laptop

Posted on 2015-01-12
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Last Modified: 2015-01-12
Random but, I act as an IT Manager for a client and I have been over ruled on a decision by the Ops Director.

A user has reported they have conjunctivitis (known as pink eye in US), which is highly contagious. The user is not allowed to come into the office. The client has XenApp 6.5 accessing via Access Gateway so the user (who uses XenApp in the office) can work from home.

The Ops Director has instructed us to use a stock laptop for the user. I have raised concerns on the laptop needing to be disinfected before it is returned but I have been 'shot down'. I don't care about my pride in this but surly the laptop will pose a risk to other users once returned.

Any one else had to deal with this before?

Thanks
Mark/
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Question by:Mark Galvin
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LVL 4

Assisted Solution

by:Joeteck
Joeteck earned 400 total points
ID: 40544511
Carefully use lysol wipes. Make sure the liquid does not hit the screen or seep down into the keyboard. Other than that, that's all that can be done.
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Assisted Solution

by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 400 total points
ID: 40544514
Use a J-cloth, wet it, mix in a couple of drops of detergent (very light suds), clean the keyboard, the screen and the case in general. Now rinse the cloth and wipe down again. Allow to dry for 10 minutes. Close the lid and return.

Conjunctivitis can be treated and goes away. User should wash their hands before doing above and regularly after that.


A dry laptop won't carry a virus for long.

On return, allow the machine to sit dry for a day.

You should be fine.
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LVL 47

Assisted Solution

by:noxcho
noxcho earned 400 total points
ID: 40544518
In the libraries if a book was read by a person who had some infection - it must have been burnt. But I think your options list does not contain - burn it. :)
Take medicine spirit of 96% and using a towel clean it thoroughly all around. Of course wearing medicine gloves. Make sure that it does not get through the keys or through the ventilator doors. Turned off of course. Then let it dry under the sun.
That's all you can do.
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LVL 2

Assisted Solution

by:Chach DalSanto
Chach DalSanto earned 400 total points
ID: 40544530
Not with an Ops director who must not have any kids!  My daughter just had pink eye and we needed to sterilize everything... and I mean EVERYTHING... she came into contact with.  Doctor's orders.

That's really what this comes down to; Is your Ops Director also a medical doctor?  If not then he shouldn't be making decisions like that.  It's risking peoples health and productivity will suffer.

if it was me, I'd get some Clorox bleach wipes and wipe that thing down to death!  Casing, keyboard, top, sides, bottom, etc.  In all honesty, it very likely if you don't it will get someone else sick.
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Expert Comment

by:Chach DalSanto
ID: 40544537
...or like they say in Aliens; NUKE IT FROM ORBIT...  Its the only way to be sure!
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LVL 99

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40544572
@Chach DalSanto - Pink Eye is relatively common. Washed hands are the best defense during treatment.

A laptop cleaned and allowed to dry (as we noted above) will not harbor a virus for very long.
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LVL 5

Accepted Solution

by:
Aaron earned 400 total points
ID: 40544640
I believe if you can quarantine it for a few days before and after cleaning it that would give you the best result. My wife is a nurse and most of these things die fairly quickly. If it is not needed to be put back into circulation right away use whatever time you can to wait to clean it (keep separate from other things) then clean it while wearing gloves (for cleaning I would agree with John or using a clorox whipe - not on the screen). Then after cleaning it you can put it someplace out of the way for a few days - maybe set it aside to use it last in your circulation just as an extra precaution. Note that the colder the environment the longer these things tend to live so in someplace like an IT server room you should allow a little extra time. Though it may sound like an excessive amount of time I would go so far as to reccomend 1 week before cleaning and after cleaning for quarantine.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:Chach DalSanto
ID: 40544678
@John Hurst; I agree its not a life threatening infection but its still infectious and needs to be sterilized.  None of us are doctors, but using common sense and leveraging experience gained as we've gone thru PinkEye ourselves and with our children can guide the way for dealing with this.
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