Question Need Help With Rusty Computer

Aug 3, 2020
Hello World! This is my first post!

I'm writing this for a friend of mine, since she lives in a different country (Brazil). She needs help with her rusty computer. Recently, she's decided to move her computer out of it's old case, and into a new one she just purchased. The old case has apparently been eaten away by rust. I'm not entirely sure if this is at least in part due to Brazil's climate or other home environmental factors, such as possibly not having great ventilation or air flow with in the home? Or, a combination of causes? In some cases she's had some of these parts installed less than a year and the screws holding them in place, are rusted.

Her big issue is that the screws for her case fans, and possibly her motherboard are rusted to the point that trying to turn them, just eats away at the grooves for the screw driver.

I'm not sure what to really advise her of. For other applications, I'd just grab my Dremel and cut a new groove for a standard screw driver, or use WD40, or worst possible scenario drill the screw out. I've even seen where white vinegar can dissolve rust. But, this is a computer and I'd be worried to try any of this on it for fear that metal particles might damage sensitive circuitry. I'm also going to take a very safe guess here and say she doesn't have access to a Dremel, and maybe even a hand drill/ bits.

I thought of maybe suggesting using JB Weld, not sure if that's available in Brazil, by applying it to the opposite side of the screw, and then taking a thinner screw or something, and adhering it to the rusted screw. That way she could use some vice grips to manually twist it out from behind. I'm not sure if JB Weld's bond is strong enough for this, and it seems iffy considering that JB Weld could also bond the screw to the case. I also don't think this would work with the MB standoffs.

Has anyone dealt with something similar? What advice would you have? Keep in mind that she doesn't have much money to spend so saying something like, "Go out and get an $85 Dremel," is like telling her to spend $443.85.

As far as rust prevention goes for the new case, does anyone have any suggestions? I thought possibly painting the metal parts of the new case with Rust-Oleum Stops Rust or something similar would help preserve it. Then using some of her finger nail polish to paint over the screws, to protect those as well.

Thanks for your help.

Here's some pictures she sent me.


Last edited: