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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Non booting iBook after spill

Non booting iBook after spill
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Feb 23, 2004, 10:06 PM
 
A friend of mine has an iBook G4 and this is what she described to me. She accidentally spilled soda on the far left side of it. It's only been about an hour since then, but the most it will do is turn on 3 lights, the main pulsing light on the front to show the computer is asleep (which is a steady light now), the caps lock light, and the num lock light. Those three lights will light up and stay lit. The computer was on when she spilled and the computer turned off on its own. She dried all she could on the keyboard and what was directly under the keyboard but couldn't go any further than that. Any suggestions? Could it possibly still work after it has time of sitting there to dry on the inside? Is there anything that can be done?
     
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Feb 23, 2004, 10:10 PM
 
It might come back to life if it is given time to dry. *Might*. If it doesn't come back to life, she should probably take it into a tech shop and have them look at it since I am guessing that she is not technical enough to disassemble the machine and describe to us what is going on internally.

All I can say for sure is that if it doesn't come back to life, she is screwed when it comes to getting it repaired for free. Apple doesn't cover 'Soda Damage' under their warranty.
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Feb 23, 2004, 10:33 PM
 
So as a short update, I went there to check it out. It appears to be turned off, no lights, I will hold the power button for 10-15 seconds but no changes, but weirdly enough the fan is on. No matter how long i hold in the power button, the fan stays on.
     
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Feb 24, 2004, 11:48 AM
 
well if you just hold the power button it will turn on and then back off...what happens if you just push and release? more than likely your friend is looking at an expensive repair in the neighborhood of $758.95 + local tax...you can get that info from HERE and it would be a Tier 3 repair, accidental damage to a logicboard...now if your friend purchased the ibook with a credit card she needs to check with them to see if they have any extra waranty for accidental damage (some cards do offer that) and go through them...the only other option is to try to have a local repair person fix the unit but that will be very unlikely since not many places are portable certified
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Feb 27, 2004, 09:28 AM
 
For the money, look into how to take the computer apart.
Remove the battery, hard drive, airport card, ram, etc.

Clean the keyboard with distilled water and let it dry in the sun for a a day or more. Clean any soda off other electronics with DW. Allow to dry 100% before attempting reassembly. Use canned air to help get all water out of cracks, crevices, under small parts, etc.

Do not get the HD wet. Do not let water go "inside" any place you cannot open up.

After all is cleaned and thoroughly dry, reassemble and cross you fingers. (I have restored many electornics this way. Water is only bad to electronics when they are powered.)

As a backup, look into extra warranty coverage from your visa (as mentioned) and possibly just returning it to Apple after you've cleaned it to see if they will fix it under warranty. Otherwise, be prepared to pay through the nose or to buy another iBook. (Send old iBook to me )

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Feb 27, 2004, 10:02 AM
 
I dropped my mobile phone in a pint of beer once (long story), it didnt work at all. I took it apart (well case, battery, sim etc), and wiped the beer off with a damp cloth, and allowed it to dry for 2 days.

I then put it back together, and it was fine again.

Granted a computer has more inside it, but its worth trying to take apart if its going to be knackered anyway. There must be service manuals availble for download somewhere on the net, which would guide you throught taking it apart.

Hope you get it sorted..
     
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Feb 27, 2004, 10:40 AM
 
You needed to leave it off for at least 24 hours to give it a chance to dry out. I work computer/IT support and we have that happen quite a bit. It's most likely fried at this point, sorry. Even if it dried it's possible that the sugar from the soda would still be on the internal circuits. I don't know what else to tell you.
     
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Feb 27, 2004, 11:52 AM
 
Originally posted by anaphora68:
You needed to leave it off for at least 24 hours to give it a chance to dry out. I work computer/IT support and we have that happen quite a bit. It's most likely fried at this point, sorry. Even if it dried it's possible that the sugar from the soda would still be on the internal circuits. I don't know what else to tell you.
Absolutely correct, but before you do anything else, TAKE THE BATTERY OUT NOW! Clean the contact area of the battery with a DRY paper towel and then let everything sit until late tomorrow. Soda dries very slowly, and usually leaves a sticky residue-except for diet soda. It dries just as slowly, and leaves a different sort of residue.

It's very unlikely that soda got into the hard drive, but it could have gotten into the RAM or AirPort slots, which could certainly keep it from booting. You should be able to clean that area pretty well using cotton swabs and isopropyl alcohol (you can get this in drug stores, just make sure it's 70% minimum or it won't clean as well). Be patient and thorough, and of course be careful of the keyboard ribbon cable. Once you finish cleaning out the area under the keyboard, let it sit and air dry for about an hour. Patience is important here.

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Feb 27, 2004, 07:02 PM
 
Nice replies, but this happened days ago, so doing emergency surgery is a bit pointless

Though it would be nice to have an update so we can get a bit of resolution....
     
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Feb 27, 2004, 09:18 PM
 
She actually called Apple up. She has the Applecare and they are going to repair it, lucky for her. A few days after the spill though, it would actually turn on. We test all USB ports, firewire port, sound port and everything worked except for one thing. The second you plugged the power cable into it, it would shut itself off. Very strange. So you could never have it charging and use it at the same time. The other thing was, when it would fall asleep, instead of going to sleep, it would lose power and just turn off too. Even in firewire target disk mode, after about 10 minutes if you don't move the mouse or press a key, it would turn itself off. We did get everything backed up off the computer though so that was a plus.
     
   
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