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My First Spill
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Mar 28, 2005, 02:42 AM
 
Well, it's been about eight months since I got my PowerBook, and I had my first spill. Even though I do eat and drink around my PowerBook, I always try to be as careful as possible. Accidents will happen, though.

I was sitting at a table in my common room, feeling that I was invincible. The grip that my hands had on my iced tea loosened, and it started to fall. I instinctively picked it up before it fell all the way, and it took me a second before I actually realized that it wasn't just an ordinary spill: It was on my PowerBook. I stared at it for a few seconds, not knowing what to do. I then picked it up, and held it upside down, hoping that the liquid would fall back out. Some of it seemed to, but I of course knew that some was still inside.

I then thought that I should turn it off immediately before anything shorted, and that's what I did. I then set it down on the floor, in this shape: /\ (upside down, standing up via the screen and the body). I started tapping it, hoping that more liquid would come out.

It then turned on again, and I turned it off, and removed the battery. I couldn't afford a short. I finally decided that even though more liquid would no doubt be a risk, I had to get the iced tea out of the keyboard. I figured that if a little iced tea didn't hurt it, the chances that a few drops of water to dilute it and let it fall out wouldn't be a huge, huge risk. I took a wet paper towel and applied it to the keyboard, purposely getting some water under it. I then stood it upside down, tapped it, and repeated the process several times.

I then figured that before I turned it on, I had to make sure that it was completely dry. I used a blow dryer for about ten minutes on it, put the battery back in, and turned it on. It worked.

My keys feel slightly strange, but I'm 99% sure that it's just my imagination. If not, there has to be a way to remove the keys and wipe 'em down, correct? I don't think I need to do that, though, as they're responding quite well (and I tested every one of them). There's no strange delay of the spring or anything.

The computer seems to be working just fine, too.

So, my question is: If I had to go through the same thing again, what should I have actually done? Did I do the dumbest thing possible, and just get lucky? Also, is there a chance that it might not be fine? Not too much of the iced tea got under the keyboard, but it was definetely some. Does that mean that it got into the logic board, too? Should I just leave it alone, since it's working?

I'm actually starting to get really nervous, and now my keys seem to sound louder when I type. Again, I think it's just my imagination, as I'm a nervous wreck. All those horror stories! I'm grateful that I survived, but did I?

Hmm...should I keep it off for a few days? It really seems fine, and I desperately need to use it for homework right about now. So, um, crap.

Edit: Wow. I was searching other spill threads, and it seems that eight months is the time that everyone spills. Before of your eighth month, people!

Update: Some of my keys are making stickiness noises, and are therefore louder than normal. Will this go away after use, or should I bring it into a store? Crap.
( Last edited by tavilach; Mar 28, 2005 at 03:53 AM. )
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Mar 28, 2005, 03:56 AM
 
This isn't the 'white elephant' figure all over again is it?

     
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Mar 28, 2005, 03:57 AM
 
Originally posted by siflippant:
This isn't the 'white elephant' figure all over again is it?

I knew that was coming. I think you can answer that one for yourself.
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Mar 28, 2005, 04:00 AM
 
Originally posted by tavilach:
I knew that was coming. I think you can answer that one for yourself.
Sure I can, I'm sure ANYONE can (who read that post) - you load 'em, we'll fire 'em... (this is the bit where you fire back right? or decline the 'firing' and just 'respond') - it's of your own making, no-one else's...

     
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Mar 28, 2005, 04:02 AM
 
Originally posted by siflippant:
Sure I can, I'm sure ANYONE can (who read that post) - you load 'em, we'll fire 'em... (this is the bit where you fire back right? or decline the 'firing' and just 'respond') - it's of your own making, no-one else's...

Can we get back to the topic, now?
"Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world." -Archimedes
     
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Mar 28, 2005, 04:03 AM
 
Originally posted by tavilach:
Can we get back to the topic, now?
k
     
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Mar 28, 2005, 07:02 AM
 
Originally posted by tavilach:
Edit: Wow. I was searching other spill threads, and it seems that eight months is the time that everyone spills. Before of your eighth month, people!

Update: Some of my keys are making stickiness noises, and are therefore louder than normal. Will this go away after use, or should I bring it into a store? Crap.
Don't say everyone - I don't eat around my PB so there's little chance that I will spill or drop anything on it. your first mistake was eating/drinking around it, the way you venerated the PB and asked so many questions I'm surprised that you'd be that casual about eating/drinking around it.

My guess is that some of the ice tea mixture is underneath the keys and it has mixed with the oil that is used to lubricate the key mechinism. If it were me that this happened too and the keys were sticky/noisey. I'd take it to an authorized apple repair shop. I'd be too worried that I would make a bad situation worse, i.e., breaking the keys/keyboard or unable to put it all back together.

Do a search and I'm sure there's plenty of solutions of the braver souls because your right that the spills do happen too much - just not to everyonel.

Mike
     
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Mar 28, 2005, 08:52 AM
 
Originally posted by Maflynn:
Don't say everyone - I don't eat around my PB so there's little chance that I will spill or drop anything on it. your first mistake was eating/drinking around it, the way you venerated the PB and asked so many questions I'm surprised that you'd be that casual about eating/drinking around it.

My guess is that some of the ice tea mixture is underneath the keys and it has mixed with the oil that is used to lubricate the key mechinism. If it were me that this happened too and the keys were sticky/noisey. I'd take it to an authorized apple repair shop. I'd be too worried that I would make a bad situation worse, i.e., breaking the keys/keyboard or unable to put it all back together.

Do a search and I'm sure there's plenty of solutions of the braver souls because your right that the spills do happen too much - just not to everyonel.

Mike
I learned to treat it like a machine, rather than a baby. And until now, that's worked just fine for me. All I have is a few scratches on the bottom, but aside from that, it still looks mint. I've been blowing a USB fan on the "M" key for hours, and I think it's sounding better. Woot .

Edit: "M" key is crackling again. I guess it was just the moisture.
( Last edited by tavilach; Mar 28, 2005 at 09:03 AM. )
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Mar 28, 2005, 09:57 AM
 
I did the same thing with coffee and a month old iBook. Except only a little bit of coffee seeped into the keyboard. I immediately turned off the iBook, removed the battery, removed the keyboard, and took a moist paper towel to the area underneath the keyboard. Good thing it was only on the right side of the keyboard, because had it been on the left then my Airport Extreme card would have been toast and possibly my RAM too. My right Shift key cracks every now and then but even that is almost completely gone now.

Also, your PB may be fine now but in a few years that iced tea may cause rusting/corrosion to build up. I would periodically check it every now and then and sell it as soon as you notice any foreign substance where it shouldn't be

That's horrible, I know.
     
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Mar 28, 2005, 11:33 AM
 
This page might be useful to you: http://tekserve.com/service/spill.html

What should I do now?
The first thing you should do is shut down the computer immediately and disconnect the power cord. Donít try to turn it on. Spills can allow electrical current to move about the components of you Mac in destructive ways. If it is a PowerBook you should also remove the rechargeable battery. Disconnect any peripherals and note what was spilled onto your Mac. Donít shake the computer (this will only spread the liquid around) or use a hair dryer on it (even at a low setting a hair dryer will damage sensitive components). Donít wait for the damage to be evident. Bring the Mac to Tekserve as soon as you can. It doesnít take a big spill to cause a significant failure.
     
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Mar 28, 2005, 03:36 PM
 
To help prevent this problem in the future they have a skin that can cover you keyboard to help dust, oils, drinks, etc... from getting in you keyboard. I bought one from the apple store and it took me a day to get used to it but its great.
Just bought a PB 15', 1g ram, 80HD, 128 vid. First Mac.
     
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Mar 28, 2005, 03:51 PM
 
Uh oh. I used a blow dryer on high for ten minutes...

And I do have an iSkin. I just don't use it .
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Mar 28, 2005, 05:05 PM
 
Originally posted by tavilach:
Uh oh. I used a blow dryer on high for ten minutes...

And I do have an iSkin. I just don't use it .
I guess your kicking yourself now then. LOL
Just bought a PB 15', 1g ram, 80HD, 128 vid. First Mac.
     
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Mar 29, 2005, 06:56 PM
 
So, I tried to blow a USB fan on the keyboard for hours, and this somehow managed to remove the stickiness. After the fan stopped blowing, though, the stickiness resumed. I guess it was just the moisture in the air?

Anyway, I should probably start using my iSkin, since I'm not going to stop drinking near my PowerBook. Can I close the PowerBook with the iSkin still on, without unwanted side affects?

As for the damage done, what should I do? I believe I have Safeware insurance. How would they deal with something like this? What would a repair entail, considering that the machine seems to be functioning perfectly?
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Mar 29, 2005, 09:36 PM
 
Originally posted by tavilach:
Well, it's been about eight months since I got my PowerBook, and I had my first spill... Crap.
congratulations.

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Mar 29, 2005, 11:03 PM
 
Spilling's a rite of passage.

...I'm typing this reply on my beloved Pismo which took a projectile spray of Coke a Cola (accidently kicked a cup of it across the room and the liquid hit the back of the display then ran down into the ports at the back of the computer, nasty electronics frying smell and shutdown ensued). Cost about $450 for a new logic board and bottom case but good as new once fixed.

Anyways, if I were you I'd send your unit back to the mothership for a check up, and be as detailed as possible in reporting the spill and clean-up attempt so the techs know what to look for. Sticky keys are definitely a sign that some residue remains and could lead to further problems down the road.
     
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Mar 30, 2005, 02:34 AM
 
Originally posted by vinster:
Spilling's a rite of passage.

...I'm typing this reply on my beloved Pismo which took a projectile spray of Coke a Cola (accidently kicked a cup of it across the room and the liquid hit the back of the display then ran down into the ports at the back of the computer, nasty electronics frying smell and shutdown ensued). Cost about $450 for a new logic board and bottom case but good as new once fixed.

Anyways, if I were you I'd send your unit back to the mothership for a check up, and be as detailed as possible in reporting the spill and clean-up attempt so the techs know what to look for. Sticky keys are definitely a sign that some residue remains and could lead to further problems down the road.
haha! you've got the worst luck of anybody. why would anybody spend $450 on an old computer.
     
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Mar 30, 2005, 01:57 PM
 
Originally posted by Vi0:
haha! ...why would anybody spend $450 on an old computer.
pismo's rock! definitely worth fixing, it's irreplaceable.

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Mar 30, 2005, 03:32 PM
 
Originally posted by teknopimp:
pismo's rock! definitely worth fixing, it's irreplaceable.
You bet. My questions were always 1) why would anyone want a computer without expansion bays, and 2) why would anyone buy a computer if they couldn't replace the drives themselves?
He can be fixed -- you can't.
     
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Mar 30, 2005, 06:56 PM
 
Originally posted by vinster:
Spilling's a rite of passage.

...I'm typing this reply on my beloved Pismo which took a projectile spray of Coke a Cola (accidently kicked a cup of it across the room and the liquid hit the back of the display then ran down into the ports at the back of the computer, nasty electronics frying smell and shutdown ensued). Cost about $450 for a new logic board and bottom case but good as new once fixed.

Anyways, if I were you I'd send your unit back to the mothership for a check up, and be as detailed as possible in reporting the spill and clean-up attempt so the techs know what to look for. Sticky keys are definitely a sign that some residue remains and could lead to further problems down the road.
I'm not able to be without my PowerBook until two months from now, but I don't want to wait that long for support. Is there any way that I could make a quick video of the sticky key problem I have, along with an explanation, and email an Apple technician to see what he/she recommends? I can't figure out what address I'd email.
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Mar 30, 2005, 08:05 PM
 
Scanning the PB forum today I saw your post and another about an ice cream sandwich meeting a PB.

I think people really should stop eating/drinking near the PB's! If I have a drink near mine I always ensure I place it at a lower elevation than the PB.
     
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Mar 30, 2005, 09:41 PM
 
Originally posted by philc:
Scanning the PB forum today I saw your post and another about an ice cream sandwich meeting a PB.

I think people really should stop eating/drinking near the PB's! If I have a drink near mine I always ensure I place it at a lower elevation than the PB.
I figured that I was invincible. I hadn't spilled anything in an eight month period. I guess I'm not.
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Mar 30, 2005, 09:46 PM
 
Originally posted by Vi0:
haha! you've got the worst luck of anybody. why would anybody spend $450 on an old computer.
I spent the $450 in November 2001, when the Pismo was still relatively new. Besides, this computer rocks!

Actually, the only reason I'm using it at the moment is because my 15" Al's in the shop for a HDD replacement (under warranty).

Cheers,
     
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Mar 30, 2005, 09:52 PM
 
Originally posted by vinster:
I spent the $450 in November 2001, when the Pismo was still relatively new. Besides, this computer rocks!

Actually, the only reason I'm using it at the moment is because my 15" Al's in the shop for a HDD replacement (under warranty).

Cheers,
yeah, i don't use my clamshell much cause it's my *2nd* back-up.

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Mar 30, 2005, 10:00 PM
 
Originally posted by tavilach:
I'm not able to be without my PowerBook until two months from now, but I don't want to wait that long for support. Is there any way that I could make a quick video of the sticky key problem I have, along with an explanation, and email an Apple technician to see what he/she recommends? I can't figure out what address I'd email.
You'd probably need to bring it to an Apple genius or call 800 APL CARE to get technical attention (I'm not aware of an e-mail support option).

It's really up to you whether to send it in now or later. If you absolutely can't be without it, then wait until a better time (if it doesn't give up the ghost in the meantime).

I'd bet you're probably OK in the short term as if the liquid got anywhere important, you wouldn't be using the computer at all.

I do think it would be worth the $200-$300 to replace what ever components were affected (keyboard, top case, etc.).
     
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Mar 30, 2005, 10:04 PM
 
Originally posted by teknopimp:
yeah, i don't use my clamshell much cause it's my *2nd* back-up.
My 2nd backup would be my not-so-beloved PowerBook 5300c (hope I don't ever have to dig that one out of the closet).
     
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Mar 30, 2005, 10:07 PM
 
yeow. what OS r u running on it? [i have 10.3.5 on my clam]

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Mar 30, 2005, 10:53 PM
 
Originally posted by teknopimp:
yeow. what OS r u running on it? [i have 10.3.5 on my clam]
Mac OS 8.1. Anything later's too slow.
     
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Mar 30, 2005, 11:05 PM
 
m'kay. my boss runs 8.6 on his wallstreet, and i thought *that* was the worlds oldest remaining mac os. lol.

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Mar 31, 2005, 12:36 PM
 
Happened to me too. After many years of using Powerbooks I had my first spill last year. 'Luckily' it was on my 4 1/2 year old WallStreet which I had intended to get rid of anyway.

With regards to blow dryers I heard/read contradicting stories. Someone said that it is actually a must. If the liquid is allowed to dry normally (at room temperature) this takes too long and delicate contacts will corrode. Whereas if you use a blow dryer immediately moisture is dried off quickly enough before major corrosion can take place. Kind of makes sense to me.

In my case the keyboard was fried nevertheless as the contacts between the two plastic sheets held the moisture long enough for the contacts to corrode. But as yours seems to be fine, you likely did not suffer that fate.

Just the stickiness cannot be resolved. It will not go away any time soon, if ever. Didn't go away on my WallStreet.

Best bet in your case: get a new keyboard installed and have the PowerBook cleaned internally while they swap the keyboard. No matter how thoroughly someone cleans the keyboard, a new one will be better.

What I did was order the keyboard in with a local service center. Took a week to arrive. They gave me a call and I went there and waited 30 minutes while they swapped the keyboard. That way my 'down time' was as minimal as possible.
     
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Mar 31, 2005, 12:46 PM
 
Originally posted by McFarmer:

Just the stickiness cannot be resolved. It will not go away any time soon, if ever. Didn't go away on my WallStreet.

Best bet in your case: get a new keyboard installed and have the PowerBook cleaned internally while they swap the keyboard. No matter how thoroughly someone cleans the keyboard, a new one will be better.

If the keyboard will survive an ultrasonic, that would get rid of the stickiness, guaranteed. Actually, any part that could be removed from the computer and would survive an ultrasonic, would be good as new afterward.
     
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Mar 31, 2005, 04:31 PM
 
Originally posted by McFarmer:
Happened to me too. After many years of using Powerbooks I had my first spill last year. 'Luckily' it was on my 4 1/2 year old WallStreet which I had intended to get rid of anyway.

With regards to blow dryers I heard/read contradicting stories. Someone said that it is actually a must. If the liquid is allowed to dry normally (at room temperature) this takes too long and delicate contacts will corrode. Whereas if you use a blow dryer immediately moisture is dried off quickly enough before major corrosion can take place. Kind of makes sense to me.

In my case the keyboard was fried nevertheless as the contacts between the two plastic sheets held the moisture long enough for the contacts to corrode. But as yours seems to be fine, you likely did not suffer that fate.

Just the stickiness cannot be resolved. It will not go away any time soon, if ever. Didn't go away on my WallStreet.

Best bet in your case: get a new keyboard installed and have the PowerBook cleaned internally while they swap the keyboard. No matter how thoroughly someone cleans the keyboard, a new one will be better.

What I did was order the keyboard in with a local service center. Took a week to arrive. They gave me a call and I went there and waited 30 minutes while they swapped the keyboard. That way my 'down time' was as minimal as possible.
How much would all of this cost? Would Safeware cover it?
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Mar 31, 2005, 06:49 PM
 
Originally posted by tavilach:
How much would all of this cost? Would Safeware cover it?
Can't really tell you anything useful here. My WallStreet keyboard is of course different from today's PowerBook's and hence had a different price. Also older machine's spare parts usually are more expensive. And of course it was not covered by any insurance any more.

Best would be you call your local service center and ask. Apple keyboards are not cheap though. I'd calculate with $200-$400. As a very rough guess. So you might prefer to go with sticky for a while...
     
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Apr 3, 2005, 05:34 AM
 
Update: I'm hearing much less of the stickiness sounds, almost to the point that in the next day or two it might sound completely normal again. Do I still need to get it fixed, or looked at? Is there really a chance of rust?

On another note, I have lots of little dust particles gathered in the holes of my speakers, such that when I look at my computer from an angle, I see lots of white dots. How would I get these little dudes out of my speaker holes (they're in about ten of them)?

Edit: Hmm, the keys on the right side still make nearby keys move a little when they're pressed (i.e. they've all become connected, to an extent). I probably should get them repaired...
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Apr 4, 2005, 01:09 AM
 
...
( Last edited by porieux; Oct 2, 2006 at 07:55 AM. )
     
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Apr 4, 2005, 05:34 AM
 
Originally posted by porieux:
Hopefully the tea was unsweetened.

You should NEVER have turned it back on again so soon, IMO.
You are really lucky this didn't fry it.
     
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Apr 11, 2005, 05:24 PM
 
Originally posted by porieux:
Hopefully the tea was unsweetened.

You should NEVER have turned it back on again so soon, IMO.
You are really lucky this didn't fry it.
It was sweetened . I just did the best thing I knew, and then I resumed my work. I didn't know better.

I'm assuming that if it's still fine, nothing is going to be fried in the future?
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Apr 11, 2005, 05:51 PM
 
You did not write what kind of powerbook you have.

Wallstreets, Pismos and TiBooks are open beneath the keyboard. That means if you remove the keyboard, you have immediate access to the internals (cpu board, RAM chips etc.).
The alu powerbooks are different. Look at the 12 inch for example: Beneath the keyboards is a solid peace of metal with only a few holes right above the heatsink and for the keyboard and trackpad connector (but these holes are closed with high frequency shielding tape).

So liquid very unlikely gets to the delicate internals.
And if your keyboard isn't perfect afterwards, buy a new one. They are affordable.
     
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Apr 12, 2005, 02:44 AM
 
Originally posted by I was David B.:
You did not write what kind of powerbook you have.

Wallstreets, Pismos and TiBooks are open beneath the keyboard. That means if you remove the keyboard, you have immediate access to the internals (cpu board, RAM chips etc.).
The alu powerbooks are different. Look at the 12 inch for example: Beneath the keyboards is a solid peace of metal with only a few holes right above the heatsink and for the keyboard and trackpad connector (but these holes are closed with high frequency shielding tape).

So liquid very unlikely gets to the delicate internals.
And if your keyboard isn't perfect afterwards, buy a new one. They are affordable.
I have a 15" AluBook. Isn't a new keyboard like $400?
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Apr 12, 2005, 04:42 AM
 
Originally posted by tavilach:
I have a 15" AluBook. Isn't a new keyboard like $400?
Brand new keyboards can be bought at eBay for less than 80$.
If you have a backlit keyboard the price may be a little higher. 400 is apples price including replacement.
     
   
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