Welcome to the MacNN Forums.

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Any of hope of reviving a water damaged Powerbook?

Any of hope of reviving a water damaged Powerbook?
Thread Tools
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 16, 2007, 09:33 PM
 
On the way to work Monday morning my Timbuk2 bag tipped over in my car and in the process the cap on a bottle of water popped open and spilled. I didnt discover this until I got to work and pulled my Powerbook (Aluminum/1.5Ghz) out to discover it was significantly wet. (I'm not sure how much water actually got into it but the bottom of my bag was soaked and it was enough to do damage to the laptop.) Not quite thinking straight I woke it from sleep to find it making a buzzing noise and the screen flickering. I immediately shut it down and a few minutes later (again not quite thinking straight) finally pulled the battery after noticing the sleep light flickering. Within a half hour I was able to obtain canned air and spray it in the keyboard and inside the PC card slot. I then placed it in the trunk of the car on the advice of my brother the IT professional who suggested it would be better off out there where it was hotter. That afternoon I was able to leave work early and take it to the Apple Store to have a technician examine it. They pronounced it dead. It wouldn't power up but the light around the power plug came on when it was plugged into the power slot on the side.

They removed my harddrive and told me to take it home, place it in shoebox with a container of DampRid and let it sit for a week to dry out. They said the harddrive didn't appear to be scorched so it should hopefully be fine after drying out.

The Powerbook is a different story. I've placed that in another sealed box with a container of the aforementioned DampRid. I removed the battery and the ram slot cover before doing so.

So now that I've rambled on, what are the chances it might be ok? The tech at the Apple Store was of the opinion the logic board was dead. However I'm wondering if it's given plenty of time to dry out if it might work again. I'm not in a hurry to get it back as I went ahead and purchased a new MacBook Pro as I must have a laptop for work. (I'd planned on upgrading in fall before my Apple Care ran out anyway I just had to do it a bit sooner than planned.) I would however like to either sell it to recoup a little money (with a full disclosure to it's past of course) possibly for parts or give it to my girlfriend to use as she really wants a laptop and we can't really afford another large purchase like that anytime soon.

And is there a better way to dry out the Powerbook itself?

On a side note, the technicians at the Short Pump Town Center (Richmond, Virginia) Apple Store were awesome and incredibly helpful in dealing wth my Powerbook. One of the many reasons I remain a devoted Apple user.
( Last edited by CrazedVW; May 18, 2007 at 04:39 PM. )
MacBook Pro: 13"/2.26Ghz/4GB/500GB/SuperDrive (Mine)
MacBook Pro: 13"/2.26Ghz/2GB/160GB/SuperDrive (Wife's)
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2000
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 17, 2007, 12:51 AM
 
I toasted the logic board of my Powerbook a few weeks ago with water. It's doubtful that it will fix itself (mine certainly hasn't), so just grab an external chasis for your hard drive, sell off the parts that work, and wait for the next revision of the MBPs that should be out in June.
     
Addicted to MacNN
Join Date: Mar 2006
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 17, 2007, 02:23 AM
 
I spilled coffee on a thinkpad a while back - it would not start up - 2 hours with a hairdryer sorted it out.
     
JKT
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: London, UK
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 17, 2007, 03:45 AM
 
Quicker way to dry it out? Disassemble it.

Fixit Guide - DIY PowerBook, MacBook, & iBook Repair & Disassembly

You'll also be able to see what damage was done. (N.B. This will potentially void your warranty if it is still valid... which I'm guessing it isn't given the self-inflicted damage your accident caused).
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Memphis, Tn. USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 17, 2007, 08:38 AM
 
Best way is to call your homeowners insurance company or if you have Safeware insurance put in a claim!
     
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 17, 2007, 01:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by JKT View Post
Quicker way to dry it out? Disassemble it.

Fixit Guide - DIY PowerBook, MacBook, & iBook Repair & Disassembly

You'll also be able to see what damage was done. (N.B. This will potentially void your warranty if it is still valid... which I'm guessing it isn't given the self-inflicted damage your accident caused).
Thanks for that. I'll disassemble it tonight and see what happens. I seriously doubt my Applecare is still valid as even if I had another issue with it I'm sure Apple would say the water caused it. I'm not too concerned about it anymore but I would like to salvage whatever I can from it.
MacBook Pro: 13"/2.26Ghz/4GB/500GB/SuperDrive (Mine)
MacBook Pro: 13"/2.26Ghz/2GB/160GB/SuperDrive (Wife's)
     
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 17, 2007, 01:58 PM
 
Originally Posted by romeosc View Post
Best way is to call your homeowners insurance company or if you have Safeware insurance put in a claim!
Yea. I'm hopeful my homeowner's insurance is going to cover it. I haven't been able find the policy yet to know for sure but my mother is a retired insurance agent and she feel's certain that it's the type of thing they will cover. And if they do my girlfriend won't be quite as mad that I blew an insane amount of money we didn't really have on a new MacBook Pro.
MacBook Pro: 13"/2.26Ghz/4GB/500GB/SuperDrive (Mine)
MacBook Pro: 13"/2.26Ghz/2GB/160GB/SuperDrive (Wife's)
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Memphis, Tn. USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 17, 2007, 09:09 PM
 
Originally Posted by CrazedVW View Post
Yea. I'm hopeful my homeowner's insurance is going to cover it. I haven't been able find the policy yet to know for sure but my mother is a retired insurance agent and she feel's certain that it's the type of thing they will cover. And if they do my girlfriend won't be quite as mad that I blew an insane amount of money we didn't really have on a new MacBook Pro.

Make sure to remove harddrive and back up prior to claim, since they won't cover software or data recovery. They may pay you value or send you a replacement that they bought of equal value.
     
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 18, 2007, 12:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by romeosc View Post
Make sure to remove harddrive and back up prior to claim, since they won't cover software or data recovery. They may pay you value or send you a replacement that they bought of equal value.
Not to be an ass or start a flame war, etc but did you not read my original post?

"They removed my harddrive and told me to take it home, place it in shoebox with a container of DampRid and let it sit for a week to dry out. They said the harddrive didn't appear to be scorched so it should hopefully be fine after drying out."

and further down from that:

"I'm not in a hurry to get it back as I went ahead and purchased a new MacBook Pro as I must have a laptop for work. (I'd planned on upgrading in fall before my Apple Care ran out anyway I just had to do it a bit sooner than planned.)"



As it stands I talked to my insurance this morning and they said my homeowners policy doesn't cover the damage either way. So my next step will be to talk to them about including a rider on there to get that coverage. I got a Safeware quote but I'm thinking my own insurance will be cheaper. (Particularly with the discounts I get for being a teacher.)
MacBook Pro: 13"/2.26Ghz/4GB/500GB/SuperDrive (Mine)
MacBook Pro: 13"/2.26Ghz/2GB/160GB/SuperDrive (Wife's)
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Memphis, Tn. USA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 18, 2007, 02:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by CrazedVW View Post
Not to be an ass or start a flame war, etc but did you not read my original post?

"They removed my harddrive and told me to take it home, place it in shoebox with a container of DampRid and let it sit for a week to dry out. They said the harddrive didn't appear to be scorched so it should hopefully be fine after drying out."

I read it... I was refering to before you sent it in for insurance repair!

and further down from that:

"I'm not in a hurry to get it back as I went ahead and purchased a new MacBook Pro as I must have a laptop for work. (I'd planned on upgrading in fall before my Apple Care ran out anyway I just had to do it a bit sooner than planned.)"



As it stands I talked to my insurance this morning and they said my homeowners policy doesn't cover the damage either way. So my next step will be to talk to them about including a rider on there to get that coverage. I got a Safeware quote but I'm thinking my own insurance will be cheaper. (Particularly with the discounts I get for being a teacher.)

You either have BAD insurance coverage or a bad agent, since most policys cover accidental damage of personal items (less deductable). My son let a fish pull a $800 fishing rod on a deep sea fishing trip and my insurance covered the loss after deductable. (PS ... Safeware has no deductable) I'm not upset about your comments, I was just trying to help!
     
Mac Elite
Join Date: Oct 2002
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 18, 2007, 02:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by romeosc View Post
You either have BAD insurance coverage or a bad agent, since most policys cover accidental damage of personal items (less deductable). My son let a fish pull a $800 fishing rod on a deep sea fishing trip and my insurance covered the loss after deductable. (PS ... Safeware has no deductable) I'm not upset about your comments, I was just trying to help!
I agree, that was kinda being an ass even if you weren't trying to be. You coulda just said, "Yea, thankfully they already took my hard drive out for me and I already bought a replacement computer."
     
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 18, 2007, 04:38 PM
 
I appreciate the help. Really. Unlike some forums I read the people on here are always helpful and don't belittle people for asking somewhat stupid questions, etc.
My girlfriend got our insurance when we bought our house. It was the first time we'd ever done it and it was probably just something that got overlooked. I'm upset about it but I'm trying not to let it get to me. I'm kinda taking the perspective that I had planned to upgrade in the fall anyway and the resale value on the Aluminum Powerbooks isn't that great since the MBPs came out so I'm not out that much money. (Relatively speaking.) At least that's what I'm trying to keep telling myself.
Either way, I've learned a valuable lesson. I'm switching insurance soon anyway as I qualify for a much better rate with a company through the teacher's association I belong to and I'll make sure to add the coverage to that policy when I get it.

Originally Posted by romeosc View Post
You either have BAD insurance coverage or a bad agent, since most policys cover accidental damage of personal items (less deductable). My son let a fish pull a $800 fishing rod on a deep sea fishing trip and my insurance covered the loss after deductable. (PS ... Safeware has no deductable) I'm not upset about your comments, I was just trying to help!
MacBook Pro: 13"/2.26Ghz/4GB/500GB/SuperDrive (Mine)
MacBook Pro: 13"/2.26Ghz/2GB/160GB/SuperDrive (Wife's)
     
JKT
Professional Poster
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: London, UK
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 18, 2007, 06:01 PM
 
Note, if your casing is in really good nick, you could actually get quite reasonable prices for the parts;

Case Components for Aluminum 15" 1.5 GHz (BT 1.1) - iFixit

They're charging $250 for a brand new lower casing replacement for my Powerbook model, for example.

Displays for Aluminum 15" 1.5 GHz (BT 1.1) - iFixit

If the display still works, people will be paying $400 to $500 for a brand new replacement part.
     
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 18, 2007, 06:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by JKT View Post
Note, if your casing is in really good nick, you could actually get quite reasonable prices for the parts;

Case Components for Aluminum 15" 1.5 GHz (BT 1.1) - iFixit

They're charging $250 for a brand new lower casing replacement for my Powerbook model, for example.

Displays for Aluminum 15" 1.5 GHz (BT 1.1) - iFixit

If the display still works, people will be paying $400 to $500 for a brand new replacement part.
Thanks for that. There's a small dent on the corner of the case near the power adaptor port. My infant son got ahold of the power cable and pulled it off the coffee table about six months ago not long after he started crawling. I can't imagine that'll have a big impact on the price though.

Is there a way to test the working-ness of a part if the logic board is dead? Other than putting it in a working model that is.
MacBook Pro: 13"/2.26Ghz/4GB/500GB/SuperDrive (Mine)
MacBook Pro: 13"/2.26Ghz/2GB/160GB/SuperDrive (Wife's)
     
Forum Regular
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Status: Offline
Reply With Quote
May 18, 2007, 08:16 PM
 
Did the surgery a little while ago. Removed the top case. Didn't see any obvious moisture. I put it back in a plastic box with the DampRid stuff to continue drying. I discovered the Apple Store technicians that worked on it the other day and removed my harddrive for me also didn't put the keyboard cable back inside the case. This lead to a rather frustrating exchange on the phone with an Apple Store associate (as I live a half an hour or so from the store and wanted to see if they even still had it or I could get it back before I drove all the way out there) who couldn't understand that no, I didn't want the cable reattached and no I didn't screw anything up opening the case, but rather the cable simply WASN'T THERE because the tech failed to put it back in there and I wanted it BACK as it's MINE. (As I'd like to hope the upper case/keyboard still works and I can get some money for the part.) So I guess I'll be going out there after all.
MacBook Pro: 13"/2.26Ghz/4GB/500GB/SuperDrive (Mine)
MacBook Pro: 13"/2.26Ghz/2GB/160GB/SuperDrive (Wife's)
     
   
Thread Tools
Forum Links
Forum Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On
Top
Privacy Policy
All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:32 PM.
All contents of these forums © 1995-2015 MacNN. All rights reserved.
Branding + Design: www.gesamtbild.com
vBulletin v.3.8.8 © 2000-2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2