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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > OMG!! I spilled water/beer/liquid on my Mac Notebook

OMG!! I spilled water/beer/liquid on my Mac Notebook (Page 4)
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Feb 26, 2011, 08:20 PM
 
I think I can top the water damage volume by 2 quarts.

We're at a friends cabin for the weekend two weeks ago, and no Tv in the bedroom.
We're watching movies in bed on the MBP13 new last April.

I'm so anal about any fluids on the same flood plain period,
that it's never an issue.

The movie ends, but with so many cables attached, I reach out from the bed and set it on an old wooden fold-up TV tray next to the bed that she had set up earlier.
Charger cable, 800 F/W cable to external drive, Bose sound cables still attached.

It's dark, so I don't see all the details as I slide out of bed to deal with putting it away.
Two large mason jars of water are also on the tray now behind the open screen.

Just as I stand up off the bed, the Tv tray top collapses.
The legs were not in a locked position.
As it falls over, the tray top is now wedged tight flat against the side of the bed.
I tried to grab the top edge of screen while it was in freefall but
it was already pinned between the bed and tray top.

Water is everywhere like a tsunami.

To my horror turning on the light, I see the two empty jars of water on their side, between tray top and back of screen.
Then the screen goes black as I drag it out.
Most of the water enters the long open vent at the hinge.

Seeing the sleep light on, I force it down, pull all the cables as water is pouring out from every open port, and drive bay.

Thinking spin cycle mode, I G-force the hell out of it in all directions
till no more water came out.
Thank God everyones asleep.
It's the only thing that kept me from screaming at the same time.

I towel it off and already picture standing at the genius bar
assuming the worst.

I'm 120 miles from the nearest anything to deal with it, so I need to do something fast that night.

I left a bathroom heater the last time here, so I set the laptop on its side open book and blocked up the back end at hinge to be off the floor an inch. It's sitting on just 3 points for max air flow.

Turn on the heater and monitor the heat setting closely as it's blowing
into the open book about 20" away.

I feel with my hand the air flow to make sure it's even around entire laptop.
Air temp is about 120f flowing past all points.
Satisfied with setup, I go to bed with a posted notice on the closed door to not touch anything.

Next morning-The scary part.
It's toasty warm, and I hit start.
Its as good as new.

Anything less than slow bake, and I doubt it would survive.

The rice thing, the nuttiest idea.
Nothing corrodes better than long cold wet storage.
That simply turns metals into unrecognized ingot.

Best back up insurance-
go to HomeDepot or who ever, and get a small $20-$30 bathroom heater to have handy at all times.
It should be used anyway to keep that room dry.
     
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Mar 4, 2011, 10:20 PM
 
Hello, everyone!

This is my first post, and sadly to say, I must spend it lurking around the "spilled liquids" thread. So here's the story, albeit rather long for a short story:

Last Sunday night, I clumsily knocked a cup of tea over and it got all over the keyboard and into the keys, on/off power button, and the trackpad. I didn't immediately invert and shake the computer to get rid of the tea because I wanted to clean it up with baby wipes and shut it down, both of which I did as soon as possible.

So, for an hour and a half, I had it inverted to get a lot of the tea out. I manually fanned it for a few more minutes and then turned it on. I was very lucky. It turned on at the normal speed, and all my applications were able to run without any visible problems. However, every time I turned my computer on, a weird whirring noise came up and got loud, louder, then faded, then came up again... Needless to say, I was freaked out, turned my MacBook off, and let it dry some more while placing it on its side in a V-shape.

On Tuesday, I called Apple, which told me that the whirring noise might be issues with the fan, something that I had suspected earlier. I was told to visit this site for help: Intel-based Macs: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)

I have been waiting for a few days to let it dry out, hoping the fan would miraculously get better. Today, I decided to try the SMC reset that I was told about, but when I did, my computer would not turn on. I pressed the on/off button so many times and each time, it wouldn't go down as easily as it usually does, probably because of some left-over tea? Anyway, I put my computer on its side again so that it's in a V-shape. Even if it hasn't been charged for days, shouldn't it be able to turn on as soon as I plug in the charger? That's not what is happening...

Can anyone tell me what might be going on? Also, has anyone else ever gone through the situation of their computer first turning on, then whirring, and finally, not being able to turn on, even if the charger was plugged in well and a good amount of time for drying had past already?

More info: My MacBook is Intel-based, if that changes anything. I spilled tea on it about 5 days ago, and tried to let it dry with enough time. The battery cannot be easily removed (there are many tiny screws in the back).

Summary of my rant in the form of a question: What should I do besides take my computer to Apple and have it fixed for $600-something? If it really costs that much, I'd be better off buying a new computer, but the reality is, I don't have a boatload, or even a bedload, of money.
     
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Mar 27, 2011, 07:19 PM
 
I'm sure there have been many posts like this one but I can't find any post with my symptoms. I accidentally spilled OJ on the table my 2010 MBP 17" was sitting on. I cleaned everything up and also the OJ that was on the bottom of the laptop. Thinking I was in the clear, my trackpad wasn't working so I powered down and cleaned everything up, removed the bottom panel, soaked what I found, and then tried booting up. It booted up pretty slowly and came to my login screen in a safe mode. i typed in my PW and it didn't work. Come to find out it's suck on caps and my number keys only type the symbols. My power and eject buttons weren't working either. Right now I have it laying out with the panel off. What do I do? Let it dry, clean what I can with alcohol, and see if that work? I'm really in the dark when this stuff happens. Please help.
     
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Apr 5, 2011, 12:45 PM
 
Hi everyone!

Last night, I spilled a pretty good amount of water (maybe a cup) on my Macbook Pro. I immediately unplugged it, turned it off and after wiping, flipped it upside down and banged on the keyboard to get out any liquid that might have seeped in. It seemed okay.

Before I came to this forum, though, I turned it back on and it seemed to work fine. A few minutes in, my letters all became permanently locked into CAPS and the ctrl+w was not working. I turned it off, unplugged it and left it in a open-book, standing up stance for the rest of the night. This morning, I turned on my portable heater and let it warm up the laptop for about five-ten minutes. I then left it alone and placed it in an A-shape near my window.

I'm currently working on my old 2006 Macbook Pro.

A few minutes ago, the Mac start up sound rang throughout my room and I turned around to see the newer mbpro start up. It started up just as quickly as before and I accidentally hit "restart," and it did so again without any problems. I then shut it down again and placed it back near the window in the A-shape.

My question is now: what steps do you guys recommend I take? Should I leave it there by the window for a few days? And, although I don't want to give myself false hope, what does it mean that the mbpro turned on by itself?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you in advance.
     
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Apr 15, 2011, 10:48 AM
 
I've spilled water on my book a couple of times.

Every time, I've let it dry out before I turned it back on.

The idea is to take out the battery and dry it as soon as possible.

Make sure you don't try to turn it on, problems will occur!

*helpful hint* Try using a blow dryer or some kind of fan.
     
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Apr 18, 2011, 02:16 PM
 
So here is the story. I go to college and live in a dorm with my best friend Aaron. One night he him and my other friend Alec come back to the room ( I am not their). I left my laptop lid open because I recently was in my room. Alec jumps on my laptop (he is drunk) playing music, surfing the web and spills mountain dew all on my macbook pro! I come back to my room later to find it all sticky and crusted all over the track pad and near the fn key. I run to the bathroom scrub it down and turn it off for the night.

The next morning I turn my macbook on. It works fine THANK GOD! However!...my fn is making weird noises every time i push it down (Im guessing mountain dew got to it.....) Not only that being the problem. recently whenever I open up final cut pro or other random programs, and at random the screen goes blank...like it went to sleep. BUT it didn't go to sleep. i press every button, it dosent respond, the light is not blinking like its asleep either.

I have an appointment scheduled at the mac store for them to take it apart and fix the fn key and address this blank screen problem.

Does anyone have any suggestions of what else i could try? Or has anyone had this blank screen problem?

I hate my friend.
     
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Apr 18, 2011, 02:18 PM
 
If it's under warranty, you could get it serviced. Just don't tell them about the Mountain Dew.
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you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
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Apr 18, 2011, 02:23 PM
 
It is still under warranty! What will happen if it gets serviced? I just told the guy that i set up my appointment with that my fn button is sticking down.
     
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Apr 18, 2011, 03:09 PM
 
Its not under warranty any more. Any Apple engineer worth his/her salt is gonna work out very fast that there has been a spillage and they will hand you a quote. If the screen is now consistently off, there is a good chance that quote will be for a new logic board. And a top case with keyboard.

Sorry. Your friend needs to write you a hefty cheque.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Apr 29, 2011, 06:14 PM
 
Pretty much only in the top left hand corner. Like a champion, I didn't do anything accept dab it with a paper towel. I continued to use it throughout the day. Don't blame me, blame 2 hours of sleep in 2 days.

The good news is, it worked fine the whole day. The bad news is, it isn't charging. I'll plug it in, and it doesn't take the charge at all. I've turned it off, but it only has 10 minutes left on the charge.

Is it a problem with the charging outlet, or is my logic board fried?
     
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Apr 30, 2011, 05:38 AM
 
Logic board. Happens a lot on liquid damaged Mac laptops. Check eBay and you'll see (they don't all admit it mind).
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Apr 30, 2011, 03:57 PM
 
There is a possibility that the DC board got fried and the logic board is OK. Depending on the exact model, it may be possible to test with a volt meter and see if it's delivering voltage to the logic board.

Take it to a shop and get a proper diagnosis.
     
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May 2, 2011, 08:22 AM
 
Just to add a few tips for a great deal of experience dealing with liquid damaged laptops.

1) You can't generally get away with not telling Apple there's been a liquid spill. Al modern Macs have moisture indicators dotted all over the inside that permanently change colour (pink ... ahhhh) when they come in contact with moisture.

2) Without doubt, the most important thing is to remove power ASAP. This includes the internal battery. Even if you have a Unibody laptop with internal battery, remove the bottom cover and disconnect the battery (it's pretty easy and most models just have philips screws on the base). Basically, it is not initially the liquid that does the damage, it's the current flowing through it.

3) Next most important thing is to do if the liquid was anything other than clean water, is to get the laptop opened and any traces of liquid cleaned off the main logic board or any other components. If it's just water then allowing it to thoroughly dry out may well be OK but if not, the liquid will evaporate and leave a sticky residue that will continue to conduct electricity over time causing ongoing corrosion and electrolysis. I have seen too many cases where users thought they had got away with a spill but then the logic died a week or a month later by which time the damage was permanent.
If you don't feel up to doing this yourself, find a good local computer repair shop to do this for you.
It's also worth pointing out that although you don;t want to get your hopes up too much, malfunctioning logic boards will often work if the liquid damage is thoroughly and carefully cleaned up promptly.

4) Liquid usually gets spilled from above which means that it usually goes through the keyboard rendering this dead. Using an independent Apple parts supplier like <self-link removed> will generally be a MUCH cheaper way of replacing damaged parts than going to an authorised Apple service center and you can fit the part yourself if you feel up to it.
( Last edited by Thorzdad; May 2, 2011 at 09:35 AM. )
     
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May 14, 2011, 05:34 AM
 
just happened to me. knocked over pint of water and it seeped into the back of the macbook behind the screen.
the machine went off and failed to turn back on. despite loads of attempts it was just dead.

I failed to get advice until 24 hours later when I read these forums on another computer so I'd left the battery in overnight with the charger in.

went over to youtube and followed instructions for opening up the macbook
YouTube - Macbook 13" Repair - Top Case Removal

then used a vacuum cleaner to suck out any water residue, then a hairdryer (gently) to dry up the motherboards, then left it in the sun for a day.

and now it's working perfectly. yipee!
     
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May 24, 2011, 10:48 PM
 
Hey guys,

After going up to 7/11 and getting home i chucked my vitamin water on my bed and must have not have screwed up the lid properly. After a while i realized my bed was soaking in vitamin water probably a quarter of the bottle... my macbook was on the bed as well and some how managed to get wet in this terrible disaster.

Luckily there wasn't any water on the keyboard nor did it spill into the crack where the screen connects (like a lot of other liquid spill cases on the net). A lot of vitamin water got in to the CD drive and the little whole beside the drive. I tilted it on it side and quite a bit of vitamin water came out. I haven't turn my macbook on as i think it had already run out of battery when i opened it and accidently clicked the touch pad nothing happened (i'm pretty sure it was out of battery).

It's now left side down on the ground about a meter away from my room heater - a safe distance away anyway. Where to from now guys? my plan is to try unscrew the back tomorrow (as its 3:30am) and try dry up the remaining residue with a cotton bud carefully. Does anyone know the affects if it leaked in to the CD drive - will it affect the main hardware (logicboard)? I am not going to turn it on for at least 5 days while i keep seeking advice and the plan is to put it in a bag of rice..

Tell me your thoughts guys - in this desperate time

Thanks to all that can guide me in the right direction!

PS - i have read nearly everything on spilt liquid on macbook pros on the internet yet none of the cases seem the same as mine as my keyboard and screen werent touched by the vitamin water..

Regards
     
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May 25, 2011, 03:59 AM
 
Sounds like you might be lucky. I wouldn't mess about with cotton buds. Just be patient and leave it as long as you can to dry out. You should be fine to move it a little closer to the heater if you want, these things regularly get over 60C internally so you are unlikely to do it any harm as long as its not in contact.

You didn't say which MacBook. If the battery is removable I hope you have already removed it, if not then opening up and disconnecting the battery might not be a bad idea. By all means leave the case off to help dry it out a bit (Unless you have dogs, cats or small children that might brush against it or knock it over).

If the battery was drained completely before it happened, you should not have done any real damage. Maybe none at all. If it was powered off but still had some charge, you might have damaged the battery. Possible the water may have done something to the optical drive too but again, if it was all off then it should be fine.

When you take the case off, check there is no obvious corrosion or any dusty residue (don't know how many vitamins were in your water!). If there is residue, then you might consider cleaning with cotton buds and alcohol. Rubbing alcohol, not bourbon.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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May 29, 2011, 12:30 PM
 
Hey so my MacBook pro is 11 months old and sadly got it's first water damage. My friends new puppy was crawling across me and then across my laptop. I suddenly reAlized the thing was peeing on my laptop... Hurriedly grabbed paper towels and dried it up (was on the top row of the keyboard in the middle) used a wipe to sanitize my laptop and then dried again.

Opened it up and it awoke from the power save mode (like when up run out of battery and it remembers everything) but it was running really slowly so I had to hard shut down (holding power) and now it won't turn on. Can't take out the battery because the idiots built it in with the tiny screws that I can't get off.

Oh and pressing the battery level thing on the side lights up to all but 1. So some circuit is working...

Edit: opened it up and got the battery out. Doesn't seem like there is any liquid anywhere in the computer and all the lint/dust I wiped up with a paper towel was dry. If there is any it will be under the board and below the keyboard so I am not sure if I should attempt to take something out to check.

And again it is odd since it went drom running >> peed on >> dried up the small amount >> on but started up as if the battery had died >> hard shutdown (running very slow) >> won't turn on.

I see suggestions about flushing it with eater or rubbing alcohol, with the battery out will anything be damaged? Or should I remove other stuff before flushing it I I should at all?

Any chance of it working in a couple of days or is it time for me to take it in and hope they dont notice the damage?
( Last edited by Devilbird; May 29, 2011 at 03:03 PM. )
     
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Jun 1, 2011, 03:51 AM
 
Thanks for the reply Waragainstsleep, its a 2010 macbook 13". It has been about 5-6 days now and i still have not turned it on. Instead i decided to take off the back of the laptop yesterday and discovered there was a little bit of vitamin water corroding the logicboard.. the big question is, where to from now? I bought some Co cleaner sealant from dick smith and he said to give that a shot. I sprayed it on the logic board and tried rubbing with a cotton bud but it seemed to do nothing about the sticky residue.. should i just be happy with how this whole event went and put on the back and start it or should i further try stop corrosion from spreading? Thanks for any suggestions you can provide me with guys. I guess time will tell in this horrible situation..
     
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Jun 6, 2011, 11:10 AM
 
i won't even bother to explain what happened to my macbook...pretty much the same as everyone's been talking about...

i took the battery out and it upside down, but i don't have access to a heater. Will an air conditioning fan do?
     
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Jun 18, 2011, 07:50 AM
 
i have joined this water-damaged club with my macbook (model purchased Feb 2010). in february 2011, i spilled water, which hit the power/ethernet/VGA output. the machine immediately shorted. i have allowed it to dry, although not with the steps suggested here. it now will start and will play a dvd, but the screen remains broken. is it possible to hook it to an external monitor? if not, is it possible to replace the part (logic board?) that connects to the VGA output, so it can be turned into a mac mini. Thanks very much for any ideas
     
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Jun 18, 2011, 08:44 AM
 
Any way you can dry out a wet computer is fine. Some ways will simply take longer than others.

Corrosion and residue should be cleaned from circuit boards with rubbing alcohol.

Damaged parts can always be replaced if you are willing to spend the money.

@dg1020 You should try an external display before replacing the logic board in case its the LCD which got fried (though the board is far more likely).
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Jun 21, 2011, 11:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by brugesman View Post
I once spilt motor oil on a computer...that wasn't pretty.
ohgosh.. that sounds horrible :/
     
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Jul 9, 2011, 09:00 PM
 
Hi
Being the stupid person that I am, I spilled some soapy water on my macbook pro keyboard and trackpad. It wasn't too much. I was in a hurry and wasn't thinking so I turned on my laptop when it was still wet. Everything worked fine, but my macbook pro thinks my "alt/option" key is down when it really isn't. Because of this I can't even log in because of all of the funky characters that show up when alt key is held down. Any suggestions? As of right now i have put my keyboard face down and i won't be stupid to try anything until tomorrow when I am sure it is dry.
     
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Jul 10, 2011, 03:45 AM
 
Thats all you can really do. If it doesn't fix itself you'll need a new keyboard/top case.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Aug 25, 2011, 05:34 PM
 
Spilled Gatorade on the laptop 2 months ago. Pretty much wrote it off after tried letting it dry out for a few weeks and still could not get it to stay on for more than 30 seconds. However, just yesterday I tried turning it on, and it worked for 45 minutes. Does this mean anything? I seriously had access to all programs, files and music. It seemed to be working fine, but then it shut off likely had been doing before and now won't boot up at all. Is there something telling my computer to turn off, or is it circuiting out? And if one of these, is my computer just as gone as I thought it was?
     
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Aug 28, 2011, 08:35 PM
 
So I've read almost every single post on here since 2008 to see if I could find the answers to my unique situation and I'm coming up short so I figured I would post and see if anyone can help.

Here's the story:
I dj on Saturday nights at a bar using my MBP and an old iPod (ghetto I know, but Serato is really expensive these days). At the end of the night the bartender gave me a bottle of cider but closed up shop before I could finish it. Not wanting to get a ticket for an open container, I put it in a pocket of my dj bag secured upright by a velcro divider. I kept the dj bag upright on my lap in the cab but halfway through the ride my jeans were instantly soaked through as the bottle had broken the velcro and dumped out completely inside my bag. When I got home, I pulled everything out. My iPod seemed to have taken the brunt of the damage as it was in the same pocket as the bottle, but my computer seemed fine as it was on it's side (only the top hinge or the bottom opening had gotten wet, not the whole thing). I didn't think anything of it and went online to look up cost on replacing my antique iPod, got a few quotes, shut the computer and went to bed. I woke up 4 hours later to get some water and noticed the apple was lighting up and turning off, finding this odd, I opened it to find the screen going CRAZY. I could see my files were there, but the finder bar was in the middle of the screen and the bottom of the screen was on the top while the whole screen was flashing and going nuts. I shut down using the apple menu and as soon as it shut down it instantly booted back up so I turned it off using the power button and it stayed off. Freaking out, I hopped on my phone, found this forum and instantly pulled the battery out and A-framed it on my counter. I don't plan on even touching it until next Friday to see if it's even going to be possible for me to dj on Saturday.

Here are my questions:

If on Friday it boots up and works ok, would it damage the computer to run it for a few hours on Saturday before getting it cleaned professionally?

I saw someone's suggestion to send it to Toronto to get it cleaned out, but I just don't trust people/the post/anyone enough to send my computer to another country in hopes that it gets sent back. Will computer repair stores clean it for me or will they just rip me off and not get the job done?

I have irreplaceable files on there (my entire audio library, a book I've started to write, music I've written, etc.), in the event that I've just created a $2,000 paper weight, would all my files be corrupted/lost as well or will my hard drive still be in good enough condition to transfer all that info onto a new computer?

If (like a lot of these stories) my computer works for a month and then refuses to reboot, would I still be able to recover my files to put on a new computer?

Any help and advice would be GREATLY appreciated, it's not easy losing 75% of your Mac products in 20 minutes.
     
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Aug 28, 2011, 09:17 PM
 
Chances are your files are just fine.
Ideally you want to clean it before running it at all but even that is no guarantee.
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Aug 31, 2011, 12:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by JDeacon View Post
I have irreplaceable files on there (my entire audio library, a book I've started to write, music I've written, etc.), in the event that I've just created a $2,000 paper weight, would all my files be corrupted/lost as well or will my hard drive still be in good enough condition to transfer all that info onto a new computer?
Because the HD is relatively sealed, the HD data may very well be salvageable. When I trashed a MBP via a cup of hot chocolate the hard drive remained fine.

If (like a lot of these stories) my computer works for a month and then refuses to reboot, would I still be able to recover my files to put on a new computer?
That question should be moot because any sane person will learn from the experience and have timely hard drive backup routines in place. All hard drives fail, it is just a question of when.

External hard drives for both on and off-site backup are dirt cheap.
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Aug 31, 2011 at 12:45 PM. )
     
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Aug 31, 2011, 01:12 PM
 
I will recount some of my favourite spillage stories.

I had a young lady bring me a white MacBook that she had spilled butter on. I had to enquire as to how this happened, I really couldn't work it out for myself. It turned out she and her friends were having a sleepover or a girly night in or something like and they were sitting on the sofa sharing a bowl of potatoes covered in hot butter. And I mean covered. She did a pretty good job cleaning it off the top and didn't actually admit anything had been spilled when she checked it in for a warranty repair but when I took the lid off, the entire logic board and optical drive were coated in a layer of butter. It wasn't until I questioned her about it she admitted the truth (this happened a lot. Not many people get away with this trick, a good engineer will usually spot a sign somewhere).

She never did get back to approve/disprove the quote. Last I know it was still on a shelf in my old workshop. After a month or two, it really stank. There was never any hope for that machine at all. I guess I could have tried some industrial degreasant but it seemed like too much bother for a long shot.

Another good one came in while I was covering in the shop one saturday. A girl from a family who came in regularly came in with her mother who I had gotten to be on first name terms with by this point reporting that her white MacBook wouldn't boot all the way. Just spinning gear and no further. Fine one minute, this the next so they told me. It had a very important essay on the drive that wasn't backed up and she had really struggled to get it done and it was due on the Monday. I tried the usual software fix attempts then decided to pull the drive and try to get the essay off it. When I did this I noticed that the drive seemed to be little greasy to the touch. Initially I thought nothing of it, but then I noticed it smelled quite nice. But very strongly. I concluded the greasy substance was perfume. A quick interrogation once again yielded the truth. The laptop had been in a bag with a full bottle of expensive perfume that was a christmas gift. The neck of the bottle had snapped clean off emptying the contents all over everything else in the bag.

The drive was absolutely covered. Like it had been sitting in a puddle of the stuff. The rest of the machine seemed to have escaped unperfumed. I pulled the drive, dabbed the drive bay clean with tissue which turned out to be easy enough since perfume is volatile and dries fast, then tried the disk again. No luck. Wouldn't mount. Didn't even boot to spinning gear anymore.

As a last ditch method, I removed the logic board from the hard disk itself. Sure enough, there was more perfume between the logic board and the drive chassis. More careful dabbing, put the board back on and it fired up straight away and the machine never came back to the best of my knowledge. She was pretty lucky really.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Sep 1, 2011, 10:25 PM
 
I've been reading the other spill stories but haven't found one that is the same situation as mine (or at least the same kind of beverage), so I'm putting it out here in case someone can help:

Yesterday night 11PM Japan-time my friend spilt pineapple chuhai (sweet alcohol) on my MacBook Air and a lot got on the keyboard. The MacBook was on when it happened, and it took me a second before I turned it off and unplugged it. I turned the keyboard upside-down and poured out the visible liquid, then got the hard-case cover off and put the MacBook in a different room near a fan. I didn't know how to open the MacBook to take the battery out, so the battery is still in it.

What should I do now? My friend suggested trying to turn it on tonight or tomorrow, but I feel like leaving it off and take it in to the Genius Bar ASAP would be a better choice. What would you do?

I know that spills aren't covered under AppleCare, but I really want to take it to get it assessed rather than turn it on and possibly cause more problems (if all the damage isn't done already). There's a typhoon coming in today, so it's raining off and on and might get worse tonight which means that I might not be able to make it to the Genius Bar today or tomorrow even. But many of the other stories said time was vitally important, so now I'm even more scared that I didn't do enough immediately and it's too late. I would be extremely grateful for advice about what to do next.
( Last edited by Syrena13; Sep 2, 2011 at 02:43 AM. )
     
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Sep 2, 2011, 04:06 AM
 
If you take it to a genius bar they will refuse you any free service pretty much ever again once they know its been spilled on and they will since it will smell of pineapple.

Your options are:

Wait as long as possible for it to dry, then take your chances;
Clean it out (yourself or pay a 3rd non-apple party to do it for you) with distilled water. You'll need to take the bottom panel off and remove the battery first. This option means that even if it doesn't come back to life, there is a chance Apple won't know about the spillage and might honour your Applecare. You will need to be careful though, these things have moisture sensors so that ship may already have sailed;
Follow your plan and take it to Apple and end up with a huge bill if they are willing to service it at all. Might want to check your insurance. You may as well try option 1 first obviously;
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Sep 2, 2011, 12:43 PM
 
What War said: try option 1. I did that with my MBP and the laptop somewhat survived (it still works using an external keyboard, mouse, optical drive and no Firewire). Even in a best case there probably will be sticky residue from the chuhai like there was from the hot chocolate in my MBP. The cost of repairs can easily make professional attention a cost-ineffective choice.

Immediate removal of the battery is usually good, but at this point it probably "is what it is" and the disturbance of disassembly could make it worse.

Note that drying time is a function of relative humidity. I assume you are in the area of Tropical Storm Talas and have very high humidity, so full drying could take a very, very long time under exterior ambient conditions. In my case the relative humidity was very low and I gave it a week. In your case you may want to find an interior location that has an artificially lower relative humidity. In any event be sure that it is as dry as it is going to get before testing it or even moving it around too much.

When you do get to testing try an external keyboard and mouse if the built-in keyboard and/or trackpad do not work. In the case of my MBP the Command Key is now always on, so using the W key gives a Command-W result, etc. My damaged MBP was old anyway so I bought a new MBP in March, but I did use the damaged one for a year.

Good luck! And please report back here with details of the end of the story after it dries out.


-Allen Wicks
( Last edited by SierraDragon; Sep 2, 2011 at 12:54 PM. )
     
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Sep 4, 2011, 04:11 AM
 
Nothing spectacular - really just to give others hope.....

Six year old spilled a large glass of water on the machine....

Simply grabbed a towel, unplugged, didn't take the battery out for 15 minutes (I forgot I was mopping up), whipped the battery put as soon as I realised. Just put the machine in an inverted V to dry for 24 hours and I was frankly astounded, as I assumed it was toast having left the battery in, when I plugged it in and put the battery in, switched it on, and it instantly came back to where it was when uplugged including that current webpage etc;

Hugely relieved and astonished.....just do the unplug, remove battery, leave to dry (upside down) and w00t....I just left it dry in the sitting room, no facny heaters, or alcohol, or anything,,,,,
     
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Sep 4, 2011, 11:50 PM
 
You can also put whatever hardware is wet into an airtight box or bag and fill it with dry rice - that will suck the moisture out from most bits in a few days.
     
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Sep 5, 2011, 11:51 PM
 
Will removing the back cover and the battery void the warrenty?
     
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Sep 6, 2011, 03:32 AM
 
You can remove the bottom panel on a unibody laptop without voiding warranty.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Sep 11, 2011, 07:04 AM
 
Hi,

2 days ago I spilled a cup of tea over my MacBook (2009 Unibody, the ones just before MacBook pros). I immediately dried it, took the battery out, left for 24 hours upside down with rice etc. I turned it back on and it worked! It just wouldn't sleep, either by putting the lid down or by switching it on manually. However it worked fine for about 12 hours


Unfortunately, then the shutdown option kept turning on by itself, it would restart, but get to just being fully on, then sir itself down. I took the battery back out and left it overnight again. Today it will not switch on. If I take the battery out and just turn it on with ac, it repeats as above, so I guess it's not a problem with the battery...

So the problem is, after working for 12 hours it shuts down on it's own.


Any ideas? What can I do? I'm pretty desperate as I badly need my mac for my job!! I'd there any hope?!
     
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Sep 11, 2011, 07:59 AM
 
Sounds like the power button is faulty.

If you don't mind a complete disassembly you might be able to clean the power button and fix it. Otherwise it will need a new top case.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Sep 11, 2011, 09:23 AM
 
But it still switches on just on ac. (with battery in, power cable doesn't have a light so can we assume that's dead?) bit if it still switches on does that mean it's still the power on button?
     
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Sep 11, 2011, 04:52 PM
 
The behaviour described indicates the power button is shorted somewhere so while the button still works, it works constantly hence it immediately sends a shutdown command when the unit boots. If the charger is also being weird then it could be something else as well.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Oct 12, 2011, 12:49 PM
 
My Macbook Pro got soaked when a car window was left down in the rain. I did the whole thing with taking the battery out. Letting it dry. Opening it up according to ifixit, etc. It looked great. Pushed the button chimed up and thought I was in the clear! Yeah!
until about three weeks later...
It worked for a while and then became intermittent, then died completely.

I found this place on line and sent it in. www.idrymacs.com. It took a few days but they brought it back to life and I've never had a problem since. Recommended them to a couple of other folks. As Far as I know they both had good experiences.
     
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Oct 23, 2011, 07:52 AM
 
I feel like such an idiot. I left my aluminum MacBook open and running on my sofa. My upstairs shower leaked all over it! What luck. I have never dealt with water damage and it seemed to be ok so I just wiped up the water and continued to work. Was normal for 10 mins or so until it crashed. I took out the battery (which was dry) and put it back in. Booted up but did not read airport card. Repeated the process (stupid I know) and laptop died and refused to start. In a panic found this website and set it in a v with the battery out. Am I SOL? I know there is know way to predict but any advice on what to do now? Should I take off the cover to let the other parts dry. Worse part is it's been a while since I backed up everything on an external HD.
     
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Oct 23, 2011, 07:58 AM
 
The drive is probably ok. Just let it dry somewhere warm as long as you can stand before testing again.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Oct 23, 2011, 08:50 AM
 
Thanks war. Wasn't sure if the damage is already done since I turned it on several times (lessoned learned). I hope I can at least salvage the HD because my whole grad school career is on this laptop. I also found a chain placed called ubreakifix that had a $99 water damage package. Anyone use this company before?
     
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Oct 23, 2011, 09:33 AM
 
You may well have done damage to the circuit boards but the hard drive should be ok so your data ought to be safe.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
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Oct 23, 2011, 07:01 PM
 
Ok. Plugged laptop in and it turned on. Yay. It appears to be charging. Yay. My airport card is still not reading. Boo. Any ideas? At least I plugged in my external hd and backed up my stuff.
     
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Oct 23, 2011, 07:03 PM
 
Not good. Obviously wasn't dried out completely. After 15 mins I heard a click then crackling. Think I killed it. At least I got my important files.
     
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Nov 13, 2011, 09:49 AM
 
spilled wine, couldn't remove the battery, left to dry upside down for two hrs then in a bag of rice for two days in an upside down V form leaning a little more towards the screen but wasn't completely flat nonetheless
tried turning it on today but nothing
when I check how much battery it has it gives me two bars
it wasn't even that much liquid. well it looked like a lot. I'd guess a quarter of a cup or more
please give me suggestions!
     
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Dec 6, 2011, 01:43 PM
 
Hello,

i didnt see anything that was very similar to mine, so i thought i'd post my issue.

first spill that has happened to me. i have a late 2008 aluminum unibody 13" macbook, was laying in bed with my computer last night when i went to take a sip from my water bottle. my cat grabbed my arm and pulled it, spilling the water on my bed. i went to grab my macbook to move it, but the water ran underneath the computer and a little got in one of the holes where a rubber piece had been. as i was carrying my computer over to a table it shut down, and wouldnt start up for the rest of the night. so i took the panel off of it and there was a couple water drops on the battery, which i wiped off. i couldnt figure out how to take the battery out, so i left it in there for the night. i told my sister and she suggested that i put it on a layer of rice to help get some water out, so i did, and left it like that all night.

well the next morning came and we tried testing it (not knowing how long we should wait) and it booted up fine. I mainly use windows on it for school and work, so i have it set to boot in windows. well it boots up, but the trackpad and keyboard are recognized as if it was the first time they were connected. well they fail to fully install so the trackpad didnt work and the keyboard was acting as if shift was constantly pressed down, so i turned it off and let it sit on a towel while i went to school.

i came back and booted it up again and this time the trackpad worked fine, but the keyboard was still having the shift issue. also, it now wasnt charging or showing AC power connection. i try to boot it into mac os and the keyboard seemed like it might be working, but i couldnt remember my password to fully log in, and the battery still wasnt charging (note: it may have been that the keyboard was still acting up and i wasnt able to tell due to passwords being blocked out as dots).

i found this forum afterwards and i took the cover off and finally figured out how to remove the battery, so i did that.

right now i still have a year on my apple care plan, so my question is should i try to take it to them? or will it be easily apparent that some water got into it?

thanks.
     
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Dec 6, 2011, 05:40 PM
 
Its probably worth a try but they are pretty good at spotting liquid damage these days. The no charging symptom is a classic sign of liquid ingress.

Have a look for obvious corrosion or staining but you may as well have Apple take a look.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
 
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