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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

The Official "I spilled liquid in my MacBook, what do I do now?" Thread


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ivaylo

 
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My advise will be to disconnect the power and the battery to start with. Then, if you are feeling brave, disconnect as many of the components inside the machine as possible and try to get rid of the liquid.

The quicker you clean it the better because the liquid will start corrosion and this will damage the components irreversibly.

I use canisters with compressed air to blow the liquid away from under tiny chips and everywhere else. Then, if there are any traces of damage like green foam and corrosion, i use a brush and electronic solvent cleaner to clean the damage and then I leave it to dry out.

This is a gamble but I save about 40% of the machines this way without replacing components.

Of course, if the liquid is thick and sticky your keyboard might stop working and you will need to replace it.


Ivaylo
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vdao1972

 
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Hi,

I have a question about water spillage and Energy saving mode for Better Battery performance that I hope the experts here can help me with my problem.

To start, I have two rambunctious cats that spilled a bunch of water on the right side of my Macbook Pro. Luckily, most of it went under the laptop stand but a bunch went into the slot of the superdrive. I immediately turned off the computer and turned the computer on it's side to get any water out (a but went out). I then unscrewed the lower casing and removed the battery. Then I unscrewed the superdrive, hard drive and cooling fan to see the extent of the water damage. Superdrive is shot, not too much water damage in the hard drive bay and a couple of drops ended up in the cooling fan area. I didn't think it was that bad but I still left the laptop to dry for 3 days.

This morning I put it back together and turned it on. Superdrive sounded really bad and screen was blank. However, I could hear the hard drive whirring away which I thought was a positive sign. I turned it off and left the laptop for another day to dry off. I tried it again but plugged in an external monitor. Screen on the laptop still wasn't working but the external monitor started working and running through the start screen.

The keyboard, trackpad, sound and USB ports work fine and the laptop is charging. I also tried the iSight camera and it works perfect. But the laptop screen was still working. So I tried to change the Energy Saver Preferences from Better Battery Life to Higher Performance and voila! The laptop screen started working and also recognizing the external monitor.

However, when I changed the profile back to Better Battery Life, the screen goes blue and keeps flickering until I have to do a hard reset. It flickered for a good minute or so before I did the reset.

Is it possible that the integrated graphics card would have water damage? Just wondering as I would like to get more battery life but I'm just a bit glad the screen is working again!

Thanks,

Vinh
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vdao1972 View Post
Is it possible that the integrated graphics card would have water damage? Just wondering as I would like to get more battery life but I'm just a bit glad the screen is working again!
As I was reading this...this is exactly the conclusion I was coming to as well. It sounds like the integrated graphics was somehow affected...without affecting the dedicated graphics.

Just in case...one thing you could try is an SMC reset:

Intel-based Macs: Resetting the System Management Controller (SMC)

When you removed the battery...you sort of did an SMC reset. But you could try it again just in case.

HTH,

- Nick

p.s. Just in case you didn't know. If the integrated graphics on the computer has been damaged...the only way to repair it is a new logic board. This is going to cost you in the neighborhood of $500. Which in many cases is not worth it...compared to the value of the computer.

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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Waff

 
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Here's my spiel:
I have a 2010 mbp

Spilled water near the Mac, and I think some went to the left side on the hinge. Originally, didn't think any hit my Mac so continued to use. After about 10 minutes red and orange lines started to fill the screen and got worse until I could reach the computer and power down. I don't think a large amount of water got in, and the next day I took it apart and tried to clean all areas with a q tip. I had disconnected all lines that were part of the monitor and checked for any damage but saw none on either the connections or motherboard. I have not powered on anything since and had been drying for around 24 hours.

I couldn't find any posts that had a similar outcome with the screen. Have any had any experience with this? Besides waiting as long as possible for any liquid to dry, can anyone provide any type of conclusion besides the wait and see approach? Computer is my life (I'm a graphic designer) and don't have the fund to replace parts or buy a new computer.

Thanks in advance.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waff View Post
I couldn't find any posts that had a similar outcome with the screen. Have any had any experience with this? Besides waiting as long as possible for any liquid to dry, can anyone provide any type of conclusion besides the wait and see approach?
I'm sorry to say that your situation is not special.

How the spill occurred...what side effects that caused...really results in one unfortunate situation...Water + Electronics = Problems!

All one can do is "wait & see". There is no magic crystal ball to predict how long one should wait. Even if the waiting is done...there is absolutely no guarantees that a positive outcome will result.

Liquids near laptops is so much riskier than 99% of folks think. But when a liquid spill occurs...many times expensive lessons are learnt & not soon forgotten.

Good Luck,

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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warman42

 
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HI

Right, my question is mostly about AppleCare really, but I'd still appreciate some guidance on what may happen to my MacBook Pro (13 inch, late 2011).

Last night about half a glass of coke went over the left side of my keyboard mostly, and as soon as this happened the laptop immediately shut down (which I assumed was a very bad sign). I was in such a panic that I didn't read anything about what to do, so I cleaned up the liquid from the top of the MacBook, and tried to turn it on - it didn't work. I then spent about half an hour lightly hairdrying it, after which it did turn on. The laptop has continued to work perfectly all day, you wouldn't even know that I spilled coke on it last night (it perhaps takes slightly longer to start-up, but this might just be me looking for any potential changes).

I am worried however that it is only a matter of time before something goes wrong. Considering I only left it about half an hour/40 minutes in total, I haven't opened it up, and considering my laptop immediately shut down when the coke was spilled on it. Surely there can't be NO damage internally?

Now, I'm aware that AppleCare will not cover any repairs, but if I take my MacBook to the nearest Apple store would they at least open it up and check for any damage that may be there? As much as it works perfectly now, this surely can't last forever.

Also, in cases similar to mine where the Mac has seemed to continue to work perfectly, does that continue to happen? Or am I justified in thinking it's basically just a matter of time before it breaks?

Thanks for any help or guidance in advance.
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chscag

 
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Quote:
Also, in cases similar to mine where the Mac has seemed to continue to work perfectly, does that continue to happen? Or am I justified in thinking it's basically just a matter of time before it breaks?
If you read through this entire thread, you'll quickly come to the conclusion that your thinking may be right. Coke is especially damaging because of the sugary liquid and corrosive nature of the solution. It's best to take your machine apart and clean it up internally. The take apart instructions at iFixit: The free repair manual are comprehensive and easy to follow.

If you do take your machine to Apple, I do not know for sure if they'll charge you for taking it apart and diagnosing any problems. However, I do know as soon as they see the liquid detectors have been activated, they will stop diagnosing it and tell you that you need a new logic board. (Very expensive repair.)

Try cleaning it up yourself would be my advice. It's not as difficult as you may think. Good luck with it and let us know how it goes.
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warman42

 
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Alright, I'll open it up tomorrow I think, thanks for the response. If I do open it up and clean it, and there's no obvious Coke stains, or signs of damage should I think I'm in the clear? Or (from your experiences) could I still be potentially looking at problems a few months down the line?
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Even if you find no sign of coke or stains, I would still undertake cleaning it. Use denatured alcohol sparingly on a clean cloth or swabs if they're handy. Just make sure that you keep very close track of all the various screws and fasteners and where they go. The ifixit instructions are very good but keeping track of screws may be the difficult part. If the coke got beneath the logic board, it will have to be completely removed in order to clean it on both sides.

Only time will tell, but if you do a good cleanup job, your MBP should be OK for future use. Also... and I almost forgot, pay attention to your keyboard. If any coke got between the keys that will definitely spell trouble in the future and may mean replacing the entire keyboard.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warman42 View Post
HI

Right, my question is mostly about AppleCare really, but I'd still appreciate some guidance on what may happen to my MacBook Pro (13 inch, late 2011).

Now, I'm aware that AppleCare will not cover any repairs, but if I take my MacBook to the nearest Apple store would they at least open it up and check for any damage that may be there? As much as it works perfectly now, this surely can't last forever.
I think that the first question the Apple folks are going to ask is..."Why do you want us to take your computer apart/open it up?" And of course you're going to have to tell them because you spilled half a glass of Coke on it.

As soon as you say this...the Apple folks are going to throw their hands up in the air...and say something like..."Sure we'll open it up & check...but it's going to cost you...since the work/labor will not be covered with Applecare." Nobody works for free...and the Apple tech folks are very busy.

You must also realize...the liquid that was spilt was probably spilt onto the keyboard area...then it seeped inside the computer. The ONLY way to access the inside of the computer is to take the bottom cover off.

When this bottom cover is removed...guess what we're going to find??:

- Lots & lots of sticky liquid Coke (since the Coke was just spilled last night).
- What you're also going to see (when the bottom cover is removed)...is the bottom of the logic board...not the top of the logic board where a lot of the liquid coke/sticky coke is going to be (which is directly underneath the keyboard)
- Also...the keyboard itself will also be gunked up with Coke.

The ONLY way to inspect the top side of the logic board...is to remove the logic board...and this is not a quick or simple thing to do (another reason why the Apple folks aren't going to do it for free).

Lastly. One thing you REALLY don't want to do at this point is (since the spill just happened last night...AND since the computer still seems to be working)...is flipping the computer over 180 degrees to open it up to inspect. Unless you aren't planning on using the computer again until the computer is mostly disassembled to inspect & clean it.

As soon as you start flipping the computer over 180...you're going to "slosh" whatever liquid Coke is still inside...causing that liquid Coke to be relocated from a place where it currently is doing no harm...to a place that it may do GREAT HARM!!!

i.e....destroying your computer (the result most folks with liquids spills in this thread have experienced)!

The bottom line is. This computer needs to be powered down ASAP AND the internal battery disconnected/removed..until such time that the computer is disassembled, inspected, and cleaned.

If you are currently using this computer (AFTER a half glass of Coke was spilled on it)...and most likely still has liquid Coke sloshing around in side of it...you are playing with a ticking time bomb!!! It may continue working one second...and permanently shut down the next second. Then what you will be left with is a $1000+ doorstop/paperweight (just like many folks in this thread).

Sorry to be so blunt...but that's the honest truth. Sometimes the only way to convey a warning message strongly enough...is to be blunt!

Good luck,

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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awwjayzin

 
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Spilled cleanser (Clorox) on my MBA. I was taking out a wipe and I didn't notice liquid was leaking. At first, I thought it was only a few drops that landed on the metal portion, so I quickly grabbed a towel to pat it down. The trackpad was acting weird so I picked it up and about a tablespoon of more liquid fell from the laptop. Laptop shut down immediately and it's not turning on (only tried pressing the power button, haven't plugged it in). Flipped it upside down and let it dry in front of a fan for about 2 hours. Now it's in a bag of rice.

So frustrating and sad. =[

I set up an appointment at an Apple Store for tomorrow. Should I let it dry more before taking it to an Apple Store and hope I survived a fatal mistake or should I just go regardless? I'm guessing the fact that it's under a year old and under warranty makes no difference with this sort of accident. =p

I want to open it up myself but I don't have the tools to do so. There's definitely some liquid inside. When I flipped it over, there was some liquid leaking out (very little) at the corner of the MBA.
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If you don't have the tools or know how to take your MBP apart, then your best bet is to take it to your local Apple store and let them diagnose it for you. However, you need to be aware that spills are not covered by Apple's warranty. And, I suspect they will tell you that your logic board will have to be replaced. But let's hope everything is OK. Let us know.
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awwjayzin

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
If you don't have the tools or know how to take your MBP apart, then your best bet is to take it to your local Apple store and let them diagnose it for you. However, you need to be aware that spills are not covered by Apple's warranty. And, I suspect they will tell you that your logic board will have to be replaced. But let's hope everything is OK. Let us know.
I was told it would cost $755 (flat rate) to repair the logic board. Is there any reliable 3rd party places that offer a cheaper rate? Wanna make the best financial decision before sending this bad buddy in. =p
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cj2600

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awwjayzin View Post

I want to open it up myself but I don't have the tools to do so. There's definitely some liquid inside. When I flipped it over, there was some liquid leaking out (very little) at the corner of the MBA.
You don't need any special tools to open up a MacBook Pro laptop.
A small Phillips screwdriver would be enough to get inside the laptop and take a closer look at the motherboard.
Take a look at this guide: Fixing MacBook Pro after liquid spill.
Could be helpful. Good luck!
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Mac1994

 
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I spilled around 500 ml of water straight on to my Macbook Air. Like a complete waterfall right over it. I have a keyboard, screen and even touchpad protector installed. However, some of the water managed to flow into the cooling vent at the hinge area.

It immediately shut down (after about 2 seconds). I instantly turned it upside down to drain as much water off the laptop as I could. I desperately tried to switch it on after 30 minutes, but it didn't start.

At this point I came to this forum among others and saw that generally the people that waited between 4 to 6 days for it to dry got it to work perfectly.

But if you think about it logically, why not just open it up (if you're not under warranty) and dry it out. So thats what I did. Interestingly, what seemed like a little bit of water managed to get itself into the depths of the laptop, probably because of the fan but also the capillary like effect in laptops. So I dismantled it to the very core (apart from the stereo speakers) and dried it all out. It was just water, but if you have a sugary drink, I'd clean off the components with pure ethanol to prevent future corrosion.

I put it all back together and it worked perfectly, apart from the battery which had been damaged by the short circuit caused by the water - which I later repaired although it needs to be serviced now... :/ Luckily, all my protective measures seemed to have prevented extensive damage.

Basically, if you drop liquid on your laptop - especially if it shuts down after (this is particularly stressful) don't panic. There is more than a 50% chance that there was a short circuit through a component that can take it, and also, it could be something less expensive than the motherboard. Just open it up, clean it all out and you'll be fine.

Last edited by Mac1994; 09-10-2013 at 08:01 PM.
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