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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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Convert to Macs

 
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Just joined the Forum precisely because I found it so helpful in a spillage last week (had never seen MacForum before) and am adding my experience in case helpful to others.

Last week I had a truly freak accident (like many I keep drinks well away from my laptop but failed to notice - yes stupid I know - a small vase of flowers on a chest of drawers on which laptop lay, playing music as I did housework. Vacuumed the room, left room, vaccuumed another, noticed vacuum cord was short. Tugged, tugged again. Not knowing cord had been wrapped around drawer handle and pulled drawer open leading to - disaster - vase knocked over Mac. Reason I'm mentioning this is that the liquid was odd - mostly water but also yuck from the flowers and whatever chemicals go into the little sachets of flower preservative...

Which makes the following miracle all the more miraculous.

First, being totally inexperienced, I did the stupidest thing possible - as the screen was white/grey/mottled and I was terrified I thought plugging the charger in would prove if it was still alive (as opposed to what I know now - which is - this sends currents through the machine that oughtn't to, and makes it all worse). Removed cord. Rang computer guy... found this website and others using another computer.... ended by taking battery out opf Mac, unscrewing back, and drying as well as poss (damage was on the upper right hand portion of motherboard, looking at it from the back). I then placed it with a large amount of uncooked rice on a big sheet of Press ' Seal, then sealed. Left it nearly 4 days. Removed, carefully dusting away rice.... there was clearly some damage.

Then taking advice from one guy on the web who said he used this method successfully, Apple, I took a soft toothbrush dipped in some denatured alcohol (meths that is) kept in the shed for something to do with tools and cleaned away, incredibly gently, the blue/green corrosion (or bacteria, suggested someone else?) near the bit of the motherboard that got wet, and also some of what appeared to be spider web-type fluff. Let it dry over night... then put it all back together (nb you need incredibly small screwdriver for this, and a steady hand).
It turned on fine, the picture on the screen was clear, the sounds worked but the touchpad didn't. Put a mouse in.... the pointer worked, but couldn't type. So I assumed the keyboard is gone, but I plugged in another keyboard and the machine worked fine. 45 minutes later, perhaps having warmed up, the keyboard and touchpad began to function again. Several days later it is still working fine, same as ever, no difference at all.

Like other post-ers, I don't know whether this means I'm still headed for trouble later on (and would appreciate it if other post-ers who've had 'miracles' like I have also post again if they experience trouble, logging how long it took to show up...

Just giddy with gratitude and thankfulness and was keen to let others know another low-cost success story (not that I in any way deserve it or am technically gifted, obviously, or I wouldn't have plugged it in...) but - these miracles happen. NB my machine is 3.5 years old, well out of warranty. I'm aware that taking the back off takes one out of warranty but heck, spilling a vase over it does too, so I felt I had nothing to lose.

Out of kindness, we should all make sure to educate new laptop owners (even if they think they are careful and will never suffer liquid damage or even 'frozen laptop damage') of the crucial first aid steps as many I've talked to have done stupid things as I have (including a Canadian I know who ALSO plugged in her laptop after leaving it in a car in - 40 degrees overnight - ...)
Will be infinitely more careful in future!
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denny2014

 
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Ok I have had my macbook pro for 2 years now. Until recently it was working fine but it started just randomly pushing keys down and turning my volume off without me touching any keys! I took it to Apple and they wanted to reboot the system and see if that fixed it and it didn't so I came back thinking I would need to get my keyboard replaced. Well when I took it in they said they found liquid in my macbook pro which means I need a tier 4 replacement which would cost me $750. I don't recall an incident where there was liquid spilled on it. Any help would be so nice!
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Mikeo1938

 
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Sorry to read about your problem.

The symptoms sound just like mine, as described in my posts of 07-16-2012. Glad to say that my MPB is working fine with an external mouse now that I've disabled the trackpad. From time to time, I tentatively try the trackpad and it is more stable than before, but not perfect.

Try the above and see if it works for you.

M
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Mikeo1938

 
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Well, further to my post above, I've just used the trackpad for half an hour and (touch wood again) it does seem to be OK. In fact, I much prefer the magic mouse but obviously need the trackpad when I'm away from my desk.

BTW, I did not attempt to remove the casing or try any form of external heat to speed up the drying process.

M
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denny2014

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikeo1938 View Post
Well, further to my post above, I've just used the trackpad for half an hour and (touch wood again) it does seem to be OK. In fact, I much prefer the magic mouse but obviously need the trackpad when I'm away from my desk.

BTW, I did not attempt to remove the casing or try any form of external heat to speed up the drying process.

M
Ok thanks, but what about for my keyboard? Would you suggest just getting a wireless keyboard as well?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denny2014 View Post
Ok thanks, but what about for my keyboard? Would you suggest just getting a wireless keyboard as well?
I would suggest checking your options for repair before you go and do that, effectively negating the point of a notebook computer.

The Apple Store is not the only place your computer can be serviced - there are literally hundreds of eager Apple Authorized Repair Centers. If it just has a bad keyboard, you shouldn't be looking at more than $200 or so (that's what I would charge).

I would check out TechRestore.com and Powerbookmedic.com as a start. Both have stellar reputations.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
I would suggest checking your options for repair before you go and do that, effectively negating the point of a notebook computer.

The Apple Store is not the only place your computer can be serviced - there are literally hundreds of eager Apple Authorized Repair Centers. If it just has a bad keyboard, you shouldn't be looking at more than $200 or so (that's what I would charge).

I would check out TechRestore.com and Powerbookmedic.com as a start. Both have stellar reputations.
I probably should have mentioned this in my first post but they said it was a tier 4 repair. Which would cost me $750, originally I thought it would only be $200 to replace the keyboard. but that isn't so.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denny2014 View Post
I probably should have mentioned this in my first post but they said it was a tier 4 repair. Which would cost me $750, originally I thought it would only be $200 to replace the keyboard. but that isn't so.
I would get a second opinion. Remember, the Apple Store has a greater incentive to sell you a new laptop than to repair your old one.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Mikeo1938

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denny2014 View Post
Ok thanks, but what about for my keyboard? Would you suggest just getting a wireless keyboard as well?
and the reply from cwa107

Well, I guess that Denny just wants to know whether his MPB will still function.

In my case, the portability of the MPB is a major advantage but I would be able to limp along with the help of an outboard keyboard if absolutely necessary; as things stand at present, I hardly ever use the trackpad apart from the odd occasion when I use the MPB away from home.

Denny, perhaps you can borrow an external keyboard; even an old USB keyboard would be enough for a test.

M
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joannatrue

 
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First time poster, hoping for some help. I spilled liquid on my macbook about 9 months ago. I was lucky, it still works. The only problem I have is that the computer no longer recognizes a battery. I've brought into the genius bar they say it could be the motherboard (i think, it was a while ago) and that it would probably not be worth it to fix it.

So is there any other way I can use this macbook without having to be connected to a power source at all times? Would an external battery such as the Hyperjuice one, work with this damage I have? Amazon.com: HyperJuice External Battery for MacBook/iPad/USB (100Wh) MBP-100: Computers & Accessories

Last edited by joannatrue; 08-05-2012 at 10:29 PM. Reason: spelling error
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If it won't work on its internal battery it's not going to work with a Hyper Juice pack or anything else. Apple is probably right, the spill damaged something on the logic board (motherboard) and now the machine will only work from AC.

Your best bet is to continue using it that way or sell it as is and use the money to buy a new machine.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chscag View Post
If it won't work on its internal battery it's not going to work with a Hyper Juice pack or anything else. Apple is probably right, the spill damaged something on the logic board (motherboard) and now the machine will only work from AC.

Your best bet is to continue using it that way or sell it as is and use the money to buy a new machine.
Well, the HyperJuice pack connects through the MagSafe port like a MagSafe adapter. So, if it's supplying the same DC current that the MacBook currently works with, I don't see why it wouldn't work for him.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Quote:
Well, the HyperJuice pack connects through the MagSafe port like a MagSafe adapter.
I forgot about that. For some reason I was thinking it connected thru the battery. Yes, it should work the same as connected to AC from the MagSafe although I'm not sure I would want to spend the $$ for one and then have to lug it around with the MacBook.
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I was so stupid to spill a drink on my mac book pro that i bought last july. I cleaned it immediately and took of the power adapter. Than I switched of the computer, dried it a bit more, and finally used the blow-dryer. Than I tried to switch it on again and thank god this worked. However, I do remark that the computer is slower and the trackpad is not working properly.
My questions are;

1. Can I already use my computer or should i let it dry?
2. At home I have gears to open the computer, is this wise to do myself or shall I ask someone else from the apple store?
3. When can I use the power adapter again?

Are there more tips someone can give me?

Thanks in advance! Eveline
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eveline View Post
I was so stupid to spill a drink on my mac book pro that i bought last july. I cleaned it immediately and took of the power adapter. Than I switched of the computer, dried it a bit more, and finally used the blow-dryer. Than I tried to switch it on again and thank god this worked. However, I do remark that the computer is slower and the trackpad is not working properly.
My questions are;

1. Can I already use my computer or should i let it dry?
2. At home I have gears to open the computer, is this wise to do myself or shall I ask someone else from the apple store?
3. When can I use the power adapter again?

Are there more tips someone can give me?

Thanks in advance! Eveline
I went ahead and merged this with our "Official 'I spilled liquid in my MacBook, what do I do now' Thread". The first post in this thread addresses all of your questions.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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