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Old 01-29-11, 03:55 PM   #1
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Drowned lap top

So my kid spills OJ into my MacBook Pro keyboard. I think it's fried, but I took the battery out, unscrewed the back case cover, and left it in the spare room to dry out overnight. I wiped up what I could see, blew compressed air as much as I could into the keyboard, etc. It's not powering up now, but one tiny bit of moisture on the motherboard and that's what would happen.

Only two years old, but the optical drive isn't working, and the computer doesn't really owe me anything, it got pretty well used and abused over the past couple of years. Got this new MacBook Air just in time.

We'll see if it dries out and comes back to life.

Curious to see if that fried laptop has resale value for the parts. The displays on those things aren't cheap. I figure somebody might buy it just for that.
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Old 01-29-11, 03:57 PM   #2
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Try rice. That will sometimes soak up hidden moisture. It works best if you can seal the container.
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Old 01-29-11, 04:02 PM   #3
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it's best if you can expose the mobo first, then flush it with some rubbing alcohol with distilled water and use a blow drier on it.
after which you can seal it in a bag that has a lot of silica gel or tea bags.

the moisture that gets between the BGA chips and mobo are the worst, because that stuff doesn't dry out unless you really try.


At worst, you're out of $20, which are the rubbing alcohol, distilled jug of water and cheap teabags, and maybe like 2hrs tops.

you can sell the screen for quite a bit, and the keyboard can still get decent money for use as replacement keys.
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Old 01-29-11, 04:02 PM   #4
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It's a newer MacBook Pro, I think that computer in its broken condition will bring $200-$300 for the case, keyboard, hard drive, display. The optical drive isn't working. Whatever. I'll start the bidding at $1 and see what it brings.

But it may simply boot up tomorrow. We'll see if it dries out.
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Old 01-29-11, 04:03 PM   #5
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They just don't make keyboards like they used to. You used to be able to basically wash them and put them upside down in the oven on warm to dry. Kind of like flat screen TV's, they don't last nearly as long as the old tube ones did.
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Old 01-29-11, 04:04 PM   #6
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Can't figure out how to get to the side of the mb that got doused. Too complicated. Opened the back, that should help it dry
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Old 01-29-11, 04:08 PM   #7
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just google how to disassemble it.

http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/MacBo...Teardown/590/1
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Old 01-29-11, 04:09 PM   #8
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Pour alcohol in a small spray bottle to soak it.

Or take my $5 bid and call it a day.
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Old 01-29-11, 04:13 PM   #9
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They way more people rudely play with their smart phones constantly at the dining table I'm surprise they all don't fall in their soup or oatmeal.

*issue with daughters and sons in law
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Old 01-29-11, 04:32 PM   #10
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My daughter (the one who spilled the OJ into my laptop) also has a penchant for dropping cell phones into oceans and swimming pools. When she's not just losing them all together.

Teenagers. That's what you get.
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Old 01-29-11, 04:49 PM   #11
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It being orange juice will likely complicate things, same as if it were soda. How low can you set your oven? If it'll do 120-150, you could stick it in there for a few hours to speed up the drying process.

If you decide to start throwing soup and oatmeal at people who use their phones at the table, you can tell them that I said it wasn't rude or uncalled for for you to do so.
According to the major NYC Apple repair business Tekserve, the heat is a bad idea, it can damage fragile circuitry on the motherboard. Air dry, no heat, that's their advice.

I'll let it dry out for a day or two, if it won't boot, I'll stick it on eBay as a parts sale and see if I can get a couple hundred.
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Old 01-29-11, 04:58 PM   #12
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According to the major NYC Apple repair business Tekserve, the heat is a bad idea, it can damage fragile circuitry on the motherboard. Air dry, no heat, that's their advice.

I'll let it dry out for a day or two, if it won't boot, I'll stick it on eBay as a parts sale and see if I can get a couple hundred.
80c, I don't know what that is in F, will damage circuitry, but up to 60c is safe.

I'd do the same trick with drying out bike rims and leave it over a home heating vent.
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Old 01-29-11, 05:20 PM   #13
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+1 on the rice in a sealed container. Add warmth and air flow once removed.

I did the rubbing alcohol immersion trick with a cell phone and it worked.
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Old 01-29-11, 05:26 PM   #14
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Back in grad school, when I was doing my master's thesis in analytical chemistry, I spilled 200 cc of urine right into the guts of an Apple IIc. Thinking quickly, I unplugged it, took it apart, rinsed everything with distilled water and put it into a vacuum drying chamber. It worked like a charm afterwards.

In more modern times, when the kids dropped cellphones into the drink, I put the cell phones into the forced air food dehydrator overnight and that brought them back from the dead.
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Old 01-29-11, 05:32 PM   #15
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Pee on jellyfish, not computers
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Old 01-29-11, 11:15 PM   #16
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My daughter (the one who spilled the OJ into my laptop) also has a penchant for dropping cell phones into oceans and swimming pools. When she's not just losing them all together.

Teenagers. That's what you get.
The grow up so quick nowadays,before you know it they're 30 and going out into the world on their own.
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Old 01-29-11, 11:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by patentcad View Post
So my kid spills OJ into my MacBook Pro keyboard. I think it's fried, but I took the battery out, unscrewed the back case cover, and left it in the spare room to dry out overnight. I wiped up what I could see, blew compressed air as much as I could into the keyboard, etc. It's not powering up now, but one tiny bit of moisture on the motherboard and that's what would happen.

Only two years old, but the optical drive isn't working, and the computer doesn't really owe me anything, it got pretty well used and abused over the past couple of years. Got this new MacBook Air just in time.

We'll see if it dries out and comes back to life.

Curious to see if that fried laptop has resale value for the parts. The displays on those things aren't cheap. I figure somebody might buy it just for that.
Mac repairs aren't as expensive as you might think. It might be worth dropping it off at the apple store to see what they say.
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Old 01-30-11, 05:41 AM   #18
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Mac repairs aren't as expensive as you might think. It might be worth dropping it off at the apple store to see what they say.
Incorrect. I had spilled juice into this same laptop 18 months ago. It needed a keyboard. I wound up sending it off for repairs to some third party vendor, Apple's price for a new keyboard was ridiculous (I think they wanted $600+ at the Apple Store, I paid like half of that). This time if it won't boot it needs a motherboard, at the time the Apple Store had quoted me $1100 or so for that repair. That's silly, I can buy a whole new 15" MacBook Pro for $1650 (from MacMall, they discount them about $150).

Whatever. I'll make do with this new MacBook Air for a while and watch what Apple comes out with in 2011 for laptops, hopefully something better, faster, cheaper in the next 6 months. I think the MacBook Pros are due for a more significant revamp, the current design essentially dates back almost three years, so that may be imminent.

This spilling stuff on your computer issue is a bigger problem these days; I'm constantly using my laptop when I'm eating and drinking now (I hardly read print newspapers and magazines anymore) and there's often a drink near the computer. That was not the case 5+ years ago, now that's how we are all starting to operate. Hey, what can you do? I had a membrane over the keyboard that might have prevented this damage, but (of course) my teenager who spilled the drink this time (of course) had removed it because she doesn't like the feel of it (of course).

Sigh.
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Old 01-30-11, 06:33 AM   #19
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mac repairs are only good if you bought the apple care package.
otherwise it's an arm and leg to repair, because the rate is like $30~45/hr for the technician, excluding parts.
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Old 01-30-11, 06:48 AM   #20
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PCAD - few years back my wife spilled coffee into my ibook. Flippped it upside down with the screen open for a couple days and it worked fine after that -- good luck.
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Old 01-30-11, 07:02 AM   #21
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Yeah, I'm giving it until Monday, that will be 48+ hours, then I'll screw the cover back on, plug it in and see if it will boot up.
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Old 01-30-11, 07:12 AM   #22
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I hear Macbooks actually perform better when you spill apple juice on it.
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Old 01-30-11, 08:05 AM   #23
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I spilled water on a dell laptop once and had the same issues. after days of trying to dry it out it would not boot up. dell wanted almost $500 for a new motherboard. I found one brand new on ebay for $100. it was pretty easy to install, and it worked like a dream.
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Old 01-30-11, 09:38 AM   #24
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I spilled water on a dell laptop once and had the same issues. after days of trying to dry it out it would not boot up. dell wanted almost $500 for a new motherboard. I found one brand new on ebay for $100. it was pretty easy to install, and it worked like a dream.
Yeah, $500 is pretty normal for a Dell out-of-warranty service call. We did them all the time until we a) started buying laptops with a service contract and b) found a good source for motherboards.
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Old 01-30-11, 02:55 PM   #25
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Pcad, have you tried telling the MAC just to DTFU?
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