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Help! Spilled Water on Laptop


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#1 AshS

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 03:48 AM

Hi.

I spilled water on my Sony VAIO laptop. (The model is PCG-K10 if that helps. I think it's about 4 years old. It got a new hard drive in July 2006 due to a Trojan. Everything else on it is an original part.)

Here's what happened: After it got wet, it shut down on its own. Firefox was open and it asked me if I wanted it to save the information about the pages that were open (so that it would open them up the next time). I don't remember what else it said, as it took me a few seconds to realize what had happened. I didn't click anything, it just turned off. Then, (stupidly, I know now) I tried to turn it on a couple times. I forced the shut down when I didn't see a picture and then repeated that once more, forcing the shut down again. Then, I took out the battery and turned it upside down. The battery had a few spots of water on it. I wiped out the inside of the battery compartment, but don't remember it being that wet.

When I turned the computer upside down, no water poured out. At some point, I wiped off the keyboard and base, but the whole thing was so horrible that I don't remember when I did that. Maybe before trying to turn it on again or sometime around then. So, now it's sitting upside down with the battery compartment open and I have a fan blowing on it on low setting. The battery is out still and it's not plugged in anywhere.

Is there any hope of it recovering? When should I try to boot it up again? If the laptop is fried, is it likely that my data on the hard drive can at least be saved? I unscrewed the cover where the hard drive is and didn't see any water. I unscrewed a couple more covers and on the one next to the hard drive, there may have been a drop there. I put the covers back.

It's still drying (about 3 hours later) with the fan on it and I haven't tried to re-boot it.

Is the fan the right idea? I've read differing ideas about that. I don't know how to remove the hard drive (something else I read could be done).

What, if anything, should I be doing now?

Thanks very much.

Ash

Edited by AshS, 17 November 2008 - 04:16 AM.


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#2 dc3

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 05:01 AM

You have the right ides using the fan to help dry the computer, you should remove the covers that you replace so that air can circulate through the laptop. Unfortunately, what ever damage will have happened when the water got inside the case. About all you can do is let it dry for a day and see if it will start.

If is doesn't start you can remove the hard drive and install it in an external case and should be able to access you data from another computer. This site has several tutorials with pictures on removing a hard drive from a PCG series laptop. Your specific model isn't among them, but from the ones that I looked at they all seem to be very much the same.

Edited by dc3, 17 November 2008 - 10:26 AM.

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#3 AshS

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 09:47 AM

Thank you. How long should I wait before attempting to start it? It's been about 8 1/2 hours at this point.

I put the covers back on because I was concerned about dust getting into the computer and harming the components (if that's possible to do any more after I've spilt the water). What's showing with them off is the hard drive and two 1" x 3" plates of SDRAM that say Infineon on them. Then there's a third, little compartment has a board in it that's 1" x 1.5" approximately. I don't know what this one is.

I have two cats and so naturally, there's cat hair in the air and I thought that might not be good for the computer. Please advise if it's still OK, given this new information, to have the covers off.

Thank you for the advice. I will check out the site about removing the hard drive when I get home from work.

#4 AshS

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:08 AM

I looked at the site briefly just now and it linked to a post about how to edit registry. Do you have a link to the hard drive information? Or should I just search for it?

Thanks again, VERY much.

#5 dc3

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 10:29 AM

How embarrassing! :thumbsup: I'll have to blame it on the late hour, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

Please try the link now, I corrected it. I apologize for any confusion.

Eight hours should be long enough, I would give it another try. I wouldn't worry too much about the cat hair or dust, it is more important to get everything dry inside. I have to admit that I don't hold a lot of hope for the computer, because it shut off is a good indication that the water shorted out something crucial. Now that I've said this it will probably fire up.

dc3

Edited by dc3, 17 November 2008 - 10:32 AM.

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#6 AshS

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:22 AM

Hi DC3,

Well, if your comment about not holding out much hope made it fire up, then I thank you again. Maybe our lowered expectations together combined to make something good.

So, what now? I checked the files and opened one and it opened. I typed the alphabet and the keys work. Anything else I should check? It dried out for 23 hours. How do I tell if it's completely dry?

Sort of unrelated - naturally, this has the regular laptop screen that (I've heard) needs a special cleaner. Does this have to be purchased from a computer store or can one be made from ingredients at home (for example, I use water and a bit of dish soap to clean my eyeglasses - anything like that for laptop screens)? I have the special cloths to wipe it with.

Thanks very much for helping me in this most desperate hour of need.

Relieved Ash

#7 dc3

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 01:00 AM

Ah ha! The reverse psychology worked on the computer gods, at least this once. I'm glad to hear that it fired up and works, you dodged the big one.

First..., turn off the computer! Don't spray liquids on the monitor as these could drip inside. Flat screen monitors have a soft surface, so you want to use a soft cloth to clean it, you don't want to use paper towels or tissues as they can scratch the screen, and don't apply force to clean the monitor, this could damage pixels. A cloth dampened with water usually will do the job, a mild dish soap solution can be used on finger prints, or a very mild solution of vinegar and water. Don't use any products that contain ammonia, ethyl alcohol, acetone, toluene, ethyl acid, or methyl chloride, these chemicals can have a reaction with the screen damaging it or turning it yellow.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#8 AshS

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 01:17 AM

Yes I did, and I sure have been thanking the computer gods! I thought all hope was lost. I am backing up my data. Is that too much strain to put on my recently-recovered computer? Can I go back to using it as normal?

Thanks for the info about cleaning the monitor. I have Kensington brand lint-free wipes that say that they're the right way to clean computer, office, and electronic equipment. They say they won't scratch monitors, though they seem a little rough to the touch. Would you believe their claim of safety and non-scratching of monitors?

#9 dc3

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Posted 18 November 2008 - 05:08 AM

Backing up you data is always a good idea, too many realize that they should have done this after it is too late. I like to use removable media like CDs, DVDs, flash drives, or a second hdd.

If your computer boots without any incidents I wouldn't worry about it. Just back up that data and go for it.

I googled the Kensington wipes but couldn't find any mention of them being used to clean a LCD monitor, they do have a separate product just for that application though. I can only suggest reading the ingredients to see if they contain any of the chemicals that I listed previously.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 


#10 AshS

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 02:03 AM

Thanks again, DC. This site is awesome and people here have been helpful to me on more than one occasion. This has been no exception. :thumbsup:

Good luck to you.

Ash

#11 dc3

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Posted 19 November 2008 - 06:10 AM

Thank you for the kind words Ash, it's a pleasure to be able to help.

Family and loved ones will always be a priority in my daily life.  You never know when one will leave you.

 

 

 

 





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