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Water spilled on netbook


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#1 JNW

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 03:33 PM

My daughter spilled water on her HP Mini 110 netbook keyboard. After removing the water and using a hairdryer (carefully on low setting) the netbook will power on but still has a few problems:

1. Some keys used together like Shift 3 will not work - thus making it hard to enter web addresses.
2. At random times the screen will shift into a pattern of colored flickering horizontal lines. I have to manually power down to reboot.

Any ideas?

Thanks

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 03:55 PM

Water and keyboards do not get along.

But that's just a conclusion and not an answer.

The problem with water is it does not evaporate as quickly as we'd like it too, specially because it travels down into the depths of the circuit board where it becomes trapped for what seems like eternity.

As much as you are certain the water and its condensation has dissipated, this may not be the case.

Keyboard circuits are very sensitive to moisture, the moisture usually leaves a residue not noticed by the naked eye, that causes white power to develop and causes the contacts to become faulty, intermittent connections.

This laptop may not have had enough time to dry out, all a hair dryer does is heat up the water it has direct contact with, the water that is hiding under the key-pad is most likely still three, locked is an almost sealed area.

My suggestion is to remove the keyboard pad and allow it to air dry for at least 7 days, I know that number makes you frown, but it sometimes does take that long for full evaporation to take place.

Cleaning the connection pads under the keyboard may be required. But someone has to be comfortable in dismantling the laptop.

I can point you to some instructions along with pictures in performing this task.

If you are not comfortable, I suggest you take the laptop to a repair shop after a week has gone by, I do not suggest powering the laptop on in the mean-time and remove the battery, as damage can result to the entire motherboard.

Bruce.

Edited by MrBruce1959, 16 August 2010 - 03:58 PM.

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#3 Queen-Evie

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 04:09 PM

A crazy idea, that actually works with cell phones, so it may work for the netbook.

Place the netbook, with the keyboard removed, in a sealed container with rice. Since rice is small and you don't want to end up with rice clogging up the innards, make a bag from porous material (nylon works well) and put the rice in it. You can also use boil-in-bag rice which can be purchased at any grocery store.

Leave it for a few days. Rice is a desiccant (a drying agent and it absorbs moisture out of the air) so it may help.

Even though the netbook will eventually dry out, water may have damaged some of the components. Only you and your daughter can decide whether it's worth the cost to replace the components or buy a new netbook.

Edited by Queen-Evie, 16 August 2010 - 04:33 PM.


#4 JNW

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 06:28 PM

Thanks for the suggestions. Mr Bruce1959, I would some help in removing the keyboard so please direct me in the right direction. Queen- Evie, I will try the rice idea as well

Thanks

#5 MrBruce1959

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Posted 16 August 2010 - 07:17 PM

Please click this link and scroll this entire web page, if your specific model is not mentioned, please choose a model that is similar to yours, HP laptops have a similar assembly procedure, so these should be helpful to you.

http://www.insidemylaptop.com/category/3-compaq-hp-laptops/

Kind regards as always.

Bruce.
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#6 JNW

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:02 PM

The rice idea worked great. We put about and inch of white rice into a cooler and placed the open netbook on top. We also put some rice into a pantyhose and laid it flat on the keyboard. One week later and no more screen problems. The shift keys are still bulky but we'll deal with it.

Thanks! :thumbsup:

#7 Synetech

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 08:45 PM

Water and keyboards do not get along.

Not true. I have completely disassembled every last piece of, and throughly washed, scrubbed, and soaked in soapy water several of my keyboards, mice, and remote controls.

The problem with water is it does not evaporate as quickly as we'd like it too, specially because it travels down into the depths of the circuit board where it becomes trapped for what seems like eternity.

Exactly. The trick is in making sure it really is dry.

Keyboard circuits are very sensitive to moisture, the moisture usually leaves a residue not noticed by the naked eye, that causes white power to develop and causes the contacts to become faulty, intermittent connections.

Sadly that is true. While the water+electricity combo gets a bad, factually/scientifically incomplete/inaccurate rap—several years ago I made a video where I submerged and ran several types of electrical devices (motors, lights, etc.) in a bowl of pure water without consequence—contaminants really do cause problems. That glass of water probably had various things in it that could short some circuits, or at least leave a patina on the contacts that could later cause problems.


A crazy idea, that actually works with cell phones, so it may work for the netbook.

Place the netbook, with the keyboard removed, in a sealed container with rice. Since rice is small and you don't want to end up with rice clogging up the innards, make a bag from porous material (nylon works well) and put the rice in it. You can also use boil-in-bag rice which can be purchased at any grocery store.

Leave it for a few days. Rice is a desiccant (a drying agent and it absorbs moisture out of the air) so it may help.

Even though the netbook will eventually dry out, water may have damaged some of the components. Only you and your daughter can decide whether it's worth the cost to replace the components or buy a new netbook.

Not bad. You could also just use a terracotta plant pot. Brown sugar has a tendency to absorb moisture and become completely ruined by turning into a gooey mess. That’s why they sell little terracotta discs that you put in a bag of brown sugar to absorb the moisture, thus keeping the sugar nice and dry and the crystals separate. Next time, you can do the same thing with your laptop: seal it in a plastic grocery bad with some terracotta. (Actually, next time you can avoid it altogether by getting one of those plastic keyboard covers, but just in case… :thumbsup:)

Personally, whenever I get something that has one of those little desiccant sacs in it (such as clothing, electronics, etc.), I toss the desiccant in an old plastic CD/DVD cake-box.
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-- Synetech




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