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Pepsi + Computer = FAIL


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#1 troublesh00ter

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:04 AM

Hey y'all!

My girlfriend's cousin spilled pepsi on his desktop computer. Not sure how he managed to do that but I told him I'd take a look at it to see if it could be saved. I was wondering if anyone has encountered a similar problem and what the outcome was... where you able to fix it? If no, what prevented fixing the computer.

I was thinking maybe taking some silicon spray to loosen up any sticky pepsi gunk on hardware and using an air duster to blow it into a paper towel.

Sound good?
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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 10:31 AM

I would recommend soaking the components in Rubbing Alcohol then blowing it out with a can of air.

#3 Crazy49er

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 02:02 PM

Firstly unplug it from the electrical outlet if you haven't already done so. You'll be best off doing as cryptodan said and dry off all the wet components with a towel getting the excess, and one at a time going through with rubbing alcohol and a paper towel or a handkerchief. The idea is when you're done you have gotten up any dried on sticky syrup (reason for the rubbing alcohol) from the soda and completely cleaned all the circuit boards parts. Also you want to be very careful when you're soaking up the "sludge" that you don't put any pressure on the components or get in a hurry and cause more damage. This is triage, you need to be decisive and deliberate. And you don't want to leave behind any bits of cotton / paper they may cause problems or overheating later in the computer's life.

I would go slow, one component at a time. Start with the graphics card/hard drive and once they're clean and dry place them off to the side and work your way towards the motherboard. Depending on the extent of the spill you may need to remove it from the case completely in order to clean the back side.

I had a similar issue but with a camera a few years ago. I was coming back from a party in college and ended up marinating my camera in a plastic bag for an hour in the back of my car with an open bottle of Cheerwine soda. Needless to say I was concerned that I had lost the camera. But with some cleaning and drying I was able to get it back to working order.

#4 ThunderZ

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 02:10 PM

I`m with Cryptodan.

For drying I would go with compressed air and allowing to stand overnight. Alcohol does evaporate pretty quickly.

My .02 Do not use a cloth or anything else that could snag a part on any circuit board. Mobo, pci cards, etc. One oops :whistle: and an otherwise well done job could render the component in need a soldering job or useless when just allowing normal air dry time would have avoided it.

#5 troublesh00ter

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:15 PM

Thanks guys. I have not even looked at this thing yet. He texted me this morning practically in tears (yes, the textual emotions were powerful enough to convey tears and utter greif). I was going to use silicon spray but rubbing alcohol you say? I will give it a go. I wouldn't think that a little pepsi would be able to completely render this thing unsalvageable.
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#6 cryptodan

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:19 PM

Soda Pop contains acid's which can eat slowly away at electrical components. Soda can reek havok on keyboards.

#7 ThunderZ

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 04:19 PM

Carbonated drinks are very acidic. The longer you wait the more potential for corrosive damage.

It will really depend on what type of conductive paths were created by the liquid. If something was shorted out it may be basically unfixable. :rip:

Will keep our fingers crossed.

#8 Bill253

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 07:08 PM

I can't believe this thread has gone this far without anyone mentioning the China Syndrome! :wink:

#9 ThunderZ

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 09:05 PM

If it had happened to a Super Computer at NORAD then I`d be worried. :huh:

#10 mb9023

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Posted 24 February 2011 - 11:25 PM

Wait...he spilled Pepsi INSIDE his computer? I think he's using his computer wrong.

#11 Eyesee

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 05:53 PM

Maybe he was using his cdrom drive as a Pepsi can holder and it broke causing it to spill inside the system.

You havent mentioned whether you have popped the case and looked inside yet or if you have tried to turn it on at all.
In the beginning there was the command line.

#12 ThunderZ

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 06:05 PM

Do`t think I would try turning it on\applying power till, at the least, an inspection was made of the inside to see just how much the spill covered.

#13 Eyesee

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Posted 25 February 2011 - 07:22 PM

I agree. I just thought it was odd that this had not been mentioned.
In the beginning there was the command line.

#14 troublesh00ter

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 09:06 AM

It's pretty much toasted. He managed to get it pretty good. I'm gonna salvage these fans though! Hehe... I've got more fans than Justin Bieber! ROFL!!! XD
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