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Drink spill causing blank screen (Hardware issue)


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#1 tsuba

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 03:26 PM

Hi all,
Having a bit of a crisis here. Last night I had a drink spill into a well vented computer case causing it to power down. After panicly and quickly removing the cords and removing all hardware besides the cpu (which was missed and rather dry after the inspection) and the power source (which I figured was completely dead at that point and could be easily replaced). I took all the components out and left them to dry next to a fan the entire night after a quick wipe, worrying all the way.

So the early morning after I reinsert the gpu, ram and connect the cords and give it a go. To my surprise, it works. Power supply runs, moba isn't trashed (I think) and the gpu works (success confirmed by the screen lighting up and telling me to locate the hard drive that isn't plugged in). Obviously ecstatic about this, I plug in more things (hard drive, mouse, keyboard, internet) and I try again. It powers on once again but the screen no longer lights up so I can't confirm whether or not the computer can properly boot to desktop or the like and after removing the parts I get the same thing.

I've been trying to correct this, see if any damaged parts might be the cause of this. Replacing the gpu gives me the same thing and replacing cords and parts here and there to see if anything changes. Nothing so far and I'm running out of ideas. So I turn to you guys for ideas. What can I do? What might the problem be?

Running Windows 7 and the computer was in great condition before the accident. Thanks in advance for any help and support.

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 06:32 PM

Hello and welcome to Bleeping Computer.

For a clearer understanding, as you added the parts back into service, did you add one at a time and test the outcome of the addition, or did you add everything back in and then tested the outcome?

The answer you give me will provide me with an idea of what the issue is.

Thanks in advance.

Bruce.
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#3 tsuba

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 08:04 PM

Thanks for the welcome.

Unfortunately, I wasn't thinking enough to test each part individually at that time and put them all in before powering on. I'm beginning to think that the drink made the part that is causing my problem to get worse after the initial booting due to corrosion. Because my wiring is all the same from when it was working, it must be one of the parts from before.

I ruled out the GPU because I tested another unit and the on-board port, same result. The only things left are RAM, CPU, PSU and Mobo. I have doubts that it could be the RAM and Mobo because the initial boot would have given me those problems before telling me I needed to put in my hard drive, I believe. That leaves PSU and CPU.

Going to ask someone tomorrow to see if they can use their computer to help me diagnose my computer by testing my AM3 CPU, Unless you and someone could think of a better idea?

#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 10 September 2011 - 08:28 PM

As always I try to give prompt relies to thread I interact with, so here I am.

If we are lucky that there was not a concentration of moisture somewhere that caused a short to the motherboard, you may have become a victim of oxidation caused by the chemical reaction of water on metal surfaces.

It makes the metals corrode.

The solutions are as follows, (NOTICE-VERY IMPORTANT: DISCONNECT POWER FROM POWER SUPPLY FIRST AND KEEP ONE HAND ON METAL PART OF COMPUTER CASE TO AVOID STATIC DISCHARGE!!!) try disconnecting any connectors and reconnecting them just as they were before you removed them, doing this several times or more wouldn't hurt.

Examine the male prongs of any connectors for discoloration, use a knife to scrape any discolored male connectors. This includes pins on your processor chip if it has pins, but be vary careful NOT to bend those pins!!

Check your CMOS battery, see if it is making contact, see if it may have shorted out and is dead.

Closely examine your motherboard for jumpers, those may have corroded, remove and place back on pins, please make sure you put them back on the correct pins!

There is not much I can recommend for your PSU, I do not suggest you attempt to service that unit, you could get a serious JOLT from the stored electricity, if you suspect it, replace it.

If you had contacted us earlier and I answered your post, I would have suggested you wait at least a week before attempting to power the unit up again, by then all traces of liquid would have evaporated.

You said the liquid was just plain water correct?

Bruce.
Welcome to Bleeping Computer! :welcome:
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My Career Involves 37 Years as an Electronics Repair Technician, to Which I am Currently Retired From.

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