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*help* My Dog Spilled Lemonade In Laptop...


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#1 interplanetjanet

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 07:56 AM

Can anyone out there give me some advice...

Two nights ago, my dog jumped up and lemonade spilled into my laptop. While my roommate was running to get a towel, she heard the computer make a crackling/hissing noise and shut off. Is it too late?

I have taken the computer apart and cleaned all of the sticky lemonade goo that I could find (it was almost completely coating the hard drive). We plugged it in and the battery charging light goes on, but the computer will not turn on when we push the power button.

Any help or advice would be appreciated. I have virtually no money (everything goes to my student loans) and I can't afford a new computer or expensive repairs. Thanks!

IPJ

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#2 snyper

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 08:17 AM

I have no advice personally.

But i must admit you have my deepest sympathy, i never hav food or drink near my computer because when i bought my new dell inspiron 6000 a frew weeks ago i declined the insurance on it....way to expensive for me.


I would imagine there are solutions for your problem, hold in there and im sure the other BC members will advise.

Brian

#3 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 08:29 AM

Clearly this is a hardware problem, probably with the motherboard. Laptops are expensive to repair, and the motherboard is the most expensive component.

In order to diagnose and repair, the laptop must be looked at by a qualified tech.
ALBERT FRANKENSTEIN
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#4 interplanetjanet

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 08:39 AM

THanks for the responses, even though it is bad news. Do you think the info on the hard drive can be salvaged (if it is a motherboard problem). i have *all* of my music on there and my roommate is a writer and has I don't know how many books and screen plays... I always tell her to back up... :thumbsup:

Please let me know if there are any other fixes possible to try before I go to a tech. I should have mentioned that this is a 2002 Gateway 450 SX4, which other than the data it contains is valueless... The 'puter has been having major problems (it overheats and turns off constantly). I know it's not worth fixing, but I'd love to at least salvage my poor roommate's writings.

Thanks again for the quick responses; you BC folks rule!

#5 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 08:50 AM

Remove the hard drive from the laptop.
Install the hard drive into a working desktop computer as a slave drive with the use of a hard drive adaptor.

Google "Laptop Hard Drive Adapter" to find these for sale all over the internet from $10 to $30.

The working computer should still boot up from the 'good' Master hard drive, and then you will be able to navigate (Start > My Computer) to the slave drive and recover your data. More info on how to install a second drive can be found HERE.

But of course, if you need help with this or any other procedure you can just ask for help here and we can explain it in more detail or refer to somewhere on the web where it will be explained more fully.
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#6 HitSquad

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 09:02 AM

Any help or advice would be appreciated. I have virtually no money (everything goes to my student loans) and I can't afford a new computer or expensive repairs. Thanks!

My son had a similar accident with his notebook. He slipped around the pool and in they both went. :thumbsup:
I claimed it on my homeowners. New laptop, no insurance premium increase at all. Get along with mom and dad? :flowers:

#7 interplanetjanet

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 10:05 AM

Good idea, HitSquad, but unfortunately not possible. Those are my law school loans and I have been out of the house for quite some time. My mom is on the board at an insurance co., and I am an attorney, so insurance fraud is not even in my vocabulary... I wish it could be that easy. I rent (no renter's insurance... I know, I should know better) so there is no chance for a claim.

I think I'm going to try Frankenstein's suggestion and salvage my data from the hard drive (assuming the lemonade hasn't destroyed it). Any thoughts on that subject? I wiped it down (gently) with alcohol and got all the sticky stuff off; it seemed as though the entire bay was filled with goo though and I'm not sure if the HD itself was "penetrated" (for lack of a better word).

I was looking at getting a new 'puter; it's just that the timing of the laptop's demise is off. Like I said before, the thing was a piece of crap, but it holds valuable (to me and roomie) data. Pray for me and my HD!

Thanks!
IPJ

Edited by interplanetjanet, 21 April 2006 - 10:09 AM.


#8 buddy215

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 11:12 AM

Sugar, water, minerals, citric acid---all would destroy anything that isn't gold or plastic. If the fluid has entered the harddrive I would suggest cleaning by soaking in distilled water and drying with hair dryer. Recovery if at all possible would be best done in a forensic lab. The longer the juice is on the harddrive the more damage will occur. Of course, more than likely all the other components were destroyed by shorts the liquid caused. Just think of the damage done by static electricity and it isn't hard to imagine the amount of damage caused by shorting all the electric connections. I admire your ethics but can't help repeating the old line that " 99% of lawyers make the rest look bad".
“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded and the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics...you are all stardust.”Lawrence M. Krauss
A 1792 U.S. penny, designed in part by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington, reads “Liberty Parent of Science & Industry.”

#9 ThorXP

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 11:30 AM

Hello, The hard drive is probably ok the crackling sound you hared was more than likely the processor or some other (Several) items shorting out. Sort of like in a thunderstorm when the clouds short out to ground. Actually the thing about turning it in to an insurance company I do not think is fraud. One other thing there should be a rule about computers and anything that is liquid like drinks etc. - Either nothing around the computer (Best rule) or Have a spill proof lid on the container.

Like was said you can get an adaptor for the hard drive to fit into a regular computer and when you see the size of the drive you will be amazed, and know why they cost so much. Use this adaptor to get your important files from the old hard drive to the desktop computer then it is easy to get it to the new computer.

Since this computer is a school computer actually you should not have tried to clean it but instead just take it back and the possibly will give you another one and ask them to get your information off the hard drive. Their IT department should be able to do this quite easily and fast.

#10 snyper

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 11:32 AM

Im thinking you are getting some great help here!!

The only help i can offer is i will shoot the cat if you like? :thumbsup:

#11 interplanetjanet

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 11:48 AM

You guys are great! Thanks for the advice. To clear up some misconceptions: it was a dog, not a cat, who caused the spilled lemonade; it is not a school computer, I purchased it myself independent of school; I do have a no food/drink/smoke policy when near the 'puter, but the roommate disregarded my holy word; I am not in school anymore, I am out in the real world; and it would be insurance fraud to claim that the accident happened at someone else's house (my parents, where I am not a resident) so that homeowners would pick it up.

I'm gonna get a desktop (which are so cheap...holy cow!) and try to transfer my data. If nothing else comes of this exercise, maybe my roommate will listen to me (about backing up data, and not eating/drinking/smoking near the 'puter) in the future.

Any recommendations about a new desktop? Dells are cheap, but I always hear horror stories. The boutique shops are pricey, and who knows when they will go out of business. This whole 'puter world is so complicated; why can't it be simple like the law...LMAO :thumbsup:

#12 snyper

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 11:54 AM

Buy a laptop. I have both but i never use the desktop anymore. I know there are going to be differences of opinions but as i use my laptop in work and for private use its just so simple.

Yess you get higher spec for lower price with the desktops, but find out exactly wat you really need and maybe a lower-end laptop will do you fine.

Laptops start (new dell) at 399 euro in ireland


So i cant really advise you on what is good unless i know what you normally require from your computer.

#13 Enthusiast

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 12:35 PM

Buy what you need - If you don't need the portability don't pay the premium for a laptop.

Get what fits your needs - from Dell or whoever.

Figure out what you need for the computer to be capable of doing now and plan a little for the future (like if you may want to add a hard drive, a better graphics card or other peripherals).

Most pre-made computers are not very expandable - they have just enough room inside, just enough pci slots, just enough power supply to operate what they come with, and none I know come with a retail Windows operating system cd or license so you can easily reinstall the system or move it to your next computer. Most don't even come with factory restore disks anymore - they put factory restore on a hidden partition on the hard drive (which might be ok until it is the hard drive that goes, the most common failure out of warranty, and then you are shafted) and you have to call and complain immediately after purchase even to get a physical restore disk!

#14 acklan

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 01:05 PM

Dell basic systems..

Notebooks
Desktops

HP basic systems...

Notebooks
Desktops

Gateway basic systems...

Notebooks
Desktops

Toshiba

Notebooks

Personally I prefer Dell.
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#15 Herk

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Posted 21 April 2006 - 02:11 PM

Personally I prefer Dell.

Personally, I hate 'em. :thumbsup:

They're OK if they're the computer you need and you will never need to upgrade, and you can afford to pitch them in the dustbin when a piece of hardware goes out. But the proprietary parts and the lack of upgradeability and the new habit of actually installing spyware at the factory make me think that Dell is not the best way to go. They use a lot of hype to sell. It's not what you're getting but what you aren't that seems important. For instance, their new keyboards are no more than a sheet of plastic with keys on it. They don't even have PS/2 ports anymore, relying on USB for keyboard and mouse exclusively.

But they're cheap!




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