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Netbook damaged by rainwater - Keyboard not working

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#1 nonITwonderwoman


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Posted 10 November 2015 - 07:50 AM

Hi all,


So I left my Samsung N150plus netbook (it's well looked after, runs well and I have upgraded the RAM despite it being old) sitting on my desk on standby for the afternoon. We had a terrible rain storm while I was blissfully unaware, reading in the library. When I returned home, my window was open so rain had spilled all over my desk and there was a lot of water on top and under my laptop! :(


I flipped the laptop over and towel dried everything. Then I opened the laptop and it seemed to wake up from standby OK but then I realised this was a bad idea! So I powered it off and left it for a day near a radiator. 

The next day, I tried to power it up again. It seemed to be OK except the keyboard wasn't working and was actually pressing a series of keys by itself. So I turned it off and left it for another day.

I have been repeating this process for 4 days now and there has been no improvement to the keyboard.


I did remember smelling a slight burnt hairdryer smell near the keys though on the first power up. Could I have short-circuited the unit that operates the keyboard?


Today, I opened it up completely. Couldn't see any signs of burnt or scorched circuits (I was looking for black and sniffing for burnt metal - not sure if this is how you're suppose to find it?). I released the keyboard from the netbook and let it dry for another day. 


I then tested which keys worked. Only 8 keys worked, a few pressed the wrong characters. Could there still be water? I couldn't see any in the plastic behind the keyboard keys. Do I have to wait a few more days? I've tried drying it over a radiator (keyboard only) for an hour on light/warm heat.


Or have I completely screwed up the keyboard circuit on the motherboard? Is there a way to test if it's the motherboard or the keyboard itself?



I've put everything back together again and now just using a friend's laptop. I may try to test the keyboard again in a few more days. I hope it's just the water in the keyboard plastic and not the motherboard! I'm worried that burnt smell was the damage to the keyboard.


Apart from the keyboard, everything else seems to work fine. I'm able to use the Accessbility Keyboard Software to click on the characters to login and run a sfc /scan and chkdisk. A few damaged parts on the HD that could not be fixed but all the software and files plus internet seems to be fine.


Any suggestions/further tests?


Thanks in advance!

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#2 myrti



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Posted 10 November 2015 - 08:39 AM


I have in the past replaced the keyboard of my laptop after emptying a lovely mug of tea with milk ontop of it. Most designs include a type of basin underneath the keyboard to collect water and prevent it from introducing itself deeply into the PC.

I would suspect the keyboard has been fried, to be honest. There is usually a thin leaf with all the circuits on it, if water got onto it, it's quite likely that it short circuited when you first turned it on and this has caused permanent damage to it. This means however that if you replace the keyboard everything should still work as before.

The damaged parts that can't be fixed may be hinting at a failing hard disk though. I'd be careful with that. Do you have full backups?


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#3 mjd420nova


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Posted 10 November 2015 - 12:08 PM

There is a huge market for de-watering hardware.  Complete disassembly, cleaning with demineralized, deionized water and flush with non-residue electronic cleaner before any further attempts to power up.  Damage could result in unrepairable gear.  Moisture will collect dust and create paths to ground that will halt any electronic device.

Edited by mjd420nova, 10 November 2015 - 12:09 PM.

#4 nonITwonderwoman

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Posted 10 November 2015 - 04:35 PM



OK, so perhaps it might have also damaged the HD? The keyboard is still the same today, sometimes randomly pressing 'bbbbbbbbb' by itself and only a couple of the same letters work. I think the keyboard is definitely gone....

I have most things backed up but waiting for my external drive to arrive so I can back it up. 


Is it worth saving the laptop?


Thanks again.

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