Water in a laptop, can it be saved?

Submitted: Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 08:03
ThreadID: 91504 Views:2636 Replies:10 FollowUps:3
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A little off topic, but I'm sure this predicament has happened to fellow EO members,
Between 2 of the kids, they managed to knock over an open bottle of water onto an open and running laptop computer, tipping about 500 ml over the keyboard area.
It was turned off straight away and laid face down to dry out, my Question is what else should I do to try and save the wife $1000 laptop, or will it be a lost cause, I haven't tried to turn it on yet, will wait a little longer yet, hoping that no water has entered vital bits.

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Reply By: Member - Mark G Gulmarrad - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 08:11

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 08:11

i trick with mobile phones when they come into contact with liquid is to completely immerse them in dry rice............worth a shot i reckon.
AnswerID: 476166

Follow Up By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 16:26

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 16:26
Thanks mate, we pulled it apart and found only a little amount of water around the not so important bits, all good now
FollowupID: 751221

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 08:28

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 08:28
Start filling out your insurance claim form. That will fix it. It'll actually go faster :-)

Then get a USB to SATA interface from ebay and download your data.

AnswerID: 476167

Reply By: Notso - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 08:37

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 08:37
Open any hatches in the bottom and let the air in Let it dry for a few more days, then try turning it on.

Either way the hard drive should still be fine so if you don't have the skills yourself take it to a tech and get em to load the drive into an external hard drive box and you'll be able to recover all your data.
AnswerID: 476168

Reply By: Member - Sn00py2 (NSW) - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 08:55

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 08:55
I had a similar case where my daughter had her mobile phone in her bag with a bottle of soft drink. Needless to say the soft dring leaked, about 300mls and the phone was swimming in the drink for about 2 hours. Luckily the phone was turned off at the time. When she told me I thought the phone was a gonner so with nothing to loose, I removed the covers and battery and then washed the phone out under running water and then soaked it overhight in distilled water. Rinsed it again with distilled water in the morning, put it bast together and the phone worked. That was about 2 years ago and the phone is still working.

As far as computers go, we had a server flooded during a heave storm when the roof collapsed. It was running at the time but the puwer cut out straight away. The water flowed through the server so it was fully soaked. Again, removed the covers and rinsed it with fresh water (as per the insurers instructions) and let it air for a few days. Can't remember exactly how long as we were without power for a week. We we fired it back op again it worked fine.

It is quite likely that your laptop will also be fine provided you remove any covers that you can as well as the battery and let it dry out thouroughly. Try starting it on the battery and hopefully it will be ok.

Good luck,


AnswerID: 476169

Reply By: MartyB - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 09:04

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 09:04
Take all the covers off and then use a hair dryer to dry it out.

from Marty.
AnswerID: 476170

Reply By: LeighW - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 09:15

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 09:15
Computer tech here,

Remove battery as circuits are still powered even if laptop is off.

As written, remove as many covers as possible, key also as they usual only need a couple of screws taken out to remove, and leave to dry in a warm environment for many days.

It will take a long time for water to evaporate from under the key board pads etc.

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AnswerID: 476172

Reply By: CruiserPilot - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 10:15

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 10:15
Remove/open as many covers as possible and remove the battery. Now take to it with a hair dryer on cool with a burst of hot every now and again. Give it a good seeing-to for 10 min or so. Wait an hour and repeat, do this another half a dozen times then leave overnight before turning on using only battery power. Tip from an old retired techo :)

AnswerID: 476178

Reply By: The Explorer - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 10:22

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 10:22

Bring it to Perth - It will dry out in about 1/2 hour :)

I sent one final shout after him to stick to the track, to which he replied “All right,” That was the last ever seen of Gibson - E Giles 23 April 1874

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AnswerID: 476179

Reply By: The Bantam - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 10:32

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 10:32
If its clean clear water you have a real good chance.

Coffee, softdrink, beer, soup or salt water...good luck

MUST remove battery early as possible.

One thing that people consistently fail to do...is keep drinks away from electronics.
I see some many people with drinks right next to their keyboards, and usually those who do that are the less carefull ones, and wont be told.

I know sooner or later that person is going to tip their drink in their keyboard, and there will be all sorts of grief, shouting and unsociable words.

These days if its not my equipment I keep my mouth shut.

Keep drinks away from ya equipment and turn away from the gear when you drink it.

AnswerID: 476181

Reply By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 16:30

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 16:30
Thanks to everybody, for their input and suggestions, A tech savy mate pulled it apart and found little water had got in, puter works fine now, if your reading this, then it must be working

AnswerID: 476220

Follow Up By: Member - The old fellow - Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 21:19

Saturday, Jan 28, 2012 at 21:19
Had a similar problem except mine was caused by me being rather relaxed after several good glasses of New Zealand Cloudy Bay sauvignon blanc. Tipped about half a glass over the wife's lap top key board. After getting several prices ranging from $185 to $250 I purchased a new key board on ebay for about $28 and took it to a computer guy who removed the old key board and installed the new one for $20 Total cost $48, all fixed in about six days !! I am now rather cautious using the computer while having a little sip of vino.
FollowupID: 751247

Follow Up By: Member - Shane D (QLD) - Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 08:01

Sunday, Jan 29, 2012 at 08:01
The keyboard has a "solid" base, the water didn't go thru, just sort of washed down the sides, only found a few drops on . . . . bits.
Gave it a hit with a hair drier on low for 10 mins aimed into the cavities then reassembled, fired up just fine.

FollowupID: 751268

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