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I spilled coffee on my laptop

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Malia, Mar 2, 2006.

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  1. Malia

    Malia Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    I think my half-a-year-old Fujitsu N6210 is now gone. I spilled coffee while it was on. It stayed on, but while I was trying to mop up the coffee off the keyboard, it turned itself off and back on. And again. And again. I couldn't turn it off with the power-off button so I had to disconnect the power supply and take out the battery to get it to stop.

    I put it on its side to do that, and coffee was dripping out of the keyboard very well, so I thought it would be a good idea to leave it in that position until the coffee comes out. When the coffee seemed to be out, I put it back in the normal position and tried to turn it on.

    The hard drive turns on and does loud sounds for about half a minute and then stops. The screen doesn't turn on. The coffee had milk and some creamer. Not too good. The PCM slot somehow ended up with coffee in it (since the PC card that was inside was surrounded in coffee), so it's probable that it's not the only thing that got covered in coffee when I put the laptop on its side. But, when I open it up in the back, everything seems dry - except for the panel that I took off, which had coffee traces all over.

    I'm going to try to dry it with a hair dryer on low since I don't have any canned air. Is there any chance that this is not the end? I'm sure that warranty doesn't cover it, and I don't have another 2 grand. On the contrary, I have a 1.5 grand credit card bill and I'm working only part time.

    Any ideas are welcome. Thanks.

    Malia
     
  2. Smith2688

    Smith2688 Notebook Evangelist

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    Alway ALWAYS let electronics thoroughly dry for several days after they get wet before you attempt to turn them on so you can avoid short circuiting things. The longer you leave it to dry, the better
     
  3. Malia

    Malia Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    Easier said than done. It was on when it happened, and it turned itself off and on several times before I had anything to do with it. I think if anything was going to short circuit has already short circuited.

    I have to apply to college by March 15, so whatever little application materials I have are all on there. And if I don't apply or don't get in, then my life might as well be over.
     
  4. qwester

    qwester Notebook Virtuoso

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    I don't think that the HDD is dead. You might as well get it out and avoid it being soaked in anything.

    And if you don't really mind, you can open it up and inspect for damage
     
  5. Malia

    Malia Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    I tried to open it up, but I don't know what to look for. I don't have a screwdriver that can go way inside to get out those screws that keep the case in place, so I don't know what's going on on the top (keyboard) side, but the bottom side looks fine. Except for one of the panels that I took off which had coffee traces on it. There was also some fabric thing there (???) and it was wet. Why would there be fabric inside? It was toward the side that the screen gets attached to, and the panel that I took off had a thin line of copper along it. The strip of fabric was on the panel that I took off, and also attached to something on the inside - and the part that I took off touched the part on the inside, so that's very mysterious to me.

    There was one little part, no idea what it was, that looked shiny and felt sticky so I thought that it was coffee. But it didn't taste like coffee, or creamer, or anything, so maybe it was supposed to be like that. When I opened it, I accidentally left it plugged in and the hard drive was making some rather quiet sound, even though the computer was shut down. I unplugged it, and the sound stopped.

    I don't really know how to take out the hdd so I'll leave it there so I don't mess up any more things. I think most of the coffee is out. There's quite a bit under the keyboard because I see shiny spots all over the place under the keys, and they are taking their time to dry, but I think even when they go away, whatever's causing the problem will still be wet or otherwise problemmatic. Like that fabric thing, it'll be wet for a while.
     
  6. dragonesse

    dragonesse Notebook Deity

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    The only way to even try and save a laptop from major spill damage is to let it sit upside-down overnight so the liquid might drain out through the keyboard.

    I'm also quite impressed that you're apparently in high school and have nearly two grand in debt. Good job on the money management.
     
  7. Darbyjack

    Darbyjack Notebook Evangelist

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    I have to agree, leaving ur laptop updsidedown and disconnecting it's power supply straight away would have been the right thing to do.

    Leaving it on its side probably made it worse, allowing coffee to reach more electrical compoments.


    If you can't get it to work after leaving it for a few days, I'd salvage the parts and sell them INDIVIDUALLY on ebay. Selling a laptop as a whole won't make as much money
     
  8. CHOWDERHEAD SLC

    CHOWDERHEAD SLC Notebook Consultant

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    Brutal - but oh so true :)
     
  9. Malia

    Malia Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    Funny, har har. Not in high school. Dropped out of a very expensive college. Got some credit card debt while paying off high interest student loans, letting friends borrow money, and oh, paying 2 g's for the laptop. Some friends will pay back, some won't - in the meantime, I'm almost as broke as they are. Oh, and I'm working only part time while trying to get together my college application. Happy?
     
  10. UNICRON-WMD

    UNICRON-WMD Notebook Guru

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    Hey, it was kinda funny.

    Anyway, your VERY best bet is taking the lappy 100% apart and cleaning all the parts.

    Good luck,
    WMD
     
  11. Smith2688

    Smith2688 Notebook Evangelist

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    How are you applying to college? I just finished with it and all of my apps, which I did online, are saved on the Common App website or whatever school's website I was applying to. Were you manually editing PDFs to mail in through snail-mail?
     
  12. Malia

    Malia Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    I'm applying online, but all the things that are not yet finished (essays, recommendations, etc) are on my hdd. Anyway, it seems to be working now. I turned it on, left it on for a few minutes, and then turned it back off just in case. No worries :)

    And, on the bright side - I might use this incident as the intro to my essay about why I want to major in programming. It's a good way to engage the admissions officer, methinks.

    Transfer application after dropping out for several years really sucks...
     
  13. Smith2688

    Smith2688 Notebook Evangelist

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    Oh right, right. You'll do fine, don't worry.

    I'd back up all your important files (to CD or such) the very next time you turn on your computer, though. ;)
     
  14. circa86

    circa86 Notebook Virtuoso NBR Reviewer

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    where did you order your computer from, was it portableone? if it was give ivan a call or email and see if he can help you, i'm sure he would be more than willing, even if you didn't order from him

    www.portableone.com/ go to contact page.
     
  15. cooldude1015

    cooldude1015 Notebook Consultant

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    Considering you want to become a computer science major... I would really start to read up on computers lol...

    Glad you're life isn't ruin though:D
     
  16. Malia

    Malia Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    Yes, you'd think that I learned my lesson and backed everything up as soon as I turned it on. Meh. I will when I get a chance though. But I did have a chance to test out the burner and it works, yay. So far tested it on a CD, but I figure if it works on one, it'll work on the other (DVD). Was an enormous pain to get the drive open though, the coffee/creamer got it stuck very well.

    By the way, I got some thermal printable CDs (Verbatim) that I ordered, and they're the best! The surface looks really shiny. Before that I got inkjet printable ones (DVDs) but I couldn't find any inkjet printable ones this time, so I got white thermal printable. (If they're considered printable, then the surface doesn't have any stupid lines or markings because they assume you're gonna print your logo or whatever right on the disk.) Inkjet printable ones are covered by rough paper, but thermal printables ones are smooth, so smooth... ahh... so beautiful... and Sharpie stays put, too. At buy.com you can get a 50-pack for $23, free shipping with any purchase over $25 - a great deal if you don't want to get a 100-pack. (I needed some CDs to transfer some stuff to a really old computer that doesn't read DVDs - and after that, they'll probably just grace the shelves looking shiny.) Also, look for hub printable ones because that means that the "label" goes all the way to the center, so you don't have see through plastic before the hole, which means more writing area - looks nice.

    After a thorough (24 hour) drying out, the laptop is doing well. The only way you'd be able to tell I spilled half a (big) glass of coffee on it is if you look closely at the keyboard, because the fabric-like stretchy thing under it has some annoying coffee puddle traces. They're kind of coming out though if I poke them with a toothpick, but it's a long and arduous process. Also, some keys still make screeching sounds if I poke at them at a small angle (like the <- key that I always use to do alt+<- to go back), but that should go away with more usage.
     
  17. Malia

    Malia Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    Yeah, I did order it from P1, and I'm not crazy about Ivan but I would've sent it back to him so he could figure out what got fried. Better spend a couple hundred replacing the broken part than a couple thousand replacing it. I'd get Fujitsu N6410 if I was to replace it, so it would be exactly the same, except in Core Duo. And then of course I'd try to take the N6010 case off of this one and put it on the other one, gosh!! I *love* the screen, and the only brand that can compete is Sony - but they don't have a dedicated number pad (last time I checked, anyway, maybe they do now) - and it's not really a luxurious 17" DTR without a numpad, ya know.
     
  18. sutheep

    sutheep Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    Remove your hdd and put in an external enclosure, I'm sure all your work are still on, that way you can still send in your app :)

    PS. Don't forget to remove the battery and RAM when you set it to dry.
     
  19. Malia

    Malia Notebook Evangelist NBR Reviewer

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    It's already dry and working. So I don't need to send it in anywhere to get it fixed.

    The only thing that changed - really weird! - is that now wherever I click on a webpage, there's the blinking | cursor, even if it's not supposed to appear there. Like, between images. For example, on the Google/Firefox page, I get the cursor everywhere. Either I'm going crazy, or it didn't do that before.
     
  20. FAceleSS

    FAceleSS Notebook Enthusiast

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    I keep telling my family and friends that COFFEE is the drink of the devil... Hehehe well now you know... Stop the evil drinking and typing ;) Sweet tho that ya got it back and running :D
     
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