Okay… so you knocked over a glass of water that was sitting too close to your laptop. Or maybe the carton of juice slipped from your hands and landed on your laptop — giving it a taste of fruity goodness. Suddenly you went into panic mode, logged online, and you found this article. You came to the right place. Read on and act swiftly to save your computer from the spill.
When you spill water onto your laptop, or any liquid for that matter, here are the first two or three things to do:
(i) turn it off.
(ii) unplug it, and
(iii) remove the battery.
Now that you’re done administering first aid, here’s what to do:
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1. Remove all detachable components (peripherals) such as your mouse, cables, and portable drives, etc.
2. Using a towel or other non-lint fabric, dry the outside of your machine. After that, you open your laptop — holding it upside down, to wipe dry any visible wet surfaces.
If the spill is from water, you shouldn’t worry much about corrosion. However, sugary and alcoholic liquids would give you a bit of bother. Either way, the goal is to mitigate their effects as much as possible by drying the computer immediately.
If you think the next steps are beyond you then, you should find a professional repairman (or woman) to take care of it for you. However, if you feel time is of the importance and you want to try it (at your own risk), go ahead and read on.
Dismantle the device
While laptops in the past, were easy to open and dismantle, modern day versions do not give you such freedom. However, if yours makes the process easy and wouldn’t do further damage to the device, here’s what to do:
1. Remove the battery by simply pressing the release switch or button on the underside of your laptop.
2. Components such as the memory sticks (RAM) and storage drive can suffer water damage so remove those too. In some cases, laptops have panels that allow for their removal on the underside. However, you’ll need a screwdriver to help remove them in most cases. Press the side clips to eject each memory stick. The hard drive may require you to undo more screws in order to free it from the frame. Once done, carefully detach it from the power and data connection ports or cables.
3. Check the components you’ve removed for signs of wetness or corrosion. Parts made wet by water should be dried. However, you’ll need to use 99% isopropyl alcohol to handle anything other than water.
4. Now that you’re done with all the steps listed above, allow the components to air-dry in a warm, dry area for a couple of days. While you can use a fan to hasten the drying process, do not use a hair dryer. You can put the laptop back together once the components are dry. Boot it up and see if it’s working as it should.
If your laptop is the kind that cannot easily be taken apart, such as a MacBook, then, you need to take it to a professional for repairs. While your options are limited, here’s what you can do: hold the laptop upside down so any liquids would be drawn away from the motherboard as much as possible.