In this post I provide a few tips on fixing a laptop after liquid spill.
IMPORTANT: If you spilled something on your laptop you should stop using it right away, even if the laptop appears to be running good. Right after the spill you should turn it off, unplug the power adapter and remove the battery. The laptop should be disassembled as soon as possible and all internal parts should be inspected for liquid damage.
Liquid spills are very unpredictable and even a small amount of liquid spilled on the laptop can cause a serious damage.
IF YOU SPILLED A SMALL AMOUNT OF LIQUID ON THE KEYBOARD
Let’s say you spilled less than a teaspoon of liquid on the keyboard and the keyboard stopped working properly, but anything else works fine.
It that’s the case, it could be enough to remove just the keyboard for the liquid damage inspection. Turn off the laptop, unplug the AC adapter and remove the battery. Now remove the keyboard and take a closer look underneath.
Search for any liquid presence under the keyboard.
- If you see liquid on the motherboard, you’ll have to disassemble the laptop completely for the further inspection.
- If the motherboard appears to be completely dry, do not disassemble it any further. Replace the keyboard with a new one and test the laptop. Hopefully replacing the keyboard will fix it.
IF YOU SPILLED SUFFICIENT AMOUNT OF LIQUID ON THE TOP COVER
If you spilled a lot of liquid on the laptop, turn off the laptop, unplug the power adapter and remove the battery AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.
Most likely it will be necessary to remove the top cover and inspect the motherboard.
Search for any liquid presence on the back side of the top cover and motherboard.
If you found liquid on the motherboard, probably you’ll have to remove it from the laptop in order to inspect the other side of the motherboard.
HOW TO CLEAN UP LIQUID DAMAGE
If you found liquid inside the laptop, you can wipe it out with a soft cloth.
Be very careful wiping the motherboard. There are many very small components on the board and you don’t want to damage them.
If you find any corrosion on the motherboard, you can clean it with a toothbrush and 91%-99% isopropyl alcohol.
Make sure the motherboard (or any other internal component) is completely dry before testing it.
IF YOU SPILLED SOME LIQUID ON THE SCREEN
If you spilled liquid on the screen, wipe it out clean as soon as possible. The liquid might get inside the LCD screen and you don’t want that. If it happens, you’ll get very irritating liquid stains on the white background. In one of the previous post I showed how to clean laptop screen with liquid damage. Believe me, it’s not easy. But if it happens, just replace the whole screen.
HOW TO ASSEMBLE A LAPTOP AFTER LIQUID SPILL CLEANING
Do not assemble the laptop completely after cleaning internal parts. Do it step by step.
First, assemble just main components of the laptop: motherboard, CPU with the cooling fan and memory modules. Now turn it on and see if you can get any image on the screen.
If the laptop turns on and you can see the image, start adding other parts one by one and test after each step.
If the laptop doesn’t start, take another look at the motherboard and other components. Maybe you missed an area with liquid damage. Try cleaning it again.
If nothing helps and the laptop doesn’t turn on, most likely the motherboard (or other component) is damaged.
HOW TO RECOVER DATA FROM LAPTOP HARD DRIVE
Let’s say the laptop is dead and you cannot do anything to make it work. In this case you still should be able to recover personal data from the hard drive. I assume the hard drive wasn’t damaged by liquid spill. You can access data using an external USB enclosure.
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