laptop liquid spill and need help

January 2, 2013 at 23:40:23
Specs: Windows XP
I have a laptop and spilled liquid in the keyboard. And the screen isnt coming on. Whats the issue? At first I was getting a beep but now it stopped now I get no picture or screen. Just all black. did the liquid damage something. Its tryibg hard to come on but will shut down after like 45 seconds. Please help me out on wat is going on

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January 3, 2013 at 09:52:07
"Whats the issue?"

Obviously it's because you spilled liquid in the keyboard. Do NOT try to start the laptop! Unplug the power adapter & remove the battery. If you're capable, tear the laptop apart & dry it out. If you're not capable, take it to a repair shop.

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January 3, 2013 at 14:32:25
What riider said. Do not power the unit until it is dry. Then try it without the keyboard. With any luck it's just a new KB at issue. But it might be more serious than that.

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January 3, 2013 at 15:11:50
mmm Riider's advice is sound and wise to follow initially. Do NOT power it up etc...

Then depending on how good you feel you might be/are at taking it apart... you could do so; and then wash the keyboard with distilled water; then swab with isopropyl alchohol... The gently blow dry it with a "cool" - barely warm hair dryer... and then leave for a day or two in a warm dry place... Then re-assemble and see what... (A smallish (artist's) paint brush is good for getting into small/tight spaces with cleaning liquids...)

Depending on what it was you spilt into it.. depends on how much sticky "gukky: stuff may have adhered/stuck to the keys and also the motherboard cct. traces etc... it was anything with sugar, or milk etc... likely a lot will be in there... A keyboard can jam up with gukk after being treated with a spillage... and you have to ensure every key if both clear in its travel up/down; and also the cct board tracks associated with the keyboard contacts are truly clean and not bridged by any deposits...

Having cleaned one or two keyboards in the not too recent past, I speak from some experience... If it is the keyboard (only) that is an issue... you can try to clean it, or replace it - if you feel able to (and can obtain one); or take it a decent laptop service centre (if you can find one). Success/recovery rates for a drowned laptop are not to bad; for stand-alone keyboards I'd say slightly better - if you really manage to clean it fully and verify no bridging of cct. tracks etc...

Equally some of what you spilt may have gotten beyond the keyboard confines and onto the motherboard... so that may also need to be cleaned out... as above

What dun you spill in there?

If the laptop is rather elderly... it may be cheaper to replace it; and the HD in the damaged one can be cloned to the new one (if drivers exist for the new laptop replacement. Or you can simply go with a later OS (I'd suggest win-7 and avoid win-8 completely) and then access/transfer data etc.from olde HD to new system - via a usb adapter. Then keep the olde HD as a spare, or in a case and use as a usb drive... Likely most of your current software will work OK in win-7; and drivers for your printer etc. will be available too

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January 3, 2013 at 16:46:04
i spilled mcdonalds drink in it. i mix up like 3 different ones and the lid wasnt tight as sometimes and i wasnt expecting that to happen and it spilled all over the table and some on the laptop keyboard. i think a pretty good portion got into it because i turned it upside down and it was coming out still and now the laptop stays on without cutting back off for a good while just the screen has no picture at all but is it a good sign that the laptop is at least not beeping anymore and its power is able to function just no screen? and i bought some 91% alcohol today along with a tooth brush and un loosened all the screws but now im having trouble lifting off the top. i rather not take it to a shop cause im sure im capable of doing the cleaning it out but how does the bottom part come off? its a new laptop i just bought in december. today hasnt been my day at all. just wrecked my car in a accident today so im very saddened and hurt on top of my laptop being damaged yesterday. but please tell me how to get the bottom off and i also lost the disk inside it. the little scan card thing. what is going on in my life i dont know but help me solve this problem

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January 3, 2013 at 16:58:59
youtube will have a video on disassembly.

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January 4, 2013 at 14:45:46
ok ill try out youtube

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January 4, 2013 at 14:52:20
and also some of my keys are sticky as expected anyway. is that something the alcohol can clean up or is it normal to buy another keyboard instead. i need to know for sure so i can just know what i will have to do and im going step by step doing this so it should allow me enough time to see if it dries out by itself

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January 4, 2013 at 15:25:32
if you can detach the keyboard fully... it can be cleaned with distilled water and then iso-proply alchohol as suggested earlier. And if you're careful about it you can detach each key cover (the thing with character(s) engraved and clean behind them; and also the whole moving mechanism as it were for each...

You say this is quite a new laptop? If so - did you pay for it with a credit/charge card? If so... it may be covered by some form of insurance against most things - at least for a few weeks/months... Amex used offer that as part of their deal - at least for the Amex charge card(s). Perhaps it also applied to their credit card(s) too. Wouldn't hurt to see if your card (whichever it was) has the same benefits?

Keyboard new might not be too much cash either; and if you either don't want to
clean it out fully (or don't feel up to it) - cct. board tracks too... then a new/replacement one may be easier?

Also if you search google etc...) for the service manual for your model you may find it out there; and that will likely tell you how to get the whole thing to pieces - base of included... Possibly the manufacturer, or their website, will help there too; but I'm not entirely convinced there...

If this laptop is anything like a typical Acer... then there are a few screws inside the HD drive bay that may need to be discovered and removed; and similarly in any other area where you can remove a panel for whatever reason (RAM sockets, DVD-drive and so on...); they tend to be all over the place. Once you have all screws removed it will be a slight twist (or pry with something like a firm plastic blade/screwdriver - ideally) and so on to get base cover free; as often they have a few minor click in points - but not always... Again one has to go carefully and check what and where it (the base cover) may be "sticking/catching"...

What make is it; and what is this "little scan card thing" you say you've lost inside?

And presumably you're in USA/Canada?

McDodo's drinks are usually heavy on sugary stuff, emulsifiers etc too...; all the stuff that electronics - keyboards especially - don't like...

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January 5, 2013 at 13:33:48
its a dell laptop and i took the screws out already but i have a knife to pry it open and its so sticky it wont open or maybe im opening it wrong. i watched a youtube video of how to do it but the stickyness is making me cautious about lifting it up and it looks like the keys are coming up piece by piece and i thought id ask if that is normal when removing it. my thinking was that it would just lift up altogether. but like i said im doing it step at a time. i bought it on december 7 last month and its already passed the 14 days return policy and i have to go to the manufactor from here on. i didnt get a proctecting plan so that part is out the question. and the scan disk is the sd mmc ms. thats whats its called. the card you press in and out like the ones you use with a phone to save music and stuff. but i lost in some how or its in my car somewhere.but i dont have any distilled water so i will get that right now but i think one more screw is still on. the one that is connected to the cd part ill remove that one also and try to see if it comes up after that

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January 5, 2013 at 14:36:40
What model is it? Also does your insurance (house contents and possessions) not cover it - presuming you have household insurance?

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January 6, 2013 at 11:26:24
Dell inspiron 3520. I called Dell and have to get a technician Monday. Its no videoon YouTube for this one. Mayby best buy will know how to take it off. I seem to be pulling up da wrong part

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January 6, 2013 at 14:51:32

is Dell provided "user's" manual for this model. Available on th Dell site... Found it via google using:

Dell Inpsiron 3520 service manual as the search term/string...

Took me to here (where I downloaded the .pdf.)

Download the pdf. Have a good read...

Page 29 shows where all the screws are in the base-cover... But as I say... have a good read first...

Typpically if the card you feel you have "lost" inside the laptop is actually there... It will be sitting within the area of the sd card reader slot... Sometimes it is possible to acually see if when you peer (look) intot he slot; and it can sometimes be possible to lift it up a little and then pull it out - small plastic screw drive or similar to lift it; and maybe even to tease it out... (posibly a slim long nosed pair of tweezers can be used to puyll it out - once you have raised it aboove the slot floor...

But itf you can get teh base-covrer off then it will likely be obvious anyway?

Also when I view the pdf for taking this laptop to bits... it apppears that is mostly done from the top; in that you remove top items first. After-which remove screws underneath and the whole top cover (palm rest in Dell speak?) can be removed... and then access to whatever is left is allowed?

Where possible if prying bits out as per the manual... use something akin to a plastic screwdriver. I think some PC stores etc. in USA sell small kits of tools specific for dismantling a laptop. I have seen them in stores there and on-line; but it was wee while ago... So maybe check local stores for such kits and also googe/Amazon?

This olde post here discusses yur problem re non marring/dmaging tools for a Dell laptop. And seems to suggesst a couple of ideas?

And this is something like the "tools" I referred to above:

They offer typical screwdrivers - AND the plastic pry tools...

I Ssearched via Google using:

plastic laptop repair tools

and a whole list came up. Suggest you do the same Google/search and you'll get the above and a lot more besides...

That site above includes a reference/link to laptop/phone tools and it takes you here:

have a browse/look there too; and similarly Amazon...

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January 8, 2013 at 01:56:37
Thankyou for that info. And also I did see a YouTube on how to remove it. I havent even touched my laptop today. Just been using ps3 as my internet but thankyou for going the extra mile to provide me that needed info. Hopefully I fix the issue without any buying anything as such as a new motherboard .

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January 8, 2013 at 11:09:57
im even more confused now that i read all that because it told me nothing at all useful other then they holding out info that i need to know and they dont give you the proper steps to assembly the laptop. im still stuck on getting the keyboard off. it looks so easy watching it on youtube but it doesnt work that way. they must really want that money bad to create stuff like this just so u can send it back to them so they can do it for you. all im doing is pulling up the display that is still attached and wont loosen. why cant they just show step by step pictures of how it is done. i refuse to send it in to them. what exactly do i have to do to release that keyboard off.

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January 8, 2013 at 14:53:32
nevermind that last message. i got the keyboard off. but i do have a simple question. the screen doesn't come on but the power does start up so is something wrong with my video card or do it sounds like i just need a new motherboard? im inside the cpu now so im a step closer to getting the issue resolved.

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January 8, 2013 at 15:08:06
mmm I have a feeling you may better to contact Dell; explain the situation/disaster... and see if they can/will help you resolve it all. By this I mean contact them, discuss and see if you can send it to them; and ask them to fix it... It might be cheaper than buying a new laptop at least; and obviously they will know what to do etc... It is "remotely" possible they may allow you some cover under the warranty (although this is not highly likely; but no harm to try)?

And again... do you not have insurance for your house/apartment - whichever - furniture etc in your home? If so then it may be that the insurance may cover the whole event for you - allowing a replacement laptop (with a small contribution from you as well)?

The price of a new motherboard isn't worth the trouble (as there may be other issues to once you have the motherboard replaced/installed. If you have to go that route... consider an full replacement (another laptop) - and I know it will mean a little more outlay again... It may/will be the easier option in the end?

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January 9, 2013 at 14:54:32
i already contacted dell and there suggestion was the same as yours. send it to them for $179.99 and have them look at it and figure out exactly what is wrong with it but then they said if it is a motherboard issue then i would be contacted and told it will be another additional price for that which is 199.99 i remember him saying so if you add both those prices together that would be more then i paid for the laptop which is why i want nothing to do with them at all period because im sure someone knows the matter at hand and i doubt it will cost me that much to do solo. i got the laptop for a discount of 20% off and it would be assinine to pay all that to fix it when the liquid spilled on the keyboard and nowhere else but so that has to mean theres someone i can go to on the cheap who could tell me right off the back what the problem is most likely coming from. im sure a computer expert can figure this out. how many parts of the motherboard can get damaged from a liquid spill.i know someone on here has a suggestion on what may be the issue at fault. or at least a educated guess. please let me know something

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January 9, 2013 at 15:26:47
understand... It's not a matter of how many parts etc...; all it akes is one short-circuit between two components, cct. board tracks etc. to blow something major...

I think (if you can afford it) I'd cut my losses and go for a new system. Preserve the HD from this one and you can either clone it to the new system - overwriting whatver it comes with; or simply access the contents - your data - (on HD from this laptop) via a usb adapter... Transfer to opticals and also the new system. Then keep this HD as a spare or even an external drive (in a usb case)?

Even now I'd make efforts to access/save data on the HD with a usb adapter etc.; just to be safe...f

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January 9, 2013 at 16:22:16
this is a brand new system i just got it a month ago. if you say the short circuit between two components are or maybe be damgaded then why do i have to get another laptop. if its damaged it can be fixed. or replaced. i dont understand why i need to give up on a brand new laptop and all i need to know is does it sound like getting a brand new mother board will fix or just another part. a new motherboard will cost me 179.99 i just seen on ebay. but the power turns on and will shut back down after a good 45 secs or longer. this sounds very easy to fix if the power is able to come on so something is damgaded but what??? its not that major of a malfunction. the fan works it still charges up. power light turns on despite turning back off after a while. this sounds fixable and less then $200.00 to fix. the laptop still has life. will a new motherboard be the required action

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January 10, 2013 at 03:28:52
investing in annew motherboard may "not" resolve the problem. There is good chance it will of course... but without adequate checks various in all areas of the sytem - it is gaaaaaaaaamble; and one that may still leave you with a laptop that doesn't work... I agree that from what yu say currently re' powering up and then switching off again after a not too many seconds... does suggest teh motherboard... But who knows?

If you can inspect "every" inch of the motherboard, and check "every cct. board track - and componet connections thereto.... - you "may" find that there is something shorting across; but then again maybe not. Sugary stuff is quite a nice conductor at times; and anything bridging connections is bad news at any time; and this includes inside the keyboard cct. electronics too...

Equally you may not find anything bridging, but damage has already been done and something has died as result?

If the motherboard replacement doesn't resolve it for you... what then? It may cost you more afterthat...

It is gamble and one you may feel worth to try... But if there is any chance to get a local repair outfit (or at least someone locally with perhaps alittle more knowledge than you may have...) it may be worth to get them to look-see?

I sympathise with your feelings that it is only a month olde...; the decision is yours to gamble on a new board - or not; or to send it to Dell?

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January 10, 2013 at 04:08:04
it can be fix just dont' count on your laptop vendor to fix it for free if they discover that liquid was spilt on it voiding your warranty unless you have accidental coverage that covers liquid spills

Iron Sharpens Iron.

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January 10, 2013 at 13:49:43
i understand what you are saying but from reading alot of other messages and hearing what is usually the problem with mines it sounds like a motherboard prob thats what it seems like. but i think i forgot to say the lcd screen doesnt light up either along with the power coming on then turning back off.but ima just on hook everypiece of it like directions said and follow step by step before considering a new motherboard. but thanks for letting me know the pros and cons of buying a new motherboard that could be the case which i would be extremely mad afterwards. but what else could it be if not a motherboard issue. isnt everything connected to it

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January 11, 2013 at 01:12:48
I agree it is likely the motherboard... but such a gamble and loss of money if it isn't... and you have spend even more... Which might mean you end up spending more than a cost of a replacement laptop...

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January 12, 2013 at 11:26:54
very true and thats why im reading up alot to figure out if it is coming from something else. i wont make a move into i know for sure. and thats what all the clues are pointing to that its the mother board but ima double and tripple check and the laptop is a newer one so ima try to fix it the best i can without going over 250.00. ima keep asking ppl and getting advice before spending a dime

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January 12, 2013 at 13:53:38
don't you have a warentee if it's only 1 year old?

Iron Sharpens Iron.

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January 13, 2013 at 13:01:06
manufactors warringty only which doesnt handle liquid damage

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