media test failure (spilled liquid on laptop)

August 9, 2010 at 12:44:20
Specs: Windows Vista

my son spilled a bottle of bubble blowing liquid onto my i get a "media test failure" error.
i can still get into the BIOS . the information page says there is no HDD model or serial number.
then after a few mins the computer shuts down.
Is my HD lost? Please help.

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August 9, 2010 at 13:10:18

Would you use something such as a toaster you had spilled liquid on without making sure the inside of the toaster has no remaining liquid in it ?

When you have spilled liquid on a laptop, you can't be sure there isn't still liquid inside it after you have attempted to clean up the liquid. Even dried deposits from liquid spills can cause major problems.

Whenever liquid is spilled on a laptop, you should always immediately unplug the AC adapter, remove the main battery, and DO NOT use the computer until it has been taken apart and all liquid, and dried deposits from liquid, has been cleaned up, otherwise it's likely you will damage things that are not already damaged !
The main battery is powering some places on the ATX mboard all the time, even when the computer is not running, so you must remove it.

If you don't want to do that yourself, take it to a local laptop repair place that is certified to work on Acer laptops - they frequently do exactly that !

If you want to try doing that yourself, you can often find an Acer service / maintenance manual on the web for your model or model series for free or for a small fee. You will need tiny tip sizes of phillips (cross) head screwdrivers, at the very least.

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August 9, 2010 at 14:12:27

i can't afford a whole lot, i first need to know if the hard drive is gone.
when i turn it on, the only option i have (or the screen just goes white) is to hit the F2 which takes me to the BIOS.
my question is can i check the hard drive from there? and can i reformat from there if the hard drive is ok.

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August 10, 2010 at 07:26:07

You're not "getting it".

You should NOT USE THE LAPTOP AT ALL until it has been taken apart and all liquid has been removed !

The hard drive may or may not be okay, but you can't do anything with it if the laptop mboard's bios is not seeing it.
If it's any consolation, it's a lot more likely the mboard is damaged than the hard drive is damaged in your situation - that costs a lot more than a hard drive to replace, and most people get another laptop rather than replacing the mboard.

If you have personal data on the hard drive you don't want to lose, or in any case...
You can remove the hard and connect it to another computer to see whether it's okay, by buying
- an inexpensive laptop to desktop adapter and connecting it to a desktop computer internally
- a more expensive adapter , SATA or IDE, whichever type your hard drive is, that allows you connect to any computer via a USB connection
- a 2.5" (laptop drive size) external drive enclosure, SATA or IDE, whichever type your hard drive is (e.g. $30 and up) and connecting it via (a) USB cable(s) to any computer.

- you don't boot from your hard drive on the other computer - the Vista operating system may not load if you try to do that - you just need to check out whether that hard drive still works and still has it's data on it.

If the hard drive does not spin, or does spin but cannot be recognized, when it's connected to another computer, it's dead.
The only way data can be recovered from it is if you pay data recovery experts significant money to extract the data. If they can't recover any data, for most of them, you are not charged the full fee (e.g. you may still have to pay shipping charges).

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August 15, 2010 at 10:33:46

I took the HD out and put it into another laptop and somehow i started the
"pre-boot system assessment build 4108."
i assume that its is checking the memory on the HD and so far everything has a PASS......
what do i do next?????

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August 17, 2010 at 08:32:41

NOTE that I said in Response 3.....

"- you don't boot from your hard drive on the other computer - the Vista operating system may not load if you try to do that - you just need to check out whether that hard drive still works and still has it's data on it."

Did I tell you to try installing it in another laptop ?

N0, because in most cases, you can only install one hard drive in a laptop, and in that case, the bios will automatically try to boot from it.

Vista won't load when you try to boot from the hard drive if the mboard hardware - main chipset, etc.- of the laptop you install it in is significantly different from the one on your computer.

The first thing you should do is to test the hard drive.

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:

(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.


Seagate's Seatools will test any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.

Obviously, you will need to make a bootable diagnostics disk on another computer,
OR, assuming the laptop you installed your hard drive in loads an operating system fine when it's own hard drive is installed....
remove your hard drive from the laptop you installed it in, install the hard drive that laptop originally had in it, make the bootable hard drive diagnostics disk, try it and make sure it works,
then install your hard drive in that working laptop again, boot the computer with the bootable diagnostics disk, run the long test.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, then

- you can boot the other laptop from a bootable operating system disk, e.g. a Linux CD, and copy the data on your own hard drive you don't want to lose to elsewhere - CDs, DVDs, an external hard drive, or there are web sites you can copy the data to temporarily

- you can run a Repair installation of Vista on this other laptop, which will accommodate Vista to the different mboard hardware without you losing the personal data contents you have added to the partition Windows was installed on, and load drivers after Setup has finished that Windows needs for that mboard and the other hardware devices on that laptop,

BUT - you need a regular Microsoft OEM Vista DVD, or a retail full version Vista DVD. You probably can't use an operating Re-installation DVD that may have come with your own Acer model, because , usually, it will not install (or Repair) Windows unless something on the disk detects that the laptop you're using is a suitable Acer model with an Acer bios version, and/or the mboard is a suitable model.

You CAN use an operating Re-installation DVD that may have come with the laptop you have the hard drive in now, along with the Product Key that's on that laptop, but that will not help in the long term if you can't continue to use this other laptop.

- if it isn't your laptop, or if for whatever reason you can't continue to use that other laptop, then you still need a working laptop, or another computer of your own, desktop or llaptop, to install the hard drive in.

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