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Old Nov 5, 2012, 04:22 AM   #1
hominycricket
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Need advice: Buy another or hold onto possibly damaged MBP

So yesterday I spilled beer onto my 2010 Macbook Pro (My fault for having it there, should've used a cover, had insurance, etc...) and before I even had a chance to finish unplugging everything and cut it off it shut itself off. It was running pretty hot at the time as I was playing a game. I immediately turned it upside down in an attempt to drain anything back out and took off the back cover. Let it air dry open for a few hours, replaced the cover, and attempted to turn it back on. It turned on, made it past the login screen, and proceeded to lock up. Reopened it, let it sit for a few hours, and tried again only to get a black screen with a cursor but absolutely nothing else. Tried again about an hour ago and it came on fine.

Now here's the problem. This is the only computer I have at the moment and the final research paper that determines whether or not I graduate is due in a little over a week, with the presentation of this paper and everything else with it at the end of November. Obviously not a time to be worried about the laptop failing on me. Second major problem is that the closest Apple certified technician is over an hour away, so it's not like I can just hop up there immediately if something goes wrong.

I've already spoken to them about coming in as soon as they open and having them look at it and I'm preparing for the worst. From my understanding sugary liquids (beer, soda, etc...) can cause damage in the future that isn't readily apparent at first. I also know that if something is damaged then it can cost more to fix it than get a new one. Now obviously I'd rather not do either of these, but I'm the moron drinking beer next to my computer rather than working on this project so I'll have to deal with it one way or another.

My question then is would it be worth buying a new or refurbished one if this one isn't noticeably damaged, both for reliability issues and just the fact that it's getting old? Currently I have the 2010 15.4" MBP, 2.4 GHz i5, 4 GB memory. Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.

And sorry for the wall of text. Anxious and on my 2nd cup of coffee have made me a tad wordy
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 07:15 AM   #2
Queen6
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Problems indeed; first things first, your data is the most important factor now, you will likely to need to remove the drive and copy it to a known good drive, i would speak with the IT department as they maybe able to do this for you. A kind soul with another Mac will likely be needed, or someone with enough skills to get windows to read your Mac`s drive, however the less messing about/complexity the better for obvious reason. I would resist starting your machine in target mode as it may result in data loss. If your drive is physically damaged data can still be recovered, however this is a costly process, and unfortunately takes time. Bear in mind if this worst case scenario pans out to be true, that going cheap and trying the DIY approach with a damaged drive may escalate a very bad day to a complete fiasco.

Apple, well they are pretty much going to want to replace all the effected boards and battery, so in many respects your Mac will be refurbished to a point. As for the cost only you can determine if it`s viable once Apple come up with the estimate to commence or write it off and buy new. Personally if the repair is more than the used value i would opt for a new Mac, the damaged on i would sell off for parts.

For now don't turn the machine on, as it will only risk more damage, what you must be explicitly clear to Apple about is not wiping the drive until you have successfully made a backup. Unfortunately you will have to invest time and money as there is little else you can do a this point. I am certain that you will get a lot of comment about what should and shouldn't have happened and i am equally sure you are painfully aware now, so i see no necessitation to berate. I hope it all goes well, you retrieve the data and a Genius offers some compassion and eases the pain of the cost of repair.

Last edited by Queen6; Nov 5, 2012 at 07:21 AM.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 07:15 AM   #3
jrs22
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I can't answer your core question, but I have a question for you. Have you backed up all your materials for your research paper?
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 09:32 AM   #4
hominycricket
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Ok so because of my model, etc... It's a "tier 4" repair which is $1300... So no in that case I may as well just get a new one.

The technician powered it on and everything seemed I go ok with that. She told me that it'll inevitably corrode, it's just a matter of when and that in itself scares me. 3 months is fine, a week is not, and the keys and battery are already having problems. So now it's a matter of how badly I need the reliability now.

Yes, the first thin I did when I got it to turn on was immediately back up my most recent files. I'd rather the laptop explode in the process than lose them.

Currently looking at the previous generation of iMac since the store has them discounted. Portability is less of an issue right now than when I bought the MacBook.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 09:59 AM   #5
hominycricket
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Ok so because of my model, etc... It's a "tier 4" repair which is $1300... So no in that case I may as well just get a new one.

The technician powered it on and everything seemed I go ok with that. She told me that it'll inevitably corrode, it's just a matter of when and that in itself scares me. 3 months is fine, a week is not, and the keys and battery are already having problems. So now it's a matter of how badly I need the reliability now.

Yes, the first thin I did when I got it to turn on was immediately back up my most recent files. I'd rather the laptop explode in the process than lose them.

Currently looking at the previous generation of iMac since the store has them discounted. Portability is less of an issue right now than when I bought the MacBook.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 10:04 AM   #6
switon
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RE: backup computers?!...

Hi,

What a bummer! But if you copy your research paper's content to an USB drive (or thumb drive), can you borrow someone else's Mac to finish your paper? Perhaps you can even use a Mac computer in a computer lab or department lab at the University? If so, then you continue to use your laptop until you either finish your paper or the laptop "heads south" and becomes unusable. If it becomes unusable before you finish your paper, then you can just switch to the borrowed computer/computer lab's Mac in order to finish your paper.

This would get you through your immediate problem, and since $1300 for repairing a 2010 MBP may not be worth it (you didn't mention which MBP you have). After your paper is submitted you can then better decide how to spend that $1300: whether to repair your 2010 MBP or put the $1300 towards a new or used machine.

Good luck,
Switon
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 10:35 AM   #7
Queen6
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You have your file that`s the most important thing. I would simply use the machine until it dies, very most pay for it to be cleaned by an independent specialist, as this may extend it`s working life. The $1300 will be far better served in a new machine, or better still in the bank until the time comes...
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 10:51 AM   #8
blaake
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hominycricket View Post
So yesterday I spilled beer onto my 2010 Macbook Pro (My fault for having it there, should've used a cover, had insurance, etc...) and before I even had a chance to finish unplugging everything and cut it off it shut itself off. It was running pretty hot at the time as I was playing a game. I immediately turned it upside down in an attempt to drain anything back out and took off the back cover. Let it air dry open for a few hours, replaced the cover, and attempted to turn it back on. It turned on, made it past the login screen, and proceeded to lock up. Reopened it, let it sit for a few hours, and tried again only to get a black screen with a cursor but absolutely nothing else. Tried again about an hour ago and it came on fine.

Now here's the problem. This is the only computer I have at the moment and the final research paper that determines whether or not I graduate is due in a little over a week, with the presentation of this paper and everything else with it at the end of November. Obviously not a time to be worried about the laptop failing on me. Second major problem is that the closest Apple certified technician is over an hour away, so it's not like I can just hop up there immediately if something goes wrong.

I've already spoken to them about coming in as soon as they open and having them look at it and I'm preparing for the worst. From my understanding sugary liquids (beer, soda, etc...) can cause damage in the future that isn't readily apparent at first. I also know that if something is damaged then it can cost more to fix it than get a new one. Now obviously I'd rather not do either of these, but I'm the moron drinking beer next to my computer rather than working on this project so I'll have to deal with it one way or another.

My question then is would it be worth buying a new or refurbished one if this one isn't noticeably damaged, both for reliability issues and just the fact that it's getting old? Currently I have the 2010 15.4" MBP, 2.4 GHz i5, 4 GB memory. Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated.

And sorry for the wall of text. Anxious and on my 2nd cup of coffee have made me a tad wordy
after reading both of your posts, defiantly buy a new one and sell yours for parts. if you are choosing between a MBP and a iMac, thats all personal preference. if you choose to go with a MBP you can always get a monitor to hook it up to when you are not on the go.
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Old Nov 6, 2012, 07:11 AM   #9
hominycricket
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Well I took the MacBook back in (to the person who asked about model 2010 15.4" i5) and actually got the genius to open it up (first one didn't for some reason). He came back out with a horrible look on his face and told me that there was a lot of liquid in it and to back up all my data ASAP

I'm the only person I know with a Mac, and my school has one in the library but that's it. The one in the library is one of the ones with the blue back on it and the weird little round mouse, and for some reason it is actually using Netscape Navigator (my school is pretty cheap when it comes to computers).

With all that information and the fact that I'm not the only person who desperately needs the computer at the moment, I decided to go ahead and buy the baseline 21.5" previous generation iMac. I was lucky enough to have an extra $1000ish saved up for the next semester. Chose the iMac simply because of the price. I'll miss my MacBook but as I won't be taking it to class and I rarely used it anywhere but the desk anyway, it seems like a decent solution for the time being.

New problem though: I think I need a bigger desk. I'm going to go blind sitting this close to this thing.
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