Did I just rip myself off? Was my MB Pro ACTUALLY broken?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ryz0n, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. Ryz0n macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2007
    So a few months ago I spilt water over my Macbook and I thought I broke it. I dried it, but then turned it on shortly after and it worked for 10 min then shut down.

    What would happen is it would boot up, power or from battery, and display the white screen and startup chime, but then shut off. I assumed I fried something and it was dead.

    I saved the hard drive and got all my stuff off of it with an external, but when I went to sell the computer today sans hard drive, it boot up, stayed on, and then displayed the flashing folder with the question mark.

    My question is, was the computer actually broken? Was it a hard drive issue? Was it maybe just the hard drive connector? I'm starting to feel stupid letting the sale go through (only $350, it's a early-2009 Mb Pro 4gb ram)

    If I got to that flashing question mark folder, does that mean the mobo was still good and that it would have maybe been a cheap-moderate expense fix to solve the problem?
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Too late now. It is sold and don't bother dwelling on it.
  3. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    Dunno about that but I've had a phone go into a swim pool and I let it dry on my car dashboard in the heat and it worked. Maybe your mb dried out since it was just water. Did you sell it on eBay? If so flake out lol if not then sorry but if it's gone then it's gone, no use trippin over it now.
  4. Camaro6700 macrumors member

    Nov 12, 2008
    Can you elaborate on the time frames from when you turned it off after spilling water and how long you waited till you turned it back on? Also did you only mess with it the first time you turned it on and then left it alone till selling it?

    If the board was still wet when you supplied power to it, they could be a good chance you fried something on the board. If you gave it plenty of time to dry completely before turning it on then you could reduce the chances of frying something.

    I had a a computer be flooded by water and let it dry for a week with no moisture before turning it back on and it worked just fine. However this was a laptop and they can be hard to determine if there is any moisture in the system without taking it apart.

    It sounds like you already sold it, so instead of beating yourself up over whether or not it was a good deal or not, use this as a learning experience and accept that the board was fried.
  5. Ryz0n thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2007
    I sold it from Craigslist to a girl. I felt kind of bad because it was raining and we met halfway and I honestly was not sure if I should keep it or not. I couldn't get an answer in enough time, so what's done is what's done. However, I still am curious to know.

    The timeframe was:
    I spilt water, unplugged it immediately, dried it and booted back up 15 minutes later.

    It worked for 20 minutes, then randomly shut off.
    Every time I booted up, it would boot to the white screen, stay there for 3-4 seconds, then shut off again. I did this 4-5 times. HD or disc drive would make some kind of clicking noise at times.

    Turned it upside down, took all the casing off it and exposed it to a heater for 3 days.

    Turned it back on after 3 days, still the same thing. Would turn on, then shut off.

    3 months later, saved my data from my HD with an external, so the HD does work.

    Went to sell the computer today, she wanted to see if it turned on. Instead of immediately shutting off (because the HD was missing maybe?), it stayed on and displayed the flashing "?" folder.

    I'm thinking that if I put a new HD in it or fixed the connector maybe it would boot up and work? The computer would easily be worth double if I could actually confirm this, but alas, it's already gone.
  6. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010

    ugh why do so many people do this?

    you don't want to turn electronics on so quickly after getting water on them!
  7. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    Just curious... She knew she was buying a computer that was unusable, even with an HD in it, right?
  8. jshbckr macrumors 6502

    Apr 20, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Honestly, if you sold it on eBay, I would contact them and say you don't want to follow through with the sale because the computer is not in the same condition you listed it as.

    I look at it like this:

    If you listed a brand new computer and then it suddenly stopped working before you were going to send it to the winner, you wouldn't send that item out, because it's not in the same working condition it was in when you listed it.

    This laptop, to your knowledge, was broken when you listed it. As it turns out, the computer came back to life. You sold them a broken computer, not one that can power up and run. Unfortunately (for them), the broken computer is no longer available.
  9. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    That's getting a little too philosophical for an Apple product, doncha think? ;)
  10. aznguyen316 macrumors 68020


    Oct 1, 2008
    Tampa, FL
    ^ problem is he sold it on Craigslist and it's gone haha.

    OP who knows maybe it only did that b/c there was no HDD in it. But if there was a HDD in it maybe it would've done the same thing it was doing before. Whatever the case, I figure you probably should've tried turning it on before you listed it.. since we're talking all about hindsight now.
  11. Ryz0n thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2007
    She knew it was a broken computer, hence the reason I took $350.00 for it.

    What I'm asking is a technical question about hardware that I hope someone can answer. If it booted up now and displayed the question mark folder, does that mean the damage wasn't serious (mobo fried, some deep internal stuff?) Is a computer considered "broken" if it still powered up? I think I misunderstood what happened to it.

    If I put the hard drive/new HD back in it might have done the same thing. That's because maybe some parts needed to be replaced. Point is, selling a 2009 Macbook Pro for $350 only makes sense if the motherboard is fried or some serious damage has taken place. The fact that it boots to that question mark folder, does that mean the system is still in tact and perhaps it's an HD issue?

    And I turned the computer back on so soon because I was kind of panicking because I had half a paper on the HD that was due the next morning lol.
  12. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Water damage is frequently the easiest to repair (unless you dropped it in a pool), and in time can even fix itself as the water dries out of certain places. I've repaired a Macbook board that had "died" due to water damage just by opening the machine up and going to town with flux cleaner which removed any corrosion that happened.

    Water damage is the easiest to deal with because water doesn't leave anything behind as it evaporates.

    So to answer your question, it's likely that the water had fully dried out of the machine and it was alive again. Whether all the components were working is a different question.
  13. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010
    No one can answer that, without having the computer to examine. She could get the thing home, pop an HD in it and have it die on her 20 minutes later.

    Best thing you can do is assume that there was plenty wrong with it, and keep liquides away from your new computer.

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