Is liquid damage from over a year ago the COD for my friend's MBP?????

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by MacAddict33, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. MacAddict33 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    So - question for all of you liquid damage experts out there! :apple: :apple: :apple: :apple:

    A YEAR ago (December 2009) I spilled a liquid onto a friend's laptop. I immediately turned it off and we let it dry out for 2 days. With a deep breath we tried turning the MBP on....HOORAY! It turned on. Keyboard worked, track pad worked, applications all worked. The only issue she has had for the year was that her keys were sticking - due to stickiness of the vodka drink I accidentally knocked over

    So - this past week (Thanksgiving) her computer stopped working. It turned on but it was just a blank blue screen with a spinning timer. She is asking me to pay for 1/2 the cost so she can buy a brand new computer. Do you guys think that the liquid spill a YEAR ago is the reason for her computer to be not working now? (It stopped turning on for 2 days and now it is just running slowly)

    When I say her laptop was working - it was 100% functional in every way except for the sticky keys.

    I am no computer genius - but I think that this kind of problem would be caused by a damaged hard drive. (which clearly was not caused by my accident because it has been working fine for a year).

    Any/all help is greatly appreciated!

    :apple: :apple: :apple: :apple:
     
  2. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

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    #2
    Liquid damage a year later? It's difficult to say. Failure could be attributed to a slow corrosion process over time. Why don't you have a Genius look it over?

    Regardless, I think you're splitting hairs. You spilled the drink and should be liable.
     
  3. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

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    #3
    It could be the hard drive, but the lifespan of said hard drive could have been shortened by you spilling a drink into it. Either way, I feel she's within her rights to ask you for compensation - despite it being a year later. While the initial survival was fortuitous, liquid damage manifests in a lot of different ways, and sometimes over time. Sticky/sugary non-water liquids cause corrosion that can cause damage after drying.

    Unfortunately, even if this current failure has nothing to do with the spill, the fact of the matter is you put yourself into a blame situation by damaging her laptop in the first place. Did you pay her anything when it happened? Even for the sticky keys?

    I would just pay her and be done with it. If I were her, I would have asked for payment when the incident occurred. At least you're getting away with only paying half price.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    http://guides.macrumors.com/Mac_doesn't_boot

    Tell him to take a look at that. It looks like the HD is just bad so the cost of fixing it would be something like 50 bucks, depending on the HD he gets. If it's HD failure, there is no way the spill caused that. It's possible that the spill increased temps or something like that which in the end led to the death of the HD but that's just speculation.
     
  5. MacAddict33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    ......

    @ HellHammer : Thanks! I have no problem reimbursing for the cost of a broken hard drive - but it's hard for me to shell out $1,000 (don't have that kind of money) on something that may or may not be my fault.
     
  6. MacAddict33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    .....

    @ Queen of Spades - No I did not because she said that it was working fine and it was not to worry.......I told her I would pay to have her laptop cleaned out - but she said it was fine and I shouldn't worry about it. I feel like her saying this negates my "blame position" because I offered to have it cleaned for it. (which would get rid of the corrosion problem had she had it cleaned immediately after it happened which I suggested).....and because she said it was fine.
     
  7. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

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    #7
    Then you both screwed up, but that doesn't absolve you from responsibility, obviously, since she's asking you now. Basically you need to ask yourself if, morally, you'd feel okay walking away from this without paying your friend anything (or $50 for a hard drive). It sounds like that's what you want to do, so if the answer is yes, then there you go.

    I'm not really sure what other advice you're looking to get. You can only try the hard drive thing if she's willing to do that. It's her computer, it's her call.
     
  8. MacAddict33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    .....

    @ Queen of Spades : I am just looking for answers on causes of loss of functionality a year later. Also - I am not saying that it absolves me from responsibility per say - but she said to not worry about it 10 months ago - she didn't say "don't worry about it for now"....or even "as long as it works I'm okay with it, but if/when it stops working I would appreciate you reimbursing me for it"....I just think it's messed up that she's bringing it up now just because her laptop is running slowly if she already said that it wasn't necessary for me to pay......
     
  9. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    #9
    It is probably the hard drive. Why don't you just go find a cheap SATA HDD of any capacity just to test it? Then if the computer works with that new HDD, just go get a $50 320gb HDD or so... Then say "Hey! I fixed it!"
     
  10. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

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    #10
    Well, you're obviously going to get differing opinions on an internet forum. Personally, I wouldn't think a person would actually have to say, "as long as it works I'm okay with it, but if/when it stops working I would appreciate you reimbursing me for it" - that seems like an obvious given that need not be expressly state. But clearly we differ in that regard.

    See if she'll go the hard drive route. Thats only $50 and could very well solve her problem. Beyond that, you said yourself you think it's messed up that she's asking you to pay now, so it sounds like your decision has been made already on that regard.

    Since you asked, again, I'll give you my opinion. Your negligence damaged her laptop. It is quite possible that the long term effects of a sticky mixed drink did not manifest until this point (I've seen people come in to the Apple Store with liquid damaged laptops long after the occurrence, they claim). Morally and ethically, I think you're liable because what you did could have shortened the lifespan (and certainly the resale value) of her computer. It's unfortunate that you don't really have the money to pay for it, but that fact doesn't absolve your responsibility. How would you want to be treated in this situation if it were your laptop?

    She can probably get a new laptop for less than $2000 by selling her old one and putting that toward the new one. I think it would be fair of you to ask her to do that to lower the cost a little. But since you're broke, I'd buy the hard drive first if she's agreeable and go from there.
     
  11. MacAddict33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    @ AlphaDogg: HAHA! If only I were good enough with computers to do that. MBPs aren't that easy to take apart - and I feel like if I tried then I could potentially make the damage even worse..... :confused: I am admittedly clueless when comes to taking apart/putting back together computers.
     
  12. MacAddict33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Queen of Spades: If I know for sure that my accident caused this issues this far after the fact, then I have no problem coming up with the money. I am a strong believer in Karma and I try to stay on the right side of it.......BUT if it wasn't caused by me - then I don't think I should have to pay.

    There are so many other aspects to this issue as to why I feel it is wrong of her to bring this up so far after the fact.....but I don't want to get into the nitty gritty on here...
     
  13. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

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    #13
    Take it to an Apple Store. They'll diagnose it for free, and then you'll know.

    As for the hard drive, it's a simple swap. What model MBP is it? If it's a unibody, anyone can swap the hard drive. If it's a class MBP, it's more difficult, but it's also not worth anything near $2k.
     
  14. MacAddict33 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    @ Queen of Spades: I have never heard of a class MBP? I believe it is the unibody though (the one with the screws on the bottom and only the keyboard/speakers on top). My friend has the 17-inch 2009 model.
     
  15. Queen of Spades macrumors 68030

    Queen of Spades

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    #15
    I meant to say classic. 2009 = the unibody version. It's easy to replace the hard drive. You can find instructional videos on youtube.
     
  16. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

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    #16
    Here is what you should do. Get a philips #00 or philips #000 screwdriver and unscrew the bottom of the MacBook Pro with that screwdriver. Check for any visible liquid damage, and then go from there.
     
  17. suburbia macrumors 6502

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    #17
    A year later, your friend blames you? I don't think that's cool at all.

    Technically, the grey screen of death and spinning timer would indicate a dead hard drive. As others have suggested, convince your friend to make an appointment at the Genius Bar and have them give her an official diagnose. BUT, don't tell them you spilled liquid on it a year ago. If it's just a dead hard drive, you've lucked out, especially if hers is a unibody, which has a user-friendly replaceable hard drive. If it's a fried CPU, hopefully she has AppleCare and they don't suspect/blame you for the failure.

    I think expecting you to pay half at this point for a brand new notebook without taking her old notebook in first for an official diagnose is too demanding and extremely unfair of your friend.

    Best of luck :)
     
  18. AdamRock macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    bring it to an apple store and see what they say.
     
  19. iThinkergoiMac macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Great advice except this part. If you've spilled on the computer, it will be obvious as soon as they open it up. Not telling them doesn't really get you anywhere, but a bit of honesty might get you some grace (in that they won't just turn you away right then and there).
     
  20. wordoflife, Nov 29, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010

    wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    #20
    I agree. Especially since you don't really know if the vodka killed over the computer in the first place.

    If OP is good with tech, I'd go to iFixit.com and open up the computer, and look for corrosion.

    I doubt its the logic board or anything expensive. Try to reinstall the OS.
     
  21. alphaod macrumors Core

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  22. ctyhntr macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Bring the laptop into the Genius Bar for an assessment.

    If you're going to give her half the money for her to buy a new laptop, then you should get the old laptop in return.
     
  23. alphaod macrumors Core

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    #23
    No it should account for depreciation, any other damage like scratches, dings, etc.
     
  24. ScholarsInk macrumors regular

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    #24
    If a replacement is necessary, pay the very most you can. Anything less is just irresponsible.
     
  25. suburbia macrumors 6502

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    #25
    Yes, honesty is the best policy, but I don't think it's a good idea to go in telling them "I split liquid on this last year, and now it's dead..." I'm advising her friend to go in-- with herself if possible, and explain to them the notebook's dead. If they asked you about any accidental spills occurred, then tell them yes-- that it happened a year ago. If they're that sharp with detecting there are tall-tale signs of liquid-damage, then they would realize it wasn't a recent split.

    I'm not advising her friend to lie, or deny any fault-- just disclose only what's necessary.
     

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