Liquid damage to my unibody macbook and looking for opinions on situation

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by meder87, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. meder87 macrumors regular

    Jan 5, 2010
    So on Dec 29 I manage to spill soda onto my macbook. It was on and not plugged in. As soon as it happened I turned it over and let all of the liquid spill out. I think only half the glass of soda got on it. Anyways, after I let it all spill out I took out all the keys on the keyboard and wiped them off and the keyboard itself. I then took out the battery and the hard drive and let it dry out for 2 days.

    After the 2nd day of drying it out I turned it on and it worked, except some keys wouldn't work. I turned it off and waited till the next day to try again and turn it on. I turned it on and to my surprise all the keys worked and the computer was working fine as if nothing happened. About an hour later the computer shut off. Since then the computer shuts off after a minute. It can get to the spinning apple screen before shutting off. It's gotten a few times to the blue screen before the login screen shows up. I did charge up my macbook and it charges fine.

    I figured myself and have had other people tell me its the motherboard/logic board. However, because it still turns on and chargers I feel like there's something else that could be wrong that I could fix and it would still work. Does anyone have any suggestions or know exactly what could be wrong? I start school next week and need to know if this could be fixed or if i have to get another computer.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2006
    It sounds more like hard drive or RAM. try re-seating both of those things.

    Also, you could boot into Single User Mode (hold command and s on startup) and type /sbin/fsck -fy
    this will verify if your drive is ok (and might fix some broken things)
    if fsck says your disk is OK type reboot
  3. ahamaven macrumors newbie

    Jan 6, 2010
    Wish you luck with your Mac


    As I was reading this I can empathize with you. I hope you get to fix your Macbook soon. I think I will also be affected if something happens to my Mac. Thanks for sharing. All the best.
  4. sonspot macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario Canada
    why didnt you wait longer for it to dry out, its in a closed area with every little air flow, i wouldnt be surprised if its still wet.. unless you open the unit yourself and checked to make sure everything was ok, you should have waited longer. good luck to, hope you learned something from this.
  5. Wehrwolf macrumors 6502


    May 21, 2009
    Hard to say what's going on. The problem is liquid damage is totally random and variable in terms of the effects and severity.

    I spilled water on a 2006 white Macbook in 2007, and it behaved almost exactly like what you describe. In an effort to get it working again, I COMPLETELY disassembled and cleaned everything with 100% isopropanol, then let everything dry for several days. I put it all back together, and while it would start up, it would shut down randomly after about 20 minutes.

    Resigning the computer to its fate, I bought a replacement and put the old one away, until I went through my closet last December to clean stuff out and stumbled across it again. On a whim I plugged in the charger, charged up the battery, and turned it on. Unsurprisingly, it came to life, so I left it running, fully expecting it to shut off after about 20 minutes. I came back several hours later, and was shocked to find that it was still running. Somewhat pleased at this unexpected result, I started using the Macbook for the rest of the evening, putting it through some paces. That entire time, I was expecting the thing to shut off or act up in some way, but it never did. As of this writing, it's as if that computer never saw that water I spilled on it 2 years ago.

    The point is that you just really don't know when it comes to water damage. It's promising that your machine still starts up, but it may be that there's still moisture in some of the components, causing a short, leading to the symptoms you describe. The main problem is that you spilled soda on yours, instead of just water. The corn syrup in the soda may be causing other problems, will attract dirt, and may actually corrode the electronics it's in contact with.

    Your best course of action now is to find a disassembly guide (ifixit has some good ones) and tear down the entire machine, clean everything off with either DISTILLED water, 100% isopropanol, or some commercial electronic cleaning solvent. (the latter 2 are preferred over water, as they are volatile and will evaporate rapidly, and are better solvents than water) If you've led a good, clean life, you may find that everything works.

    However, start saving up for a new computer anyway. While you may be able to bring it back, I would consider this computer unreliable, as you simply can't predict if it'll crap out on you later down the road as a result of the initial spill. Or you may not be able to bring it back to life at all.

    Good luck.
  6. eman macrumors 6502a

    Nov 5, 2007
    In the great white north
    The sugar in the soda will remain tacky for long periods of time, disassemble the macbook and clean the logic board etc.... Every time you turn on the macbook you're risking more permanent damage.
  7. sonspot macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario Canada
    agree and agree, if its water you have to give it time to dry out, even better if you open it up and get some air across it, with soda, you diff need to open it and clean with alcohol, i think you circuit cleaner you can spray..

Share This Page