Macbook Pro - Water Damage

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Klimseven, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. Klimseven macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #1
    Hi. The other day by adorable dog adorably knocked a cup of tea on my late 2010 MBP. He also knocked it to the floor.

    Initially the laptop worked fine, there seemed to be no problems. However, after about fifteen minutes the bottom half of the keyboard started acting eratically. I turned the laptop off (I realise now I should have done this immediately). Later, when I turned it back on, the entire keyboard - minus a select few keys at the top - wasn't working, and the trackpad was behaving oddly also. When I click with the trackpad it thinks I'm right clicking, making the laptop impossible to use. I have a Wacom tablet, so I plugged that in, but it reacts the same way (thinks everything is a right click).

    What I want to know is - is this a problem with the keyboard/trackpad or something more serious? The hard drive seems fine - everything is where it should be etc and nothing seems to be missing. There's no Apple stores in my country so I can't go that route at the moment. I work from this laptop and it's very important that this gets mended asap, whatever the cost.

    Any ideas/advice?
     
  2. Coldmode macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    #2
    Sorry to hear about your troubles. I'm going to give you a few bits of advice, then a few things to try.

    It's good that you know you should have turned the machine off immediately. Try to do that if this ever happens again. Another good idea is to stick the machine in a large bag of rice for 1-2 days to draw all the moisture out. The insides of a computer will probably not dry in a few hours, so it's ideal to leave it off for enough time for it to become completely dry. If it is on while there is still moisture, you are likely to experience electrical shorts (which I suspect you are dealing with now).

    However, we can't change what's already happened. My first advice is to turn the machine off and be sure there is no moisture still in it. You can do this by taking off the bottom plate (if you have a unibody model), or by turning the machine upside down to see if any tea comes out of the keyboard.

    After you make sure there is no moisture, then it is time to see what has happened.

    It looks like your keyboard has shorted out and the trackpad is on its way to the grave as well. I'd suggest borrowing or buying a USB mouse and keyboard to see if those work. It's weird that your Wacom is behaving badly too, but that could be something that will be solved with more dryness. My iPhone and I were hit by a large wave a few years ago and it took about a week for it to be fully functional again (though with some salt stains on the inside).

    The second thing to think about is if there was any milk or sugar in your tea. Milk will probably spoil and smell bad, but sugar will stick to components and corrode them. If you can take the machine apart, you will have to clean components with cotton and rubbing alcohol. Doing this can also help you make sure there is no more moisture. Before you do any cleaning with liquids, however, make sure you disconnect the battery.

    I hope some of these things help, and that you're able to save your machine. If you have any further questions I'll be checking this thread to see if I can help more. Good luck!
     
  3. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #3
    it's possible there's still moisture trapped in there - amazingly lucky it hasn't worked its way down to the logic board.

    i'd take it apart and let it dry out. ifixit has some great tutorials and its well worth the investment in a couple of fancy screwdrivers and your time to get this done.

    if there was sugar in your tea, a mild wipeover of affected components with isopropyl alcohol would also be a good idea - you might even get your keyboard/trackpad back.

    Best luck!
     
  4. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #4
    If you do not have access to an Apple Store your best best it to tear it down as much as you can and clean the individual parts. It may be too far gone at this point but if that is the case then there is nothing to lose essentially.
     
  5. Klimseven thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #5
    Thanks a lot for the replies.

    I've worked out a way to work the trackpad normally - if I don't use the keyboard when I boot it up, the trackpad works fine, it's only when I press a key that it starts behaving strangely. I've gotten an external keyboard and mouse and am transferring all of my more important files (about 2 years of professional work) onto an iMac, as that's paramount at the moment.

    The machine itself is still behaving fine, apart from the keyboard. After I've transferred these files I'm going to take the thing apart as suggested and check for any more moisture. To be honest, it was very little moisture that got into it in the first place (I was unsure whether it was the tea or the bang that did it), but the last thing I want is for the logic board to get wet.

    Do you think there's any chance the keyboard/trackpad could be saved? Or is damage done almost always permanent? Also - if it's moisture in these components that's the problem - how much would this set me back, price-wise? And is there any way to really determine what the exact problem is, minus an Apple store?

    Thanks again.
     
  6. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #6
    If the keyboard and trackpad have already started acting up there is not much of a way to save them as is. There are work arounds which you have seemed to acknowledge such as USB peripherals, which is good. Once all of your data is transferred, you can try tearing it down and cleaning or drying the components as much as possible as I have suggested before in an attempt to get them working properly again, although I wouldn't expect much.

    As far as the price it depends on how far the liquid has spread through the laptop itself. It could have only been a small amount that was spilled in one area but theoretically even that little bit has a possibility of effecting most if not all of the components inside if it spreads enough - even if it is working for the most part at the moment it may stop working at any moment unfortunately.
     
  7. Klimseven thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 19, 2012
    #7
    But if I take the thing apart and ensure there's no more moisture to wreck anything else - wouldn't that be enough? I'd obviously far prefer to just replace the keyboard and trackpad than have to shell out on a whole new laptop.
     
  8. spoonie1972 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2012
    Location:
    Toronto
    #8
    i recently saved a 2009 that was damanged with sugar/milk coffee spill on the left side - or - by all the ports and DC in.

    it was... REALLY ugly in there. after cleaning it all and letting it dry - what was once a dead mbp was now a pro that worked in every way except the screen (the connector somehow corroded - the female side - screen was still AOK).

    he now uses it like a mac mini, two weeks going now.

    i think yours is probably 100% salvageable if you can get the trackpad/keyboard area totally dried out.

    my opinion, others' may vary :)
     
  9. Klimseven thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #9
    That's what I'm hoping, anyway. I don't even mind paying for a replacement keyboard/trackpad (though I'd have no idea how to go about getting and installing these), I just really don't want to have bury the thing.
     
  10. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

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    #10
    Yes, I was just explaining that there is no way to fix the keyboard/trackpad as is without spending any money if it weren't for the very slim chance of cleaning or drying internally.

    In any case there is no way for anyone here to survey the damage for you or even give you much of an accurate estimate as to what has been affected by the spill. If there is no Apple Store in your country I really don't know what to say, any chance of fully repairing it would require a lot of technical knowledge on your part.
     
  11. Klimseven thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    #11
    Yeah, it's the lack of an Apple Store that's a real problem. Although I think they've set up some third party Apple-Store-ish place that might be able to help (I live in Dublin, Ireland). Who knows. I might have to send it off abroad, if that's even an option.
     
  12. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2011
    Location:
    Cimmerian End
    #12
    Call up AppleCare and see what your options are before you put your trust into a third party or attempt to go at it yourself.
     

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