Mid 2011 Macbook Air 11" Water Damaged (Worth Fixing???)

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by 0805, May 8, 2015.

  1. 0805 macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2015
    I purchased this new in Oct 2011 and just two days ago spilled water (sugared water at that) on the keyboard. It turn off within a few seconds. What I did next was pretty stupid: I first put it in the freezer, then in the fridge, then I took it out and parked it over the heater to hopefully let the water evaporate. I would turn on but display nothing but a grey screen.

    Then I took it in to the Apple Store where I was told that the cost of fixing it would be more than buying a new one. The genius told me that there was corrosion on the motherboard. The unit as a whole was not functioning but the screen was still worked.

    I asked the genius the remove the SDD incase I decide to sell it and don't want my info in someone's hands.

    Today, I turned it on and the grey screen showed a folder with a question mark inside it.

    I have a replacement Macbook I'm using ATM so there is no urgency.

    Here are my questions:

    1) Is it worth fixing? I'm thinking of picking up a pentalobe screwdriver set for $16 at a local place over here and opening it up. Disconnecting and removing everything and washing it down with parts cleaner before putting it all back together.

    2) My other option is selling it on Craigslist. I have it currently posted for $120 and got an offer for $100. Am I throwing something good away for little money?

    Keep in mind that the computer has been working without any problems at all since I purchased it brand new 3.5 years ago. I really do need a computer since I need to return the one I'm borrowing right now.

    PS: I have very limited knowledge of computer internals ATM. About 10 years ago I assembled my own, but haven't done anything recently.

    Please advise.
  2. asoksevil macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2010
    Taipei, Taiwan
    Open up the MacBook Air and clean the logic board with isopropyl alcohol. Make sure to wipe all the residues...
  3. Rafaeldm macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2013
    I was about to say something like this, remove everything and clean it
  4. 0805 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2015
    I'm assuming I should use the 99% isopro, and not the 70% one. What's the best way to apply it to the parts? Dab a cotton towel and wipe? Spray bottle? Submerge parts in container?
  5. Godzirra macrumors 6502

    Mar 31, 2010
    Somewhere on Salisbury plain, and Apple, UK
    Go for the 99% stuff if you can.

    Disconnect the battery, and if you can spray it onto the damaged areas, then go for it, but if not then use a small stiff (ish) paint brush, quarter inch or so, and 'paint' the Iso on. You'll also be able to agitate it at the same time, and this will help to remove any corrosion from the damaged areas as well. Do it a few times and then use a can of air (air duster type) to blow/ evaporate the Iso away. Some of the very small components can look fine, but you'll be able to see any corrosion, and get rid of it.

    As you're getting the question mark folder showing, double check the SSD to logic board connector and clean that as well. If you're not sure, do the whole logic board, as well as the SSD connector and the main display connector.

    The Iso stuff does work, as I had to do it to my machine and it's what I'm using to write this now.

    Good luck.
  6. lazydog macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2005
    Cramlington, UK

    I had a similar event two weeks ago but for me everything worked except the keyboard. If you spilt liquid on the keyboard then I'm thinking you might need to replace yours too.

    I went ahead and gave replacing the keyboard a go. It involved opening the Air up and removing the battery, motherboard etc, and then ripping (literally) the old keyboard out and screwing a new one in place. I'm happy to say the repair worked. However, if you do go ahead at fixing your laptop I would warn you on a couple of things, first the little wires to the wifi modules are easily damaged (which I did) and second, careful of the flat cable connectors as they are difficult to put back into their sockets ( I damaged the one on the fan and had to replace it).

    b e n
  7. 0805 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2015
    Thanks for the heads up. After dousing it in 99% isopro and letting it dry, it seems to be booting up just fine and like your case, the keyboard is not functioning properly. So, I'll try to replace it. Did you buy yours from ebay?
  8. lazydog macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2005
    Cramlington, UK
    Oh bad luck!

    Yes I got my keyboard from eBay, Dalletaiwan. Including shipping it cost £22.99 which I thought was really cheap considering. Plus it came with a pack of small screws which you will need. The other option is to get a whole top part with the keyboard already attached but that's much more expensive.

    I followed these instructions by the way, instructions. When I took my keyboard off I didn't get all the rivets off so I only used about 30 screws (as opposed to 52 if you get all the rivets off) but the keyboard still works fine. It feels a little bit different than before but I expect that's because I didn't manage to get all the screws in.

    Anyway, I'm glad I gave fixing my Air a go. In a way I more attached to it now than ever before probably because of what we've been through together ha ha!

    Good luck!

    b e n
  9. 0805 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 8, 2015
    I already have a Pentalobe 1.2mm screwdriver. What other screwdrivers did you use? T4 and T5? What about the keyboard screws?

    Edit: Nevermind. Says right in the link you provided.
  10. lazydog macrumors 6502a

    Sep 3, 2005
    Cramlington, UK
    I bought a 38 in 1 screwdriver set from Amazon for £7.98 :) It had everything in it including tweezers.

    b e n
  11. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    I would use a very soft toothbrush and the alcohol people were referring too.

    remove the logic board, clean all parts of it, inside the ports aswell, all the connectors too.
    Make sure all residue is gone.
    I have brought back many water damaged iphones and laptops this way.

    You dont have much too loose considering its broken anyway.
    once done, assemble it, see if it turns on. then put the ssd in it and see what happens. make sure the ssd is clean, aswell as the port it plugs into.

    edit: didnt see you allready had some success.
    my bad

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