Spill!! (or, yes I am an idiot, thank you very much)

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Westside guy, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    Well, this morning I managed to splash a couple tablespoons (guessing) of sugar-laced coffee onto my aluminum Powerbook. Most hit the trackpad, but a small amount hit the keyboard.

    I turned it off, pulled out the battery, and immediately followed the coffee with a chaser of rubbing alcohol. I poured that off, did it again, and then set it up as a teepee (/\ shape) and let it dry.

    Being impatient, I tried using it a couple times earlier today. It would work for a while, and then I'd get a kernel panic. But as of this evening it appears things are working... so I am hoping for the best. I still have the battery out and the memory cover off (although the memory is back in, obviously).

    Not sure if there's a question here, or if it's just a confession or what. :D While I'm waiting to see if I'll have to send this puppy away to get repaired, I'd like to hear other peoples' spill stories...

    P.S. The reorganized forum threw me for a minute or two!
  2. Demon Hunter macrumors 68020

    Mar 30, 2004
    Well I'm a college student and we get very hungry. So I was opening one of those microwave raviolis for a late-nite snack, except those lids are really tough sometimes. Not thinking at all, I opened it with too much force and the sauce flew everywhere, a few drops hitting my old laptop screen. So, nothing dramatic, but it's a story! ;)

    I hope your PowerBook gets over its flu!
  3. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Yes, I have been afraid of this issue as I work constantly with liquids, be they iced tea or coffee or water, nearby my PB.

    I spilled coffee on the edge of the PB a few months ago, I think it tried ot get into the cd burner but -- didn't.

    Bought an iSkin for the keyboard but on PBs there are so many places that liquid can get into it. Nice that the keyboard is protected but still.

    Last year I saw on eBay an iSkin type protector for the WHOLE bottom case -- keyboard, trackpad etc. Not sure how they work but was mad at myself for not buying it then. I think I was not quite sure how the trackpad would work with a thin piece of plastic over it... But still have partial piece of mind with the iSkin which doesn't affect my typing speed -- I've gotten used to it.

    You did what i would do by letting it dry out. I think I would still take it in to your Apple tech to see if there is any way to clean it out further.
  4. john_satc macrumors 6502

    Feb 14, 2005
    B'ham Uk

    Well, this coming come from someone who knows nothing but... If the trackpads are anything like the scroll wheel on iPods, you can still use them through a shet of plastic stuff - I still have the plastic cover on my scroll wheel that I got with the packaging.
  5. tykles macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2004
    For some reason I'm under the impression that the fans pull air through the keyboard to cool the motherboard etc.
    Does anyone else know if this is true, and if so, whether or not keyboard covers restrict the airflow enough to be worried about it?
  6. WinterMute Moderator emeritus


    Jan 19, 2003
    London, England
    This is a perennial problem in recording studios, I saw a musician knock a can of 7-up into an SSL G-series a couple of years ago, the modules it hit were ruined due to carbon scoring from electricity arcing through the sugar, it's really the sugar thats the problem.

    I know a bloke at my Uni who dropped his 12" Powerbook into a puddle (don't ask...), it got pretty well soaked, he pulled the battery and washed the thing off with distilled water, let it dry for a couple of days then fired it up, it came up first time but one of his RAM sticks was dead. A small price I think.

    Coffee, tea, sugar based drinks are all very bad if left to dry, disconnect the power and flushing with isopropyl alcohol or distilled water seems to be the best approach, but if the damage is already done then it's done.

    I think you got lucky there.
  7. bubbamac macrumors 6502

    Dec 24, 2003
    I can verify that a Compaq laptop will not be able to withstand pineapple juice spilled on the keyboard.

    The good news is, that's what prompted me to get my iBook, which led to the Powerbook 2 months later...
  8. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    24 hours to dry... (at least)

    When you do something like that, it's good to let it dry out for at least 24 hours. If you don't get kernel panics anymore, it was probably liquid shorting things out.

    You are lucky if you have no permanent damage.

    And remember spills (if Apple detects them or knows about them) voids the warranty.
  9. joecool85 macrumors 65816


    Mar 9, 2005
    you're right, but only on iBooks. PBs don't cool like that, they are designed so that they can run closed with an external monitor.
  10. rasp macrumors regular


    Jan 13, 2005
    Easthampton, MA

    A Compaq laptop I had didn't like 1/2 glass of water being poured into the keyboard right near the power board. Got to hear a fair amount of electric arcing.

    So I managed the same trip, Compaq to Apple. Now I wonder how I ever lived without a mac before.
  11. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    well i'm not a clumsy person with liquids, but i have droped my bag with my ibook in it a few times and have had someone droped a large heavy cisco router on my ibook wile it was open crushing the screen down, the culprit payed up for the part and i installed it so all was well.
  12. 840quadra Moderator


    Staff Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    Twin Cities Minnesota
    That is rare for someone to actually pay for mistakes in this day and age... well without a lawyer at least.

  13. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    first he was in denial like it was my fault for not catching it them he agreed to pay for the damage, it was in one of my classes and the teacher agreed he had to pay so it all turned out ok.

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