Spilt water on my Macbook and it reacted REALLY weirdly

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by hminks, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. hminks macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2011
    Hi guys,

    Beware: horror story lays ahead. You're all going to be smacking your heads and thinking I'm a total idiot. Which I am.

    Back story: Macbook from late 2007. In perfect working order, battery was still great and everything ran smoothly. I am usually VERY careful with my computer.

    Saturday night, I had fallen asleep on my bed with my computer on next to me, and a half a pint of water on my bedside table. My cat decided it would be a good idea to jump up onto my bedside table, and knocked the glass of water over. Water splashed onto my bed and onto my keyboard. I was asleep on the other side of the bed so I didn't realise until I woke up about 4 hours later.

    I realised what must have happened and called my boyfriend (he's a tech assistant at his uni). He told me to remove the battery and set the laptop upside down to rest in the sun, and then to look up what to do on Google using my phone. So I Googled "OMG I SPILLED WATER ON MY MACBOOK" and read everyone's advice on what to do. The weird part is that everything I've read has said that people's computers turned off either immediately or a few minutes after the water spilled onto it. My computer didn't turn off - in fact, it was completely frozen. The time still read 4:30am when I looked at it at 8:30am. The power button didn't work when I tried to turn it off so I had to just remove the battery.


    Water spills on keyboard, computer doesn't turn off but just freezes. What does this mean? What are the chances that my computer will be okay after a few days of drying out? I'm assuming that nothing shorted out immediately because the thing stayed on. But that could just be wishful thinking.

    My computer is over 3 years old so is obviously completely out of warranty. I can't afford to replace the keyboard or, God forbid, the logic board.
  2. mike.coulter macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2008
    I wouldn't call you an idiot for this, as if not for your cat, everything would be fine...

    I would keep it in an airing cupboard rather than in direct sunlight. If it completely froze but stayed on it could be the hard drive.
  3. tug macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    loughborough. u.k.
    although its really, really bad luck what your cat did, it sounds like a logic board problem, but even if you were still in warranty, apple dont cover water spills. i hope its not too bad for you though. best take it to the apple store and have it checked.
  4. happle macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2010
    yeah dont bake the thing in the sun but for a little while or if you take it in and out of the sun that will be fine.

    as for if it will work or not i have no idea. all you can do is wait until its totally dry, id say at least a day or two. then try to use it. but dont try to use it before then.

    if it still doesnt work you will have to have someone look at it and see whats wrong.

    i hope it gets working easily for you. poor lil mac :apple::(
  5. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    You'll just have to wait and see. I assume that since it didn't turn off, it should be okay but the keyboard might not work anymore. But you never know. You'll just have to wait. Let it try out and report what happens!
  6. AlphaDogg, Apr 4, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011

    AlphaDogg macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
    I have a similar story. 2 years ago, I was home from school; I was sick. I was sitting in my parents' bed with my mom watching tv (at the time, it was the only tv in the house, but I still don't have a tv in my room; it's okay, I have my MBP and megavideo ;)). I went to my room to sleep. I left my Late 2007 2.2GHz White MacBook on my mom's bed near the headboard. On the headboard, there happened to be my cup of ice water. When I woke up, my mom was in the shower. My two dogs were on my parents bed, fighting (or playing, I'm not sure). This was right after I got my new dog, so my old dog was trying to assert his dominance towards the new dog. Anyway, while I was asleep, the dogs knocked over the cup of water onto the MacBook. When I left the MacBook on the bed, it was closed, sleeping. When I came back to my MacBook, the sleep light was solid (not pulsating like it should've been doing). I opened the MacBook to see if it was okay. The screen wouldn't come on and the sleep light remained solid. I removed the battery and went over to my local microcenter to get some compressed air. When I got home, I removed the L-bracket, RAM, and HDD. The RAM and HDD weren't wet. I sprayed compressed air inside the slots where the RAM would go. I used the entire can of compressed air. I left it off for another 3 hours or so. Then I reassembled it, hit the power button and I heard the famous BONGG sound. Needless to say, I was ecstatic. Fast forward to March 16, 2010. I needed my display and inverter board replaced due to marks on the screen from heat and a flickering backlight. I got a call from Apple telling me that they found corrosion on the logic board (why they removed the LB to replace the screen is beyond me). My MacBook was constantly freezing and kernel panicking. They voided my warranty due to the water, so I decided against the $800 repair charge and got a new 13" MBP 2.4GHz for $400 more than the repair cost. I have since upgraded it to 8GB of RAM, a 500GB 7200RPM HDD and AppleCare. I still have the MacBook and it works fine as a backup computer. I loaned it out to my friend while his PC was broken and he used it for about 4 months without any issues. I was shocked that it didn't freeze once! He never shut it down unless he had to run an update. He liked the MacBook so much that he bought an iMac of his own.

    DO NOT wait as little time as I did to turn it on after the water. My MacBook was closed, so not a whole lot of water got into it. Your MacBook was presumably open. I also live in Colorado, a very high and dry state. On a 90ºF day, you can dry a shirt (after it has been wrung out) in about 3 hours if it is left to dry in the flat position.
  7. movieboy23 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2007
    @AlphaDogg - OF COURSE they could see the logic board corrosion when they went to replace the inverter board and the display. The logic board is the MAIN component in the machine and manages the display, among other things. They have to detach the display cables from the logic board before they start replacing any other components.

    But aside from that, I have heard many stories about water spills being the best sort of spill you can have with your Mac. Sometimes it my dry out if you quickly discover it and leave the machine out to dry and other times it might not.

    hminks, try turning on the machine after a day in the cupboard (definitely don't want to cook that thing out in direct sunlight). If the machine still isn't working, then your logic board may be kaput, as well as some other components. But that doesn't necessarily mean that your hard drive is gone so all your documents may be recoverable.
  8. hminks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2011
    Thanks for the replies!

    Rest assured, my computer has been off and upside down for the past 51 hours, and I don't plan on trying to turn it on for at least another 9 hours or so, if not much longer.

    My BF suggested the sun/window because he knows I only get sun hitting my window until like 11am - besides, I live in England... it's hardly roasting :p It hasn't actually been sunny since Sunday morning. Right now the computer is alternating between laying keyboard down on a towel with the screen hanging off my desk, and being in an A shape in the airing cupboard. It's safe.

    Do any of you know what actually causes a Mac to freeze up like that? In all my 3 years of owning my laptop I've never seen it freeze relentlessly for hours on end. Hmm.
  9. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
    I have taken apart that MacBook soo many times since they found the water damage. The display cable is on TOP of the logic board, not on the bottom. This means that the logic board doesn't need to me removed. The inverter board is in the hinge cover, which still doesn't require for the logic board to be removed.
  10. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
  11. hminks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2011
    I'm letting it sit for another 8 hours - to make it a full 3 days. I'll be sure to update when I get the courage to turn it on in the morning! (it's midnight here fyi)
  12. hminks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 4, 2011
    Hey guys,

    So... I put the battery back into my computer, connected it to a power supply, andddd... *drum roll*... nothing. Nada. It won't turn on. The light for the power supply isn't on, as if it doesn't register that it's plugged into a computer. The battery shows 5 lights when the little button is pressed, but I guess that doesn't matter.

    So I decided I might as well crack her open and have a look to see if I can find any moisture or obvious signs of breakage. My warranty is already up (plus massive water damage would void it) so I can get away with opening it up without any repercussions.

    I followed an online guide, took up the keyboard... and it was filthy. Everything was covered in a thick layer of dust, plus a lot of accumulated fluff beneath all of the keys and in lots of the crevices.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    So I cleaned most of it very gently with some clean non-fluffy cotton buds and tweezers. I put it all back together and tried it once more - but no, no difference.

    I'm going to take it into an Apple Store to see if they can tell me what's wrong with it (other than a faulty fan, maybe?)
  13. fluffyx macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2007
    Yikes! It's certainly not a faulty fan, but it could be a few other things. The fact that the computer froze during the spill indicates probable logic board involvement, and that there's no light on the power adapter confirms it. I'll bet that, if you managed to remove the main logic board and the battery connector, you'd find massive visible damage on the underside of the battery connector. I wouldn't exactly recommend doing so yourself (it's not very easy, and there's a possibility for further damage), but this would be a third confirmation that it's a logic board issue. I know that's not what you want to hear :(. The good news is that your data and your hard drive is probably fine :).

    I hope this helps.

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