Water Damaged Laptop Repair Tips

Water damaged laptop? Gone forever or can it be fixed? Most people make the mistake of thinking that their laptop is dead just because they spilt water on its keyboard or dropped it in a puddle of water. While in the fair majority of cases laptops do get damaged beyond repair when it comes in contact with water but there are certain things you can do to prevent further damage. There are also a few things you can do to reverse whatever little damage water may have done to the innards of your laptop. However, the thing you need to keep in mind with laptop repairs is that they can be tricky and taking apart your laptop requires some experience with disassembling electronics. So, only do it if you feel comfortable or rush it off to the nearest service center for repairs.

Remove the keyboard immediately

In the majority of cases you would have spilled either a glass of water, tea or coffee on your laptop via your keyboard. So, the first thing you should do is to turn off your laptop and remove your keyboard. In most laptops removing the keyboard will entail undoing the hinges around the keyboard, lifting it up and removing the cable which attaches to the motherboard. This will allow you to inspect if any of the liquid has touched the motherboard beneath. Simply clean the keyboard and then the motherboard using a dry rag and some alcohol. Then once dry put everything back together and turn it on. The key here to make sure that there is no stickiness left behind especially if you have spilled tea, coffee or any other beverage.

Soaked with water

You may have left your laptop out on the porch only to later find it was out in the rain that soaked it. This type of laptop repair can be difficult and even experts agree that it’s a hit or miss situation. If your laptop was on when it was raining then its most probably fried, which means that you’ll need a professional laptop repair shop to replace the burnt components. However, if your laptop was off with the cover down when it rained then there is still a chance that it can be salvaged. You’ll need to take apart your laptop and make sure dry it with a clean cloth prior to leaving it out in the sun to dry or use a hair dryer. Once all the components are dry you can put it back together and turn it back on. There is a 50 / 50 chance that it will work.

Use lots of tissue

One way to dry your laptop in a hurry is to use lots of tissue paper. There are many laptop repair people who also use tissue paper to dry a soaking laptop but special care should be taken to ensure that the tissue does not get lodged within the keyboard, motherboard and other components. A lodged tissue can cause damage to your laptop. Some people may find that using a cotton towel is a lot better and safer than using tissue.

Don’t immediately turn your laptop on

The biggest mistake that people make is to turn on their laptop after leaving it out in the sun to dry. While this may be the approach of choice for cell phones that have been soaked in water this is not the right approach for your laptop. There are various small components, nooks and crannies within the laptop that can be left wet even after several hours in the sun. The other drawback to leaving a soaked laptop in the sun is that components within your laptop can become corroded which makes repairing a laptop difficult if not near impossible. So, before you dry everything it will need to be disassembled.

Claim warranty

If your laptop is currently under warranty it is strongly suggested that you take it to the company’s service center. Attempting laptop repair on your own can void the warranty which can be for up to 3 years, if you’ve purchased extended warranty.

About the Author

Mark is a laptop repair specialist who has a degree in electronics. He is a certified laptop technician and over the years has repaired almost every type of laptop available. According to him even the most tightly integrated laptops can be repaired provided that the right equipment be used along with knowledge of the components.

Photo credit: Sean MacEntee
Citation: iPad Repair

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