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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Repairing a Water Damaged Laptop

By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff

Learn how to clean, dry, repair, and disinfect a laptop or notebook after water damageIt may be hard to believe, but the day of the desktop computer is coming to an end. Computers are becoming smaller and more efficient, and laptop computers offer one of the top conveniences, a wealth of information and processing ability that may be zipped up, slung under one arm and taken most anywhere. Unfortunately, as with most electronic devices, the wonder of the laptop may come to a grinding halt if it becomes exposed to or damaged by water.

If your laptop is the victim of an unfortunate spill, there are steps you can take to mitigate and repair the damage and prevent long term problems from settling in.

For starters, shut the unit off. Remove the battery and the A/C adapter. This will go a long way towards eliminating the most common possibility of the unit shorting out. Shorts may occur as soon as the water comes into contact with any powered circuit, so prompt shut down is essential. You should also disconnect any external devices, drives, etc., and then turn the unit upside down to prevent the water from traveling any deeper into the unit.

If you can reach any part of the spill, clean it up using towels or any lint free absorbent material. Some keyboards are designed to catch spills and prevent them from entering the unit. If this is the case with your machines, then pour out any visible liquid and clean the keyboard thoroughly.

Things to Take Caution

Beware of static discharge which may further damage the unit. Even a spark of static electricity from your hands may be more than enough to fry a computer's hard drive.

Be aware that if your laptop is under warranty, you will want to have a qualified technician handle any repairs.

Speaking of the drive, it may need to be removed if you are unable to get to the whole spill. Remember that any water or liquid in your unit is capable of causing corrosion to internal circuit boards. Most of us aren't comfortable taking our computer apart, so find a computer technician and have them pull the hard drive to protect data and remove as many cards or other drives as you can.

The unit should be cleaned and dried thoroughly, including the removal of any lint or particles that may be present in the circuitry. Be careful during the cleaning process. You may have to rinse off the area with water, but remember that water is what may cause the damage in the first place, so exercise extreme caution.

Once everything is dried out, put the laptop back together and see if it is working properly. If not, then a trip to your local computer repair professional is probably in order.

Recommended Reading
Clean, Dry, Repair and Disinfect Electronic Media
Recovering from Water Damage: Cleaning, Repairing and Disinfecting

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