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Laptop Sat in Coffee - Lost Cause?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by marbled, Sep 14, 2003.

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  1. marbled

    marbled Thread Starter

    Aug 28, 2003
    One of the users at my school discovered on Friday that her laptop had been sitting in a small puddle of coffee for most of the day. The memory slots are on the bottom of the machine (Compaq Presario 1625 laptop).

    When I opened the bay, the RAM was wet with coffee and I could see that coffee had gotten through the plastic coat onto the MotherBoard. I took the RAM out and let the machine sit open (to dry out) for the weekend. Is there any hope that I can revive this machine without buying new parts?

    I tried to power it up yesterday (after one day of drying) with no luck. I hear a click from the speakers when I plug in the power cord, but the LCD for the power doesn't show any activity, nor will the machine even pretend to power on.
  2. zeddy


    May 3, 2003
    It is amazing just how far a cup of coffee can get to unless you really took the laptop apart fully it is difficult to ensure it was dried out completely. It does not sound hopeful.
  3. putasolution


    Mar 20, 2003
    Leave it to dry for a couple of days, you might want to take it apart and paint a layer of toluene on it to try and remove any coffee residuals
  4. Annorax


    Aug 11, 2003
    This does not sound good. You might need to replace some parts, but let it dry off and try to remove the coffe.
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

    Oct 19, 2002
    Actually, believe it or not, the best RX would be to wash it! You'll obviously have to disassemble it, but getting the contaminants out of there is of primary importance if you want it to work again.

    I had a laptop that the guy dumped a Coke into, which is about the worst thing you can pour on electronic equipment! However, his good move was calling me right away, and he brought it right over. We took it apart, and washed the keyboard, MB, and several smaller boards and switches. After a couple of days to thoroughly dry, I reassembled it, and it's as good as new.

    The longer the contaminant stays on the parts, the worse it will be.

    FYI, many (most?) PCB manufacturing facilities nowadays use acid based flux and a water wash for assembly. The wash is quite through, and the PCB's survive just fine. :)
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