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Sell me your broken computer

Macbook Pro Water Damage Question

edited August 2011 in General
Hi John, its me again with another stupid question haha. Well I am still on my eBay mission. A few people are saying that after they spilt water on their MacBooks they continued to work fine for a few days before finally dying for good. They have also said the keyboard was working until the Mac died. From what you told me before that pretty much rules out a power button issue. I guess it must be water getting on the logic board. It just seems weird that it would take a few days for the water to reach the logic board. With the time of sitting there a few days and possible drying from the heat of the computer I wouldn't think liquid could hang around that long in there. What do you think?


  • Again, I would take what users say as a hint, but never as fact, because when you end up actually looking at the computer, 90% of the time it ends up being substantially different from what they have described. Not necessarily because they are blatantly lying, but because they are not technical, they have omitted elements that they simply didn't notice, and they have an interest in getting rid of the machine. Most people who liquid-damage machines turn them on almost immediately, or within an hour or two, which is simply not enough time, and causes computers to get fried. Of course they are going to say they waited a day or two, because they don't want to look like morons. When selling a computer people will always paint a pretty picture, just like a used care salesman will always say "it's all highway miles".

    I would say at least a day is necessary for a lot of liquid damage cases, maybe two, depending on how much is spilled. Yes, it is possible for the liquid to become further embedded and to continue to cause more damage -- especially in the cases of coffee, soda, and orange juice, which are corrosive substances and which continue to eat away at the board and cause problems. In those cases, the board should be taken out and cleaned immediately, and waiting any amount of time only increases the damage.

    At the end of the day, you have a dead machine. Like I mentioned, I never rule anything out completely, and the second I say power buttons never die, I'll probably run into a bad one. The DC-in can also get corroded and stop working, but that is rare, and most of the time it's the board. Probably the easiest fix that happens occasionally is that the RAM just needs to be re-seated, and each RAM slot tested. I've gotten more than a few machines working by doing just that, or discovering that a RAM slot is dead and the machine doesn't work with a module plugged in.

    Good luck!

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