In today’s world, the laptop has become one of the most important necessities in our everyday lives. It plays a crucial role in our professional work and is definitely of great help.
The prime advantage that a laptop possess is its portability and light-weight. Most laptops have a monitor port as well as a USB port, to enable plugging in of a keyboard, mouse and an external screen in order to utilize it as if it were a desktop computer.
These compatible and portable features that a laptop bears allows you to carry it with you pretty much everywhere.
You work on your laptop in cars, trains, airplanes and even at a local café. But the point of concern is that every place you go gives rise to a new risk to your laptop’s safety.
Anything that you eat or drink may end up on the keyboard of your laptop, and if it’s a liquid then it can pose a serious problem.
Coffee, carbonated soft drinks, water, oil, beer, wine or soup, all of them have a similar effect on laptops and they end up becoming inoperative.
Now let us try to understand the reason behind this as well as the answer to what should you do in case you spill on your laptop.
Why does the laptop stop functioning?
The spilled liquid gets under the laptop keys and prevents them from working in either of the two ways: –
1) It stops the keys from terminating the electrical connection which construes a keypress.
2) Or makes it constantly closed, stimulating a key which is being suppressed.
The liquid may also permeate to the motherboard of the laptop or sometimes, even to the battery.
If this happens, then you should remove the battery and call a Service Centre so that they can disconnect the storage device and consequently, fix it as an external device to some other computer.
You don’t need to panic in such a situation because you will be able to access or recover your old files from the other computer as the content is retrievable and can be copied to a portable USB device.
There are very fewer chances that the liquid spill can cause damage to the storage device. The housing of rotating disk drive has only a very small hole so that the internal and external air pressure is adjusted and balanced well to avoid the contact of dust with the rotating platter.
Solid-state drives are uninfluenced by the presence of liquid near them as they are protected by an enclosed chip.
Saving your laptop from liquid damage following a spill
1) Turn off the laptop and unplug the power cable
If the laptop is taking time, then go-ahead for a hard shut down because even a few extra moments can cause a short circuit, resulting in permanent damage to internal components. Hence, time is an essential aspect here.
In order to detach the device from the power supply, remove the charger cable present on either the left or the right side of the laptop.
The faster you turn off the laptop, the greater chance you have to save the laptop from any harm. Also, remove the battery if possible, because once the liquid penetrates to the rechargeable batteries, it will result in a short out.
In some laptops, batteries contain a simple latch while in others, you need to unfasten the whole backplate in order to take them out.
2) Clear away any remaining liquid from the laptop
Next, quickly remove any excess liquid from the laptop with the help of a soft cloth such as a filament-free absorptive fabric and make sure that you don’t use a rubbing motion that pushes about the spilled liquid.
Clearing away assures to reduce any further exposure of your laptop to more liquid, and will minimize the threat of electrical shock.
3) Turn the laptop upside-down.
Now gently turn the laptop upside down and place it over a towel or an absorbent cloth on a flat surface, so that the liquid can drain out. Do not shake the laptop. This step will help you to empty out the excess liquids that you weren’t able to reach.
You may also remove the backplate and wipe the components with an absorbent cloth including the front and back of the screen, mouse and the laptop’s housing, before allowing the laptop to drain well.
4) Detach all the external hardware
The items like any external drives, external network cards, controllers, the charger cable, USB devices, memory cards, etc. should be removed for laptop safety.
5) Place your laptop on the towel as wide as possible
You can speed up the process of draining by placing the laptop as wide open as possible depending on its pliability and directing the fan towards the liquid for faster evaporation.
6) Make sure to ground yourself before coming in contact with the internal components
You must ground yourself before touching the RAM Cards or the hard drive as static electricity can result in killing circuitry and grounding will clear away any steady electricity from your clothes or body.
7) Pat the internal parts gently to dry them up
Be sure to carefully attend to the external components that you removed, such as the mouse.
You can easily clear away any of the non-water stains or utilize the constantly moving compressed air to remove dust, dirt or other kinds of the liquid remnant. The laptop should be left to dry for at least 24 hours and must be stored in a warm and dry place.
8) Reassemble the removed components and turn on the laptop
Once your laptop dries up, reattach the external components and switch on the laptop. If it starts up successfully, then try to check the external media and a few programs to make sure that the laptop is working.
Following these steps will help you to clean up the spilled liquid and protect your laptop from any further damage. In case the laptop fails to reboot due to a technical glitch in audio or display, then you should take the laptop to a certified laptop repair store.