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 Post subject: Wet 17" powerbook
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2008 10:30 am 
I'm looking for advice as to whether I should risk continuing to use my water damaged powerbook or replace it. Replacing it is gonna hurt, but I can swing it if I have to.

Here's the drill - Thursday night (sometime after 11pm), my roof leaked due to an ice dam. As luck would have it, it leaked right next to my 17" powerbook. Fun times. Whatever was leaking had stopped by the time I got up in the morning at 6am.

I had left the machine open and it was asleep. When I turned it on, I noticed a few small drops of water on the trackpad (I assumed I had some condensation on my hands and had just gotten it wet), but also quickly saw that the trackpad wasn't actually working. The pad on the thing has always been twitchy, so at first I just thought it was acting up more. So I left the machine on as I searched around for things to try.

That's when my wife came down and asked why the carpet was all wet. That's when I discovered that the DVI port was saturated with water.

yank the power, yank the battery, rant and scream.

With the battery out, there was clearly some water on the inside of the case above the battery. I unhooked the ram door and pulled out the ram. One of the screws on the logic board was slightly moist, but that was the extent of anything in there.

On the right side of the machine, the ports were soaking wet. Especially the DVI port. I propped it up on its side with the DVI port down for a few hours (visible water pooled out from the port, then switched it so it was sitting keyboard facing down in a teepee position.

I can't say for sure exactly how much water got on the machine. There was a fair bit on the floor (say a 2x3 foot section of carpet that was wet), and some papers next to the laptop got soaked. So a lot of water came down, but I don't know how much of it got onto the machine. It's snow melt, so fairly clean, other than whatever grit it picked up as it soaked through my wall or off of the roof.

Fast forward to this morning. I powered it back up. Initially, It didn't get past the blue screen, so I restarted and it came up completely. It's mostly working. Several keys are completely non functional (f, o, y, +, eject, f11, f12). The dvd drive seems...twitchy. First disc I tried to burn failed (I've never had a failure before). 2 subsequent tests worked. It seems slow to eject discs.

It's recognizing all the ram, there doesn't seem to be any data loss on the hard drive (I was fully backed up anyway), and all the ports are working. All I can say for sure is that the keyboard looks fritzed and the dvd drive is twitchy.

So my question - is there any way that I can determine if that's all the damage? Or can I assume I'm in the clear and just need to replace those two parts? If I can get by just replacing the keyboard and dvd drive, I'm ecstatic. But realistically if the machine is running on borrowed time and there's a good chance that something internally could be damaged and waiting to short out, I'd be inclined to replace it sooner rather than later.

Even if I do replace the box, I'm inclined to get the parts anyway. It'd just be relegated to a backup machine as opposed to my main critical computer to use. So if it does end up fritzing out in 3 months, it's a nuisance, but no big loss.

Any suggestions?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2008 12:08 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 27, 2003 6:35 am
Posts: 977
Water damage will usually affect the logic board. It'd probably be best to let a professional look at it, inspect the components inside for water damage, and see if its salvageable.

From your description however it looks like a multiple part failure, which if it needs a logic board as well, it probably isn't worth fixing.


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