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Old 03-08-2009, 03:17 PM   #1
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Default Coffee Accident

Hey guys,

To start off I'm very computer literate, web design/hardware/programming, however I've encountered an interesting problem. This morning I was woke up to my mom telling me that she spilled her coffee on her laptop. She said she immediately flipped it back over. She said that it fell right where the power button is... GREAT! She then proceeded to take apart the back. Which is exactly what I would have done. This is where I came in... I pulled all of the plates off of the back, pulled the HDD-Battery-RAM and am letting it all dry out in the mean time.

To make things worse all of her business information is on the hard drive, that is all we are worried about. I put her HDD in the secondary slot in my laptop and its not working. I went into BIOS and ran a HDD test. HDD failed.

After a bit I put her computer back together and plugged in the power... nothing, no lights to indicate it was even getting power.

This is an ACER 4250 about a year and a half to two years old. I'm wondering if there is a safety feature on these computers that enable when they get wet to protect them?

Any suggestions?

I'm starting to believe in FUBAR...

TIA
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: Coffee Accident

How long did you leave it out to dry for? As a rule, after any electronic has been exposed to moisture, you are supposed to wash it down with distilled water, and leave it out to dry for a few days.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Coffee Accident

Yeah... not very long she said she started it up after she dried it out with a hair dryer...

*facepalm*
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Coffee Accident

Many computer business have a program or machine of sorts that can "Freeze" a hard drive and get all the info off.

It will ruin the HD but you can get all the information off of it onto another HD.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:41 PM   #5
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Default Re: Coffee Accident

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Originally Posted by HiddenTalent View Post
Yeah... not very long she said she started it up after she dried it out with a hair dryer...

*facepalm*
Even if you dry it with a hairdryer, it takes a long time for the silicon chips to fully dry.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:42 PM   #6
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Default Re: Coffee Accident

Yes, I understand... I'm having her rinse it with distilled water then let it dry a couple days...

Then we will be looking into HDD recovery locations.
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Old 03-08-2009, 03:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Coffee Accident

Do it briefly, don't soak it. Also, when leaving it out to dry, you can opt to leave it in a container with silica gel or plain uncooked rice. Those wick out moisture very efficiently.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:14 PM   #8
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Default Re: Coffee Accident

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Originally Posted by HiddenTalent View Post
Then we will be looking into HDD recovery locations.
That may cost you a lot of money......

Besides spilling coffee on it, the next biggest mistake was attempting to power it up too soon. You never NEVER power up an electronic device that has been wet until it's been fully dried, that means a few days minimum. It might have had a chance if you hadn't tried to power it up, but now I don't know. Give it a whirl but I'd start shopping for a new laptop.

Edit: And when she does get a new laptop up and running with businees info on it, implement a backup plan and do weekly backups of the business info. If something like this happens again, you'll hopefully only lose a few days worth of info.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Coffee Accident

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That may cost you a lot of money......

Besides spilling coffee on it, the next biggest mistake was attempting to power it up too soon. You never NEVER power up an electronic device that has been wet until it's been fully dried, that means a few days minimum. It might have had a chance if you hadn't tried to power it up, but now I don't know. Give it a whirl but I'd start shopping for a new laptop.
Uhm, I completely agree with you, however it was not ME who powered it up. It was powered back up by my mom before I knew anything about it happening.

I know that HDD recovery might cost a lot of money, but the money lost in losing the sensitive information on the HDD is more important!

The computer is being taken in this morning. I'll let you guys know what happens...
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:21 PM   #10
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Default Re: Coffee Accident

I just don't understand why people don't back up, or triple-back up sensitive data.
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