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Old 11-22-2008, 07:41 PM   #1
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Default My brother spilled water...

...on his laptop (Acer Aspire 9500). It didn't turn off immediately. But when he went to boot it up the next time, this screen appeared:

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Originally Posted by Laptop Screen
For Realtek RTL8110S/8169S Gigabit Ethernet Controller v1.30 (041001)

PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM
My first instinct told me to go check the HDD. When I open it up there's some water with black stuff all over. I dry it up and use a compressed air can to clean debris. I take a closer look at the gold rings and some of them are black. The HDD is fried. That would explain the screen I keep getting. Because the HDD is fried it is trying to boot from the network, however there is no cable connected so it can't boot. The wireless also needs the HDD in order to run, so that type of network boot is gone, if it was even possible. The only thing I can try now is another HDD. But I want to ask you guys if anything on the motherboard could have been fried? I can still access the BIOS prior to boot, so that leads me to think it's fine. Also, I tried unscrewing the bottom plate, but there are some screws right underneath the screen. Anyone know how to remove the screen as a whole and not just the LCD? That would help me check for water in the motherboard.
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Old 11-23-2008, 04:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: My brother spilled water...

One thing to try if at all possible is to create like a Windows installation on a flash drive using another computer if you have one big enough and try booting from it. If you can successfully boot from it and don't have any kind of problems like freezing or random shutdowns, I would think it would be ok to buy another harddrive for the laptop and move on.
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: My brother spilled water...

Well...I decided to see if I can get a hold of a laptop HDD at school just for testing purposes. My dad has a laptop, but his HDD is SATA. I need ATA6.
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: My brother spilled water...

Try booting from an Ubuntu LiveCD
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: My brother spilled water...

Believe it or not I don't have a DVD burner. I just looted the optical drive I have from an old gateway.
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: My brother spilled water...

Yeah, but can't you use another PC and burn the LiveCD?

On the other hand, be careful...that HDD is gone, but what if the IDE circuitry is fried too? Just make sure for return policies for HDDs.

On the other hand, you're dang lucky to have it working.
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: My brother spilled water...

I would think that if I can access the BIOS the motherboard would be fine. I've never had to deal with a water incident before. I feel pretty guilt too because when he spilled he asked me if anything was going to f**k up. I was like "You'll be fine.". Of course I was pretty busy and I wasn't really paying attention; I assumed he spilled like a drop or two. I'm hoping that it is just a HDD issue. Regardless, I'm going to try and help him pay for it. If it isn't though, I'm going to try to salvage as much as I can. The LCD is very crisp (as this used to be my dad's laptop and he used it for 3D rendering and Virtual Reality stuff), there's 2 6-month old 1GB sticks of G. Skill RAM, and the Radeon Mobile X700. There's also the CPU. The only thing he'll be really losing is that motherboard. Also, if I can fix it, I'm going to tell him to get a separate keyboard so this incident doesn't happen again.
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Old 11-24-2008, 05:41 AM   #8
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Default Re: My brother spilled water...

You can get external keyboards with rubber stuff beneath they keys - Stops water damage. It'd be cool if laptops came with them!
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