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MacBook Pro spill cleanup

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Mockingbird    2,938

So, still talking about the same MacBook Pro.

The laptop lid was closed at the time the spill. Water was then sucked into the laptop through the fans and the laptop immediately lost power.

Obviously, what she should have done was to take it immediately to me.

Anyway, from the under side (the side visible from removing the cover), I was able to find three spots of corrosions: two spots close to one fan and one spot close to the other fan. (One spot is under a transistor)

Since I don't have the right screwdrivers, I am currently unable to remove the motherboard so it's possible there are more corrosions on the other side.

----

What's my best options here?

I plan to remove the motherboard and wipe the affected spots with isopropyl alcohol and cross my fingers.

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Mockingbird    2,938

2i1m6x5.jpg

33dz5w6.jpg

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+fusi0n    2,132

All you can do, is take it part and inspect the logic board the best you can.. You are on the right track.. Macbook Pros also have a metal housing under the keyboard to help with spills.. If someone spills something on the keyboard, it should catch it.. but speakers is another issue..

I was at a party a few weekends ago and a chick had a fireball gun that shot fireballs shots into peoples mouths.. She was talking to me and didn't realize that she was pulling the trigger down and it drenched my Macbook.. It didn't make it.. 

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Mockingbird    2,938

She should have brought it straight to me instead of waiting a week.

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Jared-    577

It's a lemon. 

I'd stop wasting my time, hand it back, and say time for a new machine. You can't work wonders. 

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Ph1b3r0pt1c    193

Actually you can, and I have done this probably 50 times. that screwdriver is a 5 point torx, apple uses them in everything. If you can get the logic board out, take some johnsons baby shampoo, and some reg water, put the shampoo on the board, get it wet. scrub it good over the corrosion, and rinse the board off. Hit it with a hair dryer, or if you have it, a heat gun. Let it sit for 24/48 hours, put it back in and see if it works. I used to work for simply mac, and this is how i handled sticky stuff spilled in macbooks. You may need to buy a new topcase though, around 150$ on ebay, just make sure you get the right one

 

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Mockingbird    2,938
Crossing my fingers!
 
 
 
m80dw5.jpg
 
 
 
1zldj4l.jpg
 
 
 
w03t02.jpg

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Mockingbird    2,938

Drat!

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Mockingbird    2,938

So, with the help of my EE friend, I was able to determined that the cause of the failure is a single blown capacitor on the motherboard (or logic board for you apple fans).

Apparently, there is someone who is willing to do components repair for $300. What should I advise her?

This is the Late 2011 MacBook Pro 17-inch with Intel Core i7 Sandy Bridge processor and 4 GB RAM.

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Jared-    577

Advise her to buy a new laptop.

The early and late 2011 MacBook Pro's were lemons - I know, I fried mine.

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Brian M.    778

The photos aren't great, but I can't see any obviously blown caps on the board...

Have you tried booting a minimal system? Try to boot (with the components outside of the casing) just the MLB and I/O board (there are power on pads you can short to turn it on). If that doesn't work, try just the MLB and battery. That's the easiest way to test whether the MLB is at fault.

The machine is at the point now where it's not worth repairing really. Unless you can work out which cap has blown and try to replace it yourself - $300 for what is likely a 50c cap and a few minutes with a soldering iron seems insane.

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Jose_49    1,079

Have you ever tried putting it on rice? Literally rice absorbs humidity and works wonder with lots of devices. Could try it out after 1 - 2 days and see if it does something!

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+John.    1,396

Unfortunately I don't think you'll get $300 for it working, let alone in the condition it's in. 

Best is to try and sell it for parts. People are still willing to pay a fair bit for the enclosures etc, and suggest she put the cost towards a new MacBook

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n_K    2,610

$300 to change a capacitor? Lol, wow, that price is extortion. Should cost $30 at most (if someone rounds up the time it takes them). 5 minute job if that.

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zhangm    1,359

Not worth repairing IMO. Dump it on Ebay "as-is" or have your computing department recycle it.

However, if you plan on trying a fix, note that PCBs in many modern portable devices are designed to absorb and distribute heat. This helps dump heat by allowing it to radiate across a large surface area. This also happens to make soldering on these boards an absolute nightmare, because it can be difficult to heat a small point up to the temperature necessary to melt the solder while not destroying the component that you want to swap. This board also almost certainly uses lead-free solder. This stuff may have a higher melting temperature than you might expect.

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Mockingbird    2,938

I have an update on this.

 

For whatever reason, the computer won't power on with the keyboard connected.

 

With the keyboard disconnected, I am able to power it on with the power-on pads on the motherboard.

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+fusi0n    2,132
4 minutes ago, illegaloperation said:

I have an update on this.

 

For whatever reason, the computer won't power on with the keyboard connected.

 

With the keyboard disconnected, I am able to power it on with the power-on pads on the motherboard.

Sounds like the cable on the board is shorted or the actual keyboard is shorted. Some keyboards on eBay come with the cable. 

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Mockingbird    2,938
23 minutes ago, fusi0n said:

Sounds like the cable on the board is shorted or the actual keyboard is shorted. Some keyboards on eBay come with the cable. 

Okay, I will buy one.

Edited by illegaloperation

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c.grz    391
26 minutes ago, fusi0n said:

Sounds like the cable on the board is shorted or the actual keyboard is shorted. Some keyboards on eBay come with the cable. 

Could still be the motherboard, whatever it uses to communicate with the keyboard.  Where's the picture of the blown capacitor?  I took an ASUS router with a blown capacitor to an electronics store and had the capacitor replaced for $20 in less than half an hour.

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Mockingbird    2,938
13 minutes ago, c.grz said:

Could still be the motherboard, whatever it uses to communicate with the keyboard.  Where's the picture of the blown capacitor?  I took an ASUS router with a blown capacitor to an electronics store and had the capacitor replaced for $20 in less than half an hour.

If you look at the top picture, you'll see a yellow spot.

 

In fact, the image below it, I've marked it in red (one on the right).

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Mockingbird    2,938

A replacement keyboard is relatively cheap.

 

I am going to replace the keyboard and see what goes on from there.

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Mockingbird    2,938

It has been a few weeks since I've completed the repair (and also with a brand new battery as requested) and the laptop is running fine.

 

Annoyingly, she still hasn't pick up the computer nor paid me.

 

Every time I call her, she said that will get it "soon".

My contract gives her 90 days after the completion of the repair to get the computer so it looks like I will be waiting a while.

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Jared-    577

I  bet she doesn't come and collect it. 

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T3X4S    4,533

Stories like this make me glad my tech days are over.
Any repairs I do now are for friends and family so I dont have to worry about not getting paid as I dont charge them anything - 

But they also know I am quick with the "just go get a new one - you got your money's worth out of it"

But good job on the repair

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