“Dad, I spilled water on my laptop and now it won’t power on.” That was how the conversation started. I wasn’t too confident that we could recover it, especially since she said she tried to power it on repeatedly, (“so it would warm up and dry faster.”) *sigh* I obviously hadn’t trained her properly.

OK, I had her unplug power, and the battery, and leave it for a couple days. No dice. Did I mention she was 300 miles away at college? Fortunately, she was coming home for the weekend, so upon arrival, I completely disassembled the laptop and found a few spots that showed evidence of water damage. There was white residue in a couple spots, and in one particular location, a miniature crystal garden was forming on the motherboard. Well, I’ve watched enough Tekzilla that I reached for the isopropyl alcohol (the 91% stuff, not the cheap 70% stuff. Patrick Norton would be proud.) and took the motherboard to the kitchen sink. I generously bathed the circuit board in alcohol, and gently scrubbed the worst spots with an old soft-bristled toothbrush. Then, I put the mobo back in the laptop case, but I left the rest of the parts out and placed it near a heat register in the house for 24 hours.

The next night, I carefully reassembled everything and hesitantly powered it on. SUCCESS! Other than having to set the clock again, everything worked normally. Sure glad I bought that $3 bottle of rubbing alcohol!

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