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Water spill, laptop won't power on, power cord light turns off when plugged in to laptop

Posted on 2009-05-18
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    I spilt a glass of water on my Dell Inspiron E1505 a few days ago. The water was only spilt by the mouse pad and a little leaked in by the bottom row of keys on the keyboard. I turned it off immediately, soaked up all the water I could with paper towels, and let it sit to dry. When I picked it up and tilted it, brown water leaked out by the front right speaker, which I thought was kind of odd but assumed it was just the water mixing with dirt buildup (3 yr old laptop). I let it drain in this position for a few hours onto a paper towel.
     Last night (two and a half days after the spill), I tried to turn it on and the green power light came on for a split second then turned off. Following this, the laptop would not turn on in any way. I did not hear any strange noises or see any smoke. The green light on the power cord also turns off when plugged into the laptop (with or without the battery in). I've currently taken the laptop apart and have it this way.
     Is this a problem with the motherboard or could it be due to something else? Any ideas on why the power cord light turns off when plugged into the laptop? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:Blue_
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8 Comments
 
LVL 6

Accepted Solution

by:
KevinCovert earned 2000 total points
ID: 24418329
Sounds like the laptop is toast, I would say its the motherboard.  It is likely due to a shorted/fried motherboard that causes a safety feature in the power brick to disable the power when it senses a problem.  Sorry to say, but you may be in the market for a laptop now.

Hope you have better luck than what I suspect.

KMC
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Author Comment

by:Blue_
ID: 24418660
anyone else come to the same conclusion? Would it be worth it to have a repair shop take a look at it to make sure it's the motherboard?

I can buy a motherboard w/ shipping on ebay for about $170 if it is the motherboard and I choose to fix it myself. Would this be a risk as there could be more than the motherboard to fix?

I also stumbled across Laptop Rescuer on ebay:
http://cgi.ebay.com/MOTHERBOARD-REPAIR-DELL-INSPIRON-E1505-E1705-X200_W0QQitemZ140321624787QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item20abd212d3&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=66%3A2%7C65%3A1%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A0%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

Looks like they may be able to take a look at it for me.

Any comments on any of this?
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LVL 92

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24419095
if i have a liquid spill, i take the device apart as far as i can, or let it dry above a mild heater, or fan.
it is possible that the mix of water with dust is shorting things.
i would suggest to:
- take the board out, and rinse it with water, brush ir clean, and let it dry
-disconnect disk and cd drive, and all other removables, leave only 1 ram stick
when dry, try to boot, it should give a display; if not, it is likely bad.
you can aalso try booting from battery aline, or from AC alone
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:asidu
ID: 24421067
Strip up the laptop as suggested by nobus.
Make sure you take out the battery and all the accessories.
Use a hair drier to blow the mother board bone dry.

Take a look at the motherboard and see if you could see any damage
of components.

When booting up check and see if the fan comes in for a while.
If yes you may be in luck that POST is working. Try changing a good ram.
 
 
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Expert Comment

by:AtlasEVree
ID: 24421107
I agree with nobus.  I had a laptop several years back that one of my kids spilled water on and it took over 2 months before everything was working correctly (actually I had given up on it and was using a docking station since it was the keyboard and video that was not working).  If you are comfortable taking it apart then do that and dry it as nobus has suggested.
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Author Comment

by:Blue_
ID: 24424570
Thanks, I have a few more accessories to take out of it before I can get the motherboard out, and I haven't seen any visible damage yet. I'll give it a shot and hope for the best.
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Author Comment

by:Blue_
ID: 24436883
cleaned it out, dryed it good, and put it back together. Same dealio. I may be in the market for a new laptop. I'll send it out Laptop Rescuer to see what they'd charge. Thanks everyone. Discussion closed.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Blue_
ID: 31618529
Thanks for the answer.
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