EeePC: Surviving liquid spills

Posted by – 30/04/2009

Last few months since I got my EeePC have been a lot of fun. Playing and tweaking the little bastard is a joy in the end of a busy day. Besides, since I loaded it with the most useful SysAdmin tools, it became a powerful device in my “tool belt”.

Unfortunately, I’ve been stupid enough to drink a glass of orange juice while messing with it. I know, I know! Silly thing to do. I should know better! But life is like that… I spilled a few drops over it. Of course, the web is pouring off information on what to do in cases like this, so I’ll just summarize what I did:

  1. Imediatelly, without thinking or questioning, I turned it upside down and removed the battery. It was a clumsy thing to do… I ended up spilling the rest of my orange juice on the floor while worrying about the EeePC. Concearns about filesystem corruption (or whatever) crossed my mind, but I can always deal with that later… First things first!
  2. I went online in another computer and found out how to disassemble it. For me it was easy, since I got other two computers at home… but if I needed to leave it there while looking for information, I would! If it’s upside down and has no power whatsoever (the battery was removed), it’s safe, I think. The information was easily found. I decided I didn’t need to disassemble all of it, but having those information at hand was pretty useful.
  3. I began by removing the keyboard. It’s tricky but not difficult. The secret relies on the spring-mounted tabs near the screen. I checked for spills under it and cleaned with a cotton swab.
  4. I was not very confortable to open the case, but I decided that turning it back on without checking the electronic parts first was too risky. So I said “goodbye” to my warranty and unscrewed the 6 screws from the bottom and the 9 from the silver casing under the keyboard.
  5. There I found some little drops! Good decision to open it up! I dried it using cotton swabs again.
  6. Before putting it all together, I decided to leave it open until the next day. I was pretty sure everything was dry again, but “better safe than sorry”. The next day I successfully assembled it and turned it on. Great! Everything worked fine.

Now… that was just what worked for me. My EeePC is back, fully restored but, of course, the warranty is void 🙁 So I cannot recommend you to do the same. Best advice I can tell you: Keep liquids away your EeePC!

4 Comments on EeePC: Surviving liquid spills

  1. spectra says:

    @Stefano,

    Right. Although the EeePC is the first (note|net)book I ever owned, I have a friend who’s spilled water over his HP notebook just some months before. So, what he did was still fresh in my memory…

    @SynrG,

    Interesting… I wasn’t aware of this… I’ll check for sure. Thanks.

  2. Gunnar Wolf says:

    Ugh.

    You made me remember an incident that happened to me ~four years ago. I had decided to buy a new laptop, and my previous machine (by then, a quite aging Compaq Armada 4120 – Pentium @120MHz, 32MB RAM) became my home server, running my personal homepage, mail and file server.

    One day, one of my cats decided to pee on it. While it was running.

    We realized probably a day later, because of the smell. Of course, I was not in a “OMG OMG TURN IT OFF FAST!” mood, as the machine was still alive, but I was anyhow frightened regarding whether it would end up dying.

    Opened the machine and carefully cleaned it with soft, wet cloth. Everywhere. The machine came happily back to life.

    It continued to be my server at least for one more year. As of today, it is retired – but still able to boot. Amazing.

  3. SynrG says:

    Check the laws in your country. There was a big flap over this back when the Eee PC was first released about the warranty warning and Asus later issued a clarification of their policy, at least so far as breaking the sticker for the purpose of upgrading the RAM is concerned. See: http://wiki.eeeuser.com/warranty_position_on_ram_upgrade

    Glad to hear the Eee is OK!

  4. Well, you’ve done the right actions, and the eee has proven to be quite solid.
    I’m sure you’ll never drink anything over your (note|net)book 🙂

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