Yet another macbook spillage

in Genius Bar edited January 2014

After managing to maintain a spill free macbook for four years yesterday night it finally happened. I was watching a movie when I accidentally spilled some beer right on the keyboard. I quickly cleaned it all up and as there seemed to be no trouble I was stupid enough to go on watching the film. When it was over I turned it off and everything seemed fine.

When I woke up this morning I turned it back on, logged in with my password without a problem and started surfing the internet. It didn't take long for the keyboard to start acting weird, first it would input random ks and dots when I wrote, then it started writing kkkkkkk.......kkkk.....k.k... wherever I set the mouse in a text box. Eventually the keyboard stopped working altogether. The surprising thing is that the backlight still works.

I now have my macbook hanging upside down without the battery on, for all the good that's gonna make. Do you think it will work again? My girlfriend had a similar problem on her pc laptop with a champaign spillage, apparently the keyboard stopped working for a while but eventually got back to normal. Any chance this will happen to my macbook? I had the machine for a long time now and I would hate having to replace it (let alone finding the money to do so).


  • Reply 1 of 3
    I just can't sympathize with you... I've had various laptops for 10+ years now, and I've NEVER spilled on or broken one.

    But... it sounds like you've got dried "gunk" under the keys... the problem seems to have shown up after the water and alcohol had time to evaporate.

    The keys CAN be removed individually, allowing you o clean the contact area underneath them. You'll have to do a little research on your own to determine exactly HOW they come loose (without breaking the plastic retaining tabs.)
  • Reply 2 of 3
    spotonspoton Posts: 645member
    One would think with all the innovation Apple supposedly puts into their hardware they could solve the simple matter of a water resistant keyboard.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    dayrobotdayrobot Posts: 133member
    Ok, here's what you need to do...

    You still have fluid in the keyboard, so the random k's and dots are because of an electrical short, and it's best to remove the keyboard altogether.

    It seems that newer Macbooks have no way to remove the keyboard individually, but older, pre- chicklet key machines do... please tell me what you have.

    If you have the old kind, there should be two empty keys at the top of the keyboard that can be turned with a flat screwdriver, and then the keyboard can just be lifted out. There is an orange cable that you'll need to unplug, but that's the only thing.

    With the newer machines, the entire top shell needs to be removed....

    You can just follow this guide up until the top shell is removed, and stop there.

    The type of connector that holds those flat orange cables has a plastic brace that comes up. That may need to be pulled up, both when removing the cable and when you are installing it again.

    If the keyboard is toast, even after drying for four days, you'll only need to buy a new keyboard/top shell. It's much cheaper than a new computer. But you said it's beer and not coke so you should be okay. Coke is waaay more corrosive, while beer/wine mostly causes electrical shorts, like water.

    Meanwhile, if you can see that there's no fluid on the motherboard, just leave the computer open and use a USB mouse and keyboard to go on with your daily tasks... it will boot just fine. Just make sure to keep your desk clear of fluids and pets.

    If you have any canned air duster stuff, you can blast the removed keyboard with that, to force the fluid out faster...

    Anyway, i reeeally hope you will take the keyboard off... it's not gonna dry that easily when it's installed

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