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my first computer disaster


lappir

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For the first time since going to a laptop as my primary computer I apparently let my guard down. I spilled liquid on the keyboard. Several ounces. I then watched as the screen showed me that I couldn't just wipe it off. I immediately turned the unit over and pulled the power supply and battery. It has had a fan blowing across it all night.

 

How long do I wait until I try to power it back up, or do I just go buy a replacement and find someone to recover my data? Have been thinking about an upgrade but Nad planned to wait until after the New year.

 

Thanks,

 

Rod

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Diet or sugared? Sugared - say bye to the keyboard. But replacing keyboard is pretty cheap. I got a replacement for my old laptop for $25.00 on ebay and replacing is pretty easy. Plenty of YouTube videos with step by step for most models.

 

Even if you get a new laptop - make sure it has two hard drive interior slots. Since your hard drive is probably OK, you can just move it to the new laptop as a secondary drive.

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Rod, drying is the key to the first step, but even once dry there is risk to doing a test of it. I guess it just depends upon how critical to you the data on the computer is about what I would do next. To answer your question, the time required to completely dry out will depend upon how wet things were, how far inside it got, and the temperature & humidity of the blowing air. I would give it at least 24 hours before any testing. If things are critical, you should take it to a shop and they will disassemble it to visually check for any remaining signs of moisture or remains of the drink before applying power.

 

As others have stated, the kind of drink is a major factor. Distilled water seldom causes any problems once dry because it leaves no residual contamination. Most drinks do leave something behind that can cause problems and sugar is one of the worst. Coffee that has cream & sugar is really nasty as is a carbonated drink. If this was anything of that type, you need it cleaned inside before you power up. If just water, you probably will be OK but there is no sure way of knowing without disassembly and even then there is a risk that the damage has already been done.

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The drying out process has been discussed quite a bit but there is another side to this issue as well. To get into the other side of the issue, this points out why backing up our data is so important. Not only is backing up so important, but Imaging the entire hard drive regularly will let you get things back much quicker. If, for example, instead of spilling a liquid, you get a bad virus that wipes things out just as surely as the liquid spill, what do you do? This is where a full system Image allows you to format and restore the entire HD in about 20 minutes right back to where it was when you created the Image. (Cloning is similar to Imaging except that Imaging allows multiple copies of the system backup on the same recovery media).

 

Using the Recovery Drive on your PC will get you back to the factory setup, but just think how many changes you have made since you first got your new PC. An Image will save ALL those changes in the compressed Image file so that all apps and customizations will be recovered as well. Now with an up to date backup of your data, you are back into business in less than an hour.

 

Sorry to have diverged from the original question but I felt the backup issue is too important to not mention in this discussion.

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I can attest to the fact that 2013-2014 has been a rough couple of years for our computers--some red wine spills (nasty stuff on electronics) and objects falling out of cupboards. I've learned my lesson with regard to backups! ;)

 

I'm currently using two external drives, one of which has an image of my drive and the other has all my pictures and documents files in their native, uncompressed formats. That way I can either replace my hard drive and use the image, if the drive should fail, or I can transfer all the important files to a new computer, if this one fails totally. I even have an entirely spare computer, my older Core i7 Inspiron, which I resurrected after destroying both its keyboard and LCD screen.

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Just a reminder to all of another great use for having an image of your computer drive.

 

The recent rash of ransomware hacker attacks , where your computer is encrypted and you have to pay an untraceable ransom(often several hundred dollars) to (maybe) get the encryption key and recover your data.

 

Similar to a drive dying or drowning or dropping your laptop/phone/tablet etc.( You lose all your data.)

 

That image is a great way to get it all back! ;)

 

I dropped my phone in the toilet recently and doused it in 91% alcohol , then put it in front of my rig's dash heater vent for a 3 hour drive.........powered it up and back to normal operation. I was lucky.....I wasn't stepping on the flush pedal !!!!

 

Good luck with your fix. Several good ideas posted here.

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I poured a cup of coffee on the keyboards of two laptops over an 18 month period before I got the one I have now. I use an online backup so I never lose any data. You ask why I didn't try to fix the two? A cup of coffee isn't too bad you say? That might be right on the coffee, but each cup had a shot of Bailey's in it. I didn't even try to save them because of the Bailey's and they were $400.00 laptops anyway.

 

Now the one I have now is much nicer and I keep my coffee cup far away.

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I poured a cup of coffee on the keyboards of two laptops over an 18 month period before I got the one I have now. I use an online backup so I never lose any data. You ask why I didn't try to fix the two? A cup of coffee isn't too bad you say? That might be right on the coffee, but each cup had a shot of Bailey's in it. I didn't even try to save them because of the Bailey's and they were $400.00 laptops anyway.

 

Now the one I have now is much nicer and I keep my coffee cup far away.

 

Fortunately for me, we had several Dell Inspirons with the same size screen. A YouTube video showed me how to remove the broken screen from my Core i7 unit and replace it with the one from my dying Core i3 laptop. Keyboard swaps on Dell's are easy but I ended up "washing" the wine off the damaged one since the BIOS didn't seem to like the other one.

 

But, I also have a new Toshiba with an i7 and 16GB of RAM which is so much faster that now the old i7 is a spare; just in case there is another disaster. ;)

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If it is a Dell, you can send it in to Dell, (They will even send you the box) They had us remove the hard drive, and send in the unit. They upgraded it, cleaned it, replaced whatever we needed to be replaced did the whole enchilada for $ 199.00. I practically got a whole new computer (with the old hard drive) for way less than what a new computer would be.

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Not a Dell. Toshiba, has been a good computer for the past 4 to 5 years. Thinking about a touch screen, use them at work and seem to poke the screen often at home and wonder for an instant why it doesn't respond. Wonder how much different the home version is compared to business. May go out today and see what's on sale.

 

Rod

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Picked up another Toshiba yesterday at the local BJ's Wholesale, $50 less there than any of the surrounding Best Buy, Office Max, Office Depot and Costco. Almost went with one of the new "All in One" Desktops but when comparing RAM, most of them had only 4 GB and the laptop has 12 GB also there were the Intel vs AMD processors.

 

I got a 15.6 inch screen, 12GB RAM,1TB hard drive for under $800. But I may take it back. This Windows 8.1 is CRAP you have to be on line to sign into the computer and there is so much wasted memory on games and lot's of other stuff that I will never use. Of course the things I would use are only trial versions and you have to pay more to actually use them.

 

The keyboard is good. on this model, it has larger keys and they are spaced with part of the base and just not a keyboard dropped in a hole. The touch pad is quite sensative and I haven't found a way to turn it off yet. On my previous Toshiba, there was a small button at the bottom that would deactiate the touch. I'd rather use a mouse most of the time anyway.Really haven't had much luck with the touch screen. it's sure not like the Android.

 

The big question is if I decide to turn this one back in what do I need to do to remove all of my private data that was required just to get to the start page on the PC. They always say they require all the private information to keep you safe. Well allowing me to keep my information private in my own way would be much better. IF someone else doesn't have that information they can't lose it.

 

I know you can always make up the information but what good is that, and how do you remember what is not real????? It took me 15 minutes to get signed into the computer this morning. It kept asking me for the last password I used since I wasn't "ON LINE". Finally I had to bring up my Foxfi, was able to sign into the Microsoft site and change my password and delete all the emails from them regarding the wrong password and changing of my password. Will I remember what I changed it to tomorrow? I don't know. The funny part is when I came to this site my password was remembered. Guess since I was using Foxfi it remembered the something.

 

Rod

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Picked up another Toshiba yesterday at the local BJ's Wholesale, $50 less there than any of the surrounding Best Buy, Office Max, Office Depot and Costco. Almost went with one of the new "All in One" Desktops but when comparing RAM, most of them had only 4 GB and the laptop has 12 GB also there were the Intel vs AMD processors.

 

I got a 15.6 inch screen, 12GB RAM,1TB hard drive for under $800. But I may take it back. This Windows 8.1 is CRAP you have to be on line to sign into the computer and there is so much wasted memory on games and lot's of other stuff that I will never use. Of course the things I would use are only trial versions and you have to pay more to actually use them.

 

 

 

I also enjoy my new Toshiba; mine has 16GB of RAM and very powerful Core i7 processor. Yours sounds similar.

 

Don't give up on Windows 8.1 that easily. You don't have to be online in order to sign in. You can create local user accounts that are not associated with the "cloud." Just follow the instructions in the attached picture:

 

Joel

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I guess I waited long enough. Today was my first real day off since the computer disaster. (That I didn't have a lot of other stuff I needed to do.) Tried to remove the cover to the computer to see if there was any residue that I could remove. Took out a dozen or so screws, but the three under the cd/dvr drive wouldn't accept any of my multitude of screw driver bits, so I put the screws all back in and installed the battery. The computer booted up after initially going into the safe mode and seems to be no worse for the wear. Am still just on battery power so hopefully nothing happens when I plug in the power cord.

 

Merry Christmas to all.

 

Rod

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I have two external hard drives since I use my laptop for work and I would hate to lose all

My photos. One stays with me in my motorhome in a drawer protected from heat with bubble wrap. Other stays at my sons house in his gun safe. I switch them out periodocally. Having one hard drive is better than none but if you gave a fire or crash you need one stored in a second site.

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Glad to hear your machine came back to life! In the general arena of hard drive disaster recovery, you can buy a $20 SATA to USB adapter (Sabrent USB 2.0 to 2.5"/3.5"/5.25" Hard Drive Converter) that will allow you to remove the drive from your old machine, connect it to this device & plug it into a working PC. You can read files, transfer data, etc. - as long as the old drive is still working. I have used several different brands and they all seem to work just fine.

 

If you are going to use a drive regularly, the external drive enclosure is the right way to go. But if it's just for a one time data recovery; these are a lot cheaper.

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