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Liquid Computer Spills

Liquids and computers don't mix. Read this tip, learn what to do, and act quickly!

Prevention is the key to avoiding disasters. Minimize your risk by placing beverages on a separate surface from your computer and/or elevate your computer above a surface subject to spills. Avoid eating over your keyboard. Keep a soft cloth in your laptop bag or work area, just in case. Despite the best intentions, accidents do happen, so back up your data regularly.

If disaster strikes quick action may save your computer and data from ruin:

  1. Safety first! Beware of the potential for electrical shock.
  2. Shut down the computer immediately. If normal shutdown procedures will not work, press and hold the power button until the computer shuts down.
  3. Unplug the power, external devices and cables and remove the battery. Remove any easily removable parts.
  4. Blot up any visible liquid on the surface of the computer.
  5. If the spill is on a laptop, turn the computer upside down with the lid open, to allow the liquid to drain and dry out.  Keyboards should also be turned upside down.
  6. Wipe up the spill.
  7. Do not attempt to disassemble a laptop body to remove internal parts or remove key caps.
  8. Bring your computer to the Student Diagnostic Center or call the IT Help Desk (x5418). Your computer may benefit from further disassembly and cleaning. Do not attempt disassembly yourself.
  9. Allow your computer to dry undisturbed for at least 24 hours. A nearby fan or hairdryer on low or no heat may be used.
  10. Do not attempt to start the computer until you are sure the liquid has had sufficient time to dry.

Tech Tip Archive:Laptop Care & Feeding: Prevent Laptop Destruction

 

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Hampshire College
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Amherst, MA 01002
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