Just in case you ever pour an entire cup of coffee on your laptop here are a few things to think about.
1. Turn it off immediately. This is the most important thing to remember. Hopefully you won’t just restart your machine like I did. Make sure it is off and disconnect the power supply and the battery. I pulled the power cord but forgot to remove the battery. Ouch.
2. Don’t touch the keyboard. I found this post which details why. I did not realize that the keyboard is designed to help protect the internals. This probably works well unless you try typing and break the seal on the keys like I did.
3. Disassemble it and wipe it down as soon as you can. Do you put sugar and cream in your coffee? In this case I hope not. I didn’t need to worry about that, but it didn’t really matter in the end. Take the laptop apart and break it down as far as you can. Let it dry and don’t mess with it. Even if the laptop is dead you still want the components, right? You can try to clean your keyboard in the dishwasher. I thought it was worth a shot since it was probably ruined anyway.
4. Put it in a bag of rice? I heard about this, but it didn’t work for me. I was very skeptical, but a person I work with had success with it. I had probably done more damage than drying out could help.
5. Wait… Don’t mess with it.
6. It is probably a good time to check your backups. You had them right? I created a backup solution based on Scott Hanselman’s backup strategy. I completed backing everything up just 2 days prior to the spill. I was extremely lucky to have gotten that completed when I did.
7. Wait… Don’t mess with it and don’t try to dry it with a hair dryer.
8. Run a consistency check on the hard drive. My SSD drive was fine – it wasn’t touched, but the HDD was toast. I tried copying the data as I had before but it didn’t go well. Luckily, only applications were on my HDD and those could be reinstalled.
9. Test it. You waited a few days right?
10. If your laptop runs, you may want to back it up right now. I ended up needing a replacement, but on the bright side I now have an
extra power supply (sold!), battery and a clean keyboard.
Any other ideas on what I should have done? This must happen to people on flights all the time.