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Laptop does not turn on after water damage

Morning everyone, I’ve been given a HP Pavilion X360 Convertible laptop to look at that has had water spilt over it. Initially there were no lights and the laptop would not turn on at all. I performed a hard reset but no change.

After leaving it overnight the laptop now shows an orange charging light when plugged in, with or without the battery connected. When you push the power button for about 10 seconds, the orange light goes out and the computer still does not start. The light next to the power button does not turn on at any point. I have tried disconnecting various components such as the SSD, memory, touchpad etc to see if any of those are preventing it from starting but I get the same issue,

I have also tried another known working HP charger.

Any advice greatly appreciated. All the best.

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Update: I tried putting it back together today and all working. Thank you for all your help.

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Hi @f4ll3n

What is the full model number of the laptop as shown on the information label on the bottom of the laptop?

The water causes corrosion and provides circuit paths for the electricity which were not in the laptop’s operating design and could damage the components. The corrosion starts immediately and is ongoing until it is completely cleaned away

First do not try to charge or to turn on your laptop and then remove the battery as soon as possible from the laptop to minimize any further damage.

Then you need to dis-assemble the rest of the laptop and clean all the affected parts using Isopropyl Alcohol 99%+ (available at electronics parts stores) to remove all traces of corrosion and water. If possible, do not use "rubbing alcohol" as in some cases this is only 70% IPA or less, can contain additives and is not as effective. If you do have to use it, check the label to verify the amount of IPA.

Here is a link that describes the process. Electronics Water Damage

As always with electronics, especially surface mounted pcb be gentle when handling and especially when brushing away the corrosion. You do not want to remove any components from the board. Remove the shields that may be covering some components as the water may have got in under them and there is corrosion. The ends of any flex cables and their connectors need to be cleaned as well

Hopefully after you have done all this the laptop might possibly work correctly again.

Here’s a link to the available ifixit HP x360 repair guides that may help if your model is amongst those listed that is

If this process seems too daunting, take your laptop to a reputable, professional laptop repair service, experienced in liquid damage repair and ask for a quote for a repair. If you decide to do this, do it sooner than later.

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Thank you for the reply. Its a x360 14-cd1509sa. I have got a high concentration of IPA and have cleaned components before, but there is no noticeable damage on this board so it is not obvious where to clean. I will strip the entire thing down and clean it all and see how I get on. Many thanks for your reply.

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@f4ll3n

Here's the maintenance and service guide for the laptop, taken from this webpage that may help with the dis-assembly as it details all the necessary pre-requisite steps and then the procedures to remove all of the major component parts

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Thanks again. I have stripped down the laptop completely last night and cleaned all components and connections. Again no obvious signs of corrosion. I will try powering the board today and see how it goes. Will post back here with the results. I've ordered a replacement motherboard just in case but it's an older version.

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@f4ll3n

What is the motherboard's "board" number (printed on the motherboard itself)?

Sometimes if you're lucky the schematic for the motherboard can be found by searching for the "board" name and number and not the model number of the laptop.

Be aware the board "name" might have nothing to do with HP as a lot of motherboards are made to order by specialist board makers to the specifications of the laptop manufacturer.

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I searched by board number, not the laptop model but could only find one in France that would be subject to duty tax now and they haven't responded to my query. If the older one doesn't work the seller has said I can return it fortunately.

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Water is not harmful to electronics…IF you let them dry out completely BEFORE you try turning them back on!

Water is only harmful if it shorts something out due to power being on.

ALWAYS leave an item to dry out. Take apart if possible, sit it in the sun, etc.

Should be good as new when it’s dry.

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Yes it didn't help that the owner continued to use it for about an hour after the incident and then it went off. Hopefully we will get a bit of luck and be able to salvage it.

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Hi @caron_wolff ,

Slightly disagree with your answer.

Water is harmful to electronics unless it is distilled water as there are impurities in"normal" water that conduct electricity which causes the problem and water also acts as a bridge for a galvanic reaction to occur between dissimilar metals which are to be found in electronic devices and this causes corrosion.

Even if switched off there is always power available at various points on the motherboard, especially in laptops and mobile phones as the Power button is not a power isolating button. It merely signals the BIOS/OS what the intentions of the user are. Think of the device as being in an extremely low power state rather than being disconnected from the power when it is off.

The best thing to do when electronics get wet is to first remove or disconnect the power source as soon as possible so as to minimize any electrical problems due to the water (or any liquid, even IPA 99%+ conducts when it is still wet but it evaporates and leaves no conductive residues)

After the power has been disconnected then dry completely which may also mean removing any shields etc as the water may be in under them still and corrosion is occurring there

Cheers

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Gary Ogilvie sera éternellement reconnaissant.
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