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Water Damage-Keyboard and TrackPad

After some heavy rain, my laptop was completely wet so I switched it off and let it dry out for a day (rice/hairdryer).

Everything seems to be working fine now but the keyboard and trackpad. Some keys are working but most aren’t and the mouse is completely unresponsive. What should I do? Should I wait a few days and see if everything dries off and test out the keyboard/trackpad or should I visit a store to get the damage repaired immediately before I ruin other parts of the laptop?

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Hi @georgecostanza ,

The impurities in 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.

Using rice to solve the problem is a myth. Rice doesn’t fix the problems caused by corrosion Rice is for dinner, not repair

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 laptop and clean all the affected parts, especially around the keyboard controller on the motherboard, 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. The higher the percentage of IPA the better

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 there. 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. You may find that there are still problems with the keyboard and usually it is easier to replace the keyboard because trying to fix it may cause more problems than what you had.

Here is a link to the Ifixit Huawei matebook X Teardown guide which may be of some help.

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.

Might be a good idea to backup your data in case the laptop fails entirely at some point. At least your data will be safe. Just a thought.

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Thanks @jayeff! Since I don't really know what I'd be doing if I disassembled it myself, I think I'll go for the safer option and take it to a store. How much would you expect it to cost in Greece?

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@georgecostanza

Sorry I've no idea.

Suggest that you search online for repairers and check the reviews as shown on Google etc to get a feel of what they are like as a repairer. Then contact the top 2 or 3 from your list (hopefully there will be that many that seem acceptable to you) and ask for a quote and also what guarantee they give. Then go with the one you feel most comfortable with

Most reputable repairers give ~30 days but it is difficult with water damage as there may be components that are only slightly damaged and may be missed because it works OK when repaired but perhaps fails later on (days, weeks even months) when being used.

Don't forget the backup (or at least remove the HDD) in case something goes wrong when being repaired. Chances are it won't anyway if you do this but probably will if you don't ;-)

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