Surviving a "Near Death" Experience: How to Save Your Tablet PC After a Spill

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  1. #1
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    Default Surviving a "Near Death" Experience: How to Save Your Tablet PC After a Spill

    It's a common tradition. We are all guilty at some time or another of having liquids or drinks next to our mobile computers. Although the unique marriage of coffee and a portable computer seem to be an inseparable pair (been to Starbucks recently?), there is some risk involved. Accidents certainly happen, and the results of a liquid meeting with the insides of a notebook or Tablet PC can be ugly!


    The Panasonic CF-18 Tablet PC can handle it, but yours probably can't!

    If you are one of the lucky few to have a Panasonic ToughBook CF-18, then please disregard the rest of this article. However if you are one of the other 99.9% of mobile computer owners and have a machine that doesn't get along with liquids very well, we have some steps that you can take to save your investment when an accident happens.

    "Don't Go Into the Light, Stay With Us!"


    Don't plan to bury your notebook or Tablet PC just yet...


    1. Assess the situation before taking action. Is the notebook or Tablet PC hooked up to AC power or running on battery? If the machine is running on battery power and is NOT connected to an AC outlet, your first line of defense in to swiftly shut the machine down. Be sure the device is not sitting in a puddle and the power switch area is dry. The quickest method to shut down is to hold the power button until the device powers off. Next remove the battery and place it off to the side.

    If the machine is connected to an AC outlet, try to separate yourself from any contact with the liquid. Make sure you're not touching any metal with your body (place your opposite hand in a pocket and check to see what you're standing or sitting on) and then quickly yank the plug from the AC outlet. Then follow the instructions above to remove the battery, etc.

    2. Now that you are out of immediate danger to yourself, you have the opportunity to care for the machine. Remove all USB components, PCMCIA cards or any other external device. Be sure to carefully wipe off the notebook or tablet and all components carefully and place them out for the drying process.

    3. Time to play the waiting game. Surely you are anxious to see that your machine is still functional and your data intact. Here is the good news; providing you did not here any "buzzing", see smoke, notice an immediate malfunction or notice any obvious problems prior to shutting down, the machine is most likely in good shape. At this point you MUST allow at least 24-48 hours to be absolutely sure the device has indeed dried out completely.

    4. After waiting for your notebook or tablet to dry properly. Try powering up with the battery first. If the battery is dead, replace it in the unit and charge it for awhile. For your "first powerup", you will be best off performing this on battery power. Does all appear well? Congratulations and Amen to that! Notice anything funny? Immediately shut down the machine an bring it to an authorized service center.

    One simple thing to remember is that data travels between all components in your computer via an electrical current. Once any liquid - even a minute amount comes in contact with any of these components while the unit is powered on, you are sure to fry something inside of that case! Luckily most accidents involving spills are only a minor setback provided proper steps to power down and dry your device are taken. Hopefully our advice will come in handy in case the unexpected occurs.






  2. #2
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    Default Re: Surviving a "Near Death" Experience: How to Save Your Tablet PC After a Spill

    But can the toughbook be fully submerged under water?

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    Default Re: Surviving a "Near Death" Experience: How to Save Your Tablet PC After a Spill

    No, however a case like this will get you close...

    http://www.otterbox.com/products/pc_cases/

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    Default Re: Surviving a "Near Death" Experience: How to Save Your Tablet PC After a Spill

    The keyboard on Fujitsu Tablets are supposed to be "spill resistant" which mainly means that if you spill on them try to turn the laptop over immediately to get as much liquid off of the computer as possible. I believe that this term means that it is less likely for the motherboard and other components to get wet but the keyboard still could get ruined. But a $70 keyboard is better than a $400 motherboard.

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    Default Re: Surviving a "Near Death" Experience: How to Save Your Tablet PC After a Spill

    One thing that wasn't mentioned, make sure not to close the notebook while it's drying or you will defeat the purpose of letting it dry to begin with. Also, I have learned from unfortunate experience that it is best to prop that which is drying on books with the part that was spilled on facing down. That way, air can circulate and it drys at least somewhat better.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Surviving a "Near Death" Experience: How to Save Your Tablet PC After a Spill

    ThinkPads have two drainage holes on them now (including the X60 Tablet) so although they're not completely spill proof they do a very good job of getting liquid away from components.

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    Default Re: Surviving a "Near Death" Experience: How to Save Your Tablet PC After a Spill

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry J. Doyle View Post
    No, however a case like this will get you close...

    http://www.otterbox.com/products/pc_cases/
    This is a great find. It seems to be a lot easier on the pocketbook as an alternative to getting the toughbook.

 

 

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