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Windows 7: Beer spilled on laptop, Windows won't boot past bios

06 Aug 2012   #1

Windows 7
Beer spilled on laptop, Windows won't boot past bios

In the chaos of moving to a new house yesterday, a box my friend was moving ripped and a bottle of beer smashed onto my open and powered on laptop, scattering both liquid and glass everywhere. We immediately powered down and removed the battery, and placed the laptop upside down and mopped up the excess liquid from the outside as much as possible, and set it to dry upside down on a towel.

My laptop is a Lenovo U330, I had my brother install Windows 7 on it for me last year, but he kept the disks so I don't have any of them.

Several hours & some blowdrying later, we attempted to start up the laptop (I would have preferred to wait longer, but I needed to know if mine would work in case I needed to borrow my friend's for the week). The laptop will load the lenovo startup screen, and then flash the windows loadings screen (with the option to press f2 or f12) for a few seconds before recommending that I run startup repair. Which if I select it, will freeze after a few seconds. Usually my laptop's pretty noisy, but while the battery light flashes as if there is activity going on, there's no noise coming from it at all.

My friend tried starting it up in safe mode, which also froze after loading half the startup files. I think he changed the boot order, and also tried starting up from the last successful configuration. None of them were successful.

I kept the laptop upside down for a while, and after I realized the keys were becoming sticky again I took the keyboard out to clean underneath it. There was some liquid in the DVD drive, but other than that, none that I could detect. I left the keyboard out and have kept the laptop propped upside again.

so basically, I'm at a loss of what to do. I want to do everything possible to save all my files, but i'm not sure how. Any help appreciated; thanks!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Aug 2012   #2
Microsoft MVP


If you can enter BIOS setup and move around then it's possible the mobo survived, but if you'll check the listings under storage you may find the HD didn't. This can explain why it won't proceed past post.

I think I'd want to open it up to make sure it gets dried out fully, but you'll need to gauge your tech abilities against the risks of disassembling a laptop which can be unforgiving. You can find a video for most models on how to do it.

I would at least remove the HD (google for a video for your model) to dry the circuitry and contacts and reinstall. If it still won't run I'd swap in another to see if that solves the problem, and if so then buy one to replace it.

Everything you need is here to then Clean Reinstall - Factory OEM Windows 7
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2012   #3

WDS 7 Home Pre.x64

Beer ....? I have been there ... not me father in law was so drunk ,spilled the whole beer on my laptop's keyboard.

Next morning ... powered up ...nothing on except blinking cusor ..

I took battery out and whatever i could ...practically rinsed them through fresh water ...

laid them out for drying 2 days ... mean while I went ahead to order another laptop ..

put it back ...powered up ... came on ok ..then shut down every 5 mins or so ... enough for me to get most of my files out ... and there it went the trash can ..

Good luck bud.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Aug 2012   #4

XP sp3 Pro / Win7 sp1 Pro 64bit / XP sp2 Pro (games only)

As a last resort get a clean spray bottle and fill with distilled water. Hold laptop uside down and spray and spray and spray some more. Let it drip dry and then leave to dry for a day or two. You may well do a complete recovery. Distilled water is non-conductive but beer (wet or dry) sure is. Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2012   #5

Windows 7x64 Home Premium SP1

You could get a friend to download a Hirens Boot CD. This can also be installed to a USB flash drive. Set your BIOS to boot using the Hirens CD/USB. If you can do this there are a heap of diagnostic tools to check out elements of the laptop.

Even then I would get the service manual (google for it) and find out the procedure for removing the keyboard. (I did this on an old IBM Thinkpad and it was easy only when I had the instructions!). Look to see where any fluid has settled. You may want to use a high purity isopropyl alcohol spay to clean the keyboard. I use a product called Helmar ISO PRO which is supposed to be ok on keyboards.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2012   #6

Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional

The laptop has a nasty hangover...give it some coffee and wait for it to go away.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2012   #7
Microsoft MVP


My uncle spilled coffee on his, wouldn't start. A couple of years later we take it off the shelf and it starts up.

If it doesn't fry from shorting, then it's probably a matter or cleaning it up and/or drying it out - depending on how circuitry will/won't respond to dried hops vs. dried coffee.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Aug 2012   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

MS Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1

I agree with Greg, strip it down as far as you can and let it dry out as long as you can.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Beer spilled on laptop, Windows won't boot past bios

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