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$1100 frisbee

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OK, so the other day I spilled some coffee on my iBook.  I cleaned as much as I could off, and took it to this repair place, and it turns out they want to ship it to Apple.  They say it's a tier four repair job, which means the logicboard is fried, along with some other fucked up parts.  So the repair cost is $850! ;):)   :P

I bought this computer new for $1100 a year and a half ago.  There's no way I could sell it for that much.  On top of all that, they tried to pull the data off of it, unsuccessfully for $90.  Now I'm on my old G3 that literally can't even keep the date and time straight, with an old, crappy modem that is so slow I can't even load netflix.com, and it boots me off the net for no reason every 15 minutes. :ninja:   Anyone know anything about getting computers repaired?

Dave Bowman: Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

HAL: I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.


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I feel your pain....those old G3's are cranky as all hell (but, they still work after all these years!LOL).

Do you feel comfortable enough repairing things yourself? How much are just the parts you need to replace? Do you have a local professional Mac nerd who isn't an authorized repair guy? (They charge a lot less than the shops in my experience.)

Honestly, would you be better off at this point just getting a new one? Do you really need the data on the drive?

Another option is to get a used iBook (same model) on ebay and trying a hard drive swap.

Just a few ideas....not sure if any of these help ;)

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Gee, I'm sorry you aren't next door, I'd be glad to look at it.

A lot of the work in getting a piece of electronics working after a "Pepsi Syndrome" incident is more a matter of thorough cleaning to eliminate shorting rather than anything actually being burned up.    Similarly, unless liquid physically got into the hard drive, it is still there, again a good cleaning may fix it. Its gonna take several hours of cleaning but nothing technically hard.

1.  Try another computer place for an estimate

2.  Do you know anyone who is an electronics technician?  If not, places to check might be radio/tv station, ham radio club, or ask the guys at radio shack {no guarantees of competetence, but hey].

3.  If you still can't find anyone, and you aren't afraid to fiddle with small parts, you have nothing to lose by giving it a try yourself. 

Two objectives: 

1. remove any dirt, coffee, cream sugar etc.

2. Clean any corrosion that has formed, which shorts contacts

3. Prevent further corrosion that would form on debris


1.  Box of Q-tips

2.  Caig Industries  De-oxit Spray pack from RadioShack, about $12, usually has two spray bottles, De-oxit and De-oxit Gold. De-oxit is fabulous stuff that is much better than plain tuner cleaner or alchohol.  It has cleaners, lubricants, protectant and a small amount of conducting compound that helps poor electrical contacts conduct better. Don't skimp on this, you will want to buy a second pack if you run out. For our purposes the Deoxit and Deoxit Gold are interchangeable.

3.  Soft cloth or paper towels.

- Remove any accessories and units like batteries, floppy, CD, drive and the Hard Drive unit. They make pop out or may have one or two screws holding them in.

It is imperative that you not get any fluids into the Hard Drive.

Laptops are held together by just a few screws and some snap together parts.

Look on the bottom and you will find about 8 -12 screws, they may be marked K for keyboard (start with this) or C for case, etc. Put the screws into a muffin pan or small bowls or juice glasses so you don't lose them.

Slowly work the computer apart.  Typically the keyboard will pop loose, then the upper half of the main case.  This should give you access to the main boards. 

Carefully disassemble things, you will find flat ribbon cables with connectors that connect keyboards, accessory boards, etc. 

When you have good access, look for residue of your accident.  Use the Qtips and towels to get up as much as you can. 

Put some newspaper and some paper towels under you laptop to soak up cleaner.

At this point you are going to use the De-oxit to flush away debris around and underneath chips, and connectors. Be sure that the spray does not get into any moving parts like the floppy drive, CD, or Hard Drive.  Use some masking tape to cover them if necessary.

- Spray the Deoxit liberally over everything.  Let is sit a bit, and use your Qtips, carefully detail clean around each compononent on the boards. Again, the thing that will make the computer appear 'dead" is small amounts of debris and corrosion around each of the hundreds of component leads.

- Spray both the connector receptacles and the connector heads, wipe them carefully to clean. 

- Be sure to clean the undersides as well.

- Hunt for areas where the coffee may have flowed or splashed.

- When you have cleaned everything possible give it all another spray down and let it all soak and drain. 

- I suggest letting it sit overnight.  Then carfully wipe everything down.


- Keyboards are nigh on impossible to clean directly.  Wipe up any external gunk.  Then with the board tilted slightly soak it down with the deoxit.  Let it sit for a minute and then work all the keys to free them up.  Give it another spray down, then prop it up on it's long side and let the cleaner drain out. Let it sit overnight then wipe everything dry.

- Clean the external case and connectors of the Hard drive, floppy and CD, the same way.  Be extremely carefull not to allow any liquid or spray to get inside the cases.  You would probably best spray the cleaner onto a Qtip to dampen rather than spray directly onto the device.  Again, clean, soak, clean, spray, sit overnight, wipe dry.

At this point reassemble your laptop. 

If you want to be thorough another electronics salvage trick is to preheat your oven to 115F. Turn the oven off.  Place your laptop onto a tray, set it in the oven and allow it to cool to room temperature.  This will vaporize the solvent and drive out any remaining moisture. [Actually we heat to 120 or 130 PRECISELY and NO MORE, and leave things in for several hours.  I don't have that much trust in a kitchen oven.  We don't want a Dali style laptop after all.]

Ouila!  It all magically works!

I hope.  Actually, I think that unless liquid got inside the hard drive or the whole thing was thoroughly soaked and corroded, it very well may be revived.  If this doesn't work the first time, wait a day or two for the cleaner to creep into all the crevices and try again.

If this doesn't work the first time, and especially if you do get any hints that the laptop is trying to start, repeat this cleaning process.  If the computer boots, but the hard drive or floppy don't run, you can always buy used units on ebay or from a store.

Good, luck.  If you have any questions, let me know.


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Thanks to wifezilla and especially to AirMarshall for the detailed help.  I called around and looked on the internet, and I found some logic boards on ebay for $250 or so, and a shop that will install one for $99.  This after calling another store who wanted to charge $430 for the logic board and betw. $100 and $600 bucks for installation.  I now owe the store that I brought the iBook to $90 for an hour of maintenance to unsuccessfully recover my data, which they probably spent less than 15 minutes on.  In any event, I found a way to repair it for significantly less money than the first estimate, it's just a question of can I get a logic board from eBay that works.  My other option is of course to follow the instructions AirMarshall gave me and try to repair it myself, and I guess I don't really have anything to lose since the logic board is fried anyway, just a quesiton of if I might fuck up and do more damage to the computer than there already is.  I'm reluctant about it, but AM did give great instructions, so maybe I'll give it a go.

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