Can coffee damage be saved?

Can this Mac be saved? Or at least the hard drive? It’s a mid-2010 Unibody 13-inch.

I took my earbuds out, laid then down and got up. Unfortunately, they caught on my shirt button and jerked the Macbook, causing it to hit a cup of coffee. Quite a small amount of coffee went onto the keyboard. I blotted it up immediately and it seemed fine.

A few minutes later, the I, O, K, L, and comma keys stopped working. Everything else was working fine. I started looking for help, and everything pointed to turning it off immediately as the first step.

Stupidly, I did this and didn’t think until later that I needed one of the broken keys in my password. It turned on normally and other keys were working fine but I couldn’t type the final letter of my password to get in. I entered as a guest as could use as normally except for above keys.

I started looking for more help using my phone, and once again turned it off. Based on a couple of photos, I opened it, turned it keyboard side down on a towel with the screen hanging off the edge of a chair. This was supposed to let any liquid drain back out. (Although based on what remained in the cup, I still think only a few drops got in.)

I came home from work about ten hours later and it wouldn’t turn on at all. One day later, nothing has changed. It is as dry as it is going to get. I have almost accepted that it is lost.

I assuming something got corroded. Does this sound right?

I have two questions;

1. Is it worth disassembling down to the power button and trying anything? (Wiping out any gunk? Is this naïve?) I have not disassembled a Mac before but have built small projects from scratch and done simple work with my first computers (I’m 50-something, so, uh, old stuff). It will be a new skill level for me but I have watched some tutorials and am eager to try.

2. If the hard drive is ok, can I remove it and use it as an external drive for whatever new computer I am going to get? I was planning to replace this one in a few months anyway, but not decided what to get next. What’s the best order to try things in? I read “Use an SATA to USB adapter, plug it in and attach to another Mac. The hard drive icon should appear on the desktop. Is this accurate for my model?”

Thank you.

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This is not a major catastrophe. You have shorted out the keyboard. The hard drive has not been affected. If it will still power up, use and external keyboard and boot up and see if all is well with the logic board. If it's just the keyboard you have two alternatives. First is to replace the upper case. Second is to replace just the keyboard. The difference is money vs labor time.

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Upper Case Replacement

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Keyboard Replacement


a spill also usually shorts out the power on button. To test disconnect the battery and the mag-safe. Press and hold the power button for ten seconds. Hook the battery backup and connect the mag-safe and it may spontaneously boot.

MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Upper Case afbeelding


MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Upper Case Replacement



MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Keyboard afbeelding


MacBook Pro 13" Unibody Mid 2010 Keyboard Replacement



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Thank you for your quick reply. It will not power up. A few minutes after the spill it did, and I was planning to try an external keyboard, but later the same day and continuing to today it will not power up.


Thank you. I took it apart following the great upper case replacement guide above. (And went on the last steps for keyboard with another guide also mentioned)

As I was planning to buy a new laptop in a few months, I wasn't going to replace the keyboard now but did it just for the experience and will get the new computer soon.

I put it back together and it powered on! However, there is no display (black monitor, no apple light). Doing the reassembly, something at Steps 31-33 didn't feel right but I'm not sure what. Also, only the middle third of the keyboard has backlight.

Still, it powered on and I'll try hook it up to a projector at work or external monitor and see what happens, either way I'll take the HD out and get the data since last back up to my new computer. Thanks again.



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