October 15, 2015, by Sharon Caine

Don’t Cry Over Spilt Coffee – Visit the Smart Bar Instead

We’ve all been there. One minute you’re working away on your dissertation and the next, your laptop is swimming in sugary, caffeinated liquid. The thought of how to get your now sticky laptop working again, and more importantly, how to rescue your precious university work from the gooey mess sends you into full panic mode. This is exactly what happened to Heather Bullen,  a part-time MA Student in the Department of Sociology, last week.

“I came to the Smart Bar today because I had a big problem. I’d spilled a coffee with three sugars on my laptop and I carried on using it for a few minutes until it stopped working.”

BER spill 1

Motherboard corroded by coffee

Heather told us she didn’t know what to do in this situation. The key is acting fast to stop the liquid reaching the motherboard.

So, if you find yourself in the same situation here are 5 steps you can take to minimise the damage.

  • Unplug your laptop and remove the battery, if you can’t remove the battery – just shut down
  • Turn the laptop upside down and  try to drain off as much liquid as possible
  • Soak up the liquid with a cloth and wipe down the keyboard
  • When you’re sure it’s dried out (this may take hours or days depending on the spill) try to boot it up

No signs of life? It may still be possible to repair your laptop and recover your data. Bring your laptop to the Smart Bar in Hallward Library. We’re here to help!

The Smart Bar is open Monday to Friday in the Hallward Library, Level 1 (downstairs).

Smart Bar 1

Smart Bar


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