Friday, November 8, 2013

Writer's. Worst. Nightmare. CPR for a Laptop Drowning

It's a typical September evening until --->

I turn my back for one second to make dinner and my laptop is drowning in a tall glass of water.

Okay, maybe not literally drowning as my laptop could never fit inside a glass, but my super-duper unbreakable Tervis Tumbler tumbled right flat on my keyboard.

My heart pounds like a jackhammer gone wild and I stand there for a sec registering the waterfall submerging my baby.

It's only a split second before I run, toss the cup to the floor, and turn my laptop upside down on the counter. I grab a towel and blot and blot and blot and blot and blot but water is still seeping out from the keyboard.

No way did that just happen.

Not again.

If you have kids under ten, I take that back, if you have kids period, chances are this has happened to you. And what a heartache it is.

The first time this ever happened to my poor little laptop, I was outside in the backyard writing away. My son was in kinder or maybe it was first grade, and he had the water hose in hand. Trusting he'd stay across the way, faaaaar away (never trust a kid with a hose), it rained my way.

I prayed and prayed as much as I blotted and repeated the same exact steps as my September episode. In case you're wondering, yes, my son accidentally knocked over my cup. The tumbler did have a lid on it but water seeped from the straw opening.

An amazing CP of mine (waves to Sheri Fredricks) unfortunately had to go through a drowning the other day as well. BUT, her little baby is a fighter too! It survived. I shared some of the things that helped me and will share with you below.

Don't you just love HEAs? For you non-writers HEA = Happily Ever After.

My biggest point in writing this blog post is accidents do happen and unfortunately laptops do get showered. But don't ever underestimate the strength of your baby. That and a whole lotta praying!

I luckily have a good friend who is married to a computer tech and I texted her immediately. I also called Best Buy and other places that sell PCs. I kept notes as I wanted to share my survival process with you in hopes that it may save your baby if the time should come.

So here we go…
First thing you do if your laptop comes in contact with any liquids is:

1. Unplug your laptop immediately. And hit the OFF button as soon as possible.

2. Turn your laptop upside down to get water out but keep screen open.

3. Wipe off as much as the liquid you can. Some say you can use a blow dryer on cool shot and I've done that before until I read online that it can harm the components (your call)

4. Remove the battery and dry it off if it's wet. I've read you can place battery in a bag or bowl of rice. I did not do this but it is an option (This was my husband's idea and it helped.)

5. Comp tech suggested to unplug for 2 days and let it dry out. He recommended waiting 24 hours to turn it on but preferably 2 days. We waited one day. One. Long. Day.

The following day, we inserted the battery back in and fired it up and it roared back to life. Thankfully, it was water and not coffee or soda. Sugar makes things worse (not just in health).

I had a few friends recommend putting it on top of a bed of salt. As you know salt absorbs water but kind of hard to do with a laptop. Rice was another suggestion. Again, laptops have a lot of crevices and I simply didn't have a 20 lb sack of rice handy but thought to share in case you want to experiment.

My lovely buddy, Angela Ackerman over at Writers Helping Writers recommended DampRid. I had never heard of it. So I picked up the phone and called every hardware store I can think of but nobody carried it. She also shared a really interesting article on how to save your phone from a liquid submersion. You can read it HERE. I would have loved to try it. Definitely a good product to add to an emergency kit.Thank you for the recommendation, Ange!

So there you have it. Tips on how to help your laptop survive a drowning brought to you by MartzBookz. Though I hope you never have to use them.

Happy SAFE writing!


Brenda said...

Oooooh how scary! These are all wonderful. I took notes.
Thank you. And I'm so glad your laptop is okay--pheeeew.

Melissa Keir said...

Congrats on saving your baby! It is a scary thing...second only to dropping it as you walk with it!

Kary said...

Yes - my youngest pulled off all the keys on my old laptop. Nothing will send you into sinking terror quicker than a malfunctioning laptop (unless it's a missing purse)

Natalie Aguirre said...

Thanks for the tips. I've never had this problem but it's good to know how to solve it. My daughter did drop her cell phone in a snow bank once and we went back to get it 2 days later when the snow melted. We were able to dry it out too and it worked.

Ella Quinn - Romance Novelist said...

Great advice, Mart! I tweeted and shared on FB.

Daryl Devore said...

I remember the panic email from your phone about that and then the relief when your laptop worked. Great and helpful post.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Martha! After reading your post, the first thing I did was to move my water bottle away from my laptop. The second thing I did was to tweet your post. Great tips. Thanks for sharing them. So glad your laptop is still working!

Martha Ramirez said...

@Brenda - Thank you so much! Glad you took notes. :-)

@Melissa - Thank you! That's true about the 2nd.

@Kary - Oh, no! I am surprised my son has never done this. And LOL on a missing purse

@Natalie - Welcome. Wow in a snow bank, huh? Glad she found it and glad it works!

@Ella - Thank you so much for sharing my post!

@Daryl - Thank you for tweeting!

@Susanne - Good! Yay! I hoped it could help save another poor laptop/PC. And thank you for sharing my tips!

Thank you so much for leaving a comment everyone. And I GREATLY appreciate the tweets and shares.

Stacey Brutger said...

How scary! I'm so glad things worked out for you.

Sheri Fredricks said...

Hello there! Survivor of drowned laptop here :) Chocolate milk makes keys the down position! And it didn't help that my son was afraid to tell me what he'd done so there my baby sat, drenched overnight. Even after a chocolatey spa treatment, following your instruction of turning it upside down to air out, removing the battery, and letting it dry for a day or two worked! Well, that and prayer (lots of prayer!!). God is great, the laptop good, and I'm back to writing again. Amen, soul sister!

Martha Ramirez said...

Thank you, Stacy!
Celebrating with you @SheriFrediricks! XXXXOOOO

Susan Hornbach said...

Thanks for the great advice. My daughter dropped hers in the toilet years ago; it was trash lol. I'm sending her your link.

Martha Ramirez said...

Susan, laptop or phone? If laptop, I gotta see that!! LOL. Sorry to hear it didn't survive :-( Thank you for sending her my link.

Rich Bullock said...

Just happened to my daughter-in-law. Toddler dumped 1/2 a cup of coffee on the keyboard while she was finishing up a college paper. He wanted more attention. She immediately powered it off, turned it upside down. But then, when she wasn't looking, the rascal pushed the power button and it came back on. Two year olds! That fried it.

We used it as an opportunity for me to get a new computer and pass down my still very good MacBook, but she had to rewrite the college homework.

Martha Ramirez said...

Oh, no, Rick! So sorry to hear that!

Angela Ackerman said...

I am so sorry this happened! But, you aren't alone!

Today Becca emailed me to tell me how her daughter tried to "clean" her laptop by dumping a glass of water on it. So trust me, she feels your pain!

Hope it all works out! (((HUGS)))

Martha Ramirez said...

OMG Ange! I gasped aloud when I read your comment and my son asked, "What happened?" Oh, no!! :-(

Victoria Adams said...

A bit late getting here, but great advice on how to save laptop. You must have been so scared when yours got went - both times!

Karen Cioffi said...

Marta, great tips. I shared the post. Water or other mishaps with your laptop are SCARY. Once my delete button got stuck and I lost pages and pages of content. I tried the ESC key. I tried turning it off - nothing stopped my words, one by one, from disappearing. If I had thought quick, I wouldn't have clicked on the SAVE button, but I was in panic mode. After that I removed the top of the DEL button and, fingers crossed, haven't had a problem since.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm so paranoid of this happening to my MacBook that no drinks are allowed near it. *hugs* Mart, for the stress this caused you. I felt your pain while you were dealing with it.

Crystal Collier said...

Thankfully I'm married to a techie and have heard all that before. I also send things to my email as a backup. You can never be too careful. Glad your computer survived!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

OMGoodness, what a terrifying ordeal! I'm glad your computer is working okay, but I would start saving for a new computer, just in case. If you never have anymore problems you can use them money to go to a conference. :)