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There have been some, uh, complications with the next episode:

 

 

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Yesterday evening I was recording more lines for Freeman's Mind and in my infinite wisdom, I kept a glass of water nearby to drink in between lines, like I have for dozens of episodes. It turns out this was not the best idea I've ever had. The water spilled and some of it splashed into my system, causing it to malfunction. But good news! I was not electrocuted by this because I ran out of the room to shut off the circuit breaker.

 

I'm uncertain of the damage inflicted, right now I have the system disassembled and drying out thoroughly. I plan to start testing parts later today once everything is completely dried out and assess the damage.

 

 

FOR COMPUTER HARDWARE PEOPLE:

 

My guess is I've fried the motherboard, but who knows. The circuit breaker did not trip, the fans kept spinning (much faster, like on boot), and I never saw any sparks or smelled any burning. This suggests there's a chance I haven't completely fried everything, but I won't know that until later. I think most of the water touched the CPU heatsink, with only a few drops going elsewhere. Ironically, I've never done system water cooling because I was afraid this exact scenario could occur. I have parts for a secondary system that is missing a power supply; I plan to use that to test the components one by one later. Worst case scenario I also fried my videocard, soundcard, RAM, RAID expansion card, and power supply, but I think that's unlikely for the amount of water that actually got inside. Also, while I spotted one or two drops on the top of the hard drives, I have no reason to suspect there was any permanent damage to them, and even if there was, I have a mirror RAID set up, so it would have to take out both at once.

 

 

FOR EVERYONE ELSE:

 

 

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Unlike past computer problems I've had, which can mostly be attributed to goblins, this one is just sheer stupidity on my part. I won't know the full extent of the damage until later, there's going to be a lot of testing to do. Despite what you see in the movies, there's no reason to think this caused me to lose all my data. In any event, I know how to fix this, but it will take time, especially if I need to order parts I can't get locally. Best case scenario this won't affect Freeman's Mind from being released next week. Worst case scenario, it will probably delay everything by about a week. Either way, I think I'll use a water bottle with a cap from now on instead of a glass.

 

 

 

EDIT: Amazingly, almost everything still works, although my CPU cooler fan did not survive. I've ordered a new one and it should be here sometime this week.

EDIT 2: Actually my soundcard may be screwed also.

 

 

 

ADHD version: Water and computers are not friends. The next Freeman's Mind might be a little late.

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When I opened up the front page, the first thing I saw was the picture montage, and I winced because I knew exactly what had happened. Ouch.

 

Always keep your computer tower UNDER your desk, not just beside it, and certainly not on top of it. ;)

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That sucks. There's a fair chance things will be okay, though. At least it was water, provided the shorting caused by the water didn't do any damage, but merely caused your system to crash, you stand an excellent chance of being fine once the components are dried. Anything sugar-y, on the other hand, would basically mean you're screwed. Sugar is conductive so it has to be cleaned, not just let to dry, otherwise the soda or whatever evaporating deposits sugar all over the circuit boards and you just get random conductivity all across the board.

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Hello there, when reassembling your PC, pay attention to small gaps. water can be trapped there. reconnect wires and ram also. and be careful with the transformer. all in all, if you dismantle your CPU - your bios/windows may give you some trouble. heh if you only had a vacuum dryer ;). Anyways. It sounds like your system just got irritated. You might want to test things separately to be extra sure. I'd have most concern with transformer and videocard.... and motherboard perhaps.

 

and to the water cooling - there are cool completely sealed(!) systems. I've got one from Corsar and it keeps me warm at cold winter night and chills in the summer :)

 

Hope that helps

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I keep my tower on top of my desk, just I have it suspended on top of a layer of tyvek and packing tape wrapped bricks. Plus, even if it was on the floor, there are no holes on the top so im mostly safe. (Its an ancient gaming case, like 2005 with a new comp in it.)

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I doubt your Hard Drive is totaled. I don't know much about RAID disks, but SATA's have shown to be pretty durable through my experience, so I doubt that will present a problem if they're similar. If too much water got on the motherboard, it could have shorted everything. However, I've never found whatever divine force we have controlling our destinies to be THAT cruel, so let's hope you're alright! :D

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Since it was water and i have had similar situation with worse liquid- coca cola, i also think that its fair chance that it will be okay, as you acted quickly. As computer student, i reccommend you to disassemble everything as much as you can and also replace termopaste (that is english word for it, i believe), if it has been wiped away by water. As you are drying it out already. Even after its dried out, let it be left alone just a bit.

I do think it might continue to work without any singificant damage though, as it was quite common for me few years back until i got decent enough table to place my PC in without any fear of liquids.

As far as water drinking goes- ever tried drinking from pringles can? small one is just in correct size for a cup and best part- you can close its lid hard enough for no drip to fall out (at least until it hits floor) with ease and you can open it easily. Used this trick too and tbh i kinda liked it, but i got too lazy pouring my cola to pringles can+ it lost all bubbles XD

In any case, good luck!

 

EDIT! oh and it helps to place your power input so, that it wouldnt get any liquid damage, but would be only hand reach away to pull the plug (and if you are extra cautious- some piece of rubber cloth or even rubber gloves), if needed- helps to minimise damage, if more severe thing should happen

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The place my dad always got his computer parts was from other people through secondhand computers. We've always had lots of unused computer towers laying around the house. The college in the town I grew up had sales every so often where they would get rid of their old (but still very good) computers for cheap. Then you could also try a secondhand store. I don't know about normal ones, but here in Utah the closest thing is the D.I. and they have computers and computer parts sometimes, depending on the location.

 

...Though, I'm not sure how well that translates to newer systems. It was a different time ten years ago, and you could find computer parts pretty easily it seemed.

 

One trick we've always used for electronic parts to help make sure they dry out is putting them in a bag of rice for a couple of days or so. Soaks up all water. Had an old MP3 player that went through the washer and was good as new (albeit with a little screen damage but the screen was pretty basic anyway lol) after being left on the counter for a couple of days.

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I did this exact same thing! Only it was orange soda instead of water. I immediately flipped the switch on my power supply and waited a couple hours with a fan pointed at the computer. One year later it's still going strong! I wouldn't worry too much right now :)

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First thing (after unplugging the damn thing), then take it apart and allow each part to dry individually. Have some sort of dessicant near if you can (silica gel bags are a must but I hear rice in boil-in-bags can work). Also Dry the motherboard upside down so droplets don't get stuck into PCIE ports or whatever.

 

I'd advise against using an hairdryer, as I fear it could have an adverse effect on some solder points. Just leave it drying long enough in a dry enough atmosphere.

 

Prior to putting it back together look closely for any sign of corrosion on the circuit boards. Use a magnifier if you want. There's a layer of varnish on the boards so most of it should be OK, but make sure exposed parts are ok.

 

Then put I back together one part at a time if you want to be extra careful. First Mobo+CPU+RAM, then GPU and other expansion cards. You can also test the ATX PSU individually using the well known paperclip trick (look it up!)

 

This has been a minor spill so I recon things should be A-OK with proper drying.

 

Oh one last thing. Next time, drink from a plastic bottle and always screw the cap back on ;)

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Ross, seems like you got this one covered. I just wanted to say, if it really was only a few drops that made it inside, then you're supremely unlucky to have fried something.

 

Agree with your diagnosis that fast fans = dead mobo, alive PSU.

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The circuit breakers would only have tripped if the water got into the PSU and shortcircuited the power line.

 

Judging from the amount of water in the picture and the fact that it is water, I guess it is highly unlikely of it to shortcircuit the 3.3V (and less) lines on the mainboard (also, the lines themselves are isolated except for the chip pins). The hard drives and other historical 12V-moving-part-cruft are probably the more critical parts, but those shoudl be air tight and the PCB is on the bottom (gravity should prevent it from getting in touch with the water in your setup).

 

I would say letting the parts dry seperately should be enough (also, a friend of mine had a similar case a few years ago and letting it dry was enough).

 

Using hot a air to dry it is a very bad idea however, as it can severely damage the electrolytic capacitors.

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Ross, ya dingus!

I would have thought having a glass of anything near a computer would be generally unsafe (especially for someone as clumsy as myself).

Ah, well. Good luck, and here's hoping you didn't get any permanent damage.

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This is why I keep my hard drive at a higher elevation than my work area. It's a bit awkward, but if I spill a drink (and I tend to drink a lot of diet pop and iced tea at my desk), the worst it's likely to do is destroy my keyboard and mouse.

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Ouch.

 

Yeah, it's likely that not a massive amount of damage will be done, but do be careful. I guess if you can, try to have some sort of canteen-bottle-thing instead, which could maybe reduce spillage compared to a glass.

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