The fastest way to kill a laptop

Fluids. Whether it’s a glass of wine, coffee, or a cup of milk — someone has managed to drop it into their laptop’s keyboard. Some have even done so more than once!

Do yourself a favor. When you go to that cyber cafe, leave the “cafe” part on the table next to you, and use a long straw. Better yet, drink your drink first, and then let the laptop out of the bag. If you must drink and surf, invest in either a spill-proof cup or a clean, spill-proof rubber cover for the keyboard. It’s cheaper than a new machine. Very few laptops survive a liquid spill.

If you DO give the laptop an unintentional bath, turn it off immediately (if it hasn’t shorted out already), unplug the charger and pull out the battery. When you get back home, stretch out a soft cloth or towel, open up the laptop, and gently set it upside-down on the towel for a few days.

If you’re lucky, what you spilled wasn’t sticky or thick, and the machine will dry out. Don’t put the battery back in for a few days.

Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you try to take the laptop apart! You’ll never get it back together again, and get it all to work properly. Laptops are very complex, compact little machines. Even we techs don’t take them apart. Nor do the Apple Store techs. Laptops are routinely shipped to specialists who train endlessly for taking these machines apart and putting them back together. Don’t do it. You’ll regret it.

Fluid spills are not covered by Applecare. Pray that your laptop dries out. If you’re really worried, we can send the laptop in for you. But results have been, uh, mixed. It all depends on what and how much was spilled in the machine.