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Mountain Dew + Wet PC = Dry PC that wont Post?

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Hello. 
In an unfortunate accident, Mountain Dew was spilled onto the outside IO of my motherboard (ASROCK Z97 Pro4) and IO of my GPU (GTX 1060 SSC 6gb), also spilling directly onto the PCB of both. 
I personally believe my CPU and CPU socket is fine due to the liquid cooler I had over it, and that my internal storage devices and RAM are okay.  

But, My motherboard and GPU were soaked and are currently covered in residue. Secondarily, my PSU is an interesting gambit. Although the mountain dew was spilled from the top and my PSU's fan is on the bottom, there is a vent next to where the cord plugs into, and right in the path of the mountain dew.

I have a lot of questions, but let me give some details first. 

The mountain dew was maybe, at most, half a can. I unplugged the power supply from the wall within 10 seconds of the can spilling into the fan housing and ripped out every single component and dried them off with those blue shop towels as best as I could. While pulling my GPU out I noticed that the PCIe was completely covered in liquid, hence why my monitors went black. Meaning that current was running through the GPU and every pin was connected to each other. I did not notice if the GPU shorted out in that time. 

 

I set up every component that I thought got wet in front of a box fan, (i didn't have anything to produce heat and wasn't sure how that would work on the soda.) 
I then found this video, 

detailing that I could put my GPU PCB and MOBO PCB into a 99% isopropanol alcohol bath (with no mention of how long). 
Is this a reasonable idea? Would I have to take the cooler off of my GPU to do this? 

What do you recommend I do to resurrect my PC?

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Hello and welcome.  

 

When you start spilling it then you've probably had too much.  

 

Secondly, use something like CRC Contact Cleaner or WD-40 Contact Cleaner.  It's in spray-can which helps it blow away the stuff you want off the components you're cleaning.   

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I'd recommend removing everything that got liquid damaged and give it a good cleaning with the highest concentration Isopropyl alcohol you can find. Use some sacrificial microfiber towels to reduce chances of little fibers all over your PCBs.

 

I don't really feel comfortable telling someone to open their power supply. Maybe worth testing with a different unit.

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This is the most gamer issue ever.

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31 minutes ago, nick name said:

Hello and welcome.  

 

When you start spilling it then you've probably had too much.  

 

Secondly, use something like CRC Contact Cleaner or WD-40 Contact Cleaner.  It's in spray-can which helps it blow away the stuff you want off the components you're cleaning.   

Thank you for your insight!

Surprisingly, It was my second dew of the day. I did break my rule of no drinks to the right of my desk, which was apparently a good rule.

 

I was thinking of using CRC but I wasn't sure if it would damage anything, and if I could clean out of IO ports and sockets with it. I know it doesnt leave any residue but my experience is only using it on vehicles. If I use the CRC cleaner, should I still find a heat-source to dry it? Or will simple high airflow do the trick? 

1. How long after cleaning should I wait before attempting to post my system? 48 hours? 

2. I can leave my air cooler on the GPU and still use CRC right?
 

 

31 minutes ago, barkydoggo said:

I'd recommend removing everything that got liquid damaged and give it a good cleaning with the highest concentration Isopropyl alcohol you can find. Use some sacrificial microfiber towels to reduce chances of little fibers all over your PCBs.

 

I don't really feel comfortable telling someone to open their power supply. Maybe worth testing with a different unit.

Thank you for your advice.

I was using those blue shop towels, which are supposed to not leave any fibers. By good cleaning do you mean - dipping my towel into the achohol and rubbing everything I can? or lightly pouring it into the slots and IO (like USB port, ethernet port, etc.) 

1. If you mean rubbing down the PCB, how would I clean the sockets/ports? 

2. Will the alcohol damage any components? CPU Socket? etc? 

3. When I clean my GPU, should I remove the air cooler to be sure to get everything as clean as possible? That will require a second tube of thermal paste, correct? 
 

I dont have another PSU, and I sure as hell don't plan on opening the system. I may be able to take it to a professional for them to tell me if it is toast. I hated it anyway since its not the one where you can plug in the cords needed but their all hardwired. 

 

 

 

 

I really appreciate the help guys.

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41 minutes ago, Statik said:

This is the most gamer issue ever.

Peak Gamer Achievement unlocked: - $2000

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6 minutes ago, P3rfectLIVE said:

Thank you for your advice.

I was using those blue shop towels, which are supposed to not leave any fibers. By good cleaning do you mean - dipping my towel into the achohol and rubbing everything I can? or lightly pouring it into the slots and IO (like USB port, ethernet port, etc.) 

1. If you mean rubbing down the PCB, how would I clean the sockets/ports? 

2. Will the alcohol damage any components? CPU Socket? etc? 

3. When I clean my GPU, should I remove the air cooler to be sure to get everything as clean as possible? That will require a second tube of thermal paste, correct? 
 

I dont have another PSU, and I sure as hell don't plan on opening the system. I may be able to take it to a professional for them to tell me if it is toast. I hated it anyway since its not the one where you can plug in the cords needed but their all hardwired. 

 

 

 

 

I really appreciate the help guys.

To answer your questions:
1 - Wet a microfiber towel with high concentration isopropyl alcohol. Carefully and lightly wipe down all affected areas of PCB. You may also use a Q-tip. I don't suggest pouring liquids on your components unless you've got experience working with this type of thing.

2 - Please oh please don't mess with the CPU socket lol. I doubt it's affected from an exterior spill. But as long as everything is powered off and your CMOS battery is removed, it shouldn't hurt anything.

3 - Yes. And you can probably get away with reusing your thermal paste on the GPU, but tbh it's better just to re-paste it.

 

And yeah, maybe just instead use that money to replace it instead of paying someone else to test it. IMO that's the safest option. I've worked on GPUs and stuff but I've got a decade of being a system integrator behind me so... yeah just get an upgraded unit lol.

 

 

EDIT: also, after cleaning, hit every area you worked in with compressed air. Force any liquids out from small crevices. And wait a few hours afterwards. You don't want to short things.

I will be honest I'm giving you very conservative suggestions. The components will probably be fine with more aggressive methods and I've been known to do these myself, but start here.

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To answer your question about being able to soak stuff in iso alch, yes it's absolutely possible. It's a great way to displace other conductive liquids with one that easily evaporates. However soda is sugary. And you DEFINITELY don't want to submerge the PSU in alch as it's conductive and the PSU will certainly still have charged caps. There are safe ways to discharge but yeah.... not recommending to do so for safety reasons.

 

I'd try surface cleaning because you've made it sound like there wasn't MUCH liquid intrusion. If it's heavy then you've got your work cut out for you.

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2 minutes ago, barkydoggo said:

To answer your questions:
1 - Wet a microfiber towel with high concentration isopropyl alcohol. Carefully and lightly wipe down all affected areas of PCB. You may also use a Q-tip. I don't suggest pouring liquids on your components unless you've got experience working with this type of thing.

2 - Please oh please don't mess with the CPU socket lol. I doubt it's affected from an exterior spill. But as long as everything is powered off and your CMOS battery is removed, it shouldn't hurt anything.

3 - Yes. And you can probably get away with reusing your thermal paste on the GPU, but tbh it's better just to re-paste it.

 

And yeah, maybe just instead use that money to replace it instead of paying someone else to test it. IMO that's the safest option. I've worked on GPUs and stuff but I've got a decade of being a system integrator behind me so... yeah just get an upgraded unit lol.

Thank you for the fast response! 

What the inside of my ports, like my PCIe port, how would I clean those? 

I simply meant if alcohol were to drip on said socket, I took my CPU out and as of right now, nothing is protecting the socket. 

 

Ill re-paste it, its not big deal. 

Any recommendations? I currently have a 550 watt 80 bronze PSU. I'm assuming a 650 watt will be a better one for the future in case I upgrade from the i5 I have. (47k (I do not enjoy it as much as I did when it first came out.) 

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7 minutes ago, P3rfectLIVE said:

Thank you for the fast response! 

What the inside of my ports, like my PCIe port, how would I clean those? 

I simply meant if alcohol were to drip on said socket, I took my CPU out and as of right now, nothing is protecting the socket. 

 

Ill re-paste it, its not big deal. 

Any recommendations? I currently have a 550 watt 80 bronze PSU. I'm assuming a 650 watt will be a better one for the future in case I upgrade from the i5 I have. (47k (I do not enjoy it as much as I did when it first came out.) 

1 - There's always a possibility of damaging the slot while cleaning it. I doubt it got that far in, so maybe check that first. If there is sticky residue inside, maybe a few flushes with alcohol and then inserting and removing the card repeatedly, wiping the card contacts down carefully each time.

2 - I wouldn't. I'd put the CPU back in the socket and go from there.

3 - Excellent

4 - Ehhh this is really budget-dependant. I'd go with something 80+ Gold at least, and from Corsair, Seasonic, or EVGA. Real recommendation? Seasonic Prime Titanium ;)

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2 minutes ago, barkydoggo said:

To answer your question about being able to soak stuff in iso alch, yes it's absolutely possible. It's a great way to displace other conductive liquids with one that easily evaporates. However soda is sugary. And you DEFINITELY don't want to submerge the PSU in alch as it's conductive and the PSU will certainly still have charged caps. There are safe ways to discharge but yeah.... not recommending to do so for safety reasons.

 

I'd try surface cleaning because you've made it sound like there wasn't MUCH liquid intrusion. If it's heavy then you've got your work cut out for you.

Well the thing that is worrying me is the GPU socket. when I ripped the siding off my case I noticed that a pool of liquid was covering the piece on the GPU that goes INTO the PCIe 2.0 slot. I removed it as slowly as I could but there may have been some dew in there.

 

I didn't mean dipping the PSU (I'd like to not die.), I mean't the MOBO and GPU PCBs. I was thinking about dipping it to clean out the ports and the MOBO IO, since that is the main place of the liquid. 

Also, I do have a second PCIe 2.0 slot, (because my MOBO came with crossfire integrated 😮) but my PC doesn't seem to like to boot with it there. I haven't messed around in the BIOS much. 

If I had the money for a better computer, I would get one, but considering I was able to scrape together a grand at 13 i'm pretty happy with my system. 

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1 minute ago, P3rfectLIVE said:

Well the thing that is worrying me is the GPU socket. when I ripped the siding off my case I noticed that a pool of liquid was covering the piece on the GPU that goes INTO the PCIe 2.0 slot. I removed it as slowly as I could but there may have been some dew in there.

 

I didn't mean dipping the PSU (I'd like to not die.), I mean't the MOBO and GPU PCBs. I was thinking about dipping it to clean out the ports and the MOBO IO, since that is the main place of the liquid. 

Also, I do have a second PCIe 2.0 slot, (because my MOBO came with crossfire integrated 😮) but my PC doesn't seem to like to boot with it there. I haven't messed around in the BIOS much. 

If I had the money for a better computer, I would get one, but considering I was able to scrape together a grand at 13 i'm pretty happy with my system. 

So the actual slot and the part of the card that goes into the slot had liquid on them? If so, my recommendation stands - clean the slot contacts on the GPU with alcohol, thenput a VERY SMALL amount of alcohol along the primary PCI-E slot and insert and remove the GPU a few times. Then wipe the GPU's contacts again, and repeat.

 

Yeah, as long as you are careful you can probably be fine dipping the ports in alcohol a few times. Use sacrificial items or cables to insert and remove into the affected ports to give it some friction to remove the sugary mess the Dew left behind. Just be gentle, don't damage the pins inside the ports.

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8 minutes ago, barkydoggo said:

So the actual slot and the part of the card that goes into the slot had liquid on them? If so, my recommendation stands - clean the slot contacts on the GPU with alcohol, thenput a VERY SMALL amount of alcohol along the primary PCI-E slot and insert and remove the GPU a few times. Then wipe the GPU's contacts again, and repeat.

 

Yeah, as long as you are careful you can probably be fine dipping the ports in alcohol a few times. Use sacrificial items or cables to insert and remove into the affected ports to give it some friction to remove the sugary mess the Dew left behind. Just be gentle, don't damage the pins inside the ports.

What I think is good news! 
I carefully removed my GPU multiple times from the mobo and, from what I could tell, no residue was ever on the piece inserted into the PCIe slot. I used a microfiber towel to check for residue and didnt find anything. I will repeat with some cleaning liquid to see if I can get anything thick to come out. 

Thank you! 

Also, that PSU is nuts dude 

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19 hours ago, P3rfectLIVE said:

What I think is good news! 
I carefully removed my GPU multiple times from the mobo and, from what I could tell, no residue was ever on the piece inserted into the PCIe slot. I used a microfiber towel to check for residue and didnt find anything. I will repeat with some cleaning liquid to see if I can get anything thick to come out. 

Thank you! 

Also, that PSU is nuts dude 

How'd the rest of your cleaning go?

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On 5/8/2020 at 1:40 PM, barkydoggo said:

How'd the rest of your cleaning go?

Update 5/9/2020 
Been very busy, but I found time to clean my system and let it dry properly. I used CRC electric cleaner, I did NOT use the spray hose and was very medium with my spray, using throw-away cords to clean out the sockets. I decided to not remove my cooler on my GPU, simply because the CRC would not affect it. (If in the future, i need to change my thermal paste for temp issues, i will post an update to this feed.)  I also determined, with a very cool simulation, that I do not believe any liquid touched anything in regards to the power supply. 

Since I pulled everything out of my chassis, I just attempted to set up a very linustechtips test bench with a cardboard box and attempted to see if my computer would post. 
I seem to now be running into an issue where everything will just flash for a moment and the computer will not post or boot. 
My GPU, the 1060, is an EVGA kind with lights on the side, so I know for at the very least that It is getting power. Not only that, but when I plug an HDMI into the back of it, (while my PSU is on), my monitor, (acer KG241Q) detects it. 

 

I know my motherboard is functioning because my IO is giving power to anything I plug into the back of it, like a keyboard. (which to me, doesnt make since because if the computer isn't powered on, why would the keyboard have power for simply plugging it in? Im assuming because the lighting is just LEDs so there isnt a computer needed to power them, only a power source.) my mobo is also giving fans that small second of power. 

I run an Z97 Pro4 and I have no beeper or post code thingymabobber. I have tried to post with only the CPU, GPU, A single stick of ram, and PSU plugged in. Whenever I attempt to post, my PSU turns off with the rest of my system, I know this because the fan on my PSU also "blinks" with the lights on my GPU and the fan I had plugged in to cool the CPU.

I'm stuck, I have tried removing the CMOS battery, I have tried moving the RAM stick to all 4 slots, I have made sure I am not grounding or that nothing is clicked in incorrectly. I also took my cpu out and examined every pin, all fine. I don't know whats wrong, and I dont have any spare parts to exchange out of the system. 


 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update 6/2/2020 

After an alcohol bath bath and some time in front of box fan, I have been gaming for a few weeks now and all is good! 

All original parts work, thank you to everyone who helped me get my 9 year old baby back up and pumping. 

 

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