by Beth Zarkhosh Issue 109 - January 2016
Saving your laptop from spills!
Whether you\'re a wedding videographer or a small production company, we all know the stress of the edit process, nothing adds to that stress more than the full destruction of your PC or Mac.
So its the New Year and youre finishing off that last bit of mulled wine from over Christmas and ooops! You accidentally spill it all over your laptop! What do you do?
Well here we explain some handy tips to take.
First things first, unplug your laptop or device you are working on immediately. Its normal to panic and go in to complete terror mode, however that wont solve the situation. Your edits important, but your device is the main thing here, so make sure you get to work right away! Safety first! Save your work if you can, switching off as soon as possible, to ensure the catastrophe will be avoided.
Analysing how severe the spill is, is a vital element in sorting this problem out, if the spill is just water then this is probably the least problematic thing compared to sticky sugary drinks like cola. The biggest danger is alcoholic drinks, so try not to drink that can of beer right near your workstation.
Removing any SD cards, USB sticks is another vital part of this process, if you have a disk lodged in that can be easily removed, try to do so. Not only does this help with the cleaning and drying of the liquid, it also eliminates any currents that can still be live. If any of these items have any residue on them, use a microfiber cloth to wipe them and put them somewhere separately.
With your microfiber cloth try to dab away as much excess liquid as possible. Take your device and turn it upside down, and giving it a little shake will do no harm! Try to lift the device in the same as the way the drink went in, so you dont spread the liquid. If you\'re not comfortable with taking your device completely apart, then position your laptop in a teepee shape and leave to dry for a few days.
Most people will get worried about doing the wrong thing when taking apart their laptop. You need to be extra careful by getting yourself an anti-static wristband from a local electronics store.
These can be purchased for a few pounds, and well worth having. Us human beings carry static electricity therefore its possible to damage a dry or wet computer with simply the touch of your hand.
Time to Take Apart
So now you are all prepared, its time to start taking apart the device, unscrew all screws. Remove the main battery first, which provides power to the device, by doing this you will be saving one of the most important things which is the hard drive. By taking apart the device it will be much easier to dry the individual parts and it can make a big difference in saving your device.
With lint free cloth carefully dab away any dry residue. Blowing away any residue helps and makes it easier to clean the keyboard. Using water will still be required; this sounds ridiculous but non active parts and circuit boards handle water fine as long they are not powered! Leave to dry naturally.
The wait can be annoying, however its necessary to allow your device to dry for a few days. By being impatient, you can risk damaging your device further by turning it back on, whilst parts of the electronics are still wet. If you want to try and speed up the process you can position a fan on a low setting towards the device, but stay well clear of hair dryers as this can blow hot air onto sticky residue creating more problems!
Id strongly recommend using a cloud storage to backup your main computer files (of course your video content should always be edited with an external hard drive.) Having files backed up is something youll be praying for when this happens so go to work now!
One way you can protect your laptops against spills is to get a clear silicone keyboard cover (or one with the shortcuts on for Adobe Premiere, Avid Media Composer or Final Cut) This silicone cover protects against spills, dust and dirt and can be one of the best investments you can make for your laptop. (available at www.editorskeys.com)
If you have horror stories or tips youd like to share then tweet us at @editorskeys wed love to hear from you!