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So a few months ago I accidentally spilled a little water on a few of my usb flash drives. I really want to test and see if they work, but before I do, I just want to make sure that there's no risk of damaging my computer. I'm pretty sure it's fine, but I just got a new laptop and would hate to ruin it over something stupid.

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You can. However, I want to make sure that you dry it out fairly well first. Typically, I'll get a small tupperware with uncooked rice in it. I'll set the device in there and allow the rice to soak up the moisture. –  kobaltz Oct 9 '13 at 16:33
    
As it was a few months ago (August or July probably), would drying it out still be necessary? –  user219048 Oct 9 '13 at 16:40
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@user219048 - It can't hurt them. Of course if there is any moisture the still exists inside the device the rice is unlikely to make a difference. –  Ramhound Oct 9 '13 at 16:46
    
Why downvotes, unless this is a duplicate? Seems to be a reasonable hardware question. –  beroe Oct 9 '13 at 18:23
    
It is actually appropriate question. The wet USB stick may short his laptop USB and potentially cause the damage. I really don't get it why would somebody downvote this question??? –  Nikola Dimitrijevic Oct 11 '13 at 11:04

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

If available, it is preferable to use a desiccant instead. Desiccants may absorb moisture better than rice. You can also try slipping the usb flash drive inside a plastic bag that can be sealed or a plastic container (airtight). Add a desiccant packet, such as silica gel — often found with new shoes, purses, noodle packets, etc — in with the usb flash drive. The downside of this method is the packets packed with shoes has usually already reached its absorption capacity. Desiccant for flower drying can usually be purchased at most craft stores. Leave the drive with the desiccant or rice as long as possible (at least overnight) to absorb the moisture.

  • as NikolaD mentioned in comments never plug a wet drive in your system's port instead you can use a USB hub to test it
  • if possible safely open the upper plastic case of drive for more efficient drying
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