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I had a spillage on my laptop (white wine if you're interested). Thankfully the laptop seems to have survived however the battery no longer holds a charge. What makes this unique (from searching other questions on this site and Google) is that the battery still works. I can unplug the power cable and it still powers the laptop as normal.

Windows 7 & 8 (dual boot) both report that the battery is "plugged in, charging" but I think it's lying as the battery level never increases.

I have tried:

  • Cleaning the battery contacts with contact cleaner.
  • Re-installed the Microsoft ACPI compliant control method battery
  • Hairdrying the battery to make sure it's completely dry.
  • Using a different power cable.

The obvious conclusion would be the battery is screwed, but the fact that it still powers the laptop makes me think it's more likely a problem with the MB charging unit so buying another expensive battery might not be the answer.

Has anyone experienced this before and solved it by replacing the battery? Or does it sound like it would be a waste of money as the charging circuitry is likely to be shot?

  • Does your battery level continue to go down and never up, even after charging? Or does it show a higher level of battery after each charge, but drains faster? Also was the laptop plugged in or on battery when the "spill" event occurred? – nullmem May 12 '14 at 10:11
  • Yes, never goes up, only down when unplugged. I forgot to add that I have tried charging it for 24 hours turned off as well - made no difference. – Mike Simmons May 12 '14 at 10:13
  • How old is the battery? Right now it most sounds like the charging, while there is curcuitry in the battery that could stop, it would usually stop in both directions if it was just the battery. Heating the battery though, not good idea for li-ion, it (obviously) didnt kill it, but heat no good. It is also possible that all of the liquid was not or is not gone, either alcohol flushing (and all that involves) or long term drying before powering. There is a low possibility that, if it is/was still wet a resetting once dry , the curcuit would again operate (power and digital switching). – Psycogeek May 12 '14 at 10:31
  • It's just over a year old. I didn't let it get too hot :) It sounds like it's going to be painful/time-consuming to try and resolve without buying a new battery so might just take a gamble... – Mike Simmons May 12 '14 at 10:36
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    The power surge probably blew the CID in the battery. Just my best guess. – nullmem May 12 '14 at 10:41
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With the battery not charging at all, your charging circuitry is the problem. This can either be the charging circuitry in the battery or the laptop. When dealing with a water contact event, the damage can be unpredictable and can be either be the laptop or the battery or both. With that said I can give some advice on what probably happened. The damage usually occurs in the direction the electricity is flowing at the time of damage. If the laptop was plugged in at the time of the event, it is most likely only the battery that is damaged.

Also some newer laptops have separate power circuitry board, and generally this part is less than $50. So if your laptop was damaged, fixing it might not be as expensive as you would think. Good luck.

  • thanks - it wasn't switched on at the time but I did stupidly switch it on shortly after to check if it was working. – Mike Simmons May 12 '14 at 10:24
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    generally best rule of thumb when something like this happens is to remove battery and power cord as quickly as possible and let it fully dry before attempting to turn it on. But this mistake happens to all of us. I have been guilty of doing the same thing before . – nullmem May 12 '14 at 10:28
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Your assumptions about the MB charging circuitry are valid. Yet those are just assumptions.

There is no simple and cheap solution. If you are lucky and you know where to borrow a spare battery of the same type, you can try swapping 'em and see what causes the problem. If you cannot borrow battery, then you are left with two choices:

  • buy a new one and find out the truth
  • get into detailed PCB inspection of motherboad (and I can bet the you don't have schematics/drawings/specs for it, so it will be complicated and probably useless).
  • Thanks for that - I'm of the same opinion that only spending money will be able to answer this for sure. Will mark as answer unless someone comes in with a miracle-cure – Mike Simmons May 12 '14 at 10:15

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