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Very little backlight emitted from TouchPad after being exposed to water
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Old 01/11/2013, 08:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Help! My TouchPad's backlight is now screwed.

I had a malfunctioning thermo bottle with water inside (I spilled about 100 ~ 150 ml of it into my bag, which was carrying my TouchPad in its original case, unfortunately, and to add insult to injury, the power was on during that time).

Upon discovering it in less than half an hour's time, I immediately did what I can to dry it. I then realised that the power was on, and so immediately proceeded to turn it off. At this point, my TouchPad was still working fine.

I was only able to put it under the rice treatment a few hours later, and I immersed just half of it into the plastic container full of rice, as I believed that was sufficient. I noticed that there were "cloudy corners" that seemed to indicate humidity trapped under the screen, so I left it in the rice for a full 24 hours before I turned it on to check for signs of humidity.

When I turned it on after the first 24 hours, everything was ok except for a patch of wetness that resembled water stain done to a piece of paper, on one side of the screen. The cloudy corners were still present.
So in it went to the rice again, but this time I immersed it face down, and completely inside the rice (about 1 cm deep on all sides).

I let it stay overnight and turned it on again. It still looked the same, so in it went for another half a day.

The next time I turned it on, the cloudy corners were gone, but the water stain remained, but to my dismay, my beloved TouchPad produced so little backlight (despite my turning the backlight on full) I had to squint hard and make intelligent guesses in order to even turn it off via Advanced Reset.

Now, after another day in the rice ( I made sure it was put on a warm spot on my heated floor in the hopes of accelerating the drying process), the screen seems completely dry, but to my horror the screen still gave off almost no backlight, and was "blinking", as if threatening to go short on me.

Thank you for bearing with me in my very long and detailed story, and if anyone could kindly advise or point me to the right direction I'd be most obliged!

Have a great day tomorrow everyone, and I hope this doesn't happen to any one of you!

*sigh*
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Old 01/11/2013, 09:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You might have to take it apart and see if you can dry the insides too. There's probably still some dampness in there. Note that the securing clips are tricky, and you've got to be careful with some of the ribbons, because they damage easily.
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Old 01/11/2013, 09:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks like you accidentally shorted the backlight assembly...

The correct way to handle this situation would have been to buy silica desiccant pellets (cat litterbox beads or crystals)... they are several times, like 10x more powerful than rice.

Then take off the back cover and unplug the battery. With the screen face down, try to use a vacuum cleaner to suck out any visible water and then place it to dry inside a container with silica beads for about a week. If used correctly, compressed air "keyboard cleaner" can also help drive out water while vacuuming.

What you've done here has definitely done some damage, and you might end up having to buy replacement parts to get everything working again. If you still have the Touchpad, please buy the silica pellets, pour them in a box and place the Touchpad face down (with the back cover and battery removed) onto the pellets. When it dries completely, we will see how bad the damage really is.

But be careful not to touch electronic components without grounding out your electrostatic charge, otherwise even more parts will be irreparably fried
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Old 01/11/2013, 09:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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With the screen face down, try to use a vacuum cleaner to suck out any visible water and then place it to dry inside a container with silica beads for about a week.
A vacuum cleaner might not be a great idea, as the water could possibly get sucked into the motor.
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Old 01/11/2013, 09:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A vacuum cleaner might not be a great idea, as the water could possibly get sucked into the motor.
It's not like there's a cup or even an ounce of water... sounds like a teaspoon's worth if not less. It will probably just coat the inside of the hose... but good observation none the less

The more dust there is in the bag/receptacle, the more likely the water would stay in the bag and not make it to the motor...
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Old 01/12/2013, 02:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for your kind and detailed instructions and advice, GMMan and Remy X! I really appreciate your prompt responses. I shall definitely take or apart and dry what I can when I get home tonight (taking the plane back now!), and will take all the steps to drying the interior out as you guys suggested. I shan't touch it for another week, and will keep my fingers crosses for the revival of my beloved TouchPad.

I'll definitely keep you guys updated too.
Thanks again, and hope the both of you have a wonderful day today.
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Old 01/12/2013, 02:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I just *had* to add this: I'm do glad (and proud) to be a part of this amazing WebOS community - I feel so much love here thanks to the passionate and very helpful group of people who form a part of this wonderful, wonderful community. Regardless of how my TouchPad turns out in the end, I'll be forever proud and grateful to be a part of this community.

Long live WebOS!!!
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Old 04/16/2013, 09:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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hello GMMan and Remy X, I have taken my TouchPad apart and left it in kitty litter (not pellets like you suggested...too expensive...) ...in hindsight, I think this was a dumb idea as the kitty litter had lots of sand-like particles which got everywhere - when I took my TouchPad out to give it one more try, I realised I might have done more damage as first of all, the sand particles got everywhere. Second, the water was still there! Amazing! I took everything apart - everything. (I referred to ifixit)

the even more amazing thing is that my TouchPad was *still* working - though I haven't charged it for more than a month! though, thanks to its dumb owner, the poor dearie is merely producing sounds and still no light is being emitted... is there anything else I can try?

I really appreciate all the help you guys have given me, and would be really grateful if you can give me some more guidance...thanks so much guys!
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Old 04/16/2013, 12:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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hello GMMan and Remy X, I have taken my TouchPad apart and left it in kitty litter (not pellets like you suggested...too expensive...) ...in hindsight, I think this was a dumb idea as the kitty litter had lots of sand-like particles which got everywhere - when I took my TouchPad out to give it one more try, I realised I might have done more damage as first of all, the sand particles got everywhere. Second, the water was still there! Amazing! I took everything apart - everything. (I referred to ifixit)

the even more amazing thing is that my TouchPad was *still* working - though I haven't charged it for more than a month! though, thanks to its dumb owner, the poor dearie is merely producing sounds and still no light is being emitted... is there anything else I can try?

I really appreciate all the help you guys have given me, and would be really grateful if you can give me some more guidance...thanks so much guys!
*groan* you used regular cat litter after all the explanations given....oy...

I'd seriously take that thing apart and vacuum it to death while brushing it with a very soft paint brush to remove any possibility of any grit... as some cat litter could be made with some clay that may be conductive.

Then I'd stop being cheap and get the right type of moisture removing granules and let it sit for a good week, possibly in a sunny place to warm it up (but DO NOT OVERDO IT, as in: not in a car) and have the screen facing down (NOT FACING THE LIGHT). Please set the battery aside for this... put that in a nice cool and shaded place (with the granules) as you do NOT want the battery to heat up and blown up on you... you really don't.

Make certain that you take it apart properly, and then put back together very carefully, do not damage any of the connections.

At some point, either the backlight is fried and the whole screen is, and you'd have to try to get a new screen (not sure if the backlight and the actual screen can be separated).

But if you can manage to see anything (if it's just the backlight), you can try and test to see if it boots up, if you can run apps, etc. Put it in USB mode and connect to computer and see if it'll be seen and you'd have access to it.

So at least you can figure out if it's the backlight, the screen, or the motherboard that's fried and decide where to go from there.
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Old 04/16/2013, 01:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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*groan* you used regular cat litter after all the explanations given....oy...

I'd seriously take that thing apart and vacuum it to death while brushing it with a very soft paint brush to remove any possibility of any grit... as some cat litter could be made with some clay that may be conductive.

Then I'd stop being cheap and get the right type of moisture removing granules and let it sit for a good week, possibly in a sunny place to warm it up (but DO NOT OVERDO IT, as in: not in a car) and have the screen facing down (NOT FACING THE LIGHT). Please set the battery aside for this... put that in a nice cool and shaded place (with the granules) as you do NOT want the battery to heat up and blown up on you... you really don't.

Make certain that you take it apart properly, and then put back together very carefully, do not damage any of the connections.

At some point, either the backlight is fried and the whole screen is, and you'd have to try to get a new screen (not sure if the backlight and the actual screen can be separated).

But if you can manage to see anything (if it's just the backlight), you can try and test to see if it boots up, if you can run apps, etc. Put it in USB mode and connect to computer and see if it'll be seen and you'd have access to it.

So at least you can figure out if it's the backlight, the screen, or the motherboard that's fried and decide where to go from there.
wow thanks so much for your quick and very helpful advise fallen angel! I really appreciate it!
I admit I wasn't using much of my brains when I was pouring kitty litter... -_-:::

I'll put your advice to practice now and will report back as soon as something happens!
thanks so much again!
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Old 05/29/2014, 01:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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dang I kept thinking I've already posted an update to this, but turns out I haven't. :<

in the end, I found a guy who fixes TouchPads and got it fixed for a reasonable sum.

very happy now... ^^

Thanks for all your kind and helpful suggestions and assistance! You guys are the best!
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Old 05/29/2014, 04:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well, congrats on getting your TouchPad fixed, and always remember that most of us will always be here, because we gotta stick together
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