Model A1181: 1.83, 2, 2.1, 2.13, 2.16, 2.2, or 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Tea spill while clamshell shut. Liquid damage through left side ports.

A cup of black tea, containing probably 5% skim milk, poured over a side table. Little did I know my white MacBook was sitting under the table and some liquid had dripped on to the closed clam shell. By the time I realized the laptop was under the table and had liquid on it, it was the next day.

Observed problems

  1. Unit powers on fine and starts boot process
  2. As unit progresses to switch the display in to the native resolution, the screen goes off about 3 seconds after the desktop starts to appear. The machine is running, there's just no video.
  3. Track pad allow cursor movement, but buttons don't appear to work
  4. Mini DVI out appears to provide nothing

Out of curiosity I wiped the HD and installed Windows. You can get through a full Windows install without issue, but the minute you install the bootcamp video drivers and try to get the display out of 640x480, the LCD screen goes off.

I used ifixit guides to get as far as removing the keboard to see if there was any obvious looking residue over the left side ports, but couldn't see anything. I suspect there may be either residue or damp under the logic board.

I have noticed as the days go by that the duration the screen will run before shutting off, though slightly random, does appear to be trending toward staying on longer.

What are my options? Proceed with a full dismantle and try to clean the logic board? If so, any recommended products?

Failing that I'm prepared to sell it. Memory was upgraded to 4gb a year ago.

Any thoughts appreciated.

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since there is no separate video board inside the MacBook - the whole logicboard has to be replaced - BUT lets try a few things before that

remove the logic board and unplug the battery on the bottom of the board.

clean everything thats looking odd with rubbing alcohol and a soft paint brush - don't press to hard - better do it 2 or 3 times

when everythig is clean - let it dry

when it's totally dry, plug the battery on the bottom and reassemble everything and try start the machine - and don't forget to check/clean the connectors

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I stripped my MacBook down. When I got the logic board out there was a smoking gun moment. Tea had leaked in through the kensington lock and headphone jack: there was copious amount of residue covering the connector that hooks the logic board to the power source. It was green and looked like corrosion. I cleaned the entire logic board with 70% isopropyl/rubbing alcohol and Q tips. I reassembled and it's all working fine now.

One piece of experience I hope can make it back in to the logic board replacement guide: it refers to how you "use a spudger to disconnect the fan and temp cables" (or words to that affect). Being a novice with working on small laptop size components it was not clear to me HOW exactly you use the spudger. I assumed you disconnect by wiggling the cable out of the socket with the spudger, but in reality those tiny cables need pushing up from beneath. I broke the bluetooth cable before finally realizing how to do it. Similarly on the rebuild guide, it ought to be noted that the connectors are reconnected by placing them over the female part of the board and just pushing down on them. This is probably obvious to experienced repair guys but to me it wasn't and it ruined what would otherwise have been a flawless repair.

Still I'm not complaining- my laptop is in a lot better shape than before I started!

Thanks iFixit.

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Hello Brooke,

Just out of curiosity, did the you look at the Step-by-Step guide here? It looks like it's pretty straight forward to remove the video and logic boards. I recommend, as I live in a dry climate, having a anti-static mat to prevent damage to the circuit boards. You may be able to rinse the circuit boards, minus the batteries, using distilled water and then allowing them to air dry. Don't us a hair dryer as that would force water where you don't want it to go. Otherwise, you may just need to replace the video and/or logic boards. I hope this helps and good luck!

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Brooke C will be eternally grateful.
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