Model A1297 Unibody: Early 2009, Mid 2009, Mid 2010, Early 2011 & Late 2011

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Are there any electronics on the keyboard PCB within the topcase?

A tiny bit of liquid entered the keyboard because (stupidly, I now know) I used a wet wipe to clean it. The wet wipe was, well, wet, not merely moist.

Luckily, I was wet-wiping the keyboard just after turning the computer off. Also luckily, I was then away from the machine and it remained off for several hours.

The logic board survived. I can now boot after pulling the keyboard's flat ribbon. I cannot boot with the keyboard ribbon connected (to the logic board).

What are the chances that the moisture still there will eventually evaporate and leave the keyboard functioning again? Are there chips on the keyboard printed circuit board that may have been damaged?

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1 Answer

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Think of the keyboard as a matrix of wires, like cloth, lines going horizontal and others going vertical. What happens when you depress the key is short across these lines and the logic within the system can isolate out which point/s were shorted it can display the letter on your screen.

OK, so what happens when you get the keyboard wet, the exposed metal surfaces corrode (electrolysis) can happen. Sadly rarely does letting the liquid evaporate solve the problem as the water will go the acids or sugars won't so over time they will degrade the keyboard.

I would pop the key caps off and try to clean things up as best as I could using distilled water (not tap water!), then using isopropyl alcohol (85% or better) go over the spots again. If you think you got some underneath it's a big job! Sadly given your symptom here it maybe wet below with a shorted line.

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I see. That's a helpful explanation. The only reason your response makes me slightly hopeful is that electrolysis requires the keyboard to be powered, and I was able to power the machine up only with the keyboard ribbon out of its socket. In my case the liquid in question, if I trust the label, is a mixture of water and IPA. No sugar, milk, or acids.

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What was the first thing that spilled in thats the issue at hand not the cleaning wipes content. As to corrosion it doesn't take a power source it all depends on what was spilled and what the metals are.

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Oh, I mis-expressed myself. Nothing was spilled. I was simply wiping my keyboard clean. Call it foolish hygiene. It is the wipe itself that dripped something in the keyboard. That something, according to the box, is water & IPA.

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