Question Display problems after coffee spill

Mar 24, 2021
Hi there,

Spilled a cup of black coffee (luckily no sugar) on my laptop the other day.... Powered it off, took it apart and let it dry for 2 days.

After drying, it works mostly fine except that the screen will randomly go black for a moment (1-2 seconds). It will work without issue for stretches of time and then do it once, twice, or 5x in a row.

When I connect an external screen and watch what happens when the issue arises, something interesting happens.. When the primary screen goes black, the secondary screen will still display the extended desktop. HOWEVER, during the primary screen's "black out period", I cannot move the mouse or do anything on the external screen, it just freezes. It should be noted that this "external screen" is just an Ipad linked with an iphone chord and some software.

I'm thinking of opening the laptop back up again and using isopropyl alcohol to clean all the connections I can see..... but it would help to know what circuits/connections I should be looking at. Since the external screen behaves a bit differently during the issue, it's made it less obvious to me.

Any ideas?
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According to the cost, age, and your ability to replace....

Would likely tear it down and check (particularly) the ribbon cable connector for the screen to be sure no dried coffee residue is in there. Other connections and such, like RAM and so on.

IDK if you are familiar with TechYesCity? YouTube personality that (among other things) is famous for the "TechYes lovin" where he will tear a computer down to component level and clean it all with various methods up to and including washing. It's not so much that I actually recommend following his advice on something you actually need to be in working order, especially right away....but among those methods he uses a spray much along the line of WD-40 (but not) that does an excellent job of cleaning up boards. Also seem him work with brake cleaner, but that is some terrible dangerous stuff used the way he does, lol. (bare handed).
Might be worth checking his channel and seeing if it were something you were willing to go that far on.

Aside from that it might be worth your while to inquire with a local professional.


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