I spilled a glass of water on my early 2011 15" macbook pro. The good news is that I'm writing this on that computer.

After turning the machine off immediately, draining the water, checking for moisture inside, and disconnecting the battery I let it dry for a few days before taking it to the apple store. The genius essentially just connected it to a power source and turned it on. It booted, but the fans blew at full speed and it shut itself off while still running firmware.

I tried the same thing at home with the same result, but after a few days I connected it to a power source without pressing the power button and it booted normally. I have restarted it since then.

The battery status reports "replace now" but other than that I can't find any other reports of damaged hardware. However the computer seems overall more sluggish than it should, with chrome occasionally lagging with 2.5 GB of free memory. I tested it a bit with minecraft and I had to change the render distance from far to normal to get decent performance.

I'm also a bit concerned about the temperature sensor, since the behavior with the fans blasting at full speed before the computer turned itself off could be caused by the temperature sensor reporting overheating. I have been careful not to do things that would normally cause the machine to heat up too much.

Is there any way that I can test for problems safely so that I can know what needs to be repaired before the computer is healthy again? I'm running Lion and have no optical drive if that is relevant.

  • I managed to test that the temperature sensor and fans were working properly using iStat menus and a prefpane called fan control. Everything works fine in that department. I still have not verified that the discrete graphics card works.
    – adrusi
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 3:49
  • If you are close to an Apple store or authorized repair facility, I urge you to take the machine in, and have someone check it out asap.. Before you do that, try to clone the drive to another, so you have a complete backup. I use Carbon Copy Cloner.
    – ICL1901
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 4:34

1 Answer 1


" It booted, but the fans blew at full speed and it shut itself off while still running firmware."

This may be unrelated to the water damage. It is very common with high spec laptops that the fans get filled up with fluff and then overheat. It is a good idea to open up your laptop once in a while and hoover out the fluff. Or wipe it away with a clean, dry toothbrush. This is a problem I often had with a laptop that I had with coolers, fans and a high end graphics card a few years back. You can tell if it struggling if you hear the fans running a lot, and the base of the computer gets hot. Cleaning out the fans can give your laptop a new lease of life.

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