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Modern computers such as Ultrabook laptops are fast, thin, light, and attractive, and they’re also fragile. Within the office, they’re vulnerable to falls and coffee spillage. Outside the office, they’re susceptible to breakage from shock, rain, and moisture.

A damaged computer can be frustrating to manage. Not only are the latest generation of computers challenging to repair because of their light chassis, but when damaged, they can lose valuable data permanently, which can be demoralizing and hurt productivity.

For these reasons, more professionals turn to rugged, waterproof computers instead of the pretty but delicate laptops sold at retailers. Unfortunately, many companies fail to adopt such PCs until they’ve faced a severe setback.

Remember, a PC suffering from water damage can get worse over time. That’s why it’s essential to recognize the signs of water damage on a computer.

#1 Physical Changes

If you suspect that a computer has water damage, then unplug and turn it off as soon as possible. When wet components are exposed to electricity, they short circuit very quickly. Next, conduct a visual inspection. Examine the chassis from every angle to check for residue or stains. Look at the keyboard for signs of moisture.

If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, open the case to look for signs of moisture, discoloration, and corrosion. When exposed to liquids, certain components turn a shade of green, especially cooling fans and heatsinks. Upon noticing any signs of water damage, dry the computer with a soft microfiber cloth. Let it dry further overnight before saying a prayer to the computer Gods and turning it back on the next day.

#2 Booting Problems

It’s not a good sign if your computer doesn’t boot cleanly, crashes randomly, or displays the dreaded blue screen of death. It’s best to take a laptop with such symptoms to a professional for repairs. They may be able to salvage your system by replacing faulty components.

#3 Keyboard and Trackpad Issues

A laptop that’s been exposed to coffee spillage can suffer from keyboard and trackpad issues. If some keys on your keyboards aren’t responding correctly or if the trackpad is malfunctioning after the incident, then immediately turn off the laptop and turn it upside down to dry it out. Take it to your IT department if the problem continues. These components may either start working after being dried out or will need to be replaced.

#4 Screen Malfunction

Water can cause a laptop’s LCD screen to malfunction. If your screen is flickering, dim, or not displaying colors correctly, it could be broken. If a technician can’t repair a water damaged screen, they’ll order a new one from a supplier.

#5 Other Malfunctioning Components

Other components such as the USB ports, Wi-Fi, and volume buttons may also breakdown after exposure to a liquid. Unfortunately, such components are part of the mainboard. Usually, they’re difficult to repair. In this situation, a technician must repair your entire motherboard.

Watch out for these five signs of water damage on your computer. Act fast to avoid losing your hardware and your data. To avoid stress in the future, use a waterproof computer from a reliable and trustworthy manufacturer.