The Refusal

I refused to take no for an answer and took the computer home, determined to find a solution for myself. I immediately got online and began searching for examples of people that had successfully revived a MAC from the watery grave. I found some, but none with the solutions that seemed to last. To me, it seemed like the battery had something to do with the problem, the water was clearly also an issue and the fact that we couldn’t get it to start was hindering diagnosis. I wanted to look into it for myself, but I didn’t have the right tools. The MacBook screws have a strange 5 lobed flower orientation.

So I had to order a special screwdriver just to open the back. I found one at http://www.ifixit.com/Tools/MacBook-Air-5-Point-Pentalobe-Screwdriver/IF145-090.
After I got the back unscrewed, I opened it carefully and was surprised to see how large the battery is.

Replacing the Battery

That huge black thing is the battery. Almost two-thirds of the chassis is taken up with the battery. Now it is not very thick, so I suppose that is why it needs to be that size, but I was surprised by how large it is. On closer inspection I could see the battery and some of the electrical components on the mother-board were showing signs of corrosion. You know, the green foamy stuff that collects around your car battery terminals after a while. I figured I could use another battery, so I found one online at ebay and had it shipped in from China.

The Clean and Dry

After about 2 weeks my battery arrived from China and I now had all the tools and components I believed would get the job done. So after carefully using a Torx #5 screwdriver to remove the battery screws, I was able to lift the battery out. Below the battery is the suspension platform for the keyboard. I carefully unsnapped the battery from the board and set it to one side.  I looked for signs of remaining water or damp and could not find any, but I didn’t want to take any chances, so I got some WD 40 and sprayed the open computer parts. I opened the lid on the other side, prior to spraying, so that the display screen stayed clean. I didn’t soak the components, but gave enough of a film to cover the keyboard suspension and the electrical components.

Then I took a used soft bristle toothbrush and brushed all the electrical components that displayed any corrosion. I soaked up the available residue with a paper towel and let the computer stand open in the shape of a tent, screen down with the exposed components up, for about half an hour. Finally I got an air-hose set at about 25psi and blew out the components. Whenever liquid of any kind revealed itself I carefully absorbed it with the towels.

Hurry Up and Wait

After blowing the components as dry as I could get them, I left the computer open, without the battery and without the rear casing, standing on its side in an open V shape for another 3 days (inside the house). I just wanted it to be exposed to the open air and give it every opportunity to dry out as much as possible.

Eventually I couldn’t handle waiting any longer and I reassembled the computer. I installed the new battery, screwed it down and I closed the rear with its cover and screwed it into place. I plugged the computer into its charger looking for the first sign of life – which would be that the charge light would show a color and potentially even turn Orange, meaning it is actually taking a charge – which it wouldn’t do before. It did.  I opened the lid and pressed the power button. It awoke and offered me the password screen. A few key strokes later, the main screen was up and we were up and running. Nothing was lost all her settings were still there. Needles to say she did the happy dance and so did I. Our efforts appeared to have paid off.

Haven’t Looked Back

The computer has functioned incredibly well since then. It has given us no problems or glitches. There are no oil spills on the screen and everything seems to be functioning normally. It has been 45 days since the procedure and I couldn’t be happier. The screwdriver cost me about $12 and the battery was $88. For around $100 I was able to bring the MacBook Air back to life and it has saved us. Not to mention the huge points I get with my daughter who now thinks I can fix anything. Woo Hooo!!!!