Multitude of issues caused by water damage

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Bananalover117

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Hello there, and thank you for taking the time to read this. This is my first post here, so I'm terribly sorry if I posted under the wrong category or something.

A few days ago, I screwed up. Spilled quite a bit of water on the keyboard of my Lenovo Y50-70 laptop. I of course immediately turned it off, unplugged it and left it to dry for a day. The good news is, I'm typing this on the laptop. It works almost completely normal. I can even still play games on it.

I was relieved at first, but then I started noticing problems. First and foremost, it would appear that my C: drive is busted. My disk usage is at 100% even under the tiniest load, and Acronis Drive Monitor, the only disk analyzer I got to work on Windows 10, seems to say that I have 9 bad sectors. Not good.

I have yet to open the back panel, since I have yet to find out what kind of conditions the warranty of the laptop has. I am, however, quite sure that I could replace the busted drive myself, if I'm able to find the correct replacement drive. I'd order one right now, if I was sure that'd be enough to fix my laptop.

You see, it'd appear I also have problems with my i7 CPU. I'm not noticing performance loss, in fact the problem is quite opposite. It'd appear Intel Turbo Boost, or some similar technology, is "clocking" my CPU up to 3,5GHz from the default 2,5GHz. This is not something that should happen when the CPU is not under stress, am I right? The high clock, I pressume, is causing my CPU to run at over 50°C when idle. It can go up to 80°C when I stress it, which is almost dangerously hot. At that point the clock actually drops to 2,5GHz or less, as the system notices the high heat.

I need to buy a new C: drive, that seems almost certain. But does anyone have any idea what is wrong with my CPU? Is the high heat caused by the clock alone, or could some cooling element be busted? Could the corrupt drive be causing some sort of stress that the task manager doesn't notice, in turn forcing Intel Turbo Boost to clock it almost to the max? Can I fix my problems with just a new drive, or are my problems more severe than that? Should open the device to check area around CPU for any hinderances to its functions, like dust or gunk set to motion by the water spillage?

Any kind of help would be highly appreciated. I feel like I have no chance to figure this thing out on my own, mostly because of my limited experience with hardware.

Edit:

I did some research about Intel's boost technology, and I'd seem that my CPU is actually working like it should: Hyper Boost ramps up the performance whenever possible, resulting in very snappy performance to low stress applications. And as the more demanding processes increase the CPU's heat, the clock level drops accordingly, just like it does in my case. I guess I didn't just pay much attention to the frequency of my CPU before the accident. This would suggest that something is in fact wrong with my cooling system. Dust is a likely culprit, but it worries my that the problems surface right now after the water accident.
 

Karsten75

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I guess your laptop isn't one of the Lenovo spill-resistant models?

I'd also guess you don't have the extended warranty that Lenovo offers? and it's not covered under any other warranty program?

A day might not have been enough time to dry out, but then fir the same token, an electrical short could have happened in far less time than you could have switched it off.

there isn't enough information available to tell you what the issue is. a hard drive is actually fairly resistant to a spill and I doubt 9 bad sectors is the result of a liquid spill. A normal disk repair (Computer -? Drive -> Properties -> Tools) should be able to resolve that.

As for the turbo-boost fiasco, that's not clear at all. If it persists, you may have to send it in to LEnovo for repairs.
 

Bananalover117

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Even if such spill-resistance was a feature of my device, the abnormal hardware readings suggest that it didn't properly work.

I doubt any warranty I could have is going to pay for damage caused by misuse. Such warranties do exist, I know, but they are invariably ones you have to request and pay extra for.

I have run the basic disk repair multiple times. I also did the more intense (I presume) analyzing and repairing cycle with the chkdsk /b /v /x C: command. I have also defragged the disk many a time, and wiped the free space with CCleaner. I don't know if any of this straight up helped, as the 9 bad sectors are still there. I'd still say the situation has improved, as the disk usage isn't 100% all the times now. It just peaks whenever something is requested from the disk. Physical damage causing bad sectors isn't unheard of, is it?

I did some research about Intel's boost technology, and I'd seem that my CPU is actually working like it should: Hyper Boost ramps up the performance whenever possible, resulting in very snappy performance to low stress applications. And as the more demanding processes increase the CPU's heat, the clock level drops accordingly, just like it does in my case. I guess I didn't just pay much attention to the frequency of my CPU before the accident.

This would suggest that something is in fact wrong with my cooling system. Dust is a likely culprit, but it worries my that the problems surface right now after the water accident. I think I'll open the device tomorrow and see if I can fix the overheating by clearing away the dust.

I'd really much like to avoid sending the machine anywhere. It's pretty clear that no one but me is going to pay the bills. It's not like they could do much more at Lenovo than change the drive and some other possibly damaged components, then charge me double the price of the parts, plus the price of the repair, plus the price of shipping my computer all across the world. However, If I can't get the heat down tomorrow, I don't have many options left. It wasn't a cheap thing for a laptop, so getting it working again is pretty much necessary.
 

Bananalover117

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It would appear that I'm mostly talking to myself, but I guess that's what I should've expected with such complex and vague issues.

I tried to clean the dust away, couldn't do it. I simply can't remove the back panel. Some sort of plastics pieces connected to it wrap around the bottom assembly. Many tutorials I watched had comments of people breaking those pieces, and none of the tutorials gave any sort of special tricks for the removal.

It really seems like I have to take the machine to a professional. It's really pissing me off to have to pay lots for a job I could propably do myself if it weren't for two pieces of plastic.

I ran HD Tune scan, and from it's readings the damage to the HDD really doesn't seem all that bad. I'll have to post a picture later, but there literally is a one single red square on a field of green. I really don't have much idea as to what the readings atually mean, but according to the program the bad sector(s?) don't contribute to even 1% of the disk's capacity.

Could completely formatting the drive fix the issues? How could I even do that, since it's the installation drive of my Windows, and I can't even remove it?
 

Karsten75

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It's an issue with all newer models of laptop computers. To be as thin as possible, their construction has been complicated. In many cases all components - including hard drive and battery are soldered to the motherboard, leaving no user-replaceable parts. So they make the assembly such that users can't open and service the machine.

For older models (I had a Thinkpad up until 4-5 years ago), Lenovo (and before them IBM) published a service manual. THat usually had instructions for authorized service centers on how to open the machines. I sued that to open my machines and blow the dust out. On the last model, there were some screws that I couldnt' get loose around the heatsink/fan, so I did a half-assed job and still got temps down by 20C.

Failing the manual online and some special tools for removal of the plastic (sloogers?) - check iFixit if they have steps. If not, they will at least have the tools.

I was surprised that you couldn't reallocate the defective sectors. Most times in my experience, Windows can do that in a scan. You may have to do something more drastic such as a reformat, as you suggest. You can probably still create recovery media (as one should do initially) or they may be on a hidden partition on the hard drive. Failing both of those, You can order them from Lenovo for about $30-40.

Or you can go to a MS site (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows7), provide your Windows key and if your OS is permitted, MS will provide you with a download. THen you can install that and install all necessary drivers from Lenovo's site.

As you said, most of your problem is fairly vague, the symptoms you report don't directly align with the reported cause and the device preclude some of the remedies available to desktop users.

I fear that in the end it might overall be more effective if you simply bite the bullet and send it in to an authorized Lenovo repair center. The mods here usually don't let me quote Forest Gump. :(
 

Bananalover117

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Feb 11, 2016
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Thanks for the tips, once again. I was actually very surprised to find the back panel is so fiddly. One of the selling points of this machine is the upgradeability: what use are extra RAM ports if user can't even get the damn thing open?

Is the purpose of recovery media to reinstall the OS and drivers? I'll look around for instructions about the damn back panel, but reformatting really seems like the only thing I can do myself at this point. Still, even if that'll work, the heat issues are most likely going to remain. I think you're right about sending it away, is just so pains me to do so.
 
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