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January 30, 2006, 2:42 am
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My wife spilled a decent bit of water on her laptop a few months
ago. After drying, the right click button doesn't work at all and the
left click has the functions of the standard right click. I would
blame it on a hardware issue somewhere, except that the same behavior
happens when you plug in a USB mouse. Is it possible that this is a
software issue that we can fix? Any chance there is any way I can fix
a hardware problem like this myself?
Re: Spilled Water Mouse Issue
active when you have a USB mouse connected, that the water has caused the
right click button to remain 'clicked' and that this is overriding the mouse
right click as well. I think you're probably right that it is a hardware
issue, but whether it is self-repairable would depend on how serious the
issue is, and how confident you would be about stripping your laptop down.
I have had a little bit of experience in resolving similar problems where
liquid (coke, water, foam cleanser) has been spilled on a keyboard. There
are a couple of general keyboard designs at least, in circulation. The
first uses miniature microswitches directly under the keys If used, the
micro-switches involved tend to fill up with the liquid which being
contained is hard to dry out, but not impossible. Where the liquid is not
pure water (most of the time it isn't pure distilled water), the impurities
in it can cause current to flow across the contacts which the computer will
interpret as the switch or button being depressed (my thoughts regarding
your situation are along these lines). If the liquid is a sticky sugary
drink or cleaning fluid (foam cleanser used a little too liberally), the
liquid dries leaving a residue behind which tends to cause the contacts to
become protected and the switch contacts simply don't connect. Sometimes
the liquid can cause the contacts to oxidise which has the same effect.
The other type of keyboard assembly used sometimes, consists of a carbonised
pad on the end of a spring assembly for each key, which when depressed
causes the carbon pad to short two points on a printed circuit board
underneath. Whilst easier to dry out, the problem of residue remains.
I think you have a stuck key, and possibly caused by a still soggy
I have had some success by simply working the offending key repeatedly until
it comes back to life. Sometimes this is not enough and removing the key
top is necessary to squirt a tiny (and I mean tiny!) bit of switch
cleaner/lubricant directly onto the microswitch - beware that this attacks
rubber and plastic though, so doing this is entirely at your own risk as you
could make the problem worse. Exercising the offending button usually
causes the lubricant to enter and to drive out any moisture that remains.
By 'exercising' I simply mean repeated firm tapping of the button.
This may or may not be the answer to your problem, but my guess is that your
laptop uses microswitches and the offending button is still waterlogged.