How to help your laptop survive an accident

Jeanine Ammann

13 December 2017


Sometimes, things do not go the way we planned when coffee spills or our precious laptops fall. In this article, we provide you with useful tips on how to deal with accidents or damages concerning your computer.

Damaged display

Accidental damages to the display are usually not covered by the product’s warranty. In the case that your damaged computer has a non-touch screen display, you can consider yourself lucky, since these are easier and cheaper to repair. If replacement parts are available, our staff at the Neptun help points may be able to fix the damaged display for a small fee.
Damages on touch screen displays are trickier and therefore often a bit more expensive to repair. Still, they can be repaired, and you may not need to replace your computer. Again, see our Neptun help desk staff and they will help you arrange the repairs.
If you want to repair the damaged display all by yourself, you can contact us to help you finding the right replacement parts. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to fix broken displays.

Spills

If you spill liquids over your computer, the resulting damage will not be covered by the product’s warranty. Please note that in the case of spills, time matters! So here is what you can do:

  • First, turn off your computer immediately and remove the battery right away.
  • Second, if possible, open the case. Please note that if your laptop is still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, opening the case may probably void your warranty. Searching for you laptop model and “hardware maintenance manual” should guide you to the information on opening your laptop and the warranty conditions.
  • Third, use paper towels to carefully dry your laptop as much as possible. After that, have your laptop dry for at least 3 days. Placing it next to a heater or a ventilator helps evaporate the liquid. After these 3 days, you can bring your laptop to one of our Neptun help points if it still does not run.
  • Additionally, here is an in-depth guide on how to save your laptop in case you are handy with hardware.

Falls

Just like any other object on earth, your laptop will fall by the laws of physics with a velocity v = g * t. However, laptops usually hit the floor with an expensive sounding clunk.
First, you should check your laptop for damages on the display or the body. A broken display or smashed plastic can often be repaired.
Second, check the ports on your laptop for damage. If something was plugged in when it fell, one or more ports may be damaged. Oftentimes, these can be fixed, but this usually requires an expensive motherboard replacement.
Third, you should check whether your laptop still works. In case it is not running, try to turn it on. If you cannot turn your laptop on, this might indicate that the fall damaged the motherboard. Our staff at the Neptun help point can help you identify and solve the problem.
If you cannot turn your computer on and it is beeping, your laptop is giving you an error code. By registering the number of beeps your laptop makes, you can look up the error code to find out what it means.
In the case that your laptop still works, listen for unusual sounds when turning it on. A scratching noise might be an indication of an internal damage of your laptop. You should check whether your hard drive is fine, too. If your computer gets stuck somewhere during start up, there might be hard drive damage. In the case that your system cannot start up properly, a re-installation might help. If you keep a backup of your data, you do not have to worry about data loss.
To summarise, we recommend that you contact our Neptun help point staff after a fall. We can run some tests and, if necessary, arrange the repairs of your laptop. Even if you want to do the repairs yourself, just come by and we help you order the parts and get things going.

Warranty

All Neptun products come with a warranty by the manufacturer. When buying the product, some manufacturers give you the possibility to prolong this warranty for additional years. If you plan to keep your device for a certain amount of years, it is recommended to make sure that the warranty covers these years.

Insurance

Has any of the above mentioned already happened to you before or do you feel especially clumsy? In this case, an insurance might be just what you need. You no longer have to worry about the costs of a new display when your laptop fell from the table after you showed your colleague how you do your 80’s disco moves and the next time your boss drinks coffee over your precious laptop, you do not have to worry about the joke you are going to tell. Accident insurance is not available with every model., but if you are likely to drop your laptop or to spill coke all over, this might be a sensible investment.
However, please note that most insurances come with a limited number of accidents they cover. Microsoft for example usually limits the number of accidents they cover with their insurance to two. When your laptop falls for the third time, the repairs will no longer be covered by the insurance.

Conclusion

Accidents happen often, especially with people who have to carry their devices to and from university every day. So, if you have any questions or if your laptop needs to be repaired, send us an e-mail or visit one of our Neptun help points. You can find the list of our help points and our opening hours here.