Login    Forum    Search    FAQ

Board index » Upgrading and Repairing Forum » Laptop Hardware




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Cat Urine on Keyboard/Inside System
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:27 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:54 am
Posts: 196
Location: Minneapolis, MN
I have a cat, who for some reason decided to pee right next to the T42, which soon became on the T42's keyboard. I removed the keyboard, attempting to spill as little urine as possible off of it, and then washed the keyboard under tap water, as I did not have any distilled on hand (probably a serious oversight). There was not any urine evident in the system, only around the bezel, which I have cleaned, but at least some must be present, as the heatsink vent smells lightly of cat urine. I have place the keyboard back in place, and now the system appears to be working fine. I have the following questions:

1) Should I rinse the keyboard in distilled water now, or can it be left alone, having only been rinsed in tap water?
2) Should I attempt to somehow clean the interior of the system of cat urine, and if so, how should I go about that?

Thanks.


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:11 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
Posts: 6114
Reference this post for more information on dealing with spills: viewtopic.php?p=251#251

Note that one of the links suggests that if you send in a laptop with cat urine in it, the system will be returned in a biohazard bag with the warranty voided!

IBM/Lenovo began including drain holes in its laptops starting with the T/R60 models. Since your laptop doesn't have the drain holes, the spill could have entered the unit.

If the keyboard works but still smells of urine, you could try rinsing it again with distilled water, or simply replace it with a new one for about $60.

For the rest of the system I'd recommend opening it up and inspecting it with a black light, which will cause any dried urine to glow. If you find any, I'd recommend a more thorough disassembly and cleaning, followed by a treatment of any non-circuit board components with an enzyme type cat urine neutralizer. That *should* get rid of the smell. I'm not sure I'd try any of the enzyme cleaner on circuitry, for circuit boards I'd try cleaning with distilled water or maybe some isopropyl alchohol.

Let me know how things turn out, Scott.


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 3:49 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:54 am
Posts: 196
Location: Minneapolis, MN
I did do the power down, remove battery, prior to attending to the urine.

The keyboard does not smell of cat urine, only the fan vent on the left. I used a black light on the interior (keyboard removed) last night, didn't see anything in there (I could do a further strip down). So I have a smell that I can't find the source of. Maybe it's in the copper heat sink assembly? Do you think enzymatic cleaner will be inert with copper? Wonder what cat urine does to copper. I figure the smell will eventually dissipate on its own, although I'm concerned that it might be damaging to anything it might have come into contact with.

The T42's 3-year warranty expired in August.

Speaking of the current models, have they gone wide-screen only now? The ones I see certainly aren't near the 1400x1050 I have in my T42.


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:53 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Feb 04, 2007 11:44 am
Posts: 6114
I've never tried that type of cleaner on copper, but it can't be worse than cat urine as far as causing corrosion goes. <g> You could replace the entire heat sink assembly for roughly $30 to $50 which will include all of the copper parts plus a new fan.

Regarding Laptop screens:

IBM/Lenovo has gone mostly widescreen because they have no choice. See the following quote from Matt Kohut, an analyst who works at Lenovo: http://lenovoblogs.com/insidethebox/?p=83

Quote:
...the biggest reason that I haven't jumped to a T61 yet is that I HATE widescreen displays. Let me repeat that. I HATE HATE HATE widescreen displays. I don't like losing the screen height and I think they are a solution in search of a problem. I know that very soon it is going to be impossible to get a regular aspect ratio display panel from anyone. (We can thank LCD glass vendors which have optimized their manufacturing lines for widescreen television displays. They can make more money and have less waste by cutting their large sheets of glass into 16:9 or 16:10 widescreen notebook panels instead of 4:3 sizes.)


I agree completely. I cherish the 15" 1400x1050 SXGA+ display in my R60, a display type which is no longer available on new systems. The widescreen 15.4" equivelants offer either significantly lower resolutions, or higher resolutions but also *significantly* smaller fonts/icons (pixels per inch).

Here are the 15.4" screens available, compared to my current 15.0" standard screen, listed in order of increasing resolution:

Code:
 Size   Resolution        Megapixels  Pixels/inch  Aspect Ratio
 --------------------------------------------------------------
 15.4"  1280x 800 WXGA    1.024mp      98ppi       Wide 16:10
 15.4"  1440x 900 WXGA+   1.296mp     110ppi       Wide 16:10
 --------------------------------------------------------------
 15.0"  1400x1050 SXGA+   1.470mp     117ppi       Standard 4:3
 --------------------------------------------------------------
 15.4"  1680x1050 WSXGA+  1.764mp     129ppi       Wide 16:10
 15.4"  1920x1200 WUXGA   2.304mp     147ppi       Wide 16:10
 --------------------------------------------------------------


One problem for me (and many in the 40 and up age bracket) is that the current 117ppi (pixels per inch) sizing of the 15" 1400x1050 is about the most I can take without requiring reading glasses.

You can still get ThinkPads with 14.1" 1400x1050 SXGA+ standard aspect ratio displays, but the smaller 14.1" size drives the font/icon sizing to 124ppi. At that point I'm going to need reading glasses anyway, so I might as well jump to the 15.4" 1680x1050 widescreen which offers more resolution with nearly the same font/icon sizing (129ppi). The 15.4 WUXGA screens are just insane (147ppi), I don't see how anybody can use those without +2.0 (or greater) diopter reading glasses or a magnifying glass. <g>

Another problem for me is that I've been using the same set of laptop bags (several different bags for different purposes) for something like 10 years now, and none of the widescreen models will fit in any of them. But alas, in 2 or 3 more years when I retire my current R60, I figure that despite my wishes there is little doubt I'll be forced to get a 15.4" widescreen model as a replacement.

At least the ThinkPads haven't succumed to the *rediculous* trend of using glossy LCD screens. A glossy screen might be nice if you only use your laptop in dark rooms, but in a normally lit environments, and especially anywhere near a window or outside, the glare is simply intolerable. I want to see what I'm working on, not everything behind me! Scott.


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 Post subject:
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 08, 2007 9:46 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 10:54 am
Posts: 196
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Secondary repair attempt, working from ThinkPad Computer Hardware Maintenance Manual, February 2006, for T40, T41, T42 and ThinkPad Dock II:

Removed following FRUs:

1) 1020 Battery pack for 15.0-in. LCD models, page 73
2) 1040 Hard disk drive, on page 75
3) 1060 Keyboard, on page 79
4) 1110 Keyboard bezel or Keyboard bezel with fingerprint sensor (for 15.0 inch LCD models), page 91

At this point, among other things, most of the top of the heatsink/fan assembly, and the top of the PC Card cage, were exposed. The copper heatsink had several spots of greened copper, due to exposure to cat urine. The PC Card cage had several semi-gelatinous urine droplets on it. First wiped down areas with enzymatic cleaner (including foam padding on top of heatsink), then with distilled water. Tried to dry foam padding with paper towels. The green copper areas of the heatsink came off tarnished, but with no greening left. Unsure if it will re-green or not, on its own.

5) 1080 Modem daughter card (MDC/MDC-2)
6) 1120 Mini PCI Adapter
7) Attempted 1210, LCD assembly for 15.0 in. LCD models. At page 125, when removing 1 screw on the left, and two screens on the right, discovered that the screw on the left had been largely stripped, during a service call (I didn't do it.). I attempted to remove the screw, planning on replacing it with another screw, but it was mostly stripped by the time I got it partially removed, and at that point became concerned I wouldn't be able to fully remove it, and tried to screw it back in. It mostly is back in plcae, but is now completely stripped, and I don't know how to fix this. I wanted to remove the heatsink/fan assembly to clean the fins, and replace the power port on the rear, but I cannot do this, as I am unable to detach the LCD assembly from the unit.

Poured distilled water over top and bottom of keyboard. Highly recommend leaving the keyboard out to dry, keypad facing down, for at least 8-10 hours. Otherwise, it will superficially appear dry, but when you go to test it, something will not behave correctly, and you'll freak out thinking your keyboard is broken. In my case, the trackpoint kept drifting diagonally downwards and to the left. If you use a hair dryer, you probably should use one with a switch or button to turn off the heating element, I was concerned that heat might cause the lettering on the keyboard buttons to fall off.

Reassembled machine. Everything appears to function normally for the time being. Fan vent still smells somewhat of cat urine. The trackpoint feels a little "loggy," but not sure if this is psychological or not.

Conclusions:
1) Don't pee or let anyone else pee on your ThinkPad. Based on my experience, it will survive, but it will not be completely restorable to its pre-existing state.
2) If you have virgin copper that you wish to age, cat urine is a good catalyst.
3) As soon as I win the lottery, I'm getting off of this slowly dying thing and buying a shiny new T-series. With on-site of course, never depot repair. They break things (do a search on Solectron and IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad for verification).

P.S. For reference purposes, as of this post (10/08/2007), the current and only P/N for a keyboard is the 39T0645 (it might be a 3 at the end, can't read my scribble). The three keyboard P/N listed in the parts section of the repair manual revert to that new P/N. It is $94.40, plus S&H.

P.P.S. The trackpoint is definitely off. It has a tendency to float around on its own, quite apart from the normal re-calibration routine. It is also harder to hit buttons, highlight objects, etc.


Top 
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 5 posts ] 

Board index » Upgrading and Repairing Forum » Laptop Hardware


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: