Flight Diversions, Liquid Spills and Lost Data
Here at Drive Rescue, liquid or water damaged MacBooks is a perennial problem we encounter. In fact, accidentally spilt water, tea, soft drinks, coffee or beer is a such a common problem that Apple has strategicially placed around 8 or 10 “liquid contact indicators” on the logicboard of their MacBook and MacBook Air devices to detect spillage events. Seemingly, these sensors save their technicians a lot of time when it comes to diagnosing systems and assists them in deciding whether an Apple Care warranty has been invalidated by a spill.
We recently helped a customer who experienced such an event. They spilt water on their MacBook Air (2014). They attempted to dry it out using a towel, cotton ear buds and even placed it in a basin of uncooked rice. However, despite their valiant attempts, their cleanup travails did not work. When they powered on their system, all they got was the dreaded White Screen of Death.
This incident could have happened to anyone. In fact recently, it was reported in the Irish media that an Airbus A330 pilot en route from Frankfurt to Cancun had to make an unplanned diversion to Shannon Airport because one of the pilots accidentally knocked his coffee cup onto the cockpit controls!
On recommendation of a colleague, our customer delivered the damaged MacBook Air to us. In the disk bay, we found a third-generation Samsung SSD (Model: MZ-JPV256). This disk uses a 12+16 connector and a PCIe 2.0 X 2 interface. Using a custom PCIe adaptor for Apple SSDs, we connected the disk our data recovery system. Dead as a dodo. After some further diagnostics, we discovered a short circuit on the disk’s PCB. This was remedied, but the disk was still not fully intitialising. Finally, after putting the disk into “technological mode”, we were able to access the HFS+ volume and retrieve the data (Word, PowerPoint, PDFs, .AVI and.VEG files)
At least the customer could console themselves that the data recovery from their water damaged MacBook probably cost a fraction of what it costs to clean up the instrument panel of a multi-million euro A330 aircraft!