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I spilled water on my MacBook Pro. What do I do?

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Okay, so you spilled water on your MacBook pro. Probably through your keyboard. Well, unfortunately, you’re in a bad place. You may have just lost your computer, and it probably won’t be covered by Apple. But hopefully we can recover your data. Let’s get started!

First, review this article to take steps to try and recover your computer.

They do a pretty good job of describing what to do with your laptop when these spills happen, so I’ll make no attempt of rewriting that blog post.

If, after 96 hours your computer still doesn’t boot up you’re going to want to try and recover the data.

Recover the data, expensive approach

If you’re not comfortable with opening up computers, at this point you’re probably going to want to take the computer to an apple store. Bring your broken laptop with you and ask them if they can recover your data. If you have an external hard drive, you could recover it onto that. Even better, if you’re planning on buying a new computer, you could probably do it at the apple store while you’re there and ask them if they can transfer the data from your broken computer to your brand new one.

I have no experience with this but, I’m willing to bet they’d oblige and give it their best shot. Unfortunately, it’s possible that the water damage extends to your hard drive and they may not be able to recover anything.

Recover the data, DIY approach

If you’re comfortable opening up computers and voiding warranties on your (already broken) computer, then you can try this approach. I’d expect your Macbook or Macbook Pro’s hard drive to be a 2.5” SATA drive. You’ll need to buy one of these guys, which are pretty reasonably priced on amazon.

Now, find an article on how to open your computer and get to the hard drive itself. Here are some listed below, and a simple search on google should show you other instructions on how to do it.

Once you’ve extracted your hard drive, you’ll want to figure out where to put the files you want to recover. If you’ve bought a new MacBook you’ll want to boot it up fresh by running the Migration Assistant. This article should be able to direct you comfortably in that direction.

If you’re just trying to recover a certain set of file, plug the USB drive into any working computer. You should be able to browse the files exactly as you would’ve if you were browsing them in the Finder.