Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop Liquid Damage Repair – Leaked water bottle in a backpack

This week we had a Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop for a liquid damage repair. The customer’s water bottle had leaked inside of his backpack and went into the laptop.

As a result, this Microsoft Surface Laptop encountered water damage and a swift repair was required. As of today, these models are less than 3 months old. And thanks to the integrated powerful batteries, even if switched off they circulate high current within.

Potentially shorting more components, causing the repair complexity to shoot through the roof. At the same time dropping the success rate as there is no Schematics, Boardview for the motherboard to identify the components. Not to mention that most of the chips are custom made for Microsoft. This means they are not even available to order/purchase if needs replacement. Seems like Microsoft start following Apple and Lenovo’s practices of locking down repairability by not using generic chips or releasing resale/manufacturing rights on them.

If you are new to liquid damage electronics, read what you should DO and DON’T if you spill liquid accidentally on your laptop.

Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop Dissasemble Process

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 Turns on with no picture
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 Turns on with no picture

Luckily the liquid damage was still letting the laptop turn on, however, it was not displaying any picture.

Taking apart the casing of this Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop is easier than its predecessors. Reaching to the motherboard and taking it out without damaging anything is a completely different story.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 Battery reset pads doesn't disconnect the battery
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 Battery reset pads don’t disconnect the battery

The battery doesn’t detach easily, also the battery reset button doesn’t seem to disconnect the battery. The light stays on even with pads shorted! This is deeply concerning as most of the screws are under a protective shield. It is hard to remove and requires a gentle but persisting pull with a usually sturdy metal tool. This can cause short circuits easily and damage the motherboard further.

Removing the motherboard of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Removing the motherboard of Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

With all screws removed we could start measuring the display connector side of the motherboard.

Please note: This is not educational material. It is rather a showcase of the services we offer.
Therefore, it should be used as general guidance on what to expect of such repairs.
In case you have a similar device and need the repair, always rely on professionals. These are sensitive electronic devices, and small mistakes may cause irreversible electronic damage. Which may require whole part replacement for 2 or 3 times the cost.

Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop Liquid Damage Repair Process

Repair of a logic board without any schematics or boardview designs is a tricky process. We pretty much had to reverse engineer how the screen assembly works and figure out why on earth we have 4 display connectors there. We usually have 2 screen connectors – one for LCD and the second for Touch.

Motherboard of a Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
The motherboard of a Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Once we start poking around the screen connectors we quickly realise that there is a short to ground on LVDS power rails. These rails are responsible of carrying high voltage to the screen assembly. Small liquid here may cause instant short and seize of functionality.

Although there was no clear indication of the liquid damage, due to the customer taking some time before bringing the laptop for repair in our Adelaide workshop. We have managed to narrow the circuit to 3 filtering caps at the input line of a MOSFET.

Replacing shorted capacitor causing black screen on Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Once short was narrowed down, we could replace the offending capacitor. It ends up being the far right one. Most likely liquid drop created a bridge between the metal casing and capacitor. As a result, it shorted internally and was pulling screen voltage down. Luckily it didn’t blow LVD control ICs. As seen on the short video, they all are Microsoft proprietary chips. Impossible to source!

Successful Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop Liquid Damage Repair

Successfully Liquid Damaged Repaired Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop
Successfully Liquid Damaged Repaired Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop

Another prime example of how important is to follow our suggestions for liquid damaged laptops. Otherwise, a shorted chip like this may be a difference between an unrepairable and repairable Microsoft Surface 4 Laptop in Adelaide like this one.

Do you need this Repair in Adelaide?

If your Computer or Laptop is causing trouble and need Laptop Repair Service in Adelaide, give us a call, and we will advise on the best scenario to get your device repaired.

Interstate? Why not Send IT for a Repair. Repairs take under three weeks, including forward and backward postage. Contact us to get an idea of cost and turnarounds.

We at IT-Solve, specialise in Laptop and electronics repairs. We will do our best to repair your Computer quickly without involving high costs and long waiting times in repair shops. Our average repair takes under a week!

Call us now on 0469317177 or drop us an inquiry via Text us via Whatsapp MessengerWhatsApp or Text us via Facebook MesengerMessenger
Our engineers will respond quickly to your query.

Repaired, not Replaced!

We are committed to reducing e-waste in Australia. How we do it is by educating our customers on the repairability and longevity of their devices, as well as providing affordable Laptop Repairs here in Adelaide.
Although our best intentions and hard work, this is not an easy task. Customers must accept that cost of high-quality electronic repairs, is between a third and half of the price of a new device. However, with the current trend of planned obsolescence in electronic design, we see more and more Laptops having shorter lifespans. To tackle that, while we do our repairs we target common planned obsolescence engineering design mistakes to ensure we extend the life expectancy of the Laptops we repair. Check some of our Laptop Repair Cases to get an idea of the process.

That said, if we buy a new one or write it off via insurance, it does not guarantee that the new one will not meet the same fate as the older one pretty soon.
As matter of fact, quite often we see accidents reoccurring within less than 2-year gaps. If we can save 1000$ or even 500$ today by repairing our faulty Laptop is great. That’s an extra half Laptop cost ready to be spent on another one when the time comes or our need for performance increases.
When that time comes is up to us to buy a new one or keep pushing the one we have, but delaying it by a year or three is always a good starting point and saves another abandoned Laptop from polluting our one and only Planet.