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Line of Dell laptops designed for business users, mostly manufactured by Compal and Quanta.

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Is this water damage look concerning?

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I have cleaned already cleaned up any water damage here, and the machine is fine despite being purchased as a “no POST” system - this was likely why. Normally I condemn water damaged hardware if I don't know how old it is without any cleaning attempts, but for this one being so minor I decided to try and clean it and hope for the best. In addition to the board the CMOS battery has a little bit on the wires (but not the connectors) and it's not leaking so it's probably cosmetic. I'll still replace it as a precaution due to being exposed, but it's not worrying in the sense it'll ruin the board.

Should I need to worry or am I better off using it with caution until I feel good it's not going to break?

@jayeff here's some up close photos of the CMOS battery connector:

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Did you note the corrosion under the RTC plug?

I’d use it till it fails. Remember, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

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Didn't see any under it, but I made sure to clean the connector as well. I need to test this a bit closer especially the headphone jack.

The way Dell solders it makes that a non concern but I really need to go over this closer and make sure I got it all. If I find any cables that are damaged I'm just replacing them - future issues waiting to happen otherwise.

As far as no choice repairs go I need to replace the CMOS battery (dead), 2 flatflex cables and check the battery cable over. Basically until I know this laptop isn't trashed I'm going for the bare minimum.

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I think it may be less devastating than I thought :-)*. It may be from the RTC battery since while I did find liquid damage it wasn't correlating. Looks like I nipped it just in time. Hopefully I can fix the damage with a new battery, and those 2 wires. This isn't a Maxcell bomb from the 90s so it's not devastating like the 1/2 AA lithium bombs like Apple used.

*Hopefully - didn't see any damage to the components or RTC battery socket.

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Hi @nick ,

I may be seeing it wrong and can’t get in close enough but this looks like a suspect solder joint that is partially covered over but I can’t tell by what. You may want to check it out just in case.

Perhaps stress test the laptop for 24 hours and see how that goes.

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(click on image to enlarge)

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That's exactly what I saw!

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I didn't see anything obvious, but yeah this gives me dumped on eBay due to a box of red flags between the suspect green stuff that cleaned up, water damage and now suspect solder joints. On the other hand if it's eWaste due to the board it has the WWAN FHD assembly and battery with 95% of it's FCC if that's still correct :-). No LTE card, but I can use it to add one.

But yeah, that's part of the board - it's a via, not a solder joint.

I'll backup this 128GB M.2 SSD, erase it and then just run Prime95, and beat on it for a day or two once I can replace the trackpad cable (the glue on the copper lines is bad from whatever happened, so I can't reuse it; I don't GAF about the USH wire, which covers the smartcard reader option).

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The cables for the trackpad and UHS board came and are replaced - I'll stress test it soon. Probably fine tbh, but I want to check it over before I spend too much time on it.

Despite the water damage, the battery looks fine. I'll chance it there, within reason.

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@jayeff Bad news round two :-(. It has some bad juju around it's history. I will be doing my best to clear things up (mostly because it's now known that I bought it... Not happy...) and hopefully sorting this out. If I get news this bad thing is a problem for usability (ex: unit may lock up), board goes in the trash and I'm getting a bad panel donor or a ratty one I can pull a board from and making a nice one. Not HW, backend issues. This will be the only clue.

Water damage is already a rough fix... This may be fatal. I'm not making the specifics known to anyone unless I can sort it out.

Thankfully I'll have my answer soon (next month or 1 month later).

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@jayeff I had some time to think what I want to do with the new information on hand, even after putting money into a repair attempt. Between this very weary mess of a past and the water damage putting a question as to how long it'll live on one hand I want to at least try but on the other it's a bit more of a rough start then I want to touch :(.

Now if I find out this is just a support issue I may try to save it, but I need to see how much it matters. I'm asking a trusted source but this may be over.

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