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The April 2014 update of the 11" MacBook Air packs refreshed dual-core i5 and i7 Haswell processors and slightly increased battery performance.

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MacBook Air Black screen / off screen after liquid / water damage

I’m trying to save a Macbook Air 11’ Early 2014 model a friend is throwing out after spilling water on it last week.


  1. He kept using it after the spilling water on it, next morning it didn’t work anymore.
  2. When I received it the fan went to 100% after turning it on. No sound. No picture. External monitor does work and it boots fine.
  3. I’ve disassembled the laptop and brushed everything off with 99.9% alcohol.
  4. Macbook does now boot with audible chime and without the fan going completely nuts. The screen flashes between ‘off’ and ‘black’ but the laptop stays on and the external monitor works fine. I can’t see anything on screen while using a flashlight.

I was wondering if anyone could tell by the pictures if this is salvageable or something is really burned out.

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update 26 april 2021

I’ve removed the JTAG adapter, but everything is still the same.

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It doesn’t look too bad. I see some areas of damage like the JTAG port which is visible in the 2nd to last image. I often just take it off as it doesn’t offer anything outside of the manufacturing process as they often short out from liquid damage.

While you stopped further damage its going to take someone with deeper skills to bring this logic board back.

Update (04/26/2021)

Just carefully desolder this - JTAG connector

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Its not used! Make sure you don’t short out the pads use solder wick the remove all of the solder from the connector pads.

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Thanks Dan. That JTAG piece had very bad corrosion (green stuff) on it which I cleaned off. Is there anything in particular that I could try to clean better with a small chance of it working again? I'm not sure which chips do what.

As the laptop is 7 years old and worth pretty much nothing it's not worth having someone else fix it. Perhaps I could salvage some parts.

Edit: Thanks for the update. I'm going to try to remove it very carefully!


@danj I’ve removed the JTAG adapter as best as I can but nothing has changed. I’ve updated the original post with a picture. Did I screw up as there are two shiny things missing?


I had my fingers crossed ;-{ Sorry I often see this gets messed up by spillage.

The pads either got lifted as you hadn't heated up the pins enough or it was corrosion which ate it away. This is not an important connector as its only used during manufacturing JTAG

At this point its time to find someone with deeper skills locally who can diagnose the board.


@danj Alright. I'll see if I can find someone. So sad that one little thing can ruin this entire laptop while it's working just fine when connected to an external display.


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