Hardware New Nintendo 3DS XL - *Potential* water damage. Am I f̸̕͟҉̡u͘͏͟c͘͘k͜͡ed?

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Hello! Please get ready for a wall of text. Sorry.

Last night I spilled water on my desktop. What I didn't notice was that the water ran under the 3DS. So I used a cloth on it to dry it up a bit, and go to sleep.

This morning I was greeted by my 3DS not turning on -- the power lightbulb would turn on to just turn back off. Unlike my past hinge-damaged 3DS, it didn't make a popping sound. I thought, "damn it, my MicroSD died again! And I never took it out of the console!". So I reached under the lid.

Full of water. On the part of the slot where a circle is drawn, water. The inner part of the lid, water. I tried taking out the battery. I honestly do not remember seeing that with water, but I did see that the pin on the battery had a single drop of water. Oh, the uncertainty. Dried it up with a cloth, again, took out the MicroSD, somehow forgot about the water and turned it back on. It works! Luma3DS greets me with the config menu. I put it on my pocket to play with it later. Except I didn't use it in the entire morning.

Evening -- I'm back home. Cleaning myself just to not get infected. Gotta love how paranoic I am. Put the MicroSD on the 3DS to be greeted with good ol' HOME menu. It was working. Maybe the spring was loose, who knows. While playing Minecraft New 3DS Edition, it suddenly freezes for 2 seconds, then the console turns off.

"Huh, weird. Must have been a crash.".

Expecting to be greeted with Luma3DS complaining about a crash, the console no longer turns on! I play ejecting and putting the MicroSD back in and it works again. Back at Minecraft, and after some time, it crashes once again, and then I mess around with the MicroSD. I think this may have happened one more time, though I am not certain. Not being sure what was the problem, I was about to start playing again. Then it dawned on me.

"Shit. The water."

I went, and even though it may have been too late, I took out the MicroSD card, the battery, the lid, and put it on my desktop for it to dry. Though it might be useless -- it is all cloudy and cool in this place. After all I did, I think something should have stopped working by now, which means letting it dry is useless, especially because it's getting dark outside. Also, putting it on sunlight is not a good idea at all, because my dad's smartphone got damaged because of sunlight exposure... and there is no money for sending it to repairs.

Should I start waving goodbye to my console?
 
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Diego788

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damn, I had the same problem with my 3DS recently, the LED turned on and off in less than a second and that all, but I never thought It could be water damage, now the LED wont even turn on at all...

hopefully you can fix your 3DS, let it dry more time just in case, one or two days maybe, put it on rice or something
 
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Hello! Please get ready for a wall of text. Sorry.

Last night I spilled water on my desktop. What I didn't notice was that the water ran under the 3DS. So I used a cloth on it to dry it up a bit, and go to sleep.

This morning I was greeted by my 3DS not turning on -- the power lightbulb would turn on to just turn back off. Unlike my past hinge-damaged 3DS, it didn't make a popping sound. I thought, "damn it, my MicroSD died again! And I never took it out of the console!". So I reached under the lid.

Full of water. On the part of the slot where a circle is drawn, water. The inner part of the lid, water. I tried taking out the battery. I honestly do not remember seeing that with water, but I did see that the pin on the battery had a single drop of water. Oh, the uncertainty. Dried it up with a cloth, again, took out the MicroSD, somehow forgot about the water and turned it back on. It works! Luma3DS greets me with the config menu. I put it on my pocket to play with it later. Except I didn't use it in the entire morning.

Evening -- I'm back home. Cleaning myself just to not get infected. Gotta love how paranoic I am. Put the MicroSD on the 3DS to be greeted with good ol' HOME menu. It was working. Maybe the spring was loose, who knows. While playing Minecraft New 3DS Edition, it suddenly freezes for 2 seconds, then the console turns off.

"Huh, weird. Must have been a crash.".

Expecting to be greeted with Luma3DS complaining about a crash, the console no longer turns on! I play ejecting and putting the MicroSD back in and it works again. Back at Minecraft, and after some time, it crashes once again, and then I mess around with the MicroSD. I think this may have happened one more time, though I am not certain. Not being sure what was the problem, I was about to start playing again. Then it dawned on me.

"Shit. The water."

I went, and even though it may have been too late, I took out the MicroSD card, the battery, the lid, and put it on my desktop for it to dry. Though it might be useless -- it is all cloudy and cool in this place. After all I did, I think something should have stopped working by now, which means letting it dry is useless, especially because it's getting dark outside. Also, putting it on sunlight is not a good idea at all, because my dad's smartphone got damaged because of sunlight exposure... and there is no money for sending it to repairs.

Should I start waving goodbye to my console?
Disassemble it as much as possible and stick all the parts in front of a fan until it's dry. You should do this immediately. If you have a triwing screwdriver you should at least take the back off enough so that the PCB is exposed and air can blow directly on it. Even if you don't have a triwing screwdriver, you can use a tiny flathead screwdriver that's small enough to just fit in the middle of the groove and it should unscrew easily. Do not use the rice trick that you may have heard of before, it makes a mess and doesn't actually work all that well. A fan blowing air directly on it is quite effective but obviously it works faster if it's fully disassembled. Once it's dry, if you disassembled it you can look for signs of corrosion. Cleaning up corrosion can sometimes be enough to fix liquid damage issues (especially when it comes to connectors which could possibly not make proper contact if they're corroded)
Since the issue seems to be intermittent it's probably not corrosion damage that is causing it but a temporary short due to the liquid, so that means there is a good chance it will all work fine once it's dry.
You're lucky it was just water. Soda for example is far more corrosive and within 10 minutes it could do a lot of damage. Even so, having it powered on and electricity running through the droplets of liquid speeds up the corrosion process by a lot and also runs the risk of frying something if there is a low enough resistance short. General rule with liquid spills is if the device was not powered on, and you immediately disassemble it and stick it in front of a fan to dry once you notice, it will survive without any damage (maybe minor corrosion damage but not enough to affect operation)
But that can be problematic with some modern devices nowadays being molded out of a single piece of metal or glued together so that it's nearly impossible to open up. It's the only way to guarantee that it's fully dry though.

Protip, if you had kept the 3DS in a pouch it probably wouldn't have gotten wet.
 
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JJ1013

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Disassemble it as much as possible and stick all the parts in front of a fan until it's dry. You should do this immediately. If you have a triwing screwdriver you should at least take the back off enough so that the PCB is exposed and air can blow directly on it. Even if you don't have a triwing screwdriver, you can use a tiny flathead screwdriver that's small enough to just fit in the middle of the groove and it should unscrew easily. Do not use the rice trick that you may have heard of before, it makes a mess and doesn't actually work all that well. A fan blowing air directly on it is quite effective but obviously it works faster if it's fully disassembled. Once it's dry, if you disassembled it you can look for signs of corrosion. Cleaning up corrosion can sometimes be enough to fix liquid damage issues (especially when it comes to connectors which could possibly not make proper contact if they're corroded)
Since the issue seems to be intermittent it's probably not corrosion damage that is causing it but a temporary short due to the liquid, so that means there is a good chance it will all work fine once it's dry.
You're lucky it was just water. Soda for example is far more corrosive and within 10 minutes it could do a lot of damage. Even so, having it powered on and electricity running through the droplets of liquid speeds up the corrosion process by a lot and also runs the risk of frying something if there is a low enough resistance short. General rule with liquid spills is if the device was not powered on, and you immediately disassemble it and stick it in front of a fan to dry once you notice, it will survive without any damage (maybe minor corrosion damage but not enough to affect operation)
But that can be problematic with some modern devices nowadays being molded out of a single piece of metal or glued together so that it's nearly impossible to open up. It's the only way to guarantee that it's fully dry though.

Protip, if you had kept the 3DS in a pouch it probably wouldn't have gotten wet.

Oh boy. I feel like if I take it apart, I won't be able to know how to put it back together again. I will look for a screwdriver anyways.

Also, it was not in a pouch.

Also, no. The rice method is antihygienic.
 
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JJ1013

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Disassemble it as much as possible and stick all the parts in front of a fan until it's dry. You should do this immediately. If you have a triwing screwdriver you should at least take the back off enough so that the PCB is exposed and air can blow directly on it. Even if you don't have a triwing screwdriver, you can use a tiny flathead screwdriver that's small enough to just fit in the middle of the groove and it should unscrew easily. Do not use the rice trick that you may have heard of before, it makes a mess and doesn't actually work all that well. A fan blowing air directly on it is quite effective but obviously it works faster if it's fully disassembled. Once it's dry, if you disassembled it you can look for signs of corrosion. Cleaning up corrosion can sometimes be enough to fix liquid damage issues (especially when it comes to connectors which could possibly not make proper contact if they're corroded)
Since the issue seems to be intermittent it's probably not corrosion damage that is causing it but a temporary short due to the liquid, so that means there is a good chance it will all work fine once it's dry.
You're lucky it was just water. Soda for example is far more corrosive and within 10 minutes it could do a lot of damage. Even so, having it powered on and electricity running through the droplets of liquid speeds up the corrosion process by a lot and also runs the risk of frying something if there is a low enough resistance short. General rule with liquid spills is if the device was not powered on, and you immediately disassemble it and stick it in front of a fan to dry once you notice, it will survive without any damage (maybe minor corrosion damage but not enough to affect operation)
But that can be problematic with some modern devices nowadays being molded out of a single piece of metal or glued together so that it's nearly impossible to open up. It's the only way to guarantee that it's fully dry though.

Protip, if you had kept the 3DS in a pouch it probably wouldn't have gotten wet.

Welp. The only screwdriver I have is a multi-screwdriver. And apart from that, none of the heads fit on such a tiny hole.

All I can do now is leave it drying for like a week, but I'm not sure if it will work, even with the fan. Now counting...
 
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Welp. The only screwdriver I have is a multi-screwdriver. And apart from that, none of the heads fit on such a tiny hole.

All I can do now is leave it drying for like a week, but I'm not sure if it will work, even with the fan. Now counting...
I would suggest buying one of those jeweller screwdriver sets ASAP, they're cheap and should have a small enough size. As the longer it takes to dry the more time there is for corrosion to happen as well and it might permanently ruin the console.
 

JJ1013

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I would suggest buying one of those jeweller screwdriver sets ASAP, they're cheap and should have a small enough size. As the longer it takes to dry the more time there is for corrosion to happen as well and it might permanently ruin the console.

It's been 21 hours since I put this to dry... it was not taken apart, because after I sent my last post, I went to sleep, and leaved it on a fan overnight. At 6:00 AM, somebody turned off the fan, for me to turn it back on at 9 or 10 AM, just that it was set to low. A while later, I put it to max. Turns out the one who turned it off (11:30 AM) was my grandma, which apparently is having none of it -- and she ain't interested in helping. Pandemic isn't helping, economy isn't helping, and vaccines are near-non-existent in here, because young people haven't got the vaccine yet, and very little elderly people actually got the vaccine, since in some centers they're either not pushing the syringe and moving along with the next person or just injecting tap water. As of now, I still have not found a screwdriver, and my insecurity + fear continues growing by the second.

After I open it up, how much will it take to dry fully?

And if all this time went past with just the lid off... did it dry correctly, or is it too late for me to do anything about it?

UPDATE: 1:00 PM, put it in the car in order to "dry it" with the heat because we couldn't find a screwdriver. I think all hope is lost, what else can I do? I'm just getting ready for my dad to tease me about it and rub it in my face once he finds out.
 
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It's been 21 hours since I put this to dry... it was not taken apart, because after I sent my last post, I went to sleep, and leaved it on a fan overnight. At 6:00 AM, somebody turned off the fan, for me to turn it back on at 9 or 10 AM, just that it was set to low. A while later, I put it to max. Turns out the one who turned it off (11:30 AM) was my grandma, which apparently is having none of it -- and she ain't interested in helping. Pandemic isn't helping, economy isn't helping, and vaccines are near-non-existent in here, because young people haven't got the vaccine yet, and very little elderly people actually got the vaccine, since in some centers they're either not pushing the syringe and moving along with the next person or just injecting tap water. As of now, I still have not found a screwdriver, and my insecurity + fear continues growing by the second.

After I open it up, how much will it take to dry fully?

And if all this time went past with just the lid off... did it dry correctly, or is it too late for me to do anything about it?

UPDATE: 1:00 PM, put it in the car in order to "dry it" with the heat because we couldn't find a screwdriver. I think all hope is lost, what else can I do? I'm just getting ready for my dad to tease me about it and rub it in my face once he finds out.
Tap water, what the hell?

As long as air can blow directly on both sides it should be dry in a few hours. There are fragile ribbon cables (and connectors) you have to be careful with if you want to take the PCB fully out of the shell but you can kind of partially take it out enough so that air can blow on both sides without needing to unplug everything and lean it against something so the cables don't get pulled on. Up to you what you want to do there. If you take the back off but leave the PCB in air won't get to the back side very well so you should leave it for a full day to be sure.

I can't say. But the worst thing you can do is not disassembling it and expecting it to dry out on its own. Because liquid could be trapped in there for weeks/months, it gets into nooks and crannies much more easily than it gets out. That's way worse than a few days. So disassembling it and drying it on a fan is still 10 times better than not doing it. I think you still have a good chance of being able to save it.
 
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JJ1013

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Tap water, what the hell?

As long as air can blow directly on both sides it should be dry in a few hours. There are fragile ribbon cables (and connectors) you have to be careful with if you want to take the PCB fully out of the shell but you can kind of partially take it out enough so that air can blow on both sides without needing to unplug everything and lean it against something so the cables don't get pulled on. Up to you what you want to do there. If you take the back off but leave the PCB in air won't get to the back side very well so you should leave it for a full day to be sure.

I can't say. But the worst thing you can do is not disassembling it and expecting it to dry out on its own. Because liquid could be trapped in there for weeks/months, it gets into nooks and crannies much more easily than it gets out. That's way worse than a few days. So disassembling it and drying it on a fan is still 10 times better than not doing it. I think you still have a good chance of being able to save it.

Update here. About 4:00 PM or 6:00 PM, we got it out of the car. It felt warm. I popped in both the MicroSD and the battery (which was drying along with the console on the fan -- the MicroSD doesn't matter since it's just flat). Looks like it survived. The screen, L/R and the C-Stick work just like I remember (C-Stick has no cap because it wore off and disintegrated in my hands -- I'm trying to fand a PSP-1000 cap in local stores. PSP Stick hack, let's go!!! >=D).

Off to Minecraft, I went back to my newly-started world. All cool, the game is still frustrating and fear-inducing at Hard difficulty. I successfully got materials for a bed (found 2 sheep at once, the other took a bit longer. I have a history of having difficulty finding sheep when I need them), and the game lasted 2 days and 1 night, while during the water danger it only lasted less than 1 day or just 1 day and 1 night (partly). Internet's working fine, I watched a little video on YouTube via the browser.

Long story short, it was somehow saved. I will keep this thing on the back of my desktop (not on the front, where I mostly put my hands on) in order to not get it wet. Not sure if it's got enough corrosion to affect something, but I'll wait until something comes up. Nonetheless, please comment me on this. Thanks to @The Real Jdbye and @Diego788 for having interest in helping me! Have a nice day.
 
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lone_wolf323

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Update here. About 4:00 PM or 6:00 PM, we got it out of the car. It felt warm. I popped in both the MicroSD and the battery (which was drying along with the console on the fan -- the MicroSD doesn't matter since it's just flat). Looks like it survived. The screen, L/R and the C-Stick work just like I remember (C-Stick has no cap because it wore off and disintegrated in my hands -- I'm trying to fand a PSP-1000 cap in local stores. PSP Stick hack, let's go!!! >=D).

Off to Minecraft, I went back to my newly-started world. All cool, the game is still frustrating and fear-inducing at Hard difficulty. I successfully got materials for a bed (found 2 sheep at once, the other took a bit longer. I have a history of having difficulty finding sheep when I need them), and the game lasted 2 days and 1 night, while during the water danger it only lasted less than 1 day or just 1 day and 1 night (partly). Internet's working fine, I watched a little video on YouTube via the browser.

Long story short, it was somehow saved. I will keep this thing on the back of my desktop (not on the front, where I mostly put my hands on) in order to not get it wet. Not sure if it's got enough corrosion to affect something, but I'll wait until something comes up. Nonetheless, please comment me on this. Thanks to @The Real Jdbye and @Diego788 for having interest in helping me! Have a nice day.
At this point that you can start to get back into everything. Now would be a good time to back up everything youre able to to save what you can for data.
 
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Update here. About 4:00 PM or 6:00 PM, we got it out of the car. It felt warm. I popped in both the MicroSD and the battery (which was drying along with the console on the fan -- the MicroSD doesn't matter since it's just flat). Looks like it survived. The screen, L/R and the C-Stick work just like I remember (C-Stick has no cap because it wore off and disintegrated in my hands -- I'm trying to fand a PSP-1000 cap in local stores. PSP Stick hack, let's go!!! >=D).

Off to Minecraft, I went back to my newly-started world. All cool, the game is still frustrating and fear-inducing at Hard difficulty. I successfully got materials for a bed (found 2 sheep at once, the other took a bit longer. I have a history of having difficulty finding sheep when I need them), and the game lasted 2 days and 1 night, while during the water danger it only lasted less than 1 day or just 1 day and 1 night (partly). Internet's working fine, I watched a little video on YouTube via the browser.

Long story short, it was somehow saved. I will keep this thing on the back of my desktop (not on the front, where I mostly put my hands on) in order to not get it wet. Not sure if it's got enough corrosion to affect something, but I'll wait until something comes up. Nonetheless, please comment me on this. Thanks to @The Real Jdbye and @Diego788 for having interest in helping me! Have a nice day.
It may be fine but waiting until something comes up is still a bad idea because it might be too late by then to do anything about it.
 

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Update here. About 4:00 PM or 6:00 PM, we got it out of the car. It felt warm. I popped in both the MicroSD and the battery (which was drying along with the console on the fan -- the MicroSD doesn't matter since it's just flat). Looks like it survived. The screen, L/R and the C-Stick work just like I remember (C-Stick has no cap because it wore off and disintegrated in my hands -- I'm trying to fand a PSP-1000 cap in local stores. PSP Stick hack, let's go!!! >=D).

Off to Minecraft, I went back to my newly-started world. All cool, the game is still frustrating and fear-inducing at Hard difficulty. I successfully got materials for a bed (found 2 sheep at once, the other took a bit longer. I have a history of having difficulty finding sheep when I need them), and the game lasted 2 days and 1 night, while during the water danger it only lasted less than 1 day or just 1 day and 1 night (partly). Internet's working fine, I watched a little video on YouTube via the browser.

Long story short, it was somehow saved. I will keep this thing on the back of my desktop (not on the front, where I mostly put my hands on) in order to not get it wet. Not sure if it's got enough corrosion to affect something, but I'll wait until something comes up. Nonetheless, please comment me on this. Thanks to @The Real Jdbye and @Diego788 for having interest in helping me! Have a nice day.
Do not trust that your system is entirely ready for normal use, you must take it apart the most you can immediately for drying, although arguably backing things up might take priority, I suppose that's your decision to make but you should make haste
 
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