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Water spilled; computer fan and monitor not working

I'm not sure if this is where I need to be posting, but I thought I would give it a try. I'm not great with computers so forgive me if this doesn't sound the best.

I have a 3 year old Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop. About 6 hours ago, I spilled a little water on the top left portion of the laptop - not on the keys or anything, but it happened to be on the crease where the side of the laptop meets the top bar where the power button is. It was only a teaspoon or so of water, but some of it must have managed to seep through that crease, because as I was cleaning the water off of the top, the laptop shut off.
Right afterward, I unplugged it, took out the battery, and dried it with a hair dryer and a fan. It looked completely dry, but I left it go in front of the fan until about an hour ago when I plugged it in and tried to start it again. The computer logged in - I could hear the Windows theme as it started up, but the cooling fan and the monitor are both not working.
I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me? I am letting the laptop rest for a while, but I was also going to see if the monitor would work with an external monitor. I appreciate any suggestions!

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Just as a side note....

It almost appears that the backlight for the monitor is what is not working. I can connect it to an external monitor and it works. When I look at the laptop, I can almost see a shadow of what is on the screen, but it's not very visible at all.

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Rough guess

Loss of the screen backlight could be a defective high voltage inverter. It's connector may be in the area of the spill. In all likelihood, your hair dryer trick wasn't enough. Water that gets between the top bezel and MB would require more drying time. Usually a day or two by a sunny window is sufficient. If you're handy enough with small tools and have precision screwdrivers, I'd say take the top off and look for corrosion near the spill. The mistake is to apply power with any water still inside as conduction occurs which causes corrosion. Sometimes you get lucky and no components are affected but corrosion in a connector can be more serious. You can try waiting longer but I have to suspect damage has occurred.

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