Instructables

How to fix the power cord to my Dell laptop that time

These instructions show how to fix the power cable to a Dell Vostro laptop, when it will plug into your computer but won't charge your battery or register as plugged in at all. This particular cause and solution haven't been covered online yet.

All i needed for this was
- sharp blade
- (cutely colored) electrical tape
- piece of lace, or anything abrasive (like my old boss' personality- OHHHHHHHH!)
- vinyl letters (semi-optional)
 
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Step 1: The problem

Picture of The problem
The charger to my Dell Vostro laptop stopped connecting to my computer reliably. It got worse over the course of a few weeks: at first it would connect if i gave a jiggle, but by the end i had to find the perfect position and then like breathe in another direction in order for it to stay connected. At one point i sat an anvil on top of it to keep it connected! Then for 2 days i couldn't get it to realize it was plugged in at all, not even for a moment- how would i know if anyone updated their livejournals! A recent embroidered creation of mine came to mind. (photo below)

The part of the cable that responded to coaxing was the part that plugs into the computer, and the first few inches of wire beyond. The adapter fit normally into the computer, not loosely at all.

Past experience fixing my phone charger told me that the thumbelina (thumb-sized part you plug into the device) had probably strained the wire over time and the wire had broken inside, without any visible damage to the rubber outside, as is the way. I figured i'd fix it cause "not like it works now! as long as i'm not super aggro about it, i can't make it any worse!"
The reason it sparked is because you shorted the circuit with the metal pliers. Be careful and never work on live circuits! Cheers for the fix though
tshudark2 years ago
I learned a really easy and simple trick to fixing this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNHY0MzxfgY&feature=fvwrel

It's really simple and easy. All you need to do is unplug the charger wire, twist it to give it some tension and then plug it back in. Viola! it works. However, if it doesn't work, then it could mean you need a new battery.
solarisx2 years ago
Thanks for the tips. I will try this on my semifunctional charger. Just a piece of advice: Use a solder gun to solder the wire. The way you have it now is not safe! I mean safe for your laptop and all the circuitry, b/c if you move your laptop often and if the wire moves, there could be a momentary disconnection and sparks and etc...
51153 years ago
EVERYONE WHO IS HAVING POWERCORD BEEPING NOISES I KNOW HOW YOU CAN FIX IT! IF YOUR POWERCORD IS BEEPING QUIETLY ITS BROKEN OR FRIED I HAVE FINALLY FIX MY OLD COMPAQ HP LAPTOP THAT WE JUST THREW IN A BOX BECAUSE WE GOT NEW COMPUTERS.... BUT I JUST FIXED IT AND EMAIL ME AT : ZT5115@YAHOO.COM FOR HOW TO DO WHAT I DID TO FIX IT
:)
misyo4 years ago
Thank you very much for helping me fixed my broken HP adapter cord, I really appreciate it. It is a good thing I came across this site.
panks4 years ago
My laptop doesn't even have this problem but your instructable is so well written and funny that I read it all the way through. Thank you :)
Loved the emo reference in step 3 " The right way" ...lmao. Sorry, just made me chuckle is all :P Inspirons were the same way, too.. I guess. I had to buy a replacement, only I bought one of those iGo cords with the 2 yr warranty ( what NOW Dell ??) But I think I'll go and see if this was the case with my old cord and try to find the spot. If it was the case then this ible just helped me out tremendously :D ...thanks ! Oh, and for those who are thinking of buying a computer through Dell Preferred Account online ( aka "the plan from hell") , then do yourselves a favor and just save up and buy one from the store. They charged me around 29.99% on my account and after 3 years of paying the minimum payment I only made a dent of about 100 dollars and still owed 1300. Ended up having to go to a BANK and get a loan to reduce the APR. So yea, it's not for those who can only afford a minimum payment. Good instructable btw, could save people the cost of buying a $70+ cord ;)
Yeah, the inspiron is not a computer for image editing, gaming or anything, with a Windows Experience Index graphics and gaming graphics subscore of 3.5, which is... "basic performance while running high-end graphical games" says Windows Team blog of the graphics card that can't get more than 10 frames/sec in Source engine games on the lowest settings possible. They don't list the 1525 in the replacement battery selection section of the site, either, which means I have to spend 3 days communicating with Dell employees and web pages to find out anything about powering it, really bad when it only gains a charge when it feels like it, which is about once every one or two months. The end also doesn't stay in the computer's port, which means I have to have the power brick on a stand else it shuts down. When I get home I'm trying this to see if it's the secret to my laptop charging.
He, I've had a broken wire. I found the crack by laying the cable flat so that it worked, and then grabbing segments and bending them to see any change. I finally found it, cut off the segments, and soldered and joined the two ends. It was the power cable to a perfectly good pair of Altec Lansing speakers, and someone had thrown it away.
uncoolpizza (author)  vitruvian88075 years ago
Thanks for sharing that. Speaker wire has been a fragile bit of mystery to me. I keep all my old headphones with dreams of fixing them one day, maybe now i'll actually do it!
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uncoolpizza (author)  DELETED_suki99925 years ago
Hey great, i'm so glad to hear that! It's not actually that hard past the initial fear of cutting the cord, right? It rules that you gave it a shot. If more people fixed these they wouldn't be charging $100 for them anymore!
uguy5 years ago
Why does an apparently bright and intelligent 24 year old women have to use language like you do here, to get her point across. Otherwise, an excellent ible. But. get some solder with flux for the next repair.