I work in a computer repair shop, so naturally, I see a lot of laptops. The thing that surprises me the most, is that people rarely have their power adapters wrapped properly. Many people have crude ways to wrap their cords, or they don't wrap them at all, causing a big mess of spaghetti style knots and tangles.
Another issue I see a lot, is people with bad power adapters. Improperly wrapping your power adapter, or not wrapping it at all can lead to problems. These include exposed wires, intermittent power to the laptop, and shorts. A replacement adapter can easily cost $65 to $120.
The best way to protect your cables is to wrap them properly. In each step I show a different type of power adapter.
Step one, a power adapter with a large Velcro or rubber strap.
Step two, a power adapter with no Velcro or rubber strap.
Step three, a power adapter with two small Velcro straps.
Step four, a power adapter with one small Velcro strap.
Step five, a very small power adapter with no Velcro or rubber straps.
For those living in a country where they do not sell Velcro, Velcro is commonly sold as "hook and loop fasteners". I use the name "Velcro" in this Instructable, because it is easier and shorter than "hook and loop fastener", and people in the United States usually just say "Velcro".
If you have a different power adapter that I missed, please feel free to send me a private message either describing your power adapter, or sending me a picture of the adapter. I will update this to include your power adapter.
Step 1: Power adapter with a large Velcro or rubber strap
This is probably the most common type of power adapter. It is a power adapter, with either a large Velcro strap at the end of one of the wires, or a large rubber strap coming out of the side of the power adapter.
To wrap it, take both wires in one hand, and wrap both of them around the power adapter the long way. Keep wrapping until you run out of wire. Take the strap and wrap it all the way around the power adapter and the wires the short way, and then fasten the strap to itself. On the Velcro one, there is usually a hook part that is about one inch of the end of the strap, with the rest of the strap being the loop part. On the rubber strap (usually on Dell adapters), there will be a plastic stud close to the power supply and holes going down the entire strap. Put the stud in the hole that gives you a nice firm hold, without over stretching the rubber.