Introduction: Repair Your Broken Laptop Power Cord.

Picture of Repair Your Broken Laptop Power Cord.

Fix your laptop power cord that hasn't been supplying consistent power for the past month, and completely died today. No matter how much you fondle the cord into this position or that, it won't charge your battery or power-up your computer.

Here's the fix that costs zero dollars and only requires patience, some basic tools, electrical tape, and the perseverance that only a true cheapskate can muster. I performed this instructable on my very own HP Pavillion's power cord and adapter.


Where's the Break?: Consider where the break in the power cord occurs. 
- This Instructable is for a break in the coaxial (round, thin) cable, near the adapter instead of near the laptop pin/plug. In my case, the cable break was close to the adapter, so much so that I had to break it apart to get enough wire for the fix. If you're even closer than I was, you may have to solder.

This instructable may not help you if:
- You have 2" of cord on either side of the break. If so, you don't need to read on. Just cut the cord at the break, expose about an inch of cord on each side, twist the separate insides together, insulate from each other w/ e-tape, then wrap the whole mess with e-tape.
- Your cord is breaking on the base-end of the strain-releif (as was the case for Surroundsound). Your fix will slightly differentiate from this Instructable. See Surroundsound5000's comment in the comments at the bottom of the page.  He includes some helpful pics.

Notes: I somewhat followed Morris Rosenthal's example, as well as Prometheus' example for this instructable.

8/31/09 UPDATE: It's coming up on the year anniversary of my power cord repair. I haven't had to repair it again and haven't had any complications. Here's hoping for another year!

12/28/10 UPDATE: Consider epoxy over e-tape when binding the power adapter back together. Epoxy adds a couple bucks to the repair and can be intimidating, but it is less insulating and therefore less prone to causing the unit to overheat... Last month my power adapter started overheating (to the touch) so I decided to unwrap the whole thing, saw some air vents in the plastic, epoxy it back together, and add stick-on rubber foot pads. It helped with the overheating issues.

Step 1: Set Up and Evaluation

Picture of Set Up and Evaluation

Tools I used: Chisel, Hacksaw, Electrical tape (or shrink tubing), wire cutters and/or strippers, flat head screwdriver (preferably sharp-ish and wide-ish), optional: two monkey wrenches for prying.

Time: It took me about 1 hour, most of which was spent figuring out how to pry open the adapter box.

Step 2: Break the Box: Getting Into the Adapter

Picture of Break the Box: Getting Into the Adapter

It took many techniques to figure out how to open up the adapter box. The plastic was too weak to crack open w/ just a screwdriver. It just scratched with pressure, while the seam remained firmly bonded.

So, I managed to create a deep groove around the entire seam w/ a chisel. The groove helped to safely (and, unfortunately, extremely slowly) hack-saw my way through the plastic shell (not any further than the thickness of the plastic). Even at this point, the two shell halves remained attached to one another. So, a slow and steady twist of a broad flat-headed screwdriver at each corner cracked something inside to enable the box to finally open.

Step 3: HP Adapter Insides

Picture of HP Adapter Insides

This is the precious inside. Top view and bottom view. I pretty much didn't open up any further than this and I tried to avoid any damage to any parts inside.

Step 4: Fixing the Cord

Picture of Fixing the Cord

The cord was coiled up slightly inside the box. I pulled it out all the way. Cut the cord at the end of the rubber spring thing (aka "strain relief") where the cord was breaking. Then I tried stripping off the "strain relief" w/ pliers... that didn't work, so I used a razor blade and slit one side lengthwise and kind of unwrapped the "strain relief" off the coaxial cable. I tried to keep the "strain relief" intact so that I could use it for the same function when I was done.

Then, I proceeded to strip all ends of the cable, remembering which was inner and which was outer in the coaxial. (If you have enough space to afford some staggering in the stripping, do so to further prevent short circuiting.) I twisted together the outer wire, thoroughly taping. Then twisted the inner, thoroughly taping. Then wrapped the "strain relief" back around the newly repaired cord.

Soldering would have been more secure, but I had none of that equipment around. The access to the soldering points in the adapter isn't horribly difficult, but it may require further disassembly, which I wasn't interested in doing.

Step 5: Close Up Shop, May Add Reenforcements

Picture of Close Up Shop, May Add Reenforcements

Finally, I got to shut-er up. Unfortunately, I didn't have the benefit of an adapter box that locked shut or was fused or glued shut, so I got clever with some duck tape and Black e-tape for finishing. Some commenters have innovated and closed up the adapter box w/ a glue-gun. [UPDATE 12/28/10: After 1.5 years of wear and tear, the original repair job using e-tape started causing the adapter to overheat, so I resorted to epoxying the case together.

OPTIONAL: For some added support, I taped a rubber splint about where the previous break had occurred. I used some thin rubber sheeting material that was in the corner of my garage. It was just luck that this rubber sheeting as stiffer than just the cord, but more pliable than the "strain relief" which means the cord will curve gradually under any side tension.

Hope this might help some a ya, that are in dire straits with you computer power supply cord! Good luck and be careful!


Opiate WithdrawalB (author)2016-11-20

helloI have bought a powercord for a hp zd8000 that worked for 3 uses than the light on the adapter box lights upbut no power to the laptop. I tried unplugging the bat and plugging in cord but nothing. Can u help please. text me at 410-934-7587 or

acorrales2 made it! (author)2015-08-04


diannag4 (author)acorrales22016-07-08

would accer cord plug into HP laptop without casing any problems plug in?

AkashM38 (author)acorrales22016-06-21

IanC136 (author)2016-06-28

Same happened to me a few times. The problem is the cable which is often rubbish and it over time breaks somewhere. The cable should never be soldered inside the charger There should be a separate plug to plug in the cable that goes to your computer, as the charger is in good condition. The cable is the problem.

DejahV (author)2015-02-06

Idk how to fix it

AkashM38 (author)DejahV2016-06-21

DejahV (author)2015-02-06

Plz help me my piece that you plug in the laptop was loose and broke help me

AkashM38 (author)DejahV2016-06-21

KashiS1 (author)DejahV2016-03-31

it's fine now, right??

AkashM38 (author)KashiS12016-06-21

AkashM38 (author)2016-05-29 This video explains in detail how to repair any laptop charger .

DavidnDolores (author)2015-12-04

Ok so blood sacrifices being out of the realm of possibility dombert, the point was well taken. dang near impossible to get the thing open.

After drilling feet out looking for screws, banging the glue seals with hammer softened inside towel....Nothing....

What worked? Hacksaw, that was the tool that actually cracked the seal so I could get it open

nono_momo (author)2015-09-12

well this is kinda weird... my break is close to the plugin on my pc and its a white wire. now heres the thing... it will charge if i pull it this way or that way but, i have to hold it... now if only i could solder :(

laptop_keys (author)2015-07-08

Wonderful information on how to fix the laptop power cord

john.ohara.3194 (author)2015-01-16

I rang out the both cables while twisting them, continuity
ok, opened unit, green LED never lights, no voltage out to type of. Guess it's a goner.out the wires, con

araceliS (author)2014-12-21

Its pretty dangerous. Did it work for you afterward? I expect it did. My hp power adapter didn't work before and i didn't repire it.I bough a new one from It is a great source for OEM chargers if you can find them.

ashraffouad (author)2013-12-13

After getting a beep from my adapter, I have tried these instructions on my hp adapter part no: 463553-004 and it worked great, thanks very much

selorm65 (author)2013-02-21

when i cut the cable i found another blue wire hanging around,what should i do with that wire

roreru (author)2013-02-19

I need to replace the shield power cable that connects to the laptop, and not been able to locate that type of cable. Any suggestion where to find it?

actionscription (author)roreru2013-02-19

I'm not sure Roreru. Anyone else have some advice?

aonash (author)2012-12-26

I've found this DIY (do-it-yourself) guide very informative.

A while ago, the adapter-charger of my laptop (Acer Extensa 4630Z) had a short-circuited wire outlet. After following the step-by-step instructions presented in this online guide I was able to repair my adapter-charger for my laptop.

Besides a flat-head screwdriver and duct tape, I had made use of a pair of scissors to serve as a wire cutter and also made use of a household candle and a set of safety matches.

I found it easier to pry open the casing of the adapter-charger using the above-mentioned utilities. I had to heat the end of a rusted screwdriver to quicken the process and pry open the casing; and viola I fixed it in no time at all!

Opening the casing of the adapter-charger by sheer physical force and using a hacksaw was rather dangerous, energy-draining and time-consuming.

To prevent overheating, leave the side open - only tape the center- to permit heat to escape which automatically cools down the adapter-charger to prevent any overheating.

phuynh4 (author)2012-04-13

my dell adapter works weel, the plugin jack light works but nothing happens after poweron my laptop. (its OK with a new adapter). anyone plz help, i'dnt alow casting away cuz' its my hope.

diddicky (author)2012-04-07

This is Good but my wiers are not that long inside the box so i cant do it

skim23 (author)2012-03-22

hahaha succeed!! Thanks so much !!!

rfachane (author)2011-11-14

Please, when i pull out the white cable, i find INSIDE it a blue one :/ its co,fusing should i connect the blue one too ??
And thank you for the guide !

solopk (author)2011-10-29

Remarkable, as I was not having the above equipments with me. I directed t.V mechanic as it is mentioned above. IT cost me Just 100 R.S ($2). thank u

csmith93 (author)2011-10-15

Thanks for the info, just fixed daughters laptop.

manumanu (author)2009-05-23

Incredible guide! Thank you. Had the same problem on the very same adapter from HP, and wondered an easy way to open it up. The idea of the knife is charming, I think I'm going to try that first. Thank you sri1ram for the hint and actionsciption for the pictures! Great!

manumanu (author)manumanu2009-05-28

just an update to let you know that i got it working again! To open the case I used the blade of a cutter, lightly smoothed to avoid scars on the ridges. With a hammer I gave some hits on top of the blade on both the long sides of the case. The blade itself is very thin and once smoothed you can use it as a leverage to split the sides. Didn't have any problem with the rubber relief anyhow needed quite a long work to make the cable slide from the outside to the inside. The entire process took about 1h, but I also had very much care to insulate + and - of the cable inside the case. Bye, Manu

31mimo (author)manumanu2011-09-29

I use normally an hammer and a peace of wood, Bang the wood on top around the charger, and it will just open gently, almost no dents damage on te plastic. Help with a large thin screwdriver . To close i use contact glue. Looks it as never been openned!(can use also an rubber hammer)

jgibbons4 (author)2011-08-27

I tried this method but it failed 6 weeks later. I had to get another charger from which offered me free shipping

wetnap (author)2011-07-25

I find solid core wiring is pretty good splint material, especially if you've got some left over from removing a light fixture or any old hardware, it is stiff yet flexible, adding some under heatshrink adds strength to many wire jobs.

devicemodder (author)2011-06-26

Thanks this fixed my compaq armada charger
The plastic case is hard to get open but I fixed it and I replaced the green led with a blue one.thanks my pappy is happily charging :-)

mokeyman7 (author)2011-05-08

haha finaly got haalf way through and took all day

breakallstuff (author)2011-04-06

End up breaking the adapter case into three pieces lol. Glad I have some black tapes. Notice a pen taped on the side of the adapter. I use the pen as a strain relief. 

sritchie1 (author)2011-03-29

Thanks so much for this guide! I was going to spend $100 on a new cable, but you gave me hope!

lwang3 (author)2011-03-22

this is very good guide and very good website.

lwang3 (author)2011-03-22

it is too simple, don't open case, just peel the cord at the end of the rubber spring thing, like this guide, and be careful not cut too much , then connect outside white wire , that is it . today I just use 20 minutes to fix that, it is difficult to open the case. so I just peel the cord using knife.

snuñez (author)2011-03-12

Nice guide :D, i'll try to fix it, im tired of asking my sister to let me use her cable to see how to fix mine :P LOL (>_<@)

dimitrst16 (author)2011-02-05

Man, was that charger hard to disassemble. But the rest was easy. My charger had an extra ground cable, as it was a larger unit from the above. Be sure to connect this one too if you have one.
Thanks actionscription !!!

sikamikan (author)2011-02-04

the same thing happened to my power supplier, im gonna try it tonight.
Thanks for the guide!

deathnotx101 (author)2011-01-22

I fondled my cord for a while to get it to work....but then one day it was busted. So I googled how to fix it and wound up here. After reading I found out that I had to strip the I did and low and behold I fund a break that was probably progressively getting worse with the fondling. So I used some hot glue to stick the two ends back together and to my surprise it worked. Thanks for giving me some insight so I could fix the break myself and have an awesome sense of accomplishment. I'm a handy girl now :)

jayeshshinai (author)2010-08-26

can anyone help me out with this HP adaptor...!? iv soldered the wires but there no blue light (not supplying power) at the laptop end. have a feeling that i might have soldered the (+) & (-) wrong....but i dint change them coz a bit concerned (actually scared) of the adapter/laptop frying. m posting the pics of the adapter, can u tell me if im right or not? thank you. raj!

okz19 (author)jayeshshinai2011-01-03

i have the exact same issue, ive done mine as per tutorial, it now charges the battery the light on the computer come on to show its connected but windows doesnt actually show it charging, just shows its running on battery even though all the lights on the computer show it is plugged in, kinda scared to leave it on overnight like i normaly do incase something goes rong like it doesnt stop charging even when its full

only difference i notied was my charger has the coaxal, and the white wire but inside the white wire is more coaxal and a blue wire so i think this is where ive gone wrong

yup, i;d wired them wrong..n no explosions too. the blur light at the connection shines but it doesn't charge d lappy! daim! i was smiling so big! took a blue light to turn me into a fool..

maliface (author)2011-01-02

Why are acer chargers so rubbish?? I've had 2 break and the sockety bit for the charger (Im not good at technology) and I know a family with 2 acers which have had 3 new chargers between them. expensive stuff.

If I'm just fixing the wire will electrical tape be enough?? The whole thing can get pretty hot and I'm slightly worried it might melt or something..

bj75y (author)2010-12-27

figured it out..the white is the live (positive) while the stranded wire around it is neutral..

bj75y (author)2010-12-23

nice tutorial, which wire is positive and which is negative i.e. between the white and the stranded wire round it?

actionscription (author)bj75y2010-12-26

Anyone else know how to tell? I certainly don't remember, sorry bj75y. :(

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