Instructables

Replace broken DC power jack on your laptop computer (UPDATED).

OK, I had my kids running around my room and kept tripping on my laptop's power cable. Then DC power jack was damaged. I had to always keep pressing the jack in order to charge my laptop. I reached my limit. I was almost throwing my computer out of my window, but it cost about $1700 three years ago. I decided to fix it. If you don't want to spend $400 by asking professional, you have option to do it yourself. My cost was about $12 ($7 DC jack, $5 desoldering braid).

This instructable does not require advanced soldering/desoldering skill. I had never desolder anything before, but was able to somehow desolder the jack.

[UPDATE]
The problem kept coming back. So I did permanent fix using modem port in my latest instructable.
 
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Step 2: Materials required

Picture of Materials required
Materials required for this instructable are following.

1) Soldering iron (25W)
2) Multimater (optional)
3) Small screw drivers: 1set
4) Pen
5) Paper
6) New DC jack*
7) Thermal compound (often used for computer)
8) Disposable cups x6
9) Desoldering braid ($5 at RadioShack)
10) Isopropanol (not RNase Free)

  • New DC jack was puchased from DC PowerJacks.net
DC PowerJacks.net
Mine was less than $7. You can google and find cheapest source.

Step 3: Most important key! DOCUMENTATION!

The reason why you need pen and pencil is that you need documentation. I can't emphasize enough this. You will find yourself with extra screws and non-functional laptop if you don't.

Look around and write down schematic diagram of your computer.
You will assign screw numbers and mark them into your figures as you disassemble.

Step 4: Disassemble 1

Remove hard drive, optical drive, battery, and what ever you can remove.
Remove screws and assign screw number.
Place screws into corresponding disposable cup.
Take note where and what type of screws were there.
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crazypj6 months ago

My stepdaughter has an ACER laptop. The power connector is mounted to a small extension of board. (bad design,it looks like it's designed to break easy) If it gets knocked onto floor the board breaks.

Board is double sided so you have to solder wires on both sides (I stripped some CAT5 cable ) You then have to epoxy the broken off piece back into position.

I repaired board twice, first time I tried to just re-connect the traces with solder which lasted about 3 weeks, second time I used wire. I also added heat shrink to the power jack, it prevents it being pushed too far into connector

crazypj6 months ago

My stepdaughter has an ACER laptop. The power connector is mounted to a small extension of board. (bad design,it looks like it's designed to break easy) If it gets knocked onto floor the board breaks.

Board is double sided so you have to solder wires on both sides (I stripped some CAT5 cable ) You then have to epoxy the broken off piece back into position.

I repaired board twice, first time I tried to just re-connect the traces with solder which lasted about 3 weeks, second time I used wire. I also added heat shrink to the power jack, it prevents it being pushed too far into connector

ProvenHelper made it!6 months ago

Good work! I was researching this because my power jack broke twice on my Acer laptop. My laptop looks a lot different than yours when you take it apart and what happened on mine was that one of the wire leads that goes to the DC powerjack has broken off the solder joint. I recorded a how-tom repair video on my Youtube Channel "ProvenHelper", and luckily it's been fine ever since. Before this project I have never made a repair like this before, and the hardest part about it was removing what seemed like 40 screws from the back of the laptop.

Anyways, here's my how-to repair the laptop power connector video:

laptop-power-jack-repair.jpg
powerjack002 years ago
Thanks for sharing, this information is very useful, but if you need to notebook power jack is better to come in to find out.
http://www.power-jack.net
jbrennan53 years ago
I love

"Relish your victory now."

Just do.
bpleduc3 years ago
We've been fixing these for quite awhile. Not too hard to do at all. If you do need help get in touch with us at www.synernex.com Good Luck!
barbaratu4 years ago
nice post,thanks for sharing.
http://www.laptopbatteriesinc.com.au/laptop-battery/dell/dell-studio-1537-battery
zack2474 years ago
good job! this would work to put on a different kind of ac jack too, right? nice instructable, will keep this in mind. :) i see you use avg...
joechav4 years ago
Some laptops can be tricky to work on and require a fair amount of knowledge to disassemble. Once opened it is important that you have a soldering iron with enough wattage to melt the solder but being careful not to break the traces. You should practice on dead piece of electronics before doing this on your laptop. We can fix most dc jacks for $79.00. DC Jack repair

nacydeng4 years ago
It is the best way to buy a new one from http://www.feevoo.com, especially the Compaq 239704-001 AC Adapter(Input: AC100-240V (worldwide use) Output: DC18.5V 3.5A Power: 65W )
svaughan5 years ago
De-solder with a solder wick or solder sucker! Best way to de-solder with cheap tools is to clip off most of the part you want to de-solder. Just leave part of the pins so you can get them out of the hole. The larger area you have to heat up the harder it is to solder and de-solder. So if you fix a lot of parts the best thing to do is buy the best tools you can.
My kids tripped on the DC power cord to my Gateway laptop. It still worked but I had to move the power cord sometimes to make it work. I took it in to have the jack replaced, they said it was no problem. I would cost about $160 b/c they would have to open it up and mess with the mother board. Said it would take two days. The guy took the complete history of the computer. When it was time to pick it up, it was not ready, didn't have part. No big deal. Next day, he called and said that when he took the computer apart he noticed that the heat strip had been damaged b/c and he had to use expensive silver to fix the problem but that it was fixed. The computer is only 1 and half years old, hardly ever used. It's my 13 year old sons. He uses it only for homework. Today the man called and said he fixed the power jack but b/c we had used it with a loose jack the thing blew up when he plugged it in. He told me to come pick it up, it is useless now. He said I still owed him for the silver. When I took it in it was working. He never mentioned that it might blow up when he fixed it. Does this sound right?
teatimest (author)  ineedhelpnow5 years ago
Oh my... 1. The silver thermal grease is like $10 and you can use it forever. 2. Since he mentioned the thermal paste, he might have fried the CPU. If you have short at the plug... I don't think it will damage the computer itself. It might kill the power adapter unit, though. Anyhow, it seems that he broke the computer, and you have to negotiate with the guy.
Thank you for your very helpful reply. Since I first posted this I have spoken with several experts that agree with what you have said. They all have said that if the laptop was working when I brought it in for a simple jack replacement, then it would not have blown up b/c we used it with a loose cord. Thanks again.
teatimest (author)  ineedhelpnow5 years ago
No problem! I hope you get compensated for the laptop.
safebat5 years ago
my instructor taught me to do the thorough diagrams too and multiples as you dig down into the layers. His way was to use your small screwdriver to punch the holes out on your diagram and stick the exact screw into its hole. Some screws look the same and have different lengths and can cause contact problems if driven into wrong location. Thanks, I'm in the middle of repairing one of these in a Dell myself.
teatimest (author)  safebat5 years ago
You are welcome. Good luck on your repair!
jagg746 years ago
Finally, Thank you! I have been looking everywhere to find out how to do this THANK YOU SO MUCH YOU JUST SAVED ME OVER $100!!!!!! btw, Gateway MX6453's are cheap b/c the dc power plug has a nasty habit of breaking. Don't buy one. I wonder if I can find some magsafe components....
This laptop power jack replacement guide will explain how to unsolder the jack in more details.
teatimest (author)  Laptop Freak6 years ago
Great resource! I added that to my instructable page. Thanks.
tresho6 years ago
Some laptops DC power jacks are quite difficult to de-solder. Glad you got lucky here.
teatimest (author)  tresho6 years ago
I've never tried others, so I guess I was...
tresho6 years ago
In addition to making paper notes, taking your own series of digital photos while going through the disassembly process as the author has done in illustrating this instructable is very useful. Once you have created a series of digital images, do the other owners of your laptop a favor by posting your images somewhere on the internet.
teatimest (author)  tresho6 years ago
Yes, my pictures were taken for that purpose initially.
tresho6 years ago
An alternative prying tool for removing plate connectors & other plastic covers from a laptop is a guitar pick. These are made of hard plastic with smooth tips, strong enough to pry up plastic panels and less likely than screwdriver tips to mar their edges.
teatimest (author)  tresho6 years ago
Yes, a guitar pick will do better job than credit card or screwdriver. I just not have any around. I wish I could play guitar, though.
mstng6 years ago
Nice instructions... About the screws..I used a piece of paper and wrote down the pages from the instruction manual and taped the screws in place. My sheet of paper now has about 10 areas with different page numbers and scotch taped screws next to the page numbers. made it simple to keep track...
teatimest (author)  mstng6 years ago
That is great idea. The documentation is the key, right?
dchall86 years ago
This is not a hard thing to do, but if you are squeamish about lots of small screws, maybe you should let a friend do it. My plug cost me $25 but doing it myself saved me $200. I following the instructions at laptoprepair101.com on my HP 7000. Every layer of guts got its own numbered cup for the screws. Then I stacked the cups on top of each other as I went along. To put it back together I just used the screws in the top cup and removed it when it was empty. I agree that desoldering the plug was the hardest part. It took as long to disassemble as it took to desolder.
teatimest (author)  dchall86 years ago
Ya, the desoldering part is hardest and.... it comes back again and again. I already did that several times. Now I have to find a way to prevent trapping on the power cord.
Desktop computers don't have all the problems that are built into laptops. If you don't need portability, don't buy a laptop. Parts are more expensive. Repairs are more expensive and laptops require more of them. Laptops all have flaws built into them. That's the price of portability. If you absolutely need portability you have no choice. I went though college (Masters) by taking notes on paper and then typing them up on a desktop at home. It was more work, but it was also a review of the notes while the subject was fresh.
teatimest (author)  TheBigCahuna6 years ago
I am taking classes and now I don't take notes any more. I just record them and listen to them while commuting.
f8l_0e6 years ago
For the external screws, I remove the screw from its mating surface, but leave it in the hole. I then cover the hole with tape. No need for labeling and it really speeds things up.
teatimest (author)  f8l_0e6 years ago
That is brilliant idea. I might try next time.
lbreevesii6 years ago
While it wasn't a hard swap, I was appalled to see the internal design of those little HP's that wal-mart sold for 399 a few years back. The center pin of the plug was TINY and therefore HIGHLY prone to breaking. HP knew this and designed it that way for a reason, so they could make money on repairs. They went so far as to put that crappy jack on its own small pcb with a much more hefty DC style jack that plugged the other side of the PCB into the actual motherboard. DISGUSTING and underhanded.
teatimest (author)  lbreevesii6 years ago
ummm, hope they improved it.
headjerk6 years ago
I mentioned here that I had to fix two Fujitsu laptops because of the "poor design" of the AC plug. After I got them fixed I went looking for a CRD (Cable Restraint Device). I couldn't find one so I made one. My wife thought it worked so well I should make them and sell them. So I did. (SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT)

It's called a Jerkstopper. It works. The Kit comes with three different CRDs (USB, RJ11 and RJ45). Yea I know the name is "suggestive" or "funky" or "stupid" or Weird" but the device does work and stops the problem of the damage from daily tugging or pulling on the cable. www.jerkstopper.com
teatimest (author)  headjerk6 years ago
You are right. The most effective way of dealing with this problem is prevention. Your hook might be good solution to that.
tresho6 years ago
I have recently repaired the identical problem on my Toshiba M35X-S149. It had already had its power jack and/or motherboard replaced twice by professionals, but the previous 2 repairs did not last long. Since my machine was out of warranty, I did it myself.
I decided not to even attempt to resolder it, since the previous attempts only lasted a few months. I removed the old power jack and replaced with loose 18 gauge wires that I brought out the back of the case, to which I then attached a really sturdy chassis-mount power plug.
What took the longest was taking the laptop to pieces and then reassembling it, just a long series of screws, clips and panels to take off in order.
By far the most difficult part of the process was unsoldering the broken power jack. Anyone attempting to replace a laptop power jack will most likely run into the same problem. It's hard to heat the power jack sufficiently to melt the solder where the jack is attached to the circuit board.
Just adding solder to a weak solder joint as shown in this instructable is worth a try for the first go-around, but be warned, the design itself is flawed. Power jacks should not be soldered directly to motherboards, but that's what most manufacturers do. This repair is likely to fail again. However, it is worth a try.
teatimest (author)  tresho6 years ago
Yes. The design is intrinsically flawed. I agree that.
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