Author Options:

Laptop charges only tipped on side? Answered

Greetings!  I'm in need of some laptop power help.

About ten days ago, my 1-year-old HP Pavilion G7-2017 laptop stopped charging when plugged to the AC adapter.  I've googled this issue a bunch and have only come up with wobbly power seats, battery issues, or with people who have finicky adapters that have to be moved to get a charge.  None of these are applicable to my situation.  

Currently, my laptop (not the charger) has to be moved or tipped to get a charge from the old AC adapter but runs great on battery power once charged and, if stood on its side, will connect to the power supply without the battery installed.  Moving the laptop breaks the power connection, though, and shuts the computer down if the battery is not in it.

In fussing with it, I discovered it would work when either:

A) it was tilted totally on its left side (dc connector is on the right side, so cord would then stick out the 'top')
B) slight pressure was put on the underside just in front of the battery where the RAM is located. 

Finally, it stopped registering the AC adapter with either the orange or white LED and I couldn't get it charged so I did the next logical thing and took the whole thing apart.  I thought because of the nature of how it was charging and finicky it might be a loose connection to the power supply internally.  I took everything in the laptop out and double checked all the connections on power, motherboard, etc -- nothing is amiss.  The power cord slot inside is secure and functioning, RAM is seated correctly, etc.  

Put it all back together and still couldn't get it to charge so I took it to Best Buy to borrow an appropriate AC Adapter today.  This is what happened:

1.  With the battery in, I plugged in new power cord while laptop was sitting neatly on the countertop (not tilted) and it immediately registered with an orange LED light at the point of entry for the power connection without having to manipulate or tip the laptop, which is what I had to do with the old adapter, ergo I thought AHA! It MUST be the AC Adapter! 
2.  Started it up and got three long beeps.  Checked BIOS records for HP Pavilion G7 2017 and learned it could be hardware related.  
3.  Replaced the original 4GB RAM with borrowed Geek Squad matching test RAM and tried to power again.
4.  Success!  New RAM and borrowed adapter did the trick, assumed it must be RAM issue. 
5.  Bought replacement 4gb RAM stick, installed, rebooted to double check while it was plugged into borrowed AC Adapter -- everything booted fine.  

6.  Got home and plugged in my old AC adapter but no orange LED to tell me it was registering.  
7.  Tipped laptop on its side and voila!  New RAM plus Old AC Adapter still had to be tilted on its side. 
8.  Put old RAM back in and tried again; same result -- old AC adapter only registers in the power connection when the laptop is placed on the left side with cord sticking out the 'top' or when lightly pressed on the underside of the center of the laptop, though this latter is incredibly finicky.  

The fact that a borrowed adapter worked fine but this old adapter only works when the laptop is tilted is what keeps me thinking it's AC Adapter itself but could still be a connection issue or other hardware issue.  Am I totally off base?  For what it's worth, I've ordered a new AC adapter to try it out again.  

Any thoughts out there?  



The forums are retiring in 2021 and are now closed for new topics and comments.

7 years ago

One of the most detailed questions I have seen. Well done.

I agree with Josehf that there is likely a broken wire in the charger. If it was the board (which is the normal case) trying a different charger would not have made a difference. You can get replacement power bricks on E bay pretty reasonable. The Chinese manufacturers are direct marketing them to cut out the middle man. You might also think about getting a universal one, they are handy to have for troubleshooting.
Not sure about why the RAM would be acting up but it is sensitive to static so anytime you open something up take extra care to ground yourself especially in the winter months when static is more common. I would have upgraded to 8 gigs if the board could take it, as long as it was being replaced already. A very good online component supplier is New Egg. They will be cheaper than a store.

Did you have any left over screws? The "OK where was that one supposed to go" question is always a fun one. I often take pictures as I dismantle things as its a perfect memory as opposed to mine.

Griffin Street Productions
Griffin Street Productions

Answer 7 years ago

Haha! Thanks, Vyger.
No--for what may have been the first time, I had NO leftover screws! I already put in an order for an AC adapter and would have upgraded the RAM (it'll only take 8) if I hadn't just built a desktop to handle the tougher tasks requiring more RAM. I also understand floods in Malaysia are jacking up the prices so I'll probably wait a year on RAM purchases.

Anyhow, thanks for the double-confirmation. I think the RAM bit is what really started to throw me. But, when I was swapping out parts a month ago and when I took it apart last night, I was wearing my ever-so-stylish anti-static bracelet.

I used to take photos but now I've taken apart just enough laptops to gain a cocky sense of neophyte self-assurance that I'm certain will come back to bite me in the butt sometime soon ;-).

Thanks again! I'll just wait for my charger to arrive this weekend and cross my fingers for now and double check the old RAM when it arrives.

Cheers, all!

Josehf Murchison
Josehf Murchison

7 years ago

Cut six inches off the end of the adapter wire and put a new plug on the end of the wire.

It is most likely a broken wire inside the adapter wire where you cant see it.

Or the male or female power connector may be defective where you cannot see it with your eye.

Touching the bottom and it works is in all probability a very small movement making it work.


Griffin Street Productions
Griffin Street Productions

Answer 7 years ago

Thanks, Joe!

I've been wondering if there isn't something happening like you said inside the wire coating or in the connector where I can't see it. I'm inclined to think inside the AC adapter just because that other borrowed adapter looked fine without tweaking. It was just that standing it on its side has been so weirdly reliable for the last three days or so to get it to charge that I'm second guessing myself all around!

Thanks again for the response; seems like sound advice to me.