Repair Your Laptop Power Cord




About: Just a man with a soldering iron and boundless curiosity!

After years of being thrown in travel bags, tripped over, and quite literally dragged through the dirt many laptop power cords succumb to the abuse and begin to fray.  Eventually the fraying cord will break apart and no longer power your laptop.  Here's how to rescue your power cord from the landfill, and save yourself a few bucks along the way!

Step 1: Tools Required

You will need:

1. Vise (or other means for securely holding your power "brick")
2. Soldering Iron (and solder)
3. Multimeter (not strictly needed, but its always better to check your work)
4. Flathead Screwdriver
5. Wire Cutter/Stripper
6. Utility Knife
7. Hot Glue Gun
8. Super Glue
9. Heat Shrink Tubing or Electrical Tape (not pictured)

Step 2: Get Started!

Begin by ensuring that your power cord is disconnected from both your laptop and from the wall outlet.  From this point forward I will refer to the end that connects to your laptop as the "low voltage cable" and the end that connects to the wall as the "high voltage cable".

Now for the disclaimer....

Warning! Throughout the remainder of this repair we will be exposed to circuitry that poses a shock risk. DO NOT touch components or their leads unless you are absolutely sure you understand what you are handling. This is a simple repair that does NOT require even a moderate electronics knowledge you only need to be able to solder.  All the risk is in touching components/contacts incidentally or intentionally that you are not instructed to touch. Never try to repair a power supply that is in service or connected to any source (i.e. a laptop or wall power). Proceed at your own risk.

Lets continue by unplugging the high voltage cable from the power brick (if your power supply allows for this), and by making a single cut through the low voltage cable near the fraying cord. Ensure the fraying portion of the low voltage cable is left attached to the power brick so we can remove it.

Set the high & low voltage cables to the side.  We will need them later.

Step 3: Open the Power Brick

Depending on the manufacturer power bricks are held closed in a variety of ways.  Some have screws, some are glued, some have locking tabs, and some are even welded.  Use your discretion as far as how to open your power brick, but the majority I have encountered were either glued or welded.

To open a glued or welded power brick, begin by securing it in a vise or with a clamp. Now, using a sharp utility knife make repeated cuts along the seam until you have cut through the outer plastic shell.  It's important to stop cutting as soon as you are through the plastic so as to not damage the electronics.  Take your time.  Patience pays off big on this step.  I typically spend at least 15 minutes carefully cutting through the entire seam. I focus on one side of the brick at a time.  Also, I have never had to cut around the low voltage cable or the high voltage cable connector.  Just stick to cutting the long, horizontal seam on all 4 sides.

Step 4: Remove the Enclosure

Now that you have cut through the entire seam, use a flat screwdriver to pry off the top half of the plastic enclosure from the power brick.  If you were patient and took your time cutting this step should be easy. 

With the top removed, separate the bottom of the plastic enclosure from the power brick.

Set the entire plastic enclosure to the side for later.

You should be left with a bare power brick.

Step 5: Desolder the Low Voltage Cable

Use your soldering iron to desolder the remaining piece of low voltage cable from the power brick. There should be 2 connections to desolder. Remove them 1 at a time and be sure to note which color wire goes where. For this example the connections are circled in yellow.  Be careful to not touch anything else!

If you are particularly driven you can attempt to salvage the strain relief from the piece of low voltage cable we just removed by carefully cutting along its long axis with a utility knife.  If you do reclaim it, don't forget to install it on the good low voltage cable before closing the plastic power brick housing. 

Step 6: Solder in Low Voltage Cable

Find the good section of low voltage cable that we set aside in an earlier step and strip about 1" of the cable jacket from the inner conductors.  The easiest way to remove the jacket is to carefully cut around the circumference of the cable with a utility knife then pull the jacket off and discard. 

Use your wire strippers and strip away 1/2" of the insulation from the inner, insulated conductor.  It's likely around 16 AWG wire.

For this low voltage cable there is only 1 insulated conductor.  If both of  your conductors are insulated strip 1/2" from the second conductor as well.  Since our second conductor is un-insulated, we will insulate it using a 1/2" piece of heat shrink tubing or electrical tape.

Finally we can solder the good section of low voltage cable back into its contacts on the power brick.  Be sure to connect the correct wire from the cable to the correct pad on the power brick.

Step 7: Assemble the Enclosure

Place the power brick into the bottom of its plastic enclosure.  Apply a bead of super glue around the entire seam that we previously cut apart, and firmly seat the top half of the plastic enclosure in place over the power brick.  It may be necessary to clamp the enclosure until the glue has fully cured.

Step 8: Add Strain Relief

Whether you salvaged the factory strain relief or not use a hot glue gun and a little creativity to fashion some strain relief of your own!  Generally speaking, the beefier the better, but make sure your masterpiece is securely anchored to the power brick enclosure.

Step 9: Test and Use

If you removed your high voltage cable, reattach it now and plug it into the wall outlet.

Use your multimeter to check the voltage of the concentric power plug at the end of the low voltage cable.  You should get a reading near the nominal voltage rating of your Power Brick.  For this example the nominal rating was 19V.  To find your nominal voltage it should be listed in the fine print on the back of your power brick's plastic enclosure.

Congratulations, it's ready to use! You have successfully rescued the world from unnecessary electronic waste, and saved yourself a few bucks along the way!

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22 Discussions


1 year ago

Awesome, worked for me...


2 years ago

This was a great DIY tutorial. I was able to salvage the adapter and not spending $$ on a new one. Thank you.


3 years ago

Just the absolute worst and dumbest diy article I have ever seen. It is WAY cheaper to just buy a replacement than it is to buy any of that sh!t if you don't already have it.


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

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


4 years ago

My high-voltage cable port sparked. How can I fix it?


4 years ago on Introduction

this is not my problem i plug in the charger bu the light won't come on there are no cut wires and the power cord works just fine.


4 years ago on Step 6

What I have found through the years working with co-ax is I do the cutting of the insulation with a chisel shaped bit soldering iron. If you do use any other method, the wire strands get damaged no matter how careful you are.Okay the cut may not appear as neat but I had more wires and this gave a longer lasting joint or termination.


5 years ago



5 years ago

have you tried repairing the end that connects to the laptop itself? That is the end I need to repair. Good instructions!

1 reply

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

Repairing the barrel connector end could prove to be a bit more difficult. The simplest solution would be to purchase a replacement barrel connector, cut off the existing barrel connector, and attach the new one. However, in my experience most manufacturers use proprietary barrel connectors (i.e. non-standard sizes). If you have some calipers you can measure your plug and see if its size matches those available from digi-key here:

To perform this fix you will definitely need to have a multi-meter to ensure that the proper wire in the low voltage cable jacket is connected to the proper contact on the barrel plug. Just make reference measurements on the existing barrel plug and ensure you wire the new one the same way. Be sure to double check your work by testing the voltage and polarity of the barrel plug after the repair and before plugging it into the laptop.

Hope this helps!


5 years ago on Introduction

Hola desde Guatemala, para el paso 8, se puede usar el protector de cable que tiene el adaptador, simplemente se le sacan los cables dañados, con una broca de 3/16 se perfora dentro del protector, sacando el forro viejo y se mete el cable por ahi asegurandolo dentro del cargador con un cincho (Cable Tie) y luego cerrar el cargador.
Hello from Guatemala, for step 8, you can use the shield cable with the adapter, simply take the wires is damaged, with a bit of 3/16 is drilled into the protector, removing the old liner and gets the there securing cable inside the charger with a girdle (Cable Tie) and then close the magazine. Google Translator!

1 reply

6 years ago

Concordo com o passo-a-passo, menos com o final. Esse acabamento com a cola ficou horrível. Eu já fiz alguns reparos desses em equipamentos diferentes e prefiro retirar o acabamento original do cabo (abrindo ele ao meio com o estilete) e recolocar no cabo após o reparo, fechando-o com super-cola. Assim a fonte fica com aparência de original.


6 years ago on Introduction

usefull. I use a hammer to crack those plastic welds all around the seam. Just give it a good tapping all way around it will open.!


6 years ago on Introduction

Last time I did that. I bricked my laptop coz I got the polarity wrong. Oh actually I didn't, a professional fixed it for me and then after my laptop was in fumes. I noticed he had fixed them wrong.
Say: hello new laptop!


6 years ago on Step 9

thank you, thank you, thank you. I', thinking I can repair my printer power cord much the same way. Hopefully I didnt throw it away lol


6 years ago on Step 3

I use na hammer and 2 pieces of wood or cardboard . I hammer round the joints . no need to use a screw driver. and no external or internal damages. The final work puting back together with contact glue. NEW


6 years ago on Introduction

I usually check the voltage before doing a strain relief, in case the voltage isn't ok (never happened, maybe i am paranoid), but if you rescue the strain by striping the cable you can do it at the end. excelent instructable!