Replace Broken DC Power Jack on Your Laptop Computer (UPDATED).

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Introduction: Replace Broken DC Power Jack on Your Laptop Computer (UPDATED).

About: DIY biologist

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.

Step 1: Initial Diagnostics

You can observe the damaged DC jack on the back of my computer.
The new DC jack shows how it is supposed to be.

Step 2: 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.

Step 5: Remove Plate Connector

Observe how the plate connector is fixed to computer body.
My case was that the back of hinge had place to pop up.
Very gently slide flat drive in and gradually lift it until the plate pops up.
Reverse the laptop and remove the plate connector.
Remove the cables and plugs attached to the plate.

The mechanisms how plate connector is affixed to body of the computer varies.
Some manufacture is more difficult than the others.
Do not force pulling the plate out.

Step 6: Keyboad and LCD

Remove some screws then you will be able to remove keyboard.
I could not figure out how to disassemble further and it took 30 minutes to find out that I needed to remove the keyboard. My keyboard was fixed with double-sided adhesive pad.

Then you can remove LCD cables and antenna. Unscrew the real hinges and remove LCD.
If you have antenna, make sure which cable was attached to which.

Step 7: Remove the Exoskeleton

After removing some screws, you can remove the plastic exoskeleton (if you call it so) by finding out how it is connected.

Step 8: Remove the Endoskeleton

Now you see the naked computer. Unscrew some more and unplug whatever connectors you have to, you can remove endoskeleton.

Step 9: Desoldering Old DC Power Jack

Finally you can see the circuit board for DC power.

Desolder your old DC jack following the This Guide "How To Desolder Components""How To Desolder Components"

Another and much better guide to desolder and re-solder a power jack is DC power jack repair guide. Do-it-yourself instructions. The credit goes to Laptop Freak.

I did not use desoldering pump. Instead, I bought desoldering braid from RadioShack for about $5. Soldering before desoldering works pretty well, though.

Step 10: Soldering New DC Power Jack

After desoldering, use the small flat driver to secure enough space to put new legs of DC jack.
Place the new jack, solder the legs.

Step 11: Reassemble

You can check the continuity with multimeter. In my case, it was difficult to place the probe into the jack. Then follow the diagrams and screw back the screws.

Before placing endoskeleton, you need to clean remaining thermal compound from CPU heat sink with 90% Isopropanol and add new drop of thermal compound.

Reassemble the rest of laptop computer. Make sure all the cables and connectors are placed back. It is arduous to open it again and reconnect.

Step 12: Relish Your Victory

Turn on your computer to make sure you are on AC adapter.
Relish your victory now.

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59 Discussions

actually there are a couple of simple ways to repair dc jacks on laptops. visit my site at http://www.thepcrepairnetwork.com for more information.

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Jay139

2 years ago

Besides using numbers I also to tape the screws on the diagram right under where they are marked.

Really informative post, which you have shared with us. You are nice explanation about DC power jack replacement. Keep up the excellent work!

http://www.fixitmetairie.com/

Very good guide! Thank you. I noticed that sometime the plastic is the only part that breaks. In this case just use epoxy to repair the plastics. http://techsfriend.net/how-to-repair-dc-power-jack-on-a-laptop/

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 eachbattery.com. It is a great source for OEM chargers if you can find them.

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

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

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

I love

"Relish your victory now."

Just do.

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!

nice post,thanks for sharing.
http://www.laptopbatteriesinc.com.au/laptop-battery/dell/dell-studio-1537-battery

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...

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

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?

3 replies

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.

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.