[lug] Opening laptops

Ed Hill ed at eh3.com
Wed Jun 12 14:39:39 MDT 2002

On Wed, 2002-06-12 at 14:29, Chris Riddoch wrote:
> Quick question to those of you who have dealt with hardware
> problems on laptops before.
> My laptop has developed a problem in the AC jack. The plug
> has two parts to it - one that plugs into the wall, and one
> that plugs into the laptop. Plugging them together and testing
> it with a voltmeter shows that power is being correctly
> with the cord I have. Plugging that into my laptop, however,
> has no effect. The laptop runs off the battery when it's plugged
> in, the battery won't charge, and there's no indication that
> current is actually getting into the laptop. This suggests that
> there's a problem just inside the laptop where the power cord
> connects. Major pain- I suspect that little plug is hardwired to
> the motherboard.

My last laptop had a similar problem.  The motherboard had cracked in
the vicinity of the power connector.  It happened because I accidentally
picked up the laptop and walked across the room while the power was
still connected.  Yes, shame on me.  The torque on the connector caused
the damage.

These sort of problems are not uncommon.  If you have the same problem,
you may either:

 - send the laptop in for repair (perhaps covered under warranty?)

 - try dis-assembling the laptop and looking at the connector to see 
   if its damaged where its soldered to the board (and you may be able 
   to re-solder it)

Due to the crack, my motherboard needed replacement which cost almost as
much as a new machine.  So I sold it for parts on eBay (which, if you
have a good LCD, is another option...).


Edward H. Hill III, PhD 
Post-Doctoral Researcher   |  Emails:      ed at eh3.com, ehill at mines.edu
Division of ESE            |  URL:         http://www.eh3.com
Colorado School of Mines   |  Phone:       303-273-3483
Golden, CO  80401          |  Fax:         303-273-3311
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