How to Open a Dell Power Laptop Adapter V85

Written by bear naff
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How to Open a Dell Power Laptop Adapter V85
In an emergency, being able to repair a normally unrepairable device can save the day. (power on image by Stefano Tiraboschi from

The Dell V85 power adaptor is not meant to be opened. However, if an emergency arises and getting a replacement impossible, it is possible to open the adaptor and make rudimentary repairs. The most common failure point on a power adaptor is the solder joint between the adaptor and the line that goes to the laptop. While this is a relatively easy problem to fix, you must first open the casing to the power supply before you can do so.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Table vice
  • Thin blade strong enough to use as a prybar
  • Small-tipped standard screwdriver
  • Mallet

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  1. 1

    Disconnect the adaptor from both the wall and your laptop and set it aside for at least an hour. Power adaptors contain capacitors that can store a charge even after the adaptor is unplugged from the wall.

  2. 2

    Examine the seam running around the edge of the adaptor. This seam is where the two halves of the outer casing are glued together. Power adaptors are not meant to be opened after purchase, so the first step to opening one is to break the seal on this seam.

  3. 3

    Place the power adaptor into the table vice so that the edge of the seam is just above the grips. Tighten the vice slightly, then loosen it, shift the adaptor, and tighten it again. The idea is to work away at the glue from multiple angles without stressing the plastic casing overmuch.

  4. 4

    Slip the blade between the edges of the seam and work it back and forth to pry the casing apart. Once you have a slight opening, slip the screwdriver into the gap next to the blade. Tap the screwdriver lightly with the mallet to force it in.

  5. 5

    Slide the blade further along the seam, using the screwdriver to hold the previously separated sections of casing apart. If an area proves difficult, remove the blade and screwdriver and put the adaptor back into the vice as in Step 3. You can also attempt to crack glue-sealed sections by rapping the handle of the screwdriver against the seam or even smacking the seam with the mallet. Do not hit the adaptor hard with the mallet, however--it is possible to loosen components within the adaptor to the point of breaking it permanently.

    Once you have three sides of the adaptor separated, the adaptor should pull apart with light to moderate pressure. These sections of the case will not come back together again smoothly, so when it comes time to close the power adaptor back up, you will need to use some means to hold the casing together, such as tape or cable ties.

Tips and warnings

  • Be very cautious with this project. You are working with a device that uses 110-volt AC current, which can kill. Do not plug in the device while the casing is off, and do not touch any part of the innards of the adaptor while it is plugged in.

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