How to Replace the Power Plug on a Laptop

Written by michael j. scott
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How to Replace the Power Plug on a Laptop
A broken power plug will turn your laptop into a paperweight. (laptop image by Dušan Zidar from Fotolia.com)

A power plug, or power jack, on a laptop is one of the many components that can break and render your laptop useless. Typically caused by the force exerted on the plug when you try to move the laptop while it is still plugged in, a broken power plug will prevent your laptop's battery from charging. If your laptop is still under warranty, you may be able to send it to the manufacturer to be fixed, but if it's out of warranty you are looking at the cost of a repair service doing the job. If you feel comfortable with taking apart your laptop, however, you can do the repair yourself for just the cost of the new power plug itself.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Desoldering pump
  • Toothbrush
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Phillips and flathead screwdrivers
  • Replacement power jack
  • Electrostatic discharge strap

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Try to locate the service manual for your laptop. This manual will provide the complete disassembly instructions for your particular brand and model. Check out the website of your laptop manufacturer to see if it's available online, or contact the customer service department of your manufacturer. If you can't find the official manual, look around online to see if there is an unofficial guide available. Refer to the site in the Resources section for guides to several laptop models.

  2. 2

    Completely disassemble your laptop. Start by removing the battery, hard drive, optical drive and memory sticks. Next remove the keyboard and display panel. Finally remove the top cover from the base of the laptop. Unscrew and remove the motherboard.

  3. 3

    Locate the power plug on the motherboard. Typically it will be in the back corner of the board, on the right or left side.

  4. 4

    Add some fresh solder to the contact points where the power jack connects to the motherboard. This will help heat up the old solder and make it easier to remove. As the solder heats up, use the desolder pump to remove the old solder. Do this for all contact points.

  5. 5

    Once the solder is removed, gently wiggle the power jack until it comes free from the motherboard. Don't use too much pressure or you can damage the motherboard. Just gently wiggle the jack and it will eventually come free. If it still won't come free, lightly heat up the contacts with the soldering iron again until it works loose. Use a toothbrush and rubbing alcohol to clean the contact points on the motherboard.

  6. 6

    Apply a light coat of solder to both sides of the contact points on the motherboard. When you are done, apply a light coat to the contact pins on your new power jack.

  7. 7

    Slide the new power jack into the contact points on the motherboard. Apply solder to the backside of the motherboard where the jack's pins stick through. Allow the solder to fully dry and harden.

  8. 8

    Return the motherboard to the laptop base and reassemble your laptop.

Tips and warnings

  • Always unplug your power cord when moving your laptop. The extra pressure on the plug when moving it can break the jack.
  • Wear an electrostatic discharge strap at all times to prevent static electricity from damaging the sensitive components inside your laptop.
  • Disassembling your laptop will void your warranty. If your laptop is still under warranty, do not attempt this repair. Contact your manufacturer to find an authorised service centre.

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