The DC jack on a Gateway MA7 laptop is soldered directly to the motherboard and can be manually replaced. The repair is simple, but it requires a moderate amount of experience soldering or at least some practice before attempting. A new DC jack can be purchased online and is a more affordable option than returning the laptop to the manufacturer for repair. For our purposes here, we'll assume the laptop is already disassembled.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Soldering iron
- Desoldering pump or copper braid
- Needle-nose pliers
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Rosin-core solder
Turn the motherboard over and prop it up so that it is stable and level. Molten solder will roll along an uneven surface, which can both damage the laptop further and cause injury.
Plug the soldering iron in and wait a few minutes for it to warm up. A hot iron is much easier to work with than a cool one.
Hold the soldering iron in one hand and the copper braid or desoldering pump in the other. Heat the solder joints that hold the DC jack to the motherboard one at a time and use the pump or braid to remove as much of the solder as possible when it liquefies.
Use the needle-nose pliers to remove the old DC jack from the mounting holes. If it is stuck, heat up each connector individually and try to remove them one at a time. The copper braid may be more effective than the pump when removing trace amounts of solder.
Clean the circuit board by wetting the toothbrush with alcohol and scrubbing the board to remove scorch marks or other impurities that will reduce the effectiveness of the new solder joints. Allow the alcohol time to evaporate before continuing.
Place the new jack in place and solder the joint. When the area has cooled, plug in the power adaptor. A light may turn on to indicate that the motherboard is receiving power. If not, you can check the continuity of the connections using a multimeter. Reassemble the laptop.
Tips and warnings
- You can practice by trying to solder to small wires together.
- Apply a thin coat of solder to the iron before starting.
- Work on a fire-retardant surface.
- Turn off the soldering iron if you need to leave your workspace.
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