The DC power jack of laptops are vulnerable because of their mobile aspects. Often the power cord is jerked and the AC port comes loose from the internal motherboard. Even simple day-to-day use, and unplugging the laptop can cause damage to the port. Whatever the cause, the DC jack can be an expensive component to fix. Doing it yourself will cost you less than £6 and get your laptop up and running in no time.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Soldering gun
- Braided copper soldering wick
- Rosin core solder
- Replacement DC jack
- Rubbing alcohol
Disassemble the laptop and remove the motherboard. The motherboard is the large, green, circuit board. It is located below the keyboard and is nearly the length and width of the laptop. Be careful when handling the mother board. It contains hundreds of smaller pieces that are crucial to the laptop's performance. How to disassemble a laptop varies depending on the manufacturer. You can usually find the steps in your user guide or on the manufacturer's website.
Locate the power jack on the on the right, back side of the motherboard. Flip the motherboard over so that it is facing down.
Choose a medium-sized tip for your soldering gun and allow it to heat for five minutes.
Touch the joints of the power jack with the hot soldering gun. At the same time, touch the melting solder with the tip of the braided soldering wick. The wick will absorb the solder as it melts. Trim the wick when the tip is covered in old solder and it no longer removes the old solder.
Gently wiggle the power jack back and forth until it comes loose. You may have to apply additional heat with the soldering gun to loosen any remaining solder.
Clean the area where the joint attaches by applying a drop of rubbing alcohol. Gently rub the area with a toothbrush. Add one drop of rubbing alcohol at a time until all debris is cleaned from the area.
Remove the medium-sized tip from the soldering gun and attach a smaller tip. Let the gun heat up for five minutes.
Place the new jack where the old one was removed. The jack will fit into the motherboard similar to a puzzle piece.
Touch the hot gun to the end of the rosin core solder. The solder will melt and stick to the soldering gun. Hold it there until a small ball of melted solder forms on the gun.
Take soldering gun and touch one of the joints. The new solder will slide off of the tip and onto the joint. Let the freshly soldered joint sit two minutes before moving on to the next. The joint needs time to set up. If it doesn't set properly it will have a dull, grey appearance. If a joint looks like this, it will have to be redone.
Finish the remaining DC power jack joints, allowing them to sit two minutes before moving on to the next.
Allow the motherboard to sit undisturbed for a few hours before reinstalling it into the laptop.
Tips and warnings
- The DC power jack may be resoldered to the motherboard if it is not damaged, and only came loose.
- It may be wise to purchase a DC jack protector for your laptop to prevent the jack from being damaged again.
- Do not bend the motherboard. Bending can cause other damage that may not be repairable.
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