While desktop computers receive power by connecting directly to AC wall jacks, Packard Bell laptops use DC jacks connected to an external power adaptor. The jack is a small part that is soldered to the motherboard and can come loose from normal wear and tear. If your laptop loses power intermittently or will not charge, there is a good chance the DC jack's solder joints have gone bad and need to be replaced.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Set of small screwdrivers
- Soldering iron
- Desoldering pump
- Needle-nose pliers
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Rosin-core solder
- Pen and paper
- Continuity tester
Remove the battery, unplug the computer and remove the screws on the bottom of the laptop. Remove the screws holding the optical drive and hard drive in place the remove each component by sliding it out of the laptop case.
Turn the laptop upright and use a flathead screwdriver to pop the keyboard off. Look beneath the keyboard for a ribbon connecting the keyboard to the motherboard. Flip the small latch upright and slide the ribbon out to remove the keyboard. Remove the wireless card and set of screws holding the motherboard to the case. Carefully remove the connector for the LCD screen. Unplug the DC jack and lift the motherboard free from the case.
Set the motherboard on its back and plug the soldering iron in to give it time to heat up.
Place a small rag beneath the DC jack of the overturned motherboard. This will catch any melted solder.
Melt the joints with the iron and use the desoldering pump to remove as much solder as possible.
Pull the DC jack free with the pliers and set it aside. It may be hot, so use caution.
Clean the mounting area with a toothbrush soaked with isopropyl alcohol to remove any burn marks resulting from the soldering process. Allow the alcohol time to evaporate before you seat the jack.
Apply fresh solder to the pins of the jack to reconnect it to the motherboard. Be careful to avoid shorting any connections with excess solder. Connect the power adaptor to a power source and plug the power adaptor into the DC jack. If any LEDs light up, this is a good indication that the repair was successful.
Tips and warnings
- Reassemble the laptop by reversing the disassembly steps. Make notes during the disassembly so you can follow all the steps when the repair is finished.
- The jack itself is usually fine, but you can check it with a continuity tester to make sure.
- Static discharges can harm electronic components. Frequently ground yourself by touching a piece of solid metal to dissipate any static charge.
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