Repairing anything on a laptop motherboard can be risky, especially since the motherboard is home to several other components and it is very fragile. A piece on the motherboard that needs to be replaced the most often is the power circuit, or more commonly known as a DC power jack. The power jack is one of the easiest parts to repair, and it is also one of the cheapest if you do it yourself.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Soldering gun
- Core rosin solder
- Braided copper soldering wick
- Rubbing alcohol
- Replacement DC power jack
Turn on the soldering gun and let it heat up according to the manufacturer's instructions. Place a medium-sized tip on the gun if the soldering gun is one with removable tips.
Locate the power circuit on the motherboard. Power jacks are usually located towards the back of the laptop and can be along the back panel, or on the sides toward the rear.
Touch the heated gun tip to the old soldered joints of the DC power jack .While touching the joints with the gun, also apply the tip of the copper soldering wick to the joint. The wick will absorb the solder as it melts. Remove the solder from all the joints holding the power jack in place on the motherboard.
Pull the jack free from the motherboard while wriggling it back and forth gently. You may need to apply more heat from the gun until the DC jack pulls free.
Place a drop of rubbing alcohol to the area where the jack once was attached. Buff the area with the toothbrush until it becomes free of dirt and debris.
Replace the medium tip on the soldering gun with a smaller, or a finer tip. Allow the gun to heat thoroughly.
Place the replacement power jack in position on the motherboard, where the old one was removed.
Touch the end of the rosin solder to the heat gun. The solder will melt and adhere to the tip of the gun.
Touch the melted droplet of solder onto the new joint, where the pins of the DC jack sit in the motherboard. The solder will glide off the gun tip and onto the joint. Allow the fresh joint to set for a minute.
Finish the remaining joints, allowing a minute of rest before moving onto the next. Bumping or moving a fresh joint may force you to redo the joint. A bad joint is characterised by a dull and grey appearance. Allow the laptop to sit for an hour before handling it further.
Tips and warnings
- Use a static wrist guard when handling the laptop to prevent static from damaging other parts of the motherboard. You may reuse the DC power jack if it only came loose from the circuit board and if it is not damaged.
- Use caution when handling the motherboard. Do not bend or flex it as small parts may snap off.
- If the DC power jack is integrated into the motherboard, rather than soldered on, professional help may be needed to fix it. You may not be able to repair the old circuit board and you may have to purchase a new one.
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