Laptop DC Jack Repair – read me first

Did you laptop suddenly stop working? Battery won’t charge? Sounds like you might need a new DC jack. That’s the plug in the motherboard where the ac adaptor plugs in. Its a pretty complicated repair as the laptop has to be dissassembled and a new jack soldered directly to the motherboard. Its a big deal. Most shops charge $200 or more, others refuse to do it and just will try and sell you a new laptop.

BUT,  are you SURE you need a new DC jack on you laptop?

I had a client dropoff a laptop a couple of weeks ago that she was told needed a new DC jack. She asked me how much, and the price I quoted was half of the local shop where she had taken it. So she went and got it from the shop . First off, this partiticular laptop had a type of DC jack that should not have broken. Most DC jacks break because they are sodlered directly to the motherboard and the stress of plugging and unplugging causes the solder to come lose. This particular motherboard had a DC jack that was connected to the motherboard with a plug. That was the first question in my mind, how did this one break? When I got the laptop the wire had been cut and the plug was missing. Ok, I figured they removed it so they could order the correct part. BUT it still should have been returned to the customer.

So I order the part and put it in. The laptop STILL doesn’t work.. Hmmm.. I get my voltmeter out and start testing stuff. Nothing, no voltage. No voltage anywhere on the board, and none on the ac jack..  Turns out that was the problem. A bad AC adaptor. Knowning that this laptop doesn’t have common issues with the dc jack breaking, that makes me wonder about the shop. Were they honest? Did they test the ac adaptor or did they even check to see if the dc jack was intact? The odds of BOTH parts failing could happen, but my client could win the lotto easier. I’m under the belief that this laptop just needed a new ac adaptor, but the tech wanted to gouge the customer and insisted it was a broken dc jack in an attempt to sell the client services they didn’t need or a new laptop. I won’t mention the shop here, but have heard two or three stories about this particular shop that coroborate what I believe.

So what I am trying to tell you is BEFORE you commit to a costly repair have the tech check out the ac adaptor or try your laptop with a different ac adaptor. A new AC adaptor is cheap ($30-$50) compared to a expensive repair that requires dissassembly and resoldering of your laptop.

When I wrote this, I had not written my article on Why you should not use a Universal Power Adaptor. I think anyone experiencing problems with their DC Jack should use a OEM (or generic) to test the computer. Using a Universal Power Adaptor could cause more problems and due to lose fit or incorrect voltage, may not work, leading to a needless repair….

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