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Laptop Surgery

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

So a co-worker of mine tells me the other day that her laptop was dropped (again) and the power jack was damaged. Basically the laptop fell on the right-angle power connecter breaking off the pin in the middle of the jack inside the laptop. Ouch. Since it was already off warrantee and she used this as an excuse to buy a new laptop I asked her to bring it in so I could try fixing it.

She brought it in this morning and let me check it out. After taking out all 35 screws and removing basically every internal part besides the processor I was able to get to the back of the power connector.

Power Connector 1
(Click to enlarge any of the pictures)

You can see in the first picture how the pin broke off from the part soldered to the motherboard (and destroyed the plastic that held it in the right position. In this pic I have the power plug inserted and the pin in the connector to hold it in place.

Power Connector 2

Here is the connector with the pin soldered back to the post. I was using a really shitty overpowered soldering iron for the job but it was all I had. I added a lot of solder to hopefully add more strength to hold up under the pressure of removing and inserting the power cord. It actually held up very well and worked fine without any strain-relief, but I did end up squirting some RTV in the gap between the plastic and the pin.

Power Connector 3

Here is the outside where the power cord plugs in. You can see how when it was dropped it cracked the outside of the case too. This is an after picture showing the pin back in its proper place.

Power Connector 4

After taking twice as long to put back together and having only 1 screw left over, the final test was turning it on (yes it still worked) and see the power cord charge the battery.

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