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Tech Hardware:
The Laptop Computer Power Jack That Sort Of Almost Worked
Posted 10 months ago on 2/22/2020 and updated 11/8/2020
Take Away:

This is a story about a recent troubleshooting appointment I went on where the laptop computer’s “power jack didn’t work, so to speak”.


The other day I went to a new customer’s home to pick up a laptop computer with "fix my computer" issues. The customer said the power cord would not fit securely into the machine’s power jack and the machine would act up and shut down after a while. This seemed kind of fishy and I did not really know what to make of it, but nonetheless I took it home to work on it. Before I left, I told the customer I would be in touch.

Upon arriving home, I plugged in the laptop and turned it on. It seemed to work fine for all the time it was powered up, though the silver part of the power adapter seemed to be exposed rather than inserting all the way into the laptop’s power jack as it should. I called the customer to let her know what the situation was. She insisted that I replace the power jack, because of the problems she was experiencing. So I agreed and ordered the new power jack for the princely sum of $7.55.

The replacement power jack arrived via Amazon 2 days later. I then proceeded with the requested computer repair and disassembled the laptop to the extent where I could remove the old power jack. After I took out the old power jack, I saw what the problem was as evidenced by these photos:

You will notice from the pictures that the plastic hole that accepts a small screw, which fastens to the computer’s motherboard, is partially broken off. I am guessing the power jack itself worked fine, but since the broken plastic screw hole was insufficient to hold it securely, the power jack itself was semi loose. This explains why the silver part of the power adapter would not fit securely into the power jack. Upon installing the new power jack, it created a secure fit with the end of the power adapter since it was securely in place and no longer had “wiggle room”.

Sometimes a problem looks more complex than it really is. It is always best to see what is really happening inside regardless of whether the nature of the problem is hardware or software.  


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