DC power jack repair guide

posted in: DC jack | 523

This guide will explain how to repair a failed or loose DC power jack on a laptop computer yourself.

Disclaimer: I’ve made these instructions only for people experienced with soldering and repairing computers. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this job, please do not open the laptop or you can permanently damage your computer. Take your laptop to a professional repair shop instead.
Use this repair guide at your own risk. :)


For this repair you’ll need the following tools.

1. Soldering iron or soldering station. I use Weller WES51 soldering station and for this job I set temperature to about 800-850°F.
2. I use high-tech rosin core silver-bearing solder from Radioshack with diameter 0.022″ ( Catalog #: 64-013 ). I think standard rosin core solder will work just fine.
3. Desoldering pump for removing solder around component leads. I use Edsyn Soldapullt pump, model DS 017.
4. 99% isopropyl alcohol and tooth brush for cleaning the motherboard from flux.
5. A new DC power jack.

DC jack repair tools

Laptop DC power jack repair guide.

Laptop DC power jack

As you see on the following picture, the solder drop on the positive terminal looks different than on other three contacts. That’s where the problem is. The positive pin is not making a good contact with the motherboard and because of that power to the laptop cuts off when I move the power plug inside the power jack.
I’m going to desolder the power jack from the motherboard, clean contacts on both power jack and motherboard and then solder it back in place – this is the proper way fixing the power problem.

DC power jack bottom side

Start desoldering process with adding some new fresh solder to all three contacts. This will make old solder more flowable, easier to remove.

Removing solder

While heating one of the contacts, remove the solder from this contact using the desoldering pump. Repeat the same steps with all power jack contacts until you remove as much solder as possible.

Sucking extra solder

Grab the power jack and carefully try removing it from the motherboard. Most likely you will not be able to remove the power jack the first time because there will be some solder bridges left between the contacts and traces on the motherboard. Carefully wiggle the power jack without applying any significant force and at the same time heat up all contacts one by one. This will help you to remove the power jack.

Remove DC power jack

The DC power jack is almost removed from the motherboard.
Be careful. Inside the positive hole there is a copper sleeve which connects the terminal on one side of the motherboard with the traces on the other side. If you are removing the power jack with force, you can pull the sleeve from the hole. You don’t want to do that.

UPDATE: If you accidentally removed the internal sleeve, check out this post: How to fortify damaged power jack connection.

So, do not apply any force and make sure the solder is melted when you are removing the power jack. I hope you understand what I’m talking about.

Separating jack from motherboard

After the power jack is removed, clean all oxidized contacts with a knife.

Cleaning power jack contacts

Apply a fresh coat of solder to all contacts on the power jack.

Coating contacts

The power jack terminals will look dirty because of melted flux.

Flux on motherboard

You can remove the flux using the tooth brush and alcohol. It’s not necessary but it will make your job looking clean.

Removing extra flux

Apply a fresh coat of solder to all power jack terminals on both sides of the motherboard.

Coating contacts

This side has been coated.

Cleaned contacts side 1

And this side has been coated too.

Cleaned contacts side 2

Now you can install the power jack back on the motherboard. Put something under power jack so there is no gap between the jack and the motherboard. Now you are ready to solder the jack back in place.

DC power jack installed

Solder all power jack pins.

Soldering power jack

The job is done and the laptop DC power jack is fixed. B-E-A-utiful!
Now just install the motherboard back into the laptop and you are done.

DC power jack fixed


523 Responses

  1. GREAT INSTRUCTIONS! Just replaced my Gateway 3545gz’s jack last night. Didnt even have to take out the motherboard. 2hrs and an extra $150 in my pocket.

  2. cj2600

    Cathy,

    I found someone with the same laptop and tried all 3 adapters. They worked. I guess it is my jack or motherboard.

    So, your laptop fails with these 3 adapters but another laptop works just fine with same adapters. Apparently, there is nothing wrong with the adapter but there is a problem with the motherboard in your laptop.

    But, of my 4 adapters, why did 3 fail and 1 work (and is still working)?

    To be honest, I don’t know.

    I have followed the instructions to remove the motherboard. But, the motherboard still have a steel casing on top even when I pull it out of the laptop shell.

    I don’t remember this laptop off the top of my head. If the motherboard comes out with a metal frame, in order to access the power jack you’ll have to separate the motherboard from the frame.

  3. I found someone with the same laptop and tried all 3 adapters. They worked. I guess it is my jack or motherboard. But, of my 4 adapters, why did 3 fail and 1 work (and is still working)?

  4. cj2600:

    Unfortunately, I am the only one with a Dell (I work in a 3 people office where I use my personal laptop for work stuff), so, no one can help me test the adapters.

    I have followed the instructions to remove the motherboard. But, the motherboard still have a steel casing on top even when I pull it out of the laptop shell.

  5. Cathy,

    However, I have another PA-12 at work. So, I plugged my laptop to that adapter (my 3rd PA-12), and everything works. It charges the battery and runs the laptop without the battery.

    Do you have another Dell laptop at work? Can you test that laptop with your adapters?

    I’ve checked all 3 adapters with a voltmeter, they all put out the correct near 19.5 v)

    I think there could be a problem with your motherboard but I’m not sure what’s going on. I guess you’ll have to take a closer look at the power jack and see if it makes bad connection with the motherboard.

    I’ve also gotten to the point where I have the motherboard out of the laptop, but, there is a steel casing around the jack and motherboard. How do I remove it?

    In order to remove the motherboard you can follow these instructions.

  6. Lisa,
    I think you are talking about the power connector board. The HP part number for this board is: 382414-001
    Google the part number and you’ll find it.
    If you look at Google images, you’ll see the board. Is it the right one?

  7. Rami,
    It’s a power fuse. I believe it doesn’t matter how you solder the fuse, it could be solder both directions.

  8. RobertM,
    I agree. It takes more time to remove the nine pin power jack from a Dell laptop, it’s very solid.
    I can remove most power jacks from Toshiba motherboards in 2-3 minutes, but when I work with Dells it takes some time and effort.

  9. I have a Dell Latitude D600. It can run on a 65W PA-12 (model HP-OQ065B83) or PA-10 (model PA-1900-02D, don’t know wattage) family of Dell adapters. Both models have input of 100-240v 50-60hz, output of 19.5v. PA-12 outputs 3.34A. PA-10 outputs 4.62A.

    I normally hook the laptop to the PA-12 adapter. About 2-3 weeks ago, I noticed that the icon which shows if I am on battery, AC, or AC and charging, kept flickering between AC and battery power. Finally, it stopped charging the battery in addition to not powering the laptop. I figured it was a problem with the AC adapter. Luckily, I have another PA-12 at home. So, I started using it. Everything worked for a while. Then, the 2nd PA-12 adapter started to act the same way as the first one. I have a docking station which is hooked up to a PA-10 adapter. So, I took the PA-10 and used that to run my laptop. Again this worked for a while and then the same problem. So far, 2 PA-12s and 1 PA-10 had stopped working. Then, I took the docking station (luckily it is small), connected the PA-10 to it, and docked the laptop. Everything worked. But soon after, I started getting a message that the laptop is docked, but the AC Adapter type is not recognized, and to undock the laptop or use another adapter for the docking station. I took the PA-10 and hooked it back to the laptop and removed the battery. If I play/move the adapter’s plug on the laptop, sometimes the PA-10 will work. However, I get the message that the AC Adapter type is not recognized and the laptop will not run optimally. I have a choice to press F1 to continue or F2 to setup, etc. I press F1 and the laptop will boot. (This only works on the PA-10. It does not work on the 2 PA-12.) Unfortunately, the laptop will be working and suddenly decides it does not have power and turns off. All along, I thought I have a defective jack (since moving the adapter wire sometimes works). However, I have another PA-12 at work. So, I plugged my laptop to that adapter (my 3rd PA-12), and everything works. It charges the battery and runs the laptop without the battery.

    My question, is something on the laptop causing the AC adapters to fail? So far, I have 3 adapters that are not working. I fear my 4th adapter will go the same way. Is this a bad jack issue (I bought replacements jacks just in case). Also, why did the laptop suddenly stop recognizing the adapters? Is there anyway I can fix the 3 adapters? (I’ve checked all 3 adapters with a voltmeter, they all put out the correct near 19.5 v). I’ve also gotten to the point where I have the motherboard out of the laptop, but, there is a steel casing around the jack and motherboard. How do I remove it?

  10. Fran Rohm

    I have a sony vgn-690, the dc adapter was broken I replaced the part, it had no soldering involved. It worked great for two weeks know the computer will not start once again. Is there anything I can do to chek the mother board. I just don’t understand why it would work great then stop working .

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