Toshiba Satellite A75 failed power jack workaround

posted in: DC jack, Laptop hacks, Toshiba Problems | 412

Today I received an email from Tony Sakariya who was experiencing a problem with the power jack on his Toshiba Satellite A75 laptop. He’s been able to fix the problem by relocating the power jack outside the laptop case away from the system board.

 

I would like to share with others a tip for repairing their Toshiba A75 laptop for the DC Jack and battery charge problem.

I have a Toshiba A75-S209 for a year now. After the first 3 months it developed the exact same problem. Battery would not charge and I had to twist and turn the power jack to make the connection. Since it was in warranty, I returned it and they repaired and sent it back to me. The problem recurred again after about 4 months and I sent it again and they repaired it and worked fine for 5 more months and it failed. This is a design flaw with Toshiba. Now that I am out of warranty, I decided to repair it myself.

Now here is what I want to share with others. Resoldering the power jack with a new one does solve the problem for a while but it will reoccur. Hence I decided to bring out a wire with the Jack outside. Of course it looks dirty but it is a permanent solution. I am attaching the photo of the repair I did. I got the DC jack from ebay and insulated it with a electrical insulation tape. Now it is working fine, I do the connection and disconnection on the dangling power jack outside the laptop and hence no chance of breaking the soldering outside.

Laptop failed power jack fix

• Coil the pair of wire one round through the ventilation grill before taking it out as shown in the picture above. This is to prevent any external shock or force being directly transmitted to the soldering joints.
• Now we need to connect a new DC Jack to other end of the wire. I purchased the new DC jack from  eBay for $6. Shown in the picture above the white wire is the positive terminal (+) and hence must connect to the inner ring of the DC Jack. Similarly the blue wire being the negative terminal (-) should connect to the outer ring of the DC jack. Refer the picture below on how the wires are soldered to the DC Jack. Be careful not to short the leads as they are very close.

Power Plug Fix

• Now neatly wind a round of insulation tape over the wire and especially on the exposed DC Jack exterior. This will prevent any short-circuit and also give a better appearance.

New Power Jack Assembled

Valued Comments.

Submitted by Binney:

The workaround relocates the jack externally. When I did this, a short occurred between the metal casing on the top cover (the one removed with the guitar pick). This happens if the solder repair is too tall. I covered my repair with electrical insulation tape and that fixed the problem. It took me quite some time to figure out where the short was and would like to save others the headache.

 

Comments #282, 286 submitted by Jake and John:

Size N: DC Power Jack #274-1576 from Radioshack works perfect and looks great. Costs $2.99, easier to solder, snugger fit, 5.5mm O.D. x 2.5mm I.D.

Here are some pictures of the end result of the repair with
the Radio Shack type jack. I added one of those quick release
key holder that I had lying around as a retention holder.

Here is what it looks like unplugged: Power tip unplugged.

Here is what it looks like with the adapter plugged in and
the key holder reattached: Power tip plugged.


412 Responses

  1. Kevin,
    I would try to minimize the system completely and even remove the system board from the laptop base. I usually assemble it on my bench with ESD mat. With Satellite A75 you need only the motherboard, the CPU with cooling module and an external monitor. The memory is already imbedded into the system board and power button is located on the systemboard too. Connect the external monitor and turn it on. If you get video on the monitor, start assembling the laptop back and test after each installed component. If it doesn’t start with video, then apparently the system board is bad.

  2. Mike Larsen

    Ok, I checked the solder passing through the board and it does have good continuity going from the topside where I soldered the wire on to the bottom side + hole where the jack used to be. Is there another place i can check to see if juice is getting to the motherboard? or narrow down where the problem is? i dont see where the juice goes from that hole as there are no leads or tracks coming off if that I can see. thanks again for all your help!

  3. Thank you so much for this wonderful site! I have an A75 with a broken connection on the DC jack and resoldered it with no problem. When I put the laptop back together I got the dreaded blue power light with no HDD / DVD activity. Fans spin for a few seconds then stop. I stripped the board down to the bare minimum and still no luck. I have tried reseating the CPU, using an external monitor, using extra memory chips, all to no avail. I think that the system board is still good and that there is something else I am overlooking. Do you have any ideas? Thanks in advance!

  4. First of all I would like to give a credit to Tony. All pictures and all instructions for relocating the power jack outside the laptop case have been created by him.
    I’m not an artist, so my drawing looks much different then a real jack and real motherboard. :) The main idea of the picture is to show that the top solder point and the bottom “+” trace in this model are connected.

    I will check to make sure there is continuity between my top soldered wire and the bottom side “+ trail”. Does this sound like we are on the same page?

    Yep, we are on the same page.
    Unfortunately, my limited English doesn’t always allow me to put in writing everything in my head. :)

  5. Mike Larsen

    Thanks for the reply c/2600. :)
    My solder job looks just like yours in the top picture of the main post. i got a new jack and hooked it up per your instructions. I am confident that everything is correct on the top side of the board. I will check to make sure that there is continuity going to the back side of the board tonight.

    In your drawing, you show a power jack on the bottom side of the board. sorry, im not up on electronics lingo but does that just mean the leads that are embedded in the plastic on the bottom side or is there a physical little box there? because there is nothing on the bottom side of my board except the little trails of embedded wire or whatever you call it. I didnt find any other pieces when i took everything apart so i think the only piece i removed from the board is the power jack on the top side of the board where i then soldered wires in accordance to your photo.

    i will check to make sure there is continuity between my top soldered wire and the bottom side “+ trail”. does this sound like we are on the same page? thanks again very much for your assistance!

  6. Hey Mike,
    Did you remove the power jack during the repair or you just re-soldered the pins? Did you replace the power jack itself? If you didn’t may be there is something wrong inside the jack?
    Here’s another thought. Take a look at the first picture in the post. Do you see that the positive terminal actually doesn’t connect to anything on the top side of the board? That’s because all traces and connections are on the other side.

    Here’s my piece of art. :)

    Laptop Power Jack

    As you see, the positive pin goes through the hole in the system board and you solder it on the top side. Right? What if the trace between the top side and the bottom side is broken somewhere inside the hole? I’ve seen it before a few times. In this case everything looks nice and clean on the top side. When you plug in the AC adapter, you get normal voltage readings between “+” and “-“ terminals, but the power DOESN’T go to the motherboard at all, because there is no connection between the top and bottom sides. Test with the multimeter if there is a connection between the top and the bottom.
    If the trace inside the hole is broken you still can fix it. You can run a wire to connect the top and the bottom sides. Be careful not to short something on the board.

  7. Mike Larsen

    Thanks Tony, I figured out the multimeter and was able to check my AC adapter. it read 19.28 or something so I’m sure it is ok. I also picked up a universal one at Best Buy and it read the same. I stuck the + wire in the adapter hole (of the new universal adapter) and held the ground to the outside of the plug and was able to measure 19.28 at the place where i soldered the wire to the board so power is getting there. I can turn the power on with the battery in (the orange charge light glows intermittently just with the battery running things) and when I hook up the AC it seems to have no effect whatsoever. I don’t get what could be wrong since my original symptoms were textbook powerjack. is it possible that its not grounding correctly or something? my only clue to anything unusual is that the orange light flashes on every few seconds with that battery in but that may be because the battery is down to 7% charge. Can it be anything other than the system board? Like I say, it works fine with the battery but now im almost outta juice and no way to charge back up. I have a spare battery as well and it does the same thing so I know its not the battery. Just my luck, im in the 2% chance of it being the most expensive thing to fix. *sigh*

  8. Mike, The AC adptor for Toshiba A75 has an output voltage of 19V DC. Make sure you get that reading. The most common mistake people make is interchange of terminals. Please make sure that the +ve terminal of yout DC jack is really connecting to the +ve terminal on the board. Please see the picture to identifying the terminal. On the factory Toshiba AC adaptor the +ve terminal is the inner ring of the DC plug. You may use your multimter in DC Volt meter mode and measure the voltage and its should read as 19V and not -19V when the multimeter probes are touched to the correct soldered points. Red probe should be +ve and balck prove -ve.

  9. Mike Larsen

    im not that adept at reading the meter but we did hook it up to the meter and it looked like it was working (it was giving similar readings as the AC adapter on my work laptop). i guess thats the only other thing it could be though unless something went out on the system board (does that sound likely if everything works fine with battery power?) how would i check to make sure the AC adapter is really working? is there a certain reading it should be giving? thanks

  10. Mike,
    Have you tested the AC adapter itself? May be the power plug on the adapter is bad?

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