PowerJack Repair




Doing it Yourself

!! Please Be Warned !!
We do not encourage or take any responsibilities for any work carried out
from information within these pages nor by recommendations by others,
other than our qualified staff as so many things can go wrong if
you make a mistake or don’t know the basics..
Repairing the power jack problem is no easy task and there are no shortcuts
to speak of. It is not hard work but the job should
be done properly to last the life of the computer.
Depending on the model you have dictates wither it’s a fiddly job or an easy job.
Circuit boards are more or less the same size nowadays however you will find that
on the new Macbook Pro's they are half the size.
Fortunately the power socket is a fairly easy replacement.
On a normal you will find that there are 3 Different types of socket situations.

1). The Harness Type (Module Plug wired up to the Socket)
2). Common Powerjack (Solder Type),
3). Daughterboard Type where the power circuit is on a smaller circuit board
     making it easy to replace instead of having to solder a new one in place
     (Ready made, Plug in and go)
You have to be very careful if you intend doing the repair yourself as you
can destroy the computer in a brief second.
If you find your don't know what I am talking about then also this job is not for you.
We do offer our repair services locally within the UK at a very reasonable rate
and you can find details from within these WebPages.
Unfortunately due to high postal costs we are sorry we do not offer
the Powerjack replacement service outside of the UK.

We do however have a DVD Video Tutorial that is a great guide for any newbie
that shows how to open most laptops and loads of great tips.
Highly appraised by engineers for anyone that is interested.

We do have recommended and trusted Partner Links in various Countries.
(Please check out the Links Page)

On with the Task:
Now you will need to make notes of what screws come from where etc.
A good tip is to Use a Digital Camera and make notes of size and type.
Do each section in zones and document each. I usually zone up in this order:
Tip. Tape two A4 paper sheets together, use as template and mark the holes,
Remove one screw at a time and cello tape them to the bark on the A4 sheet.
(Don't forget to label the A4's this side up lol
That was a joke.. you should label something like this....
Top and mark where one or two of the compartments are so that you don’t get mixed up.)

Level 1: (Base) Component removal (Memory, Wireless, hard drive etc),
                 base screws including rear.
Level 2: (Topside) Keyboard and top chassis
Level 3: (Motherboard) Motherboard and any items attached to it like
                 PCMCIA connector etc.

We all have different methods, choose one that suites you and stick to that.
Bare in mind that you will have different screw sizes, types and material
(color etc) Look carefully for machine thread and self tapping etc.
Very importantly to avoid the classic Dimple error be careful not to
over tighten screws and especially at the front of the wrist rest as
this is the thinnest part of the base.
Account for all screw and components carefully as if you lose one it may
be one you let slip or drop in or on to the motherboard, If you have one or
two over then its not so bad, but I advice you strip the board back down
until you have neither screws over or short of.

Very, Very Important:

Protect yourself and work area from electrostatic before you begin.
Keep earthed at all times when dealing with integrated circuits (IC's)

start off by removing Battery and power supply then components
from the underside compartments.
Remove all screws from the Base (Level 1) Always have a method
and stick to it. A good tip is to work from top left to bottom right
(Like reading a book). Remove any screws from rear Next Open Lid
and pop the control bezel above the keypad. Pop it careful from one end
to the other. Below this panel you may find Keyboard screws.
Carefully remove the ribbon cables, Note at this point before
you remove ribbon cables there are 3 common types and you must open
and close them correctly. They all have a purpose to clamp down
on the cable and keep contact.

1). Zero Insertion (Without clips or levers) you simply with some effort push the cable in the slot in place.
2). Slide Clamp (Slide the two sides out equally inset the ribbon cable to the mark or line and equally push
       the clip back. Be aware these are very fragile)
3). Top Clamp (The lever opens upwards, insert cable to the mark or line and close Be aware these are
     also very fragile)

Remove Cables like Monitor cables, Wireless cables, touchpad and keyboard
and any other plugs that can be seen from keyboard side as they will likely
get in the way of opening the top base.
Now remove the monitor screws as it will cause problems due to its weight.
If all screws are removed from Base and Top then you will be able to open it,
there may be clips holding it together. If so then you need to run along the edge
with a plectrum or an opening tool finger nails may also work.

Now that you are down to the Motherboard Level look closely at the screws you may find arrow markings
if so then this indicates that a screw belongs there at this level.
Sometimes you need to remove the Hex screws attached to the VGA Socket. When
extracting the motherboard be extra careful around the Speaker, Microphone and USB sockets.
Now that you have the board out, There are a few ways to diagnose the problem
Verify that the power jack is the problem, 10x magnification
with a magnifying glass or a Macro close-up shot from a camera should help.

You can test the socket with a multimeter, If you don’t have one and do this kind
of work then you really should buy one (Analogue is best as it is less
prone to miss readings)

Alternatively plug in the charger DC Plug without power !
(Unplugged from Mains or Switched off) While you look under the glass,
move the plug left to right then you will see movement if it has failed.
This should give you the complete confidence that you have found the possible problem.
Sometimes you won’t see any direct problem and the issue may be within the dc socket.
Note that other problems may have been caused because
of the Powerjack problem due to overheating, arcing and various other issues.

Don't use the charger as earth when you solder.

When I work from home I usually earth myself up to a radiator or sink.
Earth yourself and short the power to the DC Socket.
One safe and simple way is to short a old spare solder type DC plug (Component)
and plug this in while you solder. What this does is discharges any residual electricity
on the circuit as this will cause problems with soldering like sticky solder etc.
(Not always the case though). Clean joints on power jack from grime,
acid, and flux from solder joints. Test with multimeter, turn board over,
check for space and use some epoxy resin to bond the socket on topside
(I stopped doing this and only bond the socket on weak motherboards).
Please Note: It is not wise to cover any other components with resin
due to possible overheating. Let dry properly and reassemble.
If you have made a mistake in the mixture it will not set and will short
and you will have a mess to clean off. (Please use the Epoxy method wisely)

Tips commonly forgotten:
Don’t forget the LCD Monitor Plug (Below Top Keyboard Panel).
Take care to study how the flat cable connector works.
(Usually there is a zero insertion lock). Don’t forget to pull WIFI cables (Black and White)
through the board (On the WIFI Cards the Two Coax Connector socket type
doesn’t mater which goes where but the Three Connector socket type does.
Usually Black on Main, White on Aux and Grey on the Third (Usually Middle)
Don’t forget the Keyboard and Touchpad Flat cables.
And finally insert components like RAM, Hard drive etc.

Plug the DC Plug and check the light is solid, if not or nothing happens,
switch off, check power etc. If all is good but no light then you need
to go back and re examine your work.
Nice solid light, switch on and hopefully you can boot up.
Don’t  worry if your drive is corrupt, you just need to choice to
recover or format and start again (Installation)
If the Computer does not power or comes on and
black screen but nothing else check this solution:
Switch the Memory Sticks around. This saved me many times. I don’t know why
this is a problem on some machines though it is bios related. Even a
dead Bios Battery may cause the same problem.
Good Luck

Please feel free to help me with these pages if you like.


Truestate Electronics
Muswell Hill
London N10