Out of all the hardware related problems I’ve encountered over the years, DC jacks are some of the first things to go on a laptop. Although hard drives are up on the list, there is not much you can do from a failed hard drive other than swap in a new one. So let's look at the option available when your DC jack does go out discuss the best solution for each case scenario.
What exactly is the dc jack and why should I care?
The dc jack is what you plug your laptop's power adapter into and it carries the electricity to your laptop in order to power it on. The dc jack becomes loose over time from every day use. In addition the dc jack is very sensitive and can break easily if you put pressure on it, or bend the cord while its plugged into the laptop. The most common cause for DC jack damage are people/kids/pets tripping over the power cord while it is plugged into the laptop. To alleviate potential dc jack damage you may want to consider placing the laptop on a level surface when using it.
Aside from being one of the most common laptop issues, there is a rumor that broken DC jacks carry along with them that you will hear from many computer repair companies:
"You must replace your entire mother board if your dc jack breaks."
This is a very common misconception as the dc jack is usually part of the motherboard (newer models have the dc jack on a separate board). I’m here to tell you this is not necessarily true. Depending on the nature of the dc jack issue, it may only require soldering on a new dc jack or replacing the power board that connects to your motherboard. Since the motherboard is the most expensive piece of hardware on the laptop, most people would purchase a new laptop since they came down so much in price over the years.
DC Jack Repair
Repairing your dc jack can be fairly straight forward if you have soldering experience and the ability to disassemble your laptop.
If you are thinking about soldering a dc jack on a motherboard you will need the following:
- New DC jack specific to your laptop model number
- We highly recommend the Weller WES51 Analog Soldering Station, Power Unit, Soldering Pencil, Stand and Sponge
- Edsyn Soldapullt, Silverstat, Plastic, Conductive to remove the old solder from the DC jack
- Flo-Temp Lead-Free Electrical Rosin Core Solder (21945)
The first step is to take apart your laptop using the appropriate service manual.
The next step is to unsolder the old dc jack. To do so you would need to heat up the metal joints that are soldered onto the board until the solder melts. I recommend using a solder remover to remove the excess solder and make your life a little easier. Once the old dc jack is unsolder, place the new one in flux before soldering it onto the board.
If you feel uncomfortable doing this and you need DC jack repair, this is a service we offer for a relatively low cost, about half of the cost it would take to replace the motherboard in terms of parts and labor.
Replacing your Dc jack Power board
If you are uncomfortable with the soldering aspect, newer laptop models have the dc jack on a separate board as previously mentioned. Refer to your laptop’s service manual to confirm this.
As a reminder the best thing you can do to proactively reduce the likelihood of ever needing to repair your dc jack is keep it on a level surface at all times like a desk or table. I would also highly recommend a laptop fan that fits the base of your laptop. If you do require our power jack repair services, feel free to contact us to set up an appointment.