Laptop repair gone wrong...

  Sam_G 09:10 21 May 2008

Hello all, would very much appreciate some help with this…

So, on attempting to connect the power lead to my 2 year old Packard bell easynote laptop, the centre pin on the jack snapped off. Despite not being particularly computer minded, after a bit of research into repair prices I soon made the decision to have a go myself.

Ordered the jack and downloaded the disassembly manual and followed the instructions fairly strictly and apart from getting the old jack out, (which was an absolute pig) I thought the repair went ok. My main concern was 4 screws left over on the rebuild which I can’t place for the life of me. 2 big, 2 small.

Anyway, after firing it up, the repair has obviously worked as I’m getting juice again but the fan seemed to be going crazy and after about 5 minutes the laptop died and did so again each time I tried to restart after a few minutes.

Now I’m assuming it’s overheating, and as it’s never happened before it must be related to the repair, but before I disassemble again to have another look is there anything I should be looking for specifically? Are the spare screws likely to be of any relevance? Or a missing connection somewhere? Or could it be to do with the new jack repair itself?

The computer itself seems to be functioning as it was before.

Thanks in advance…

  Gongoozler 10:54 21 May 2008

Hi Sam_G. I've recently tried to repair a laptop, slightly older than yours, and which also had a power connector problem. This also isn't working properly after reassembly. In my case what has happened is that the connector pin is soldered into a "plated through hole". This is where there is a top circuit track as well as a bottom one, and the two are connected by electroplated metal inside the hole. The connector pin has damaged the electroplated metal so the top and bottom tracks are no longer connected. This can have unpredictable results depending on which areas of circuit are left isolated. If I'm right, the repair method I would (will) use is to pass a length of very thin wire through the hole and solder it top and bottom before fitting the connector.

  Sam_G 11:23 21 May 2008

Thanks Gongoozler,

Have you got the same overheating problem or is it that the Power supply is intermittant?

The laptop overheats and dies even when the AC cable is unplugged so i assumed that wasn't the cause, in itself, of the problem. If the top and bottom tracks at the connection have become disconnected, would that cause problems with other areas of the laptop and cause the overheating?

  woodchip 12:02 21 May 2008

Did you separate the Fan from the CPU? if so did you put some thermal paste back on?

  woodchip 12:03 21 May 2008

Also this could be where the two big screws are from, that hold the thing in place

  crosstrainer 12:10 21 May 2008

Those screws are the key. It's almost certain that they form connections. This is why laptops are not user friendly to repair.

Assuming you have not dismantled the CPU assembly, you now have 2 choices.

1) Try again and find out where those screws fit.

2) Take it to a dealer for repair (Which I guess means PC World :(

  Gongoozler 12:32 21 May 2008

Hi Sam_G. No, the effect of my problem is that the battery isn't charging, but as I said, the effect of a damaged plated through hole is entirely unpredictable. First follow the suggestion made by woodchip and see if the screws are part of the heatsinking system.

  Sam_G 13:30 21 May 2008

Cheers Guys,

Woodchip, Yes, i disconnected the fan part from the CPU. It was held on by 3 screws with a sort of spring backing (excuse the technical ignorance) which i retightened on reassembly.
Where would i apply the thermal paste?
And yes i guess it is possible that the 2 screws come from this part of the assembly though it didn't seem obvious where when putting it back together. I'll have to have another look tonight.

Unfortunately the manual wasn't bit for bit identical to my laptop in terms of layout so i guessed slightly in parts.

One things for sure. I'm never taking one apart again after this!

Would i get absolutely fleeced for a repair now i've tinkered with it?

  woodchip 13:38 21 May 2008

Put the paste on top of the cpu before fitting the Fan, you only need about as it was one drop, in the middle of cpu. The screws that fit the plate on mine was the biggest screws I removed

  crosstrainer 14:32 21 May 2008

Do as woodchip suggest's, and apply thermal paste (available from all computer shops) Then find out where those screws fit. Yes if you tell PCW you have attempted a repair yourself, they will fleece you or even refuse to repair the laptop. Like you say, laptops are not easy to repair.

Hindsight is a great skill :) Hope you manage to fix it.

  Sam_G 16:01 21 May 2008

Cheers Guys, will let you know how it goes.

One last question, looking at the various pastes on maplins, worth splashing out £8/9 on the high spec silver stuff? Or will bog standard do the trick? Bearing in mind i'll probably only use it once!

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