laptop repairs

  silliw 13:00 03 Feb 2006

last night my laptop (Compaq evo 1015v)kept turning itself off unexpectedly after which I noticed that there was a problem with either the power adaptor or the power in socket. I have since tried an alternative power lead which confirmed that I have a loose connection at the power socket.

I am quite familiar with the insides of a desktop pc and have built/rebuilt a number of machines but I have no experience of the insides of a laptop.

Are repairs such as this may be within the capabilities of an experienced user or is this an expensive call to an engineer.

  rmcqua 13:07 03 Feb 2006

If the problem is the pin of the power input connector, where it attaches to the laptop mainboard, it's bad news. We use a couple of hundred laptops at my workplace and when this happens, as it occasionally does, our IT Manager considers the laptop as a write-off.

  jack 14:39 03 Feb 2006

If you take rmcqua at his/her word then on the
principle if its broke you cant break it worse- Have a Go
Failing that i find a repairer and pay the shipping costs and repair costs for what may be ineffectual.
The Classified Ads section of PCA has on occasion a 'lappie repairer' or get a copy of 'MicroMart'

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:14 03 Feb 2006

The power socket is soldered on to the motherboad and is quite often a standard 3.5 DC power socket available from many electrical stores i.e. Mplins

What makes the job so hard and costly is the amount of time it takes to strip the laptop down to the motherboard to effect the repair.

So if you have time and can use a solderig iron (probably not broken but just loose on the board)
have a go.

Look for a service manual on the web for your laptop before you start.

  ruskle 19:54 03 Feb 2006

A similar problem a few years ago happened to me with a Toshiba and PC world told me it wanted a new mother board (£750) another dealer comfirmed this (£725) I put it to one side and after a while decided to poke around (as Jack suggests) I put the battery on and the power supply in and poked till I noticed a small spark from around the voltage regulator. A quick press and it worked, I put a drop of super glue on the joint and tested it for a week, it was OK so I sold it to a friend for £450 and she has used it for 2 years with no problems.. Moral to my story. never trust the big boys. BUT not all stories have a happy ending.

Russell, All the best.

  woodchip 20:00 03 Feb 2006
  rmcqua 20:44 03 Feb 2006

It's nothing to do with "my word". I was simply stating the policy of our IT Manager (whose budget, incidentally, is severely limited and who has some quite capable technicians at his disposal).
For silliw :
It's not a simple resoldering operation. The pc board is multi-layer (probably 8 12 layers). It's not just the stripping dowm that is difficult.
Having said that, by all means have a try but don't be too disappointed if you fail. I have been building electronic kit for about 30 years and I wouldn't attempt it!

  woodchip 20:48 03 Feb 2006

It may be multi-layer but there are only two connections to the input DC socket to solder

  jack 22:00 03 Feb 2006

Russell - as stated you cant break it worse- Items such as these and kettles and toasters for that matter are written off because the rate to dismantle to find whats wrong to discover physical repair would not be economic- costs about £60 per hour to get no where
As I said and woodship suggests - You cant break it worse-
If you have moderate skills and can use a solder iron - if you need to - super glue or alraldite may remake the connection
Just have a go

  silliw 15:36 04 Feb 2006

managed to strip it right down to the board. Not too difficult if you are steady and take your time. Unfortunately the power socket is not loose on the board so must be something to do with inside the socket. Will have a look on the maplins site to see if I can see anything remotely like the socket and may just have a go at replacing it.

  woodchip 16:44 04 Feb 2006

I had a DC socket go like that on 12v colour TV. just replaced socket. But look for cracks round solder joints before you decide. Could be a Dry Joint

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