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Eek! Broken laptop!

Tuesday morning, post con. Still alive. Will post Con Report later. At work now. Tired.

I think I broke my laptop last night. Had it on my lap, sitting in bed. I fell asleep, it fell to the floor, on its side, on the power plug - which I think snapped the little metal connector off the circuit board in the laptop.

Battery still has about an hour of life, but it will no longer charge. I did not buy the extended warranty, laptop is 2 years old. I figure it'll cost more to fix (if it's possible to fix) than to buy a new one.

Does anyone know if it's even POSSIBLE to solder something like that back together? Are there any laptop specialist people on my Flist?

HELP! I really can't afford a new laptop right now, but I'm pretty addicted to it and I don't know what I'm gonna do without it.

::bites fingernails::

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
elsaf
Feb. 3rd, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
I don't know what brand your laptop is, but this happens to Averatec laptops all the time. So frequently that they actually sell repair kits to put a new power connector on the motherboard.

Use Google to find a service manual for your make and model, and there will probably be instructions there to fix it. The cost should be less than $10.
shaddyr
Feb. 5th, 2009 09:47 am (UTC)
I suspect that I might have found what I need to fix it on eBay - an Acer Aspire Power Board. It's the power connection that seems to be snapped off.

Now, if I could just get the final 3 screws off the back of the damn thing so I could get a look at it! GRR!

Thanks for the info!
agilebrit
Feb. 3rd, 2009 09:25 pm (UTC)
Seems to me that if you can get into it, then you should be able to solder it....

I think it depends more on what got busted, though. Good luck. *hugs*
shaddyr
Feb. 5th, 2009 09:49 am (UTC)
Seems to me that if you can get into it, then you should be able to solder it....

Ain't *that* the truth! I'm having trouble getting into it. Three of the screws just don't want to come out no matter what I do. I'm afraid to push any harder in case I damage the screen!

I may just take it to the computer shop and ask them to take out the three screws. Maybe they have a tool to get them out other than the crap little screwdriver I've got.
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banjoplayinnerd
Feb. 4th, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC)
Yeah but they're in Seattle. Seems like there should be a similar outfit in Vancouver.
shaddyr
Feb. 5th, 2009 09:50 am (UTC)
I very much appreciate the info.

I'm just not sure the next time I'll be in Seattle.
banjoplayinnerd
Feb. 4th, 2009 08:45 pm (UTC)
If the power connector is much like other power connectors I've seen on a variety of devices, the process for replacing it would be:

- Find out what type of connector it is. You need one with the right kind of socket with the right post size and the right pin spacing.

- Get a connector that fits this description.

- Buy yourself a low wattage soldering iron at Radio Shack and tin it (coat the tip with solder)

- Unsolder the old connector from the circuit board after having removed the motherboard from the laptop case. You want to remove the board because most laptop cases are plastic and one slip with the iron and it bears the scars for life.

- Remove the excess solder from the board

- Solder in the new connector

There are tricks to this, like making sure you don't short out the pins of your connector, causing a short, and not using too much heat on the circuit board traces so they pull up from the board.

Now, if you would like the advice of someone who's been a radio ham for 40 years (geez, that makes me feel old): Get a professional to do it, or break down and buy yourself a decent refurb. There are all sorts of things that can go wrong in the process of soldering stuff, especially if you don't do it very often. It's what I'd do.

And just as aside, the design of sleeve-and-post power connectors is one of my pet peeves where electronic devices are concerned. I have lost more devices than I can count to the power connector breaking in new and interesting ways.

shaddyr
Feb. 5th, 2009 09:53 am (UTC)
Huh. Maybe I should come visit you and get you to help me.

Honestly, I'm not all that techie minded, but I can't help thinking that I should be able to fix this.

I found this part which I think might be the right thing to replace it with. *IF* I could just get the damn BACK of the LAPTOP OFF!!

Fricking screws are STUCK. Grrr.
banjoplayinnerd
Feb. 5th, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)
We'd love for you to come visit sometime, but I wouldn't feel comfortable trying to solder your laptop. I wouldn't feel comfortable soldering my laptop, much less someone else's. I mean (true story here), you're talking to a guy who once picked up a soldering iron by the wrong end. The fact that I don't have a massive scar across my right hand is a testament to . . . something or other, I don't know what.

What brand is it? There might be an ugly, alternative temporary fix until you can afford a new laptop. But yes, it would involve being able to take off the back.

One other possible idea that's a complete kludge but might work: If you can find a similar laptop that doesn't work anymore and someone is just junking anyway, but has a working power system, you might offer to take it off their hands and use it as a charging station for the battery. I have an Aspire, and I think most of them use the same battery. Actually I have the opposite problem -- the battery on my Aspire has gone dead and won't charge, so I'm stuck with a laptop that I can't unplug without it going ZEEEEEEoomp and shutting off on me.
banjoplayinnerd
Feb. 5th, 2009 02:44 pm (UTC)
Looking at that part, if you could get the back off to see if that's what's in your machine, that would be the best way to go because it looks like you could just plug that board in, replacing the old one. I don't think that would work on my Aspire -- it's a 3000 series and the relation of the power and USB jacks is wrong -- but it'd be better than trying to solder something.
ladyniko
Feb. 5th, 2009 03:21 pm (UTC)
Dude, it's totally fixable - find someone really good w/ electronics, because w/ a bit of sodder & maybe a piece or two from your local radio crack shack, or your equivalant thereof, they can take the case apart, sodder the pin back on the motherboard, reassemble the case & voila, you have a newly fixed computer.

I had the same thing happen w/ my old HP laptop - I had help in damaging the power pin, but it gave way & the Evil One was able to fix it. I could even get him to send me pics of it. (I have since retired that laptop - it's sitting to the side waiting for me to either put a new hd or memory in it and give it to like one of my nephews to use.)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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