A laptop is one of the many things that make our lives and jobs easier and smoother. But like all things made by man, even they are not exempted from several problems.
Even though accidental slips and falls are the usual suspects when these things go bad, some are naturally occurring and can happen after long usage.
One of the many problems that a laptop could encounter is a power failure. This usually occurs when the power jack is faulty, preventing the power supply for the power adapter from reaching the laptop.
This particular problem is pressing because the power jack allows power to enter the laptop, and without it, the laptop would be completely cut off and will no longer work until the problem is fixed.
Faulty power jacks occur often, and many laptop users are familiar with these issues. Yet, not many people know that they can easily fix this without soldering or being taken to a specialist.
Soldering requires a level of expertise handling the tools, and taking it for repairs will cost you some money.
An alternative is to learn how to fix laptop power jack without soldering so that you can save yourself both time and money.
Here are The Main Steps In This Guide
Do Laptop Power Adapters Go Bad?
Your laptop power adapter is a device that transfers power from the main grids to the laptop. This may sound simple, but it is not.
The current in the main grid is often in the AC form while your laptop consumes only DC. This means that the adapter has to perform the extra task of converting the AC to DC before supplying your laptop.
Such an intricate job is important to keep your laptop from burning. But aside from current conversions, adapters are also the first line of defense against any abnormalities from the main power source.
The adapter takes the burn so that other highly vital components are kept safe.
Your laptop can therefore go bad after a long time of heat and use. It can also go bad when a sudden power surge occurs.
When this happens, you will find out that your laptop will no longer charge because the adapter is no longer working.
What Causes a Power Adapter to Fail?
There are several reasons why your laptop adapter will fail to supply power to the laptop, and the most common reasons include age, breaks, burnouts, and cuts.
After an adapter has served for some time, it is only natural that it wears out as the lifetime of most electronics are finite, with some lasting longer than others.
An adapter may also fail when it burns out or when there is a cut anywhere on the connecting cable. You can easily spot the cuts when you look for them or try to feel through the wire.
This may be obvious, but an adapter can fail when not plugged properly into the power source. So you may need to confirm this before you start to panic.
If you are still unsure what the issue is with your adapter, try the following hacks to see if it gets resolved:
Hack 1: Troubleshoot the hardware
Most times, the most common challenges we face with our laptops are from the hardware. It is, therefore, a smart move to troubleshooting those hard components.
Start by unplugging the adapter from the outlet, then plug it into another outlet to confirm if the issue is from the first power outlet.
Unmount the battery and allow it to rest for about a minute before replacing it. Then connect the adapter again to see if anything changes.
Hack 2: Hard reset the laptop
Shut down the laptop before removing the battery. Then hold down the power button for about 30 seconds before releasing it.
Replace the battery and turn on the laptop. After it comes on, connect the charger to see if there is any change.
However, if you can accurately confirm that the adapter has gone bad, you can easily replace it as they usually only cost a few dollars. Replacement for your laptop adapter is often better than fixing it as they require too much expertise and effort.
An efficient way to extend the life expectancy of your adapter is always to unplug it while it is not in use. This is because even when while the cord is not plugged into a laptop, the adapter continues to use some electricity – something we now understand can damage your adapter faster.
If unplugging is not convenient, you may choose to use an energy-saving power strip, which can turn off all connected outlets when you turn off the devices.
How Do You Know If Laptop Battery Is Bad?
The battery can also be the major culprit in the refusal of your laptop to charge, yet this may be tricky to figure out if you don’t know what to look out for.
A typical laptop battery will serve you for at least two years before completely giving out. But how then can you tell when your laptop battery has gone bad?
By checking for signs such as overheating, refusal to charge, abrupt shutdowns, and replacement warnings by the operating system.
Laptops generally get a little warmer while we use them because they use electricity to do work and thereby emit some heat. This is often controlled by the fan and heat sink.
However, overheating can be taken as a sign of a dying battery. This is because an ageing battery forces your laptop to create more heat than the fan can handle. The result is often a laptop that can burn your lap.
Refusal to charge
This is a symptom that isn’t exactly peculiar to a failing battery. However, when you begin to notice that your laptop doesn’t charge whenever you plug it in, or it charges for some time and stops, you may want to consider replacing the battery.
Decreased run time and abrupt shutdowns
A fully charged laptop can serve between 3 – 6 hours. This duration, of course, begins to dwindle as the battery ages.
However, if you notice that your laptop can only stay up for half an hour or less, you should know it is time to get a new battery.
In the same vein, a faulty battery is also responsible for computer crashes and sudden loss of power.
Replacement warning by the operating system
Another indicator that your battery has gone bad is when you start getting warnings from your computer’s operating system to replace your battery.
These indicators aim to let us know when the battery has now reached a critically low level of capacity. However, how it is displayed differs according to your operating system.
For instance, Windows usually place a red “X” over the battery. At the same time, Mac operating system will display any of these three short messages, “replace soon,” “replace now,” or “service battery” when you click on the battery icon.
How to Fix Laptop Power Jack without Soldering
To know whether or not you can fix your power jack without soldering, first, uncouple the computer – making sure to remember where you remove what screw – and confirm how the power jack is attached to the motherboard.
If the power jack is attached using wire connectors, then you can fix it without soldering. However, if it is soldered to the motherboard, then it would be impossible to fix it without soldering. Except you only want a temporary fix that can serve you for a day or two.
Fixing a power jack without soldering is very simple and takes only about 1 – 2 hours.
Also, first, confirm what type of problem your power jack is having as different problems require different fixes.
However, there are two very common power jack problems that can be fixed without soldering, and the steps for doing this are given below.
When the Jack Is Physically Damaged
A physically damaged power jack soldered directly to the motherboard can only be fixed by replacing it with a new one.
Step 1: Purchase a new power jack. Depending on your brand of laptop, this can cost you anything from $12 – $26.
Step 2: Uncouple the laptop and head straight for the DC jack, then disconnect it from the motherboard using the connector.
Step 3: Replace the new power jack, applying a little pressure to keep it in place.
When there is a Damaged Wire or Disconnected Pin
Your entire jack could be still in perfect condition, and only a wire has been damaged, or only a pin has been disconnected. This is also quite easy to fix.
Step 1: Uncouple your computer, making sure to note where you removed each screw.
Step 2: Remove the DC jack from the motherboard using the connector.
Step 3: Use a multimeter to test the voltage on the power jack connectors. In a case where any wire or pin is out of place, the voltage would be lower than expected.
Step 4: Locate the affected wire or pin and join it properly. You can do this using tape, glue, and a silicone seal.
Step 5: Use the multimeter to test for voltage again. You will get the proper voltage if you have made the connection correctly.
Step 6: Reconnect the power jack to the motherboard and then carefully recouple your computer, remembering to put back all the screws just as you had taken them out.
Because laptops are now an intricate part of our culture and we can never be sure where they will develop problems, it is important to learn how to fix the laptop power jack without soldering.
However, before you jump in with screwdrivers and tapes, pause to confirm what exactly the problem is. Other common issues could be battery or adapter problems, and you need to make sure it is none of these.
Another confirmation you will need to make is whether or not you are allowed to lose your type of laptop.
And lastly, be sure that the power jack is attached with connectors to the motherboard and not soldered. With that, you can repair your power jack without soldering.