The power plug on Acer Aspire works when moved

I had a power problem with my Acer Aspire 5102 laptop.

The power plug would need to be fiddled with in order to work, once you found the right spot it would work great.

For about a week that worked, then it got harder. It’d take twice as long to find the sweet spot, then it would last 5 minutes to 12 hours and suddenly it was no longer charging.

I looked around online, and was told by a repair shop that it is definitely the power plug, Acers & Toshibas seem to have a problem with the power plug being crappy, he said to send it in & for $100+shipping he’d have it taken care of.

Well, for $400 I can buy a better laptop than what I currently have, so why would I spend 1/4 as much on a jack repair when I could just invest in a new laptop for that much?

I just kept putzing with the cord, (for about 3 weeks), while it kept getting worse, the cord needed to be putzed with at least once an hour to keep working, until today when it finally decided it would have no more & no amount of fiddling would work.

I have repaired XBOX & Wii boards for friends who were dumb enough to overheat them. This involves re-running a trace that been lifted, not nearly the same, but I’ve also helped them with their installations as well as repairing XBOX power supplies that had the built in fuse blow, so I figured what the heck, since I’m practically planning on throwing the machine away (not worth the repair & it won’t even function as a desktop), so I’ll fix it myself.

It was a massive pain to take apart. I’ve worked on Dells (upgrading CPU, general cleaning every 6 months or so), and while the equipment is junk (slow FSB, slow RAM, etc…) [at least the ones I've had to fix], the things are damn reliable & Dell is kind enough to provide a full break down set of instructions that show you every step of the way how to repair or replace anything.
NOT LIKE THIS ON THE ACER, I couldn’t find a manual, so I winged it.

When I get down to the motherboard, I notice solder splotches just about everywhere, the only reason for this is carelessness at the Acer factory, plain and simple.

Once I finally get to the power jack, I notice that 1 pin that’s connecting to the mobo is COMPLETELY BLACK, the only time I’ve ever seen solder like this is when you do a really really bad job soldering that results in a cold joint. So, I used some de-soldering braid & got all of the solder off (first you apply a new layer of solder, then you remove it all with the braid, don’t ask me why, but it works wonders), 2 of the other pins looked like the solder job wasn’t done very well either, so I de-soldered them as well.

I went ahead & re-soldered the pins back to the mobo, threw the battery in & low and behold! The problem is gone. I clean up the board using alcohol on swabs & more importantly removed the solder splotches that were all over the board. I finished putting it back together about an hour and a half ago, and its been running like new (while you’re in there, make sure you blow the cob webs out of the fans & heatsinks, you won’t regret it)!

Moral of the story, its not hard to fix, if your computer isn’t under warranty, consider fixing it yourself or having a competent friend who can solder take care of it for you.

38 Responses

  1. I used a very large hammer on my Acer laptop. It didn’t sort out the problem, but it felt very good as I broke down the problem in to smaller manageable chunks.

    :D
    That’s my contingency plan.

    I have an Acer Aspire on my hands that has the broken power jack pin problem. I’m confident that I’ll be able to deal with it once I get at it. What I’d like to know from those who’ve made a breakthrough: how did you get the back off so you could get to the motherboard?
    I’ve removed all visible screws (and even a couple of invisible ones), but still it’s holding itself together with a death grip, as if it’s not intended to be serviced.

  2. I used a very large hammer on my Acer laptop. It didn’t sort out the problem, but it felt very good as I broke down the problem in to smaller manageable chunks. I will use this technique for other inanimate IT equipment. ;-)

  3. I got the jack and plug from a local electronics store. For some reason I had trouble finding the same size that was originally used. I had a difficult time getting the old connector unsoldered. Of course I tried to minimize the heat applied, but the solder just wouldn’t melt easily. A solder sucker didn’t work, and a lot of time with a solder wick finally got enough of it off so I could get the terminals out. Only 2 terminals are used. The switching function of the jack isn’t used.
    I believe you could find a jack/plug pair at Radio Shack. Run some small wires from the jack to the PC Board. With any of them, there’s going to be some case filing necessary. As I mentioned above, be careful with any aluminum filings.
    Good luck.

  4. same computer, same problem…dc jack cracked and broke off the motherboard on the pin connection….where did you get a replacement jack?

  5. Christina,
    I can see how that would work. I needed that last year for it’s original purpose in my car.

    That would have been a good first try for me. I would believe the tricky parts would be to get the pin to again make contact with the wire in the back, and then to be sure you don’t use too much of the adhesive so there’s no short.

    I hope the repair keeps working for you.

  6. Never mind. I must have been shorting something out. I saw some scratches on the PC board above where I put in the new jack. To fix the problem, I took a small piece of plastic (like what is used for those vacuum formed plastic packages with the welded edges.) I put a small spot of rubber cement to keep it in place, and put everything back together. It’s working fine now.

    Those $75-$100 repair rates don’t seem too bad now.

  7. Christina

    I had the same problem and listed above earlier. Everyone I spoke to said I would have to replace the mother board….I work in the automotive industry and decided to try this little repair…not out anything more than the price of the mobo if it didn’t work right…got some grid line repair (for rear defroster) as it is conductive and an adhesive…throughly cleaned the pin and followed the instructions as if I was repairing the grid line…worked like a charm!!!!…toughest part was lining it up the same way it snapped off.

  8. I’ve got an Acer 5570 notebook. I was noticing the battery was draining when plugged in. I jiggled the plug, and the little icon in XP showed it back on big electric company power. It went out again just a few seconds later. I did the same thing, and got the same result.

    Well, I pulled out the power connector, and the center pin came out with it. D’oh!

    I went to a local electronics store, got a replacement jack, and got a new plug to replace on the brick since it’s a different size. They didn’t have a PCB mounted jack. It’s one that mounts with a nut so I had to put the jack on the belt sander in order to fit it in, and then had to trim part of the case to get the top to close. Those Dremel tools can do anything. I used a diamond wheel from Harbor Freight. Unfortunately, I thought I was cutting plastic, but I was trimming aluminum. Aluminum dust and computer circuit boards don’t mix well. I blew compressed air thoroughly in there, and when I got it all back together, it still worked the same way. Whew!

    Bottom line…It still doesn’t see that it’s plugged in. The circuit board where the power jack was connected is labeled PJ2. I put the + wire to pin 1, and the – to pin 3. I believe pins 2 and 3 are connected together. It looked like those were where the original jack connected.

    The only thing I might have done wrong is overheat the board when soldering. I’ve never dealt with solder that wouldn’t melt like the stuff that came on that board. I took the notebook apart again. (I’m getting good at that.) I do see the 19 volts at the points I soldered.

    Do you know if I got the right pins? Next I’ll try starting the unit while it’s open to see if I might have been shorting out something. I didn’t smell anything bad when I had it together though.

    Thanks for any help you can provide.

  9. dear all,

    my laptop just suddenly switched off by itself after ten minute, ACER aspire 5572 models.

    never like thi sbefore…this is the first time.it happened after ten mninutes i started to use it.

    and till i wrote this stil no sign of anything not even any blink from the power or battery indicator….

    oh ya…whenevr you pluig in the pwer cord to the laptop, the small green LED at the power jack wil be slowly blink and becomes dimmer than usual, but as soon a syou take it out from the lap[top, ity began to return to real green as it supposed to be …

    kindly please help me on this.

    thans and regard,

    zul

  10. I bought an Acer Travelmate from PC World in London and there my nightmares began!
    Ok to the problem at hand, my power adaptor has similar problems to what I have read here. The travelmate is 4 years old so not worth the money to fix it. I took apart the laptop took me an hour or so, and lo and behold the power adaptor end was snapped in half, the end part the fixes itself into the board – i can try to solder this but may just work on a temp basis. does anyone know where i can get a hold of one???

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