Dell Inspiron 9100 shuts down when AC plug is moved

I have a Dell Inspiron 9100. Mine kept on shutting down randomly and eventually got worse. I got a laptop technician out and at first he thought it was overheating but it turned out to be the AC plug going into the back. Every time it moved around the laptop turns off. This implied that it was something to do with the motherboard. I only use this as a spare laptop now, but want to have a hand at fixing it myself. What would you suggest? Is there any kind of botch job I could try before buying a whole new motherboard?

It’s possible that the power jack (the socket where you plug the adapter) is loose or damaged. When you move the AC plug inside the power jack it shorts the motherboard and because of that the laptop shuts down.

It’s necessary to disassemble the laptop, remove the motherboard and take a closer look at the power jack. If it’s broken or loose you may fix the problem without replacing the whole motherboard.

1. Disassemble the laptop. You’ll find instructions in the official service manual.
2. Remove the motherboard and take a closer look at the power jack.
3. If the power jack is loose or broken, you’ll have to resolder or replace the jack.
4. Find a new power jack and replace it.

Before you take it apart, I would suggest testing the laptop with another working power adapter. Will it shut down with another adapter? If not, your problem could be related to the adapter. Apparently, there are damaged wires inside the power cable and you short them moving the cable. It’s possible the laptop shuts down because of that.

If you still have the same problem even with another adapter, you can inspect the power jack as suggested above.

14 Responses

  1. I have a Toshiba Satellite A200 with Vista Home Premium installed on it. I bought it about two years ago. Since last month, The laptop always restart automatically even before its loading the desktop. Although I have restore the system to its factory setting, the problem still exist. I have also use recovery disk but it did not solve the problem.

    Then, I change the core setting from Dynamic into Always Low and luckily my laptop can run now. I can use it to play some games for hours without problem and I am still using Vista home premium. However, the laptop is still odd. It will not start when its cord is plugged in (it will only start on battery power)and after the laptop is on, i can plug in the cord to recharge the battery. But, second problem will appear when the battery is full, I should set the laptop into Sleep mode before I unplugged the cord. This is because if I unplugged it directly without setting the laptop into sleep mode, the laptop will go off suddenly. I have tested this laptop with a new battery but the problem is not solved.
    I have also tried to restore the core setting ( from Always Low to Dynamic). Again, the laptop return to the first condition, always restart automatically and cannot load the desktop.

    Could you please help me on this problem? Is there any negative effects to the laptop when the cord is always set on Always low mode rather than Dynamic?

    Kind regards,


  2. After reading this, it seems to me that I have a similar problem, as I think my laptops power jack is either loose or damaged. Because I have recently got a new battery and an adapter, so both of them are fine, the problems I have is:

    Sometimes the laptop switches from AC to battery power, although it is on AC power, and secondly, I constantly hear a very high pitched sound from the power jack, while I’m on AC power using the laptop or even charging in stand-by mode. But on battery power there is no sound at all. And thirdly, the end of the adapter ‘which is plugged in the power jack’ gets VERY HOT and also the area of laptop around it. And lastly, on AC power I sometimes have to fiddle the wire to make the adapter charge my laptop.

    SO what I want to know is, is it dangerous if I do not get the ‘power jack’ fixed? I have recently seen some pictures of laptops burning, so you can imagine my fears.

    In short, Can this loose or damaged power jack, burn my motherboard or completely destroy my laptop?

    Plz answer my questions.
    Thanks in advance.

  3. My Inspiron 1900 reports the battery is working, but the machine will n ot light up or turn on when plugged in to the adapter. Interestingly, the light on the adapter turns off when I plug it in to the back of the laptop. That is, I can plug the adapter in to the wall and see the blue light on the converter box. When I plug the other end into the laptop, though, the light turns off. And nothing happens to the laptop, it’s still dead. What’s that all about?

  4. Hi Laptop Freak, thanks for your great work!

    I have an HP Pavilion dv4015 which has been working fine for 4 years. Recently, my battery was getting low on power. I plugged the AC adapter in, and about 5 minutes later the keyboard and touchpad stopped responding. I had to shut down the machine.

    Now, it seems that whenever I plug the AC in, the laptop freezes up within a few minutes. Then sometimes, if I wait a little longer, the screen eventually becomes all white.

    When the computer is shut down, sometimes the charge light won’t come on even if I plug the AC.

    Now here’s the funny thing: when the “battery charging” light does come on, I can unplug the AC and it will stay on! I guess this means there’s a problem outside the AC adapter.

    Thanks for any help!

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