PC Laptop not charging? It could be your DC Jack.
Posted on August 27, 2014 Posted in News

DC jack replacements are certainly near the top of the list of PC laptop repairs here at ALB Tech.  The DC Jack is the female plug on your laptop that your AC adapter (charger) plugs into.  These laptops usually come in for not charging, not powering on or intermittent loss of power/charging.  Common causes are tripping over the charger cord, dropping the laptop onto the DC jack area with the charger plugged in, or the simple wear and tear of normal use.

Sometimes the charger itself is the problem.  Most laptop chargers have three parts, an AC cable that plugs into the wall, a “brick” that handles the AC/DC conversion, and a DC cable that plugs into the laptop.

PC Laptop not charging?  It could be your DC Jack.

A typical 3 part AC adapter.

Over time, either cable can become frayed or worn out.  The AC cable is usually easily replaceable and very cheap.  More often, however, charger cord issues involve the DC line from the “brick” to the laptop or a flat-out dead “brick” – both of which mean it’s time for a replacement.

If the charger isn’t the problem, the DC jack often is.  Older machines (and some newer inexpensive models) have a DC jack that is soldered directly to the motherboard.  We do not do solder repairs.  In our experience, even a great re-solder is never as durable as the original one.  Also, the labor involved makes it much less cost-effective on older laptops.

Luckily, most modern PC Laptops have modular replaceable DC jacks (See photo below). This part can be swapped out and plugs into a connector right on the motherboard, and is a very economical repair.  Some Dell models have a small “daughterboard” that plugs into the motherboard with a DC jack as well as assorted other ports such as audio jacks, USB ports, or VGA connections.

PC Laptop not charging?  It could be your DC Jack.

A few common modular DC jacks.

PC Laptop not charging?  It could be your DC Jack.

a Dell daughter board with DC jack and VGA port

We see a lot of Dell dc jacks where the whole “female” connection is either severed from the solder points on the board or pulled right off the assembly (see photo below).  Many Toshiba DC jacks seem to lose their grip and fall out easily or come loose inside the laptop making them difficult to plug in.  Many HP DC jacks are easy to diagnose – the LED right at the connection often stops lighting up altogether.  Luckily, all of these issues are easily remedied.

PC Laptop not charging?  It could be your DC Jack.

A damaged Dell DC jack.

In short laptop AC adapter, charger, battery and DC jack issues are worth bringing by ALB Tech for free diagnostics.  Charger replacements and DC jacks are inexpensive alternatives to having to buy new laptop.