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DC power jack repair guide. Do-it-yourself instructions.
This guide will explain how to repair a failed or loose DC power jack on a laptop computer yourself. Here’s my previous post related to DC power jack related issues.
Disclaimer: I’ve made these instructions only for people experienced with soldering and repairing computers. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this job, please do not open the laptop or you can permanently damage your computer. Take your laptop to a professional repair shop instead.Use this repair guide at your own risk.
First of all, you’ll have to disassemble your laptop and remove the motherboard. Here you’ll find disassembly instructions for some major laptop brands such as IBM, Dell, HP, Compaq, Toshiba. If your laptop is not on the list, you’ll have to figure out yourself how to take it apart.
For this repair you’ll need the following tools.1. Soldering iron or soldering station. I use Weller WES51 soldering station and for this job I set temperature to about 800-850°F.2. I use high-tech rosin core silver-bearing solder from Radioshack with diameter 0.022″ ( Catalog #: 64-013 ). I think standard rosin core solder will work just fine.3. Desoldering pump for removing solder around component leads. I use Edsyn Soldapullt pump, model DS 017.4. 99% isopropyl alcohol and tooth brash for cleaning the motherboard from flux.5. A new DC power jack, you can find a cheap one here.

Laptop DC power jack repair guide.

As you see on the following picture, the solder drop on the positive terminal looks different than on other three contacts. That’s where the problem is. The positive pin is not making a good contact with the motherboard and because of that power to the laptop cuts off when I move the power plug inside the power jack.I’m going to desolder the power jack from the motherboard, clean contacts on both power jack and motherboard and then solder it back in place - this is the proper way fixing the power problem.

Start desoldering process with adding some new fresh solder to all three contacts. This will make old solder more flowable, easier to remove.

While heating one of the contacts, remove the solder from this contact using the desoldering pump. Repeat the same steps with all power jack contacts until you remove as much solder as possible.

Grab the power jack and carefully try removing it from the motherboard. Most likely you will not be able to remove the power jack the first time because there will be some solder bridges left between the contacts and traces on the motherboard. Carefully wiggle the power jack without applying any significant force and at the same time heat up all contacts one by one. This will help you to remove the power jack.

The DC power jack is almost removed from the motherboard.Be careful. Inside the positive hole there is a copper sleeve witch connects the terminal on one side of the motherboard with the traces on the other side. If you are removing the power jack with force, you can pull the sleeve from the hole. You don’t want to do that.
UPDATE: If you accidentally removed the internal sleeve, check out this post: How to fortify damaged power jack connection.
So, do not apply any force and make sure the solder is melted when you are removing the power jack. I hope you understand what I’m talking about.

After the power jack is removed, clean all oxidized contacts with a knife.

Apply a fresh coat of solder to all contacts on the power jack.

The power jack terminals will look dirty because of melted flux.

You can remove the flux using the tooth brash and alcohol. It’s not necessary but it will make your job looking clean.

Apply a fresh coat of solder to all power jack terminals on both sides of the motherboard.

This side has been coated.

And this side has been coated too.

Now you can install the power jack back on the motherboard. Put something under power jack so there is no gap between the jack and the motherboard. Now you are ready to solder the jack back in place.

Solder all power jack pins.

The job is done and the laptop DC power jack is fixed. B-E-A-utiful!Now just install the motherboard back into the laptop and you are done.


IT business info

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Notebook hard drive tricks

Accessing notebook hard drive using USB enclosure
If for some reason your notebook fails to boot and you need to access data on the hard drive (I assume there is nothing wrong with the hard drive itself), you can use an external USB enclosure. This method is very simple and could be very useful when you need an emergency access to your data on the hard drive.
First of all you’ll have to buy an external USB enclosure for notebook hard drives. These enclosures are inexpensive and usually you can buy them in any local computer store. You also can find a wide variety of external enclosures on the Internet. Make sure to buy a correct one, enclosures for ATA and SATA hard drives are different (the connector inside the case will be different). Usually the enclosure includes the case and the USB cables.

Now remove the hard drive from the laptop. For this example I’m using an ATA hard drive.

Open up the enclosure case and connect the hard drive to the connector inside. After that insert the hard drive into the case.

After everything is assembled, you are ready to connect this device to any working computer (notebook or PC). The enclosure cable usually has two USB connectors on one end, make sure both of them are connected to the computer. You don’t need any external power supply for the enclosure because the hard drive gets power through USB ports. If the computer you are connecting the enclosure to runs Windows 2000 or higher, you will not need any device drivers. As soon as you connect the enclosure to the computer, the external hard drive should be detected and recognized automatically. After that the external hard drive will appear in My Computer and you can access it as any other hard drive in the computer.

If you are getting “Access denied” message when you are trying to access your files on the hard drive, you’ll have to take ownership of a file or folder.
My previous post explains how to connect a notebook hard drive to a desktop PC via IDE hard drive adapter.


When Your Computer Talks Back: Handling Error and Warning Messages

What you should not do is ignore whatever you see on the screen. If you don’t trust computers, remember that they were created and programmed by humans like you. And if something pops up while you’re working, it’s either because you are about to do something important that needs validation, or because the system encountered an error.
There are two major types of messages that you can get: warning messages and error messages. Let’s take a closer look at what they represent and what you should do when you see them.
Warning Messages
Wouldn’t it be nice to get a warning message if you were about to step on a banana peel? Something like: “Are you sure you want to step on a banana peel? Click Yes if you want to break your neck, No to avoid it, and Cancel to ignore this message.”
Well, business systems warn you that you are about to do something important and ask you to confirm your actions. This only happens when those actions can have a serious impact on the system, like voiding invoices, exporting hundreds of orders, or doing an inventory count.
So start by carefully reading the question or the warning. Your answer will very much depend on that. Speaking of answers, you must understand your options very well. It might seem obvious, but it’s not always just “Yes” and “No.”
Sometimes no is another type of yes. Let me explain. If you change the price of a product on an invoice, you might get this message: “Would you like to change the price for similar products on this invoice?” And the options you have are: Yes to change prices for all products, No to change the price for the selected product only, and Cancel to do nothing. “Yes” and “No” will both generate a change in the price, but “Cancel” will not.
Error Messages
The advice I gave you for warning messages is still important for error messages: please read the message very carefully! When it comes to error messages, though, this will not help you very much. What does “Boolean parameter for function S471PD in sp_inventory not found” mean?
If you don’t know already, don’t even bother to find out. Let your technical support staff handle it. The problem is that if you press the OK button or close the screen and the message disappears, trying to explain what it was to a support representative will be quite a challenge.
I know you’re busy and cannot wait for the support team to connect remotely and see what’s on your screen. So take a screen shot. No, you do not need sophisticated tools for that; you can just use the Print Screen key on your keyboard and then open any image editor and paste the results (CTRL + v).
For those of you who are capable of fixing such problems on your own, some database providers share their error codes with you, including the possible cause and the action that you can take. Oracle has thousands of error messages, and you can find them all here. For Microsoft SQL Server, go here, type the error number, and see if it helps.
“Miracle” solutions like closing the system and opening it again, as well as rebooting your computer, might work, but are not recommended. For ease of use, many systems do not have a save button, so when you close a window or a software application, it will save automatically. This is probably something you don’t want to do, and most of the time there is no “undo” button or functionality.
Errare Humanum Est, Sed Perseverare Diabolicum (To Err Is Human, but to Persist Is Diabolical)
The Romans did not have business software, but they understood that when you make the same error twice or more, maybe the user is the problem rather than the system. Warning messages can prevent bad or illogical things from happening, but error messages will let you know that it’s probably too late.
Whether or not it’s an error or just a warning message, ignoring it is like failing to listen to your spouse: sooner or later, it will turn against you. A computer cannot make you sleep on the couch (yet!), but it doesn’t understand that you’re (only) human and therefore not perfect, and will not forgive you when you make mistakes (and ignore its warnings).
How do you deal with warnings or error messages? Do you panic, ignore them, use them as an excuse to take a break? Do you think the system you’re using has too many of these messages or maybe not enough?


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