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Laptop Power Issues...

Discussion in 'General Hardware Issues' started by Ukans13, Feb 17, 2013.

  1. Ukans13

    Ukans13 Techie7 New Member

    Hey guys, it's been a while since I've posted but I've got an odd problem.

    Dell Latitude D620

    Power is not getting from the adapter into the pc. I've got two identical d620's so I've tried switching out power cable/adapter...no go. Tried switching batteries...troubled PC works. Secondary PC runs fine. Obviously there is a fuse of some sort on the motherboard of the dysfunctional machine that won't allow power into the system to charge the battery or operate the machine from an A/C source.

    Any ideal what the fuse looks like? The machine is disassembled but I don't see anything that looks like a fuse. There is something about 3/4 inch away from the power in jack that looks like a capacitor with 100 25V printed on top. Could that be it?
  2. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Capacitors come in many types, shapes and sizes so it is hard to tell - especially with no unit associated with the 100 value. And "fusible links" come in many types, shapes and sizes as well.

    But, with two identical notebooks, a good multimeter and knowledge to use it - safely, you could do a point-by-point comparison to trace voltages and troubleshoot that way.

    That said, fusible links don't normally fail. They blow because something else in the circuit failed causing a short or near short (drop in resistance) in the circuit. And by the Laws of Physics (Ohm's Law, specifically) in a DC circuit, when resistance drops and voltage remains the same, current (amps) increases dramatically. And when current in a circuit rises, so does heat. And when heat rises too much, something blows - hopefully a fusible link to prevent further damage - like fire!

    So while you may find a blown fuse - the bigger question is what caused the fuse to blow? A quirk? Or something else? Will replacing the fuse fix the problem, or only result in another blown fuse? These are questions only a well equipped, qualified technician is able to answer - with enough time. And note troubleshooting a problem typically takes time. Fixing the problem is usually easy, once troubleshooting determines the exact problem. This is why it is difficult for techs to provide estimates before starting the repair process.
  3. Ukans13

    Ukans13 Techie7 New Member

    Well, I suspected that was probably going to be the case. I had purchased an aftermarket 9 cell battery to replace the 6 cell original that was failing. If I were a betting man I would wager that it was the cause of the failure. And, while I have done some minor circuit board soldering, I think that the intricacies of a laptop mother board are beyond my abilities.

    That being said, since I've got an identical machine can I simply insert the hard drive from the damaged machine into the functional one temporarily to move my files to a flash drive? Or will there be some type of bios to HDD incompatibility that might damage the good PC? (The working machine is my fathers and I don't want to damage it too!)

    The reason for asking is simply to avoid the hassle of re-assembling the damaged computer. It's old and not worth the cost of professional repair. However, if reassembly is necessary, I'll take the time...but if not I'd rather just cut my losses, retrieve my data and move on with a new laptop.

  4. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    I would not (never ever) install a boot drive from one machine into the boot position of another. For one, that is typically an illegal use of much of the software installed (including Windows) as those licenses are typically tied to the "original equipment" - generally defined basically as the original motherboard.

    But also, unless the two machine are exactly identical, there may be an issue with drivers, or how they are set up.

    The better, safer solution is to remove the drive from the failed system and install it into an enclosure or docking station, or attached with a adapter cable attached to a second machine, or installed in a second PC as a secondary drive (NOT boot drive). Scan it for malware and then copy off the data you don't want to lose.
  5. Ukans13

    Ukans13 Techie7 New Member

    Excellent! Much better Idea. I'll do that.
    Thanks so much for the help.
  6. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    You are welcome and good luck.