Broken Laptop, Fixed Laptop!

I am a bit of a girl.  I admit it, we all know it, it's not news to any of you.  And if you want to make me a really sad panda, then tell me there is something wrong with one of my prized possessions.

Now, excluding various items of Kellies undergarments, one of my more prized possessions is my very pretty laptop. Considering I've had it for just over a year, I think I've done very well with it, but whoever owned it before me clearly didn't give a flying fornication about it.  However, last week (and again, I'm still writing on the 14th January!) it started acting up. 

When plugged in and the light on the front started going, shall we say, a wee bit mental.  As if someone was connecting and disconnecting the charger a dozen times a second.  Not likely.  So, checking over the cable, I discover that, somehow, there's a kink inside the wire itself where it meets the transformer.  Great, naff connection, going to have to get a new charger.

Bending the wire into a certain position actually improved the situation, but not perfectly, and every now and then, the screen would dim, letting me know it was switching to Power Saver as there was no electricity going into it.

A few days later, while the laptop was closed and minding its own business, the cat decided to leap OFF the TV straight down onto it.  I considered a boot-lobbing moment, but she used her evil cat powers, and ran out before I could follow through with it.  Thinking no more of it, I carried on about my day, and when I decided I had ten minutes spare, I popped it open, and noticed the mains power light wasn't on.  So I started fiddling, and flexing and adjusting the wire, but to no avail; I could NOT bed the wire into place.

Arsebandits, I thought to myself, the dodgy connection has died properly.  As I moved the laptop across my lap, however, I pulled on the wire, and noticed the light came on again.  Hold the phone... Why would the jack being moved make a difference.  So I wiggled the jack around, and low and behold, the light came on again.

I decided to be brave, and pop the part of the case open that covers the DC-in Jack, and was rather surprised/shocked/stunned/saddened to see two wires were kinda not connected.  To anything.  At all.

I like to think I kept rather calm.  I didn't scream nor shout nor throw a tizzy, but I was a little put out.  Not angry just miffed.  Clearly the dodgy connection wasn't the only problem I had.  I suspect the cat put the finishing touches to the wires in the jack point, but still, what was done was done, and it WAS my fault for leaving it out in the open with animals and kids.

So, I used my faithful friend, Mr Google and within minutes, I discover that this problem of these two wires is actually pretty common for the Acer Aspire 8930.  The wires and the power-in point are actually on a hinge for the lid/screen, so every time you open and close it, they move.  So constant open-close-open-close coupled with a dodgy connection, coupled with a flying cat...  Two unconnected wires.

I read through, and most people in there spoke about how annoying it was, but how easy it was to fix it.  As long as you could solder.  Now, I should point out that I used to be pretty damn good at soldering stuff in school.  The last time I did it, however, I managed to set fire to a vat of Epoxy Resin, and me and another kid, Andrew French, had to go to hospital due to fume inhalation.

I've not done it since then.

I decide that James is prolly my best bet, and talk to him about it, but as I'm asking if he minds doing it, that little voice in my brain tells me all sorts of outlandish things.  Mainly, that someone had posted a step by step guide to fixing it, and mentioned how easy it was.  He also mention that should you some how completely screw it up, the whole DC Jack point was available on Ebay for like £5.

A few days later, I find myself in possession of a soldering iron.  My subconscious made me buy it.  Of course, solder, it turns out, is like plutonium.  You can only get it if you have clearance, and speak to people that know of getting such things.  TWO DAYS it took me to locate some.  I wandered the town, I looked online, I wandered town again... Turns out the car repair place 70 yards from my front door sell it.


So I sat down, cleared an area, and watched as Kellie turned her attention to me.  I don't know if she was interested, I don't know if she was amusing, or if she was willing me to cause the whole laptop to explode in a ball of fire.

It took me ten minutes.  Ten minutes, two burns, a yard of solder and a near-miss at starting a fire, but none the less, it WAS easy!

I am, in fact, a soldering GOD.

The ten minutes was the time it took me to set up, do it and clear up.  The burns were from picking up the soldering iron with the wrong part - that's to say, my bare fingers on the red-hot-metal part.  The amount of solder used because I kept dropping it.  The fire from wiping the soldering iron clean using paper - you know, the thing hot enough to melt metal, wiped with something that is known for catching fire when exposed to heat.

OTHER than that, I did a pretty good job, not dissimilar to the pictures shown on the step-by-step guide.  The burns are healing nicely, and the smell of smoke has left.  The laptop - most importantly - is working perfectly well once more, I just need to get a new power supply as this one still has the crappy connection in it.

So go me!  Two injuries so far this year!

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