AC Adapters (Overheating)

Computer Studies AC_Adapter

Smoke or smells coming from your laptop are not normal you should unplug the computer immediately if you can. Always remember that laptop computers are entirely reliant on air flow for cooling, and the higher the ambient air temperature, the less the laptop will be able to cool itself, fans can be replaced if either the bearing has failed or something is melted or jammed you can restore BIOS defaults. Clean vents with canned air. If still overheats, clean the interior, and redo heat- sinks renew the thermal paste on the CPU etc, Check secondary fans, and make sure air paths are clear and free from dust to prevent components from overheating. Power management is different on laptop computers to that of desktops it becomes more important to understand the adjustments that can be made to save the battery and other power saving resources. APM (Advanced Power Management) was introduced by Intel integrated on the CPU but has been replaced by ACPI (Application Configuration and Power Interface) for more information on ACPI which is a set of BIOS routines which are configured through CMOS and can also be adjusted in Windows in the control panel under power options you can also access this by right clicking on the desktop selecting properties and then power options utilised with energy star peripherals you can conserve the battery and help to prolong the overall lifespan of the computer. For more information on power supplies

Power Supply

Standby - Suspend - Hibernate
Power - on Standby halt operation, power CPU and memory
Suspend to RAM Only memory
Hibernate Contents of memory are saved to disk, no power

Repairing power supplies

Repairing broken power adapters is relatively straight forward the tip can be replaced by cutting the adapters cable and splicing a new tip on to the adapter, testing the adapter after a repair of this nature or even testing an AC adapter in general is done by setting a multimeter to 20 Volts, typically most laptop computers power adapters are around 18 - 19 Volts, and by taking the black (Negative) probe of the multimeter and placing it on the outside of the tip and inserting the red (Positive) probe to the inside of the power adapters tip, the readout from the multimeter should be around 18 - 19 Volts, make sure not to touch the two probes together whilst testing as this will create a short circuit, if the adapter itself is alright, but you still are getting no power to the computer, you will need to replace the power jack this will need to be de-soldered and removed from the motherboard and then you can re-solder a new power jack to the motherboard, care should be taken in this procedure you will need to make sure the replacement power jack is seated in exactly the same position because of the limited space involved with laptop computers and also with the soldering making sure it's done accurately so as not to create short circuits on the motherboard, this will mean dismantling the laptop right down to the motherboard to replace the power jack by using the procedure discussed earlier, then the power jack will need to be de-soldered and removed.

Troubleshooting AC Adapters

With AC adapters always check the wall outlet and that the leads are connected properly, you can check the adapter with a multi-meter on the outside of the connector is a negative voltage and on the inside is a positive voltage, you can do this by attaching a paper clip to the inside of the connector and checking the voltage with a multi-meter, you can also purchase universal AC adapters for laptops, turn off and unplug any excess peripherals which may be causing problems this may occur due to a short circuit or electrical problem in the external device and then check the LEDs on the AC adapter are on and working, if you have another working adapter swap the AC adapter with the one that works you should verify the AC power coming out of the wall and that DC power is coming out of the adapter, If the LED flickers you could have a bad electrical connection. If the internal power is jack loose in cases of total failure, it's usually a broken centre pin or a failed solder joint on the motherboard.

Troubleshooting batteries

The first step in troubleshooting your laptop battery is determining whether it can hold enough charge to boot the laptop, the battery may run down too quick it could be a software management problem or a circuit failure on the motherboard in which case you would properly need to replace the motherboard or that the battery itself has developed a fault and needs to be replaced, if the battery is charging the LED for charging should be lit steady, most batteries on modern laptops are lithium ion and you should always dispose of old batteries by following the manufacturer's recommended procedure for environmental as well as health and safety reasons.


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