13 Nov 2012

Dell Inspiron 1545 power socket repair

My wife's laptop is a 3 year old Dell Inspiron 1545. Although otherwise a nice PC, this has a stupid design weakness: the power connector socket. This is on the side of the PC (back left) and it is almost impossible to use the machine and not snag the cord and socket regularly.

Consequently, over time, the SMA connector inside the PC has gone intermittent. The PC is covered by a 4 year hardware warranty and I hope that Dell will just fix this and not argue "wear and tear". I have had other PCs where the power socket is strain relieved within the housing and not had a problem.

One has just to look at the number of videos telling you how to fix this very issue to see it is a very common one. I like this video showing the repair in 3 minutes, although in reality it would take about 1 hour. In the limit I could do it myself, but let's see if Dell are in a good mood and are helpful first!

I do get really annoyed when a consumer product goes to market with such an elementary design weakness: this is the sort of rubbish that should have been spotted early in the design phase by design reviews looking for possible failure mechanisms. Dell should know better.

1 comment:

DaveL said...

I've fixed several laptops with this problem. What I've done, is take the thing apart, expose the mother board where the failed connector lives, and solder a couple "pigtails" that hang out of the back. I've used insulated crimp lugs, but you could use whatever connector you prefer. It's a time consuming PITA to do, however, and is a problem with every brand and model that I've seen, without exception.