Laptop won’t charge

Dear Computer Lady,

I have a Dell Latitude 100L that was having some problems with the input port for the power adapter and would sometimes charge and other times it would not. We had it replaced and now the computer will not come on at all. It would power up with a new battery but now the battery is not charged and the power adapter is not able to charge the battery. Is this something you can look at to let us know if we can repair it or if we should just give up? I am wondering if it just did not get replaced correctly.

Thanks Janice


Dear Janice,

It sounds like you are having a fairly common problem with your laptop.

First, let me try to explain what happens to the power connection on some laptops, and then I can tell you how to find a place to fix it.

As you can imagine, the port where you plug in and remove the power cord on your laptop gets a lot of use, and often, the port moves just a little bit every time you plug in or unplug your power cable.

Over time, the tiny wires that connect that port to the inside of your computer can break or separate, which causes first intermittent connections, and eventually no connection at all. This results in your battery not being able to charge, and no power getting to the laptop through the cord.

The solution sounds simple, all a technician needs to do is solder the connection back together. Unfortunately, it is not an easy task. Laptops have hundreds of tiny parts that must be removed to access the repair site, and the wires themselves are very tiny making this a time consuming and painstaking job. That makes it an expensive job that many computer repair shops are not willing to tackle.

It is not a job that I am equipped to do, but there are places around that will do this repair for you… for a price.

I would suggest that you call your local computer repair shops, explain the problem and ask for an estimate. Also ask if they have done this type of repair in the past, and how successful they have been. I would also ask for a time frame, since many places are very busy.


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    • Meg
    • August 22, 2009

    I had this problem too. Except lucky for me the little wires were at the base of the charger itself. When I finally got it where it was “on” I taped it real good to hold it in place. Of course I had to buy a new adapter, but it’s easier and cheaper than a “office call” to the computer shop.

    Try it. You will be able to tell when it’s connected because the light comes on. and hold it tight in place while it’s charging and have someone help you secure it.

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