Toshiba Satellite A70 Power Problems (Again)

Laptop Repair Guy points out that Toshiba has issued a warranty extension resulting from a class action lawsuit. As far as I can tell (I’m not a lawyer so better check for yourself) I’m out of luck since I’m in Canada but definitely better to have Toshiba fix it for free than try yourself.

After I put up a post about repairing my laptop power connector, Laptop Freak left a informative comment:

As you see on the photo above, the positive connector oxidized and almost black. If you put a fresh solder on the connector like this, the power jack problem will reappear very soon. I usually remove the power jack from the system board (with iron gun and solder sucker), clean oxidized pins on the power jack and pads on the motherboard and only after that resolder the power jack.

It turns out, unsurprisingly, that he was right. The power jack started coming loose again after about a month and a half. I was in the middle of a bunch of things so I didn’t really feel like messing with it so I just opened up the computer and threw some more solder on it. When the power jack started jiggling again a few weeks later, I knew I had to do something better to fix it. So I picked up a desoldering sucker and some desoldering wick.

Tools for desoldering

It was kind of fun to melt the solder and suck it up until I started thinking about how much money I was messing with. Anyway I had pretty good luck heating up the solder with the soldering iron, sucking with the sucker (it appears the technical term is desoldering pump), and then getting the remainder with the copper desoldering braid. This left only tiny bit of solder so I pulled on each joint separately while heating them with the soldering iron. MAKE just put up a nice soldering and desoldering video tutorial. Would have been handy to have watched that before doing all this.

Dirty Toshiba Satellite A70 power jack

After all that, I was left with the separated power jack. Laptop Freak wasn’t kidding about oxidation. It looks like someone left the connectors in the Dead Sea. I’m no electrician but I’m guessing black crud covering electrical contacts can not be a good thing. So I scraped off all the gunk with a screwdriver and polished them until they were nice and shiny.

Clean Toshiba Satellite A70 power jack

Then I tried to clean the contacts on the board with an eraser to remove any oxidation on the copper, stuck the jack back in its holes and soldered it back on. So far I haven’t had any problems, we’ll see if it last this time. If it breaks again (knock on wood), I’m definitely trying the external power jack workaround.

Fixed Toshiba Satellite A70 power jack

In case you didn’t read my old post about fixing this, here’s links for how to dismantle a Toshiba Satellite A70 (and tons of other laptops) and the common Toshiba power jack problems.

Update:Laptop Repair Guy now has a great step by step guide (complete with many pictures) to repairing the power jack.