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Missing Capacitor on NOTEBOOK motherboard

Posted on 2007-10-04
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I was replacing a DC Jack on a laptop motherboard, and unfortunately, I knocked off a tiny capacitor right beside the DC Jack, and of course, this capacitor is right after the + Voltage pin, so obviously, it won't charge now.  I don't know enough about this to fix it.  Luckily, the capacitor is not so small that i cannot physically solder on another one, but I don't know the capacitance, so should I replace it?  IS IT POSSIBLE TO JUST RUN SOME SOLDER OVER THE SPOT ;-p, probably not is my assumption, but I HAVE to fix this somehow.  
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Question by:dbestcomputers
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Expert Comment

by:Harry_Truman
ID: 20016413
I believe your best bet would be taking it to a professional electrician/engineer and seeing if anything can be done.  From your post it seems like this is a client PC...?  If so, while you might be able to do this on your own, you'd at least have some sort of guarantee on their work.
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Expert Comment

by:souseran
ID: 20016414
What is the make and model of the laptop and is it still under warranty? If it is, contact the manufacturer. If it's not, by providing identification information we may be able to point you in the direction of a service manual or offer other assistance.
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by:rid
rid earned 900 total points
ID: 20017190
Are you sure it's a capacitor? If its absence stops charging, it could well be a diode; a missing capacitor shouldn't have this effect. Not that i matters perhaps, but just so you don't jump to a conclusion and attach the wrong type of component.
/RID
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Expert Comment

by:steveoskh
ID: 20017789
I had a similar problem on my wife's laptop.   The power connector solder connections kept breaking.  After the second fix failed, I gave up.  I "solved" the problem by purchasing a docking station to get power to the laptop.  Not a solution if this is a clients computer but it could allow you a few more years on a personal one.
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Author Comment

by:dbestcomputers
ID: 20017834
Good call RID, but it is labeled C5320 on the board, so I assume it is a capacitor, because there are R and F numbers as well. Is this a capacitor? And I thought that no matter what it was, that it would stop it from powering, because the trace goes directly from the positive pin to the "capacitor", so breaking it off would result in an open circuit (?correct wording?)   I work with notebooks fairly often, replacing DC Jacks and mainboards, but I honestly don't know enough about it to know if it is fixable.  

You are correct that this is a client's PC, and I HAVE to fix it tomorrow or Saturday, so there is no way I can send it off.  

The laptop is a Gateway 7324.  I will try to re-explain the positioning of the capacitor, The DC Jack has traces coming off of it.  The traces go to 2 places.  The POSITIVE center pin trace goes directly to this "capacitor", and I can follow the trace to it's next location after that.

SO, is there ANY way I can fix this, either by running a wire directly from the POSITIVE center pin to the next location after the "capacitor", or can I fill the spot with solder, or will both of these solutions destroy it.  

My other thought would be to replace the capacitor, as it is broken off in such a way that I can still solder on another one, but I don't know the capacitance, would this be a viable option? Could I get one that is about the same size?  In previous posts I have had people tell me that the capacitance just has to be approximate, not exact.

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Accepted Solution

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rid earned 900 total points
ID: 20017979
The "C" suggests a capacitor, yes, but do keep in mind that a capacitor can't be in series with a DC current; it'll block DC. Measure the component, just to be sure (unless it's totally broken...) and try to find out what it is. It could of course be a small cap for suppressing interference in the power feed, but it could also possibly be a diode to prevent battery DC going OUT of the unit.
/RID
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Assisted Solution

by:PUNKY
PUNKY earned 600 total points
ID: 20018152
You can solder the cap 10nF - 100nF there.
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