Burnt out a component in my laptop, but can't identify it.

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GraveHorizon

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A couple weeks ago I purchased a car adapter for my 13.3 inch screen laptop, with the reasoning that I'd want power for it if I go on a long trip somewhere. After plugging it in to my laptop (which was on the desktop) and toggling the switch on the adapter, my screen immediately went black and something inside the laptop started smoking. I unplugged it, and the smell/smoke emanated from the corner of the unit. The laptop hasn't turned on since then. My girlfriend's father took it apart and identified the component that was fried, but we don't know what it is. Can any computer experts help me? I don't know if it's something I'd be able to order and replace myself, or if I'll have to take it in somewhere, assuming my laptop isn't ruined beyond repair.

The small black square thing is what we're pretty sure burnt out.

Here a shot of the whole motherboard(?).
When I took the adapter back to Radioshack, the guy that sold it to me said the reason it happened was because the car adapter was DC, while my laptop used AC power. I noticed there wasn't a brick in the middle of the cord like there is on my normal adapter, but I don't know shit about electricity so I didn't think much of it. As a bonus, he tried to pass the blame to me for not telling him to what it was for, despite the fact that I specifically asked if it would work for my 13.3 inch screen laptop. I specified because we had previously gone there looking for a car adapter for my girlfriend's laptop, but her screen was so big nothing (affordable) could power it. Anyway, I politely didn't make a scene about his incompetence and got a refund on the adapter.
 

HUELEN10

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Dude, you used DC instead of AC and it smoked and it is visually damaged.

For the sake of your time and sanity, move on and consider it dead.
 

GlenChivas

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Lesson... Bring a tablet if you're going on a long trip.

I love my gaming laptop but there's no way I'd use it during a road trip.
 

HUELEN10

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That laptop cost me $1200. I won't have that kind of money for a while.
And repair will cost a lot too, and will not be worth it; you will have to test every single IC on the board to ensure nothing is damaged, plus you have to red older what is, plus replace the RAM (almost always gets fried first), and then hope the processors (CPU and GPU) weren't famaged enough for day-to-day use.

Sorry, but that is the realistic truth. I know it is a ton of cash, but any investment in repair would be a waste to most of us. For now, you might want to look into recycling and buying something cheap to get by, for now.

How's your data? Had a backup?
 

HUELEN10

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Fault was his, as he settled with the seller whose ware caused the problem; the seller didn't physically connect things either. What claim is there to be made that any insurance would cover?

OP, what is the make and model of it. Did you purchase a accidental coverage warranty?
 

QualityPixel

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The motherboard is probably screwed, but hopefully that's the only part that is ruined.

Show us exactly what you purchased and what you plugged it into.
 

xenist

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The motherboard is dead. Kaput. Pining for the fjords.Buy a new laptop and keep any part of the old one you can.
 

FreezeSSC

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Try to look closely at the chip, are there any visible marking? Its a standard soic package so it could be anything with out more info.
 

chadderbox77

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Post what make and model of laptop it is, mother boards are easy as hell to replace on laptops. I do it often. Many times there are specific videos on Youtube for your make and model. Plus you already have it opened up and down to the motherboard anyways. Easy to just switch out the bad one and reverse your steps.
 

GraveHorizon

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The motherboard is probably screwed, but hopefully that's the only part that is ruined.

Show us exactly what you purchased and what you plugged it into.
It's a Sager NP7330, but mine has an i7-4700MQ CPU, 220GB SSD, and 1TB HDD.
Post what make and model of laptop it is, mother boards are easy as hell to replace on laptops. I do it often. Many times there are specific videos on Youtube for your make and model. Plus you already have it opened up and down to the motherboard anyways. Easy to just switch out the bad one and reverse your steps.
My girlfriend's dad says some laptops have a special chip that takes the brunt of the damage if the unit receives too much power, but he doesn't know if it's that. Everyone says that replacing a motherboard isn't worth it, but if it's a way as you say, I'd rather pay a few hundred dollars to replace it rather than wait several months to afford a new one. Would I need any special tools? Or should I just take the whole thing in to a shop and have a professional check it out first?
 

antonz

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The replacement costs are going to scale with how much was taken out. You could be lucky and it fried that one little chip or it could have shorted out a ton of stuff. Tools wise generally standard screwdrivers and such though you might run into some tri screws and such and maybe need something like glasses repair kit tools.

In the end it just comes down to repair vs. new costs. Had my MacBook crap out on me recently and was looking at like 500 in repair costs and decided it was 4 years old and not worth it so got a killer deal on an Envy with i7 4712HQ and an 850M for under 800 bucks
 

DarkFlow

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It's a Sager NP7330, but mine has an i7-4700MQ CPU, 220GB SSD, and 1TB HDD.


My girlfriend's dad says some laptops have a special chip that takes the brunt of the damage if the unit receives too much power, but he doesn't know if it's that. Everyone says that replacing a motherboard isn't worth it, but if it's a way as you say, I'd rather pay a few hundred dollars to replace it rather than wait several months to afford a new one. Would I need any special tools? Or should I just take the whole thing in to a shop and have a professional check it out first?
I'm having trouble finding ANY parts for this thing. Even when I look it up under it's clevo w230st name. You might be SOL.

You could also get this for $650 and just move the CPU/RAM/HDD over to it and you're good as new.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/CLEVO-W230ST-Barebone-13-3-FHD-Matte-GTX-765M-2GB-DDR5-w-WLAN-w-o-CPU-RAM-HDD-/111356101914?pt=Laptops_Nov05&hash=item19ed57451a
 

dluu13

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I don't know if you are about to solder it yourself, but trying to take off and solder surface mount components is really annoying if you don't have the right tools. And while it's true that there are components designed to sacrifice themselves for the rest of the computer in case of a power surge, sometimes they set off chain reactions.

Also, the brick on the power cable converts the wall power into DC, which is what your computer uses. My guess is that he probably gave you an adaptor with the wrong voltage. For future reference, all power adaptors should come with the input/output information printed on it.

Another thing is that certain power adaptors don't provide steady or accurate power, and for certain applications, it's critical.
 

KHarvey16

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Your laptop requires 19.5V DC in and at least 6.15 A. What voltage is the car adapter outputting and how much current can it supply?

Also, what's the polarity? There should be picture like this on the cable or the laptop somewhere:
 

Sch1sm

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Not even worth it, dead and gone, bud. Buy a cheap laptop, use what you can of the old one to enhance it and cry for the $1200 you unloaded for it to begin with.
 

Anustart

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Yeah, if an electronic circuit burns up, I throw it away.

Edit: Or try this, it's just a hunch, but science tells me it should work. Hook a dead battery up to the laptop, that way the excess electricity in it will flow into the battery, creating harmony and equilibrium.
 

SunhiLegend

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When did you purchase the laptop?

Is it still under warranty?

I ask because I've dealt with a couple of laptops which had been damaged by accident and the warranty was your standard manufacturers, one case was water damage and the other the motherboard was damaged on purpose, both times I acted dumb and said I had no clue why the laptop stopped working and both cases the motherboard was replaced.
 

KHarvey16

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OP don't give up just yet. There's a chance you can fix this for a couple bucks and a lesson in soldering (or a call to someone who knows how). If you can either take a picture of the writing on the part that's damaged, or transcribe it and let us know, that would go a long way to understanding what happened.
 

jchap

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You are going to need to find a schematic of the motherboard to hope to fix it. That or you can use a continuity tester to find out the circuit as it is hooked up and try to deduce what the part is.
 

LumpOfCole

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Stores and vendors love to push warranties and 95% of the time they're ripoffs, but laptops (especially high end laptops) fall within that other 5% where warranties should be highly considered. If possible, always get a 2 or 3 year extended warranty (with accidental damage coverage) when it comes to laptops.
 

Dai101

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Your laptop requires 19.5V DC in and at least 6.15 A. What voltage is the car adapter outputting and how much current can it supply?

Also, what's the polarity? There should be picture like this on the cable or the laptop somewhere:
Usually 12V (battery only) or almost 15V (when running) and 40Ah or more.
 

KHarvey16

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Usually 12V (battery only) or almost 15V (when running) and 40Ah or more.
Nah, the adapter should have a DC/DC in it I would imagine. I'm more concerned about the polarity to be honest, although a properly designed circuit should be able to deal with either too much voltage or reversed polarity!
 

zashga

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Well, what's the voltage on your normal AC adapter, and what's the voltage on the DC adapter you bought? The most likely scenario is that you plugged in the wrong voltage and fried the power supply circuit on your motherboard.

It's probably not realistic to repair this yourself, even if the only damage is that one burnt chip.
 

kingwingin

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I would have went to a DC to ac inverter so I could use the power cord that came with the laptop. No way would I trust something that connects directly
 

XGRaViSmOrSX

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You are going to need to find a schematic of the motherboard to hope to fix it. That or you can use a continuity tester to find out the circuit as it is hooked up and try to deduce what the part is.

He can also likely try and replace that chip if he has the chips manufacturer and part number.

Would be a matter of just desoldering the old one and soldering the new one in place. At the shop I work at we have replaced capacitors and similar chips on motherboards with relative success. Granted those in most cases weren't involving the main board power but it isn't a total write off.
 

dluu13

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He can also likely try and replace that chip if he has the chips manufacturer and part number.

Would be a matter of just desoldering the old one and soldering the new one in place. At the shop I work at we have replaced capacitors and similar chips on motherboards with relative success. Granted those in most cases weren't involving the main board power but it isn't a total write off.
The old chip has like 8 feet on it though. Based on what OP has written, I don't think he has the skill/tools to do that repair himself. His gf's dad seems have an idea though...
 

KHarvey16

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The old chip has like 8 feet on it though. Based on what OP has written, I don't think he has the skill/tools to do that repair himself. His gf's dad seems have an idea though...
With some solder wick and a good iron, along with some help from his gf's dad or the internet, replacing that IC shouldn't be a problem. I'm pretty confident that's something the OP can do if he's willing, so the biggest hurdle is really understanding what that device is and why it broke. If we know what it does that will give us a clue as to what went wrong, and would potentially let us know if replacing that one part will fix the motherboard.

Honestly if there's any hope of a warranty repair I would do that first, but it's unlikely given the use of a third party adapter. Next would be deciding if the OP wants to spend the money to have someone else fix it or giving it a shot himself. I would say though if at any point the feeling is to scrap it or buy a new motherboard or even a new laptop, just try fixing it since then there's literally nothing to lose. It can be a handy skill to have and you might save yourself a bunch of money just buying a $30 soldering iron and a $2 component.
 

oneran

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When a thermal runaway occurs and the semiconductor burns, chances are enough excess current has passed through to damage other components even though they may not look "burnt."

Have you tried contacting Sager's support? I've never heard of them but they seem like relatively small company and may give you a free quote to repair/replace board. I would do this before attempting any repair yourself as it will at least give you options.

Good Luck with Everything!
 

sangreal

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Not that I think you should go down this route but from googling the motherboard model real quick it seems it is probably a P2808B0 power controller. There are other pictures of these burned out on similar clevo motherboards. For example, this russian guy:



Honestly, I would check with insurance and if that is not an option just replace the motherboard -- you already took it apart

Fault was his, as he settled with the seller whose ware caused the problem; the seller didn't physically connect things either. What claim is there to be made that any insurance would cover?

OP, what is the make and model of it. Did you purchase a accidental coverage warranty?
Accidental coverage is insurance. the OP's homeowners or renters insurance would probably cover this. possibly credit card insurance if this is a brand new purchase. Most insurance is to cover things that are your fault -- eg, you pay for your car insurance so that they will pay if you cause a car accident.
 
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OP. The motherboard is likely fine. You exceed the input voltage or that DC/DC converter and caused electrical overstress ( the input diode and probably one of the drive FEt's took the brunt). There is a good chance once the chip blew open it protected the rest of the motherboard because these chips typically come with some form of current limit.

What you need is the part number, a heat gun, de soldering wick and solder.
 
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