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  • Laptop Charger Adapter Tips

    According to ComputerWorld.com, a leading source for technology news and information, shipments for purchases of laptops in the first quarter of 2010 grew 43 percent. Each of these purchases includes necessary accessories for the unit to function, including the laptop charger. The charger, or adapter as it may also be called, is essential. The most sophisticated laptop is rendered unusable if it cannot be recharged or plugged in.

    Take Care of the Cord

    Proper use and care of the Dell laptop Adapter prolongs its lifespan so that replacements and repairs are not necessary. According to PCWorld.com, an online magazine for computer-related concerns, one of the most common problems with laptop use is that the charger's cord becomes frayed. Since laptops are conveniently brought just about anywhere, the constant plugging and unplugging wears out the cord. Mishandling it, such as leaving it twisted or tugging and jiggling it from the base unit, can produce the same result. This is also true for folding or rolling the cord incorrectly.

    Other than being careful with the cord, wear and tear should be brought to the attention of a capable repair center. Neglecting this can lead to other damage, which may also affect the laptop's battery performance or create a fire hazard, according to PCWorld.

    Store the Charger Properly

    As with laptops, which are typically placed inside laptop bags or padded envelopes, cords should be stored properly when not in use. The charger must never be exposed to extreme temperatures, such as those on a car's dashboard in the middle of summer or dead of winter. It must not become wet or be exposed to corrosive chemicals, as these elements can severely damage the charger. The manual for a Belkin Laptop Power Adapter, for example, specifically states that users must avoid these. It also instructs users to avoid placing the charger near heat-sensitive materials.

    When not in use, laptop chargers should be kept in the same bag as the laptop. If there isn't enough space, putting the charger in a convenient cloth pouch or a small box is also an option.

    Keep a Backup Charger

    When traveling with your laptop frequently, it's a good idea to get a second charger adapter to avoid wear and tear. Having a back-up charger may also save you the headache of buying one in an unfamiliar place should your first charger adapter become damaged. BraveNewTraveler.com, a daily online travel magazine, recommends packing an extra power source, such as a portable charger adapter, when going on trips with your laptop.

    When a Laptop Adapter Is Not Working

    A non-functional Toshiba laptop adapter can cause big problems; especially if the computer's battery is low or drained. In addition to preventing you from getting your work done, it can also be an electrical shock or fire hazard. Troubleshooting a non-working adapter can be difficult because there are several factors that could be at fault if the computer is not getting power. If you are at the end of your rope, there are a few hints to help get your computer up and running.

    Function

    Laptop computers run off battery, or DC power. DC means "Direct Current," and refers to the way current flows from the source. Direct current is basically a continuous and steady stream of energy. The adapter that came with your laptop computer is known as an AC adapter, which converts the Alternating Current supplied by your wall outlet into the Direct Current that is required to run your laptop. Alternating current does not flow as a steady stream.

    Cord Problems

    A big cause of laptop adapter failures is cord crimps. These can occur when an office chair with casters rolls over the cord on a hard surface. The conductor of the cord can eventually break under the stress of being rolled over. If the cord or insulation is not completely severed, it may not show where the short has occurred. Since most adapters include an LED that will light up when the device is plugged in, a good indicator that there is a short would be an unlit LED.

    Any time the adapter has cuts in the insulation of its cord, or is otherwise missing pieces of its insulation, it should be replaced immediately. Bare wires carry a risk of serious or fatal shocks, as well as possible fire hazard. Do not attempt to repair your HP AC adapter. Contact the laptop's manufacturer or seller to find information about a replacement adapter.

    Brick Problems

    The portion of your adapter that does all the work is colloquially referred to as the "brick." The brick is the heavy box that sits between the wall and your computer and is connected by a permanent cord and one that may be removable. The brick, for all its heft, contains some delicate components, and can be damaged fairly easily if it is dropped from a considerable height. Generally speaking, if the brick stops working, the LED that indicates power will not light. If the brick portion of your adapter is not working, you will have to replace the adapter. Contact your computer's manufacturer or the seller for information about a replacement adapter.

    Computer Problems

    The point on your computer to which your adapter connects is not prone to failure, but, being soldered to the motherboard with little other support, can break. If your computer only powers intermittently, or you have to "wiggle" the adapter to get power, there's a good possibility that the power input on your computer has broken. This is not an easy or quick fix; you may need to replace the entire motherboard, depending on your computer model. A technician should be able to diagnose the problem and give you a price quote on the repair. In some cases, the computer may not be worth the price of the repair.

    Troubleshooting

    The easiest way to test your adapter is to plug it in. In addition to the adapter's LED, there should be an additional LED on your computer to indicate that the computer is getting power from the outlet. If neither of these LEDs lights, then there is definitely a power problem. If an identical, "known good" adapter can be obtained, connect it to your computer. If the computer gets power from the new adapter, then a replacement adapter will fix the problem. If the computer does not get power from either adapter, there is probably an issue with the computer. At this point, it is recommended that the computer be brought to a PC repair technician for diagnosis.

    Cautions

    Jury-rigging should never be attempted, due to the risk of shocks, fire and damage to the computer. Do not use another computer's adapter if it is not the same model or brand, even if it fits. Failure to match input and output voltages on Acer laptop adapters could damage the computer, the adapter or both. Contact the manufacturer or the seller of your computer for information about replacement adapters.

    Considerations

    If you cannot find a brand and model-specific replacement adapter for your computer, it may be possible to purchase a universal adapter, which includes multiple, interchangeable tips. You will need to find one that matches your original adapter's wattage, and it should also include a matching or switchable voltage output.

     

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