Replacing dc power jack on Gateway M520

Discussion in 'Gateway' started by westy, Jun 29, 2006.

  1. westy


    Jun 29, 2006
    Replacing dc power jack on Gateway M520 notebook

    I have a Gateway M520 notebook and the pin in the dc power jack broke. I called Crapway and they said I would need to replace the motherboard and it would cost $299 and with shipping both ways another $100. After doing some research, it turns out I can keep my existing motherboard and just replace the powerjack. The cost of the new jack with shipping came to $33 from I was told I would need a soldering iron, some solder and a desoldering pump. I paid around $30 and it just arrived in the mail which I ordered through I consider myself a DIYer but have never cracked open a notebook before. I was unsuccessful at locating any diagrams or blueprints. Does anyone have any experience or tips they would like to share before I embark on my power-jack-repair mission?

    Last edited: Jun 29, 2006
    westy, Jun 29, 2006
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  2. westy


    Jul 16, 2006
    Did you ever find any diagrams? I have the same problem with an old Gateway Solo 1200 (needs the DC jack replaced), and I too cannot locate any diagrams or instructions on how to disassemble/reassemble the notebook - I want to be sure I do it correctly.

    Please let me know if you managed to find any useful info.....

    TrishaM, Jul 16, 2006
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  3. westy


    Aug 20, 2006
    this is the best ive found

    I too had to replace the power jack in my m520 seems this is a common problem.
    Best I could find as disassembly diagram is

    Seems the Gateway m520 is exactly the same as a Emachines m2350.

    The diagrams there got me started and I felt my way along after that. You wont need to remove much just get the case cracked (diagrams will show you that)
    Remove the key board. Disconnect the lcd cables you will need to open the bottom cover that houses the vid card and disconnect the two lines that route to there(label them I didn’t and was sorry for that.)
    And find the 4-5 screws that hold the board to the lower case. No need to remove fan assembly cd-rom etc. sorry I didn’t take any pics during my excursion inside. That might have helped others. Next time I definitely will.
    Good luck
    tm_spyder, Aug 20, 2006
  4. westy


    Jun 29, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2006
    westy, Dec 11, 2006
  5. westy

    Jack of Shadows

    Aug 15, 2007
    Just made a takapart guide

    I just did the repair on my gateway m520 and it works great now!
    I documented my repair so that others could benefit from my journey. Feel free to steal / change / whatever the guide.

    Avi Gileadi
    Jack of Shadows, Aug 15, 2007
  6. westy


    Nov 16, 2007
    Is there another source for your
    gateway m520 takapart guide ?
    The wikiupload link didn't work for me
    continuum, Nov 16, 2007
  7. westy


    Jan 5, 2008
    CMP6, Jan 5, 2008
  8. westy


    Dec 5, 2008
    gateway emachines power input fix~1

    hi I have just repaired my gateway 7330 it has a structure similar to m520s and many other e machines (power jack and battery problem) now it is even charging :O I was about to order jack but just iron soldering worked fine here is step by step I can help anyone through my email, I am living in maine I can even repair for free
    you should get the screws out at the back of the pc all the way
    take out the harddisk before you start
    pop up the two things from the back of the lcd
    pop out the power and volume panel
    unscrew the keyboard
    unscrew the metal panels
    (you should take out two cables from wireless adapter before while unscrewing the back side so it wont bother you it is easy to plug and unplug)
    lean the lcd all the way back and unscrew underneath the lcd 4 screws
    there are still two screws under the lcd area to the left unscrew them if you see them
    take out the dvd writer
    unscrew any other places that you find on the motherboard
    there is a lean point(the metal long thing screwed to motherboard around beneath the left windows key take it out too)
    take the card reader out by unscrewing 2-3 screws
    thats all I remember
    after unscrewing and taking all the pieces out
    try to pull the mainboard from microphone speaker input
    (unscrew any other remaining screws if you feel any pressure)
    with a screwdriver try pulling from the input and the left of the keyboard pull the mainboard but be careful
    create a little space that you can work with the dc input
    the most inportant ones are the two in the middle
    try to concentrate on the one that wore most
    take the old solder out by your soldering gun or whatever
    and then put new ones in carefully
    put all the stuff back (whenever I do it I almost always have afew more screws than I am supposed to whatever it works)
    be careful pulling the keyboard cable and other similar cables (they have a bed which can be opened dont just pull it) pull the bed upwards and open it and then take it out do the opposite when putting it all back
    thats all no matter what other people say I love this pc I love p4s
    gateway is better than ok (you should have seen my acer)
    any questions would be glad to help
    gambitr, Dec 5, 2008
  9. westy


    Jan 28, 2009
    gateway m520 power jack

    I have a gateway m520 and have already replaced the power and volume control panel a few months ago. My power jack has been bothering for quite awhile and is getting harder and harder to keep the plug in the correct position to make contact. I already have purchased the new power jack and am trying to get up enough nerve to start the project. Where in Maine do you live, I live in Maine also.
    t3rryjoe, Jan 28, 2009
  10. westy


    Oct 10, 2009
    you can do it if I can...

    My 520 had all the symptoms: unexpected shutoff, very hot near the power connector, and so on. I followed the directions to get the LCD display off (pop the hinge covers and remove the two screws from the back that hold the top strip down; pry up the strip and carefully release the little plastic clamp that holds the connection strip in (and don't lost that little sucker!) so you can put the strip aside. Remove the metal plate screws, and the plate, and the keyboard screws and then you can remove the keyboard (a bigger plastic clamp, this time, for its connection). That information is available on the web.

    So be SURE to carefully label all screws because they have various lengths and thread sizes but they're all tiny and in the end there will be like 20 of them.

    Remove 2 screws that hold LCD to body. lift up LCD. I took off the left side connections (one plug, one ground to a screw) but left attached the right side's (one goes under the motherboard anyway and you can't get at it.) If you want, you can unplug the right side's two other connections, which are also plugs. that gives you a little more flex room

    With an opened paper clip into the hole, open the DVD drive and with the door open you can gently pull it straight out and put it aside. Also remove the battery and the hard drive. No need to remove anything else underneath. Now you have to take out every screw that's visible underneath. I made a map of them and taped them to the map. Don't forget the one that was revealed when you slipped out the hard drive.

    There are four more screws on the top that were revealed when you took the display off. Remove 'em. There's one more, deep in a hole on the metallized plastic on the right side, very near the power connector. You might not need to physically remove it since it stays caught in its hole but certainly unscrew it all the way. Things should be very floppy now, with the top pretty loose.

    Now you can start to pry the top off the laptop. under the LCD area it's got a sticky strip of heavy foil tape that you have to separate (butter knife worked well) . Don't tear it. There are a couple of metal foam blocks above the ports; don't misplace them.

    Also, the two DVD player rail screws near the opening need to come out, so you can lift up the motherboard. The rail closer to the rear has only one screw to remove and then you can push the rail in a bit and it will come unclipped and can be set aside. The other one stays in but take its outer screw out anyway.

    Now comes the pry and play part. With your trusty butter knife, lever open the back of the case until it clears the power port (easy), the audio connectors (not so easy) and the DIN connector (a beast - but if you're careful you can do it without breaking the case!)

    At this point you should be able to get some air and light under the motherboard and see the bottom of the power connector area. There's a metal shroud around this stuff and that needs to be bent out of the way. Notice how there's a piece of electrical tape that keeps the solder joints of the power connector from touching the shroud?? Wonder why? Because gateway knew the thing could easily short out there??

    On my machine the solder joint for the central pin was basically destroyed. I surmise that when that joint went bad, from hard plugging/unplugging, the resistance went way up. The thing now had low voltage and so the battery was always in play, and the charger couldn't keep up because of the voltage drop and the big current draw by the battery. That cooked the insulation inside the connector pretty good, and so the center pin doesn't stay put, and it also did non-fatal damage to the charger plug (partly melted). The whole area near the connector would get hot enough to not touch.

    To get access to the bottom of the motherboard you can pry things open enough to work. I didn't take the MB out, not even nearly, just gained sufficient access to get a soldering iron in there.

    I resoldered the bad joint but it still was not working well. Notice how there's a little electrical tape on the REAR of the connector? Another gateway solution... if the center connector gets loose it can back right up and touch the metalized plastic post that's like 1 mm behind it. That's the source of the crackling noises people have heard... So I think the whole center pin (which is riveted badly to the board connection) was just no longer making good electrical contact.

    Anyway, in the end I didn't install a new connector. I just tore out the old one with cutters and soldering iron and hardwired the charger to the board. There's no strain relief there but I think I can life with it for the time being. Works flawlessly.

    Hope this helps
    bblackstone, Oct 10, 2009
  11. westy


    Oct 30, 2009
    Phoenix Arizona
    M520 service diagrams

    Great description of the technique. I did a similiar repair on my Transport T2300. Those power connections are really weak to begin with. One tip for strengthening the new repair is to put a small amount of epoxy on the new power connector. That will give it a great deal more support when plugging the adaptor in and out.

    There is an M520 technical service manual on the website at, but it is mainly for replacing all components including the motherboard. No in depth description of repairs to the actual board itself. Great pictures and instructions for disassembly and reassembly however.
    xodusss, Nov 9, 2009
  12. westy


    Jul 14, 2010
    Same problem, have the board out and ready to replace, but might do as you say, solder the wires to the board, what points (ends) did you connect? Could you provide a diagram or picture perhaps? I plan to post my complete work along with photos as well. Seems like this is a growing problem.
    m0gliE, Jul 14, 2010
  13. westy


    Nov 10, 2010
    Replacing M520 DC power jack

    Would love some input on removing the LCD. Have removed the two screws you say holds it in, but it seems to be still held in place by something at those attachment plates. Maybe just glue... but I'm worried about starting to stick a screwdriver or other implement in there and just prying away at it. I can work on most "big" computers quite easily, but this is my first time taking apart a laptop and my stomach is in knots :eek:
    whetstonedoug, Nov 10, 2010
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