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Swap AC adaptors - Damage?

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Atlas, Feb 4, 2006.

  1. Atlas

    Atlas Guest

    I own 2 portables Toshiba, each with it's AC adaptor.
    Having the same connector, I was wondering if I couls swap them with no
    problem. Could be useful to leave permamently one at home and one at office.

    BUT, one adaptor sports a 15V-5A output and the second one 15V-3A.

    Basically I would like to use the portable shipped with the 15V-5A with

    Can damage occur using that portable with a lower Ampere value?

    Atlas, Feb 4, 2006
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  2. Atlas

    Dewaine Chan Guest

    You will most likely damage the AC Adapter than the laptop if it
    requires high Amp than the AC Adapter could provided.

    Dewaine Chan, Feb 4, 2006
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  3. You can use the 5A adapater in place of the 3A adapter unconditionally.

    You can probably, as a practical matter, use the 3A adapter in place of
    the 5A adapter, but you would POTENTIALLY be exceeding it's ratings.
    This could cause problems, which might include crashes, lockups and
    shutdown of the computer. Damage to the 3A power adapter is possible,
    but unlikely (normally, it will go into an overcurrent shutdown before
    it would be destroyed). Permanent damage to the laptop itself is also
    possible but is also very remote and very unlikely (but a crash or
    shutdown could corrupt the hard drive such that Windows would need to be

    The reason that you can probably get away with this is that, first, the
    3 amp adapter is probably capable of supplying more than 3 amps, and,
    second, the laptop itself probably doesn't really draw 5 amps, or even 4

    The AC Adapter rating is an absolute worst case where you are doing
    evreything at once, including charging a fully discharged battery,
    writing to an optical drive, accessing the hard drive heavily, doing
    compute-bound applications which draw maximum CPU load and running PC
    Cards and PS/2 or USB peripherals powered from the laptop. Such a worst
    case power situation is rarely encountered in actual practice, so a 3
    amp charger (which might well be able to supply more than 4 amps) will
    PROBABLY work, as a practical matter.

    The risks here are not zero, but they are small, and you will have to
    evaluate for yourself wither they seem acceptable to you or not.
    Barry Watzman, Feb 5, 2006
  4. Atlas

    Atlas Guest

    Barry I'm asking you because after two years usage in those conditions - 5
    days a week with the 5A adaptor (it's proper adaptor), and the 3A in the
    weekend at home - my notebook had an apparently display failure, and it was

    They had to replace the mobo.

    That's why I thought about it.....
    Atlas, Feb 6, 2006
  5. It's pure speculation (and unfounded, although I'm not saying
    categorically that it's wrong) that the AC adapter (either one of them)
    had anything whatsoever to do with the failure. I often use 3amp
    adapters on toshiba laptops that specify 4 or 5 amp adapters and I've
    never had any problems of any kind, but there is some risk, although
    it's small (and is more to the adapter than to the laptop).
    Barry Watzman, Feb 7, 2006
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