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I've got an Acer Aspire One netbook (AOA-150) and there's obviously something wrong with it. The charging port gets VERY HOT and the charger seems to disconnect and reconnect quickly sometimes. This only happens when the netbook is running, and it doesn't seem to care what it's doing other than being on. The battery has an extremely short life (< 30minutes, sometimes) and I almost exclusively run it on the power cable (which needs the battery plugged in. Having it just plugged into the wall won't start up).

Does this sound like a problem with the power cable or the battery? The plug for the cable and the port get so hot that if I held them for longer than a few seconds, I'm sure I'd get burnt.

EDIT

Just got "Popular Question" on this and it WAS the power jack. The ground on it came loose from the board. A bit of solder on it and everything is working great again.

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4 Answers

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I would seriously recommend getting it professionally checked - the port getting hot might be a sign of a short and could be potentially catastrophic - possibly even a fire risk.

Random connections and disconnections indicate something might be loose (which backs up the possibility of a short) - especially if the system if being moved in some way when this happens

In the meantime, i'd suggest taking a look at the charging port and cable to see if there's any obviously loose bits - especially 'pin' like components

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There doesn't seem to be anything loose. I'd expect it to be an issue while off and charging the same as if it's on and charging. But the light stays solid the whole time it's off. –  Rob Oct 17 '11 at 2:33
    
@Rob -- I agree with Journeyman -- you need professional help. –  Daniel R Hicks Oct 17 '11 at 2:45
    
I can take it apart and check to see if the port is loose. It should be a quick fix if it is, I'm not totally new to soldering. –  Rob Oct 17 '11 at 13:16
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It's common for the power input jack to A)partially break loose from the pc board, B)wear out or break internally, C) wires to break from flexing near the plug D) wires to break inside the plug from a lifetime of getting pulled, flexed or jerked.

On Dell Laptops, your symptoms (excessive heat, charging failure) require disassembly to replace the power input jack, followed by replacement of the power supply and its attached cord as its plug has probably been damaged by the loose connection.

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All of this makes sense EXCEPT that it works fine if it's off. It doesn't get hot and the indicator light doesn't flash, like it does when I'm having the issues when it's on. –  Rob Oct 17 '11 at 2:32
    
More current being pulled through a bad connection would work exactly like that. Charging current into a bad battery (doesn't run for more than 30 minutes) would be a lot lower than when you are attempting to run the laptop. The bad connection is acting like a resistor and dissipates more heat as the current flow increases. Seen it all before. –  Fiasco Labs Oct 17 '11 at 5:04
    
I'll be checking the port when I get the chance, and already planned on getting a new cable and battery. We'll see if it's the port or the cable. –  Rob Oct 17 '11 at 13:17
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Check the joint between the power cable, and the plug which plugs into the laptop

Seems like you have got a loose connection there.

Try moving it a bit at that joint, and see if the connection status changes

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Sometimes it seems like that helps, but it's so intermittent that I can't be sure. –  Rob Oct 17 '11 at 2:33
    
If that does change the connection status, you probably have an internal cable break. Would recommend that you change it ASAP since it has the possibility of damaging the motherboard. Should be covered under warranty if damage is not visible –  Akash Oct 17 '11 at 8:53
    
This is almost 2 years old, there's not a warranty on it any more I don't think. That makes sense, though. Right now it seems to be okay, after my computer wasn't being used (but still on) all night. –  Rob Oct 17 '11 at 13:18
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Your last sentence shows a possible problem in the adapter and/or cable. Start by changing the cable, or if possible, using an alternate adapter.

Next, a battery that holds charge for less than 30 minutes is close to dead. I assume you've had it more than 18 months. Try to get another one.

Finally, I'm not familiar with the model, but sometimes dust and debris block ventilation ports and cause overheating. When was the last time you cleaned your laptop? Use one of those concentrated air cans to blast any debris from any open port.

Good luck.

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I did plan on getting a new (9 cell) battery and wondered if a new charger was a good idea. The CPU never gets too hot, but I thought it might be the ac adapter. The "brick" of it never gets overly hot, it's always the plug that connects to the netbook. It wouldn't bother me so much if the netbook didn't dim the screen while on battery. I'll try a new cable when I get it in. –  Rob Oct 16 '11 at 23:37
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