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I looked at a lot of forums and it appears that this is probably the best one to which I should submit my question. The long story short is that I have a Gateway power supply that has been broken off of where it was. This left the four little legs (pins) stuck in their holes and essentially no way to pry off the whole unit. The pin going out the back flew off completely. Here is a rough diagram of what I mean but I have pictures so please let me know if that would help.

     | - pin out of the back of the power supply into the motherboard.

| - broken pin | - other broken pin

| - broken pin | - broken pin

If I try soldering the bottom to release the metal pins I get nothing (may be a soldering temperature problem). But my question is this:

Can I bend the pins of the new power adapter down flat and lay them on the old pins to finish the circuit. If I do this, the unit lays basically flush (no visible gaps) and the back pin is long enough to get in the whole (I bent one already because I have extras DC power supplies). What risks does this run?

Thank you all so much for your help.

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laptop or desktop? some actual pictures might help – Journeyman Geek May 17 '12 at 1:54

I assume you mean the power adapter input jack of a laptop (as a desktop pc has a self contained PSU with a plugin AC socket). On a laptop, the power adapter jack can fail when the jack is over flexed. All laptop power jacks anticipate the normal use pressure the solder connection will experience, and they use a higher temperature solder to hold the jack's legs down to make sure this "live wire" isn't going to be flying around. So you definitely want to get the old pins out, to allow the new jack to make a solid physical and safe connection. Otherwise, you will be re-doing this task in a week.

For desoldering this type of jack, you'll need two things: a higher wattage soldering iron (like 40W) and flux. It's going to take longer than typical solder to absorb enough heat to melt and using a higher wattage will cut down the time and make it happend. A little bit of flux, will help make sure the heat is transferring and a clean connection. You can get a cheap iron to use just for this one task, from the usual suspect for $7. Using a solder sucking tool or desoldering wick is also a must. With a higher temperature iron, make sure you keep the heat away from all the other components.

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