Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I bought my mom, who lives in India, a Panasonic toughbook CF-W8 a couple of years back. A few days back, due to some voltage fluctuations, her adapter/power cord blew out (along with a whole bunch or other stuff in the house). Her laptop is fine and she has used it a bit with whatever power it has remaining. I have bought a new adapter for her over ebay and it should reach her in 3-4 weeks. In the mean time my dad asked a friend of a friend to fix the adapter and now some random person has "fixed" the adapter.

Now I am a bit nervous about the state of the adaptor and have asked my mom not to use it since i don't want her to damage her laptop.

I was wondering if there is any way to test if the "fixed" adapter is safe for use? and also, I just want to confirm that it is indeed dangerous to actually try the adapter on the laptop since I have no idea if the person who fixed it knew what he was doing.


share|improve this question

closed as off topic by slhck Nov 4 '12 at 9:20

Questions on Super User are expected to relate to computer software or computer hardware within the scope defined by the community. Consider editing the question or leaving comments for improvement if you believe the question can be reworded to fit within the scope. Read more about reopening questions here.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

The same way you'll check that the one over eBay is safe? – Graham Wager Nov 3 '12 at 12:24
The tricky thing is that you have to get someone who brought the adaptor to a back alley electrician to get it fixed to see if its fixed properly. If he can explain what he replaced, its probably good enough. I'd ALMOST trust it if he can say why – Journeyman Geek Nov 3 '12 at 12:51
@GrahamWager oh no... – Amatya Nov 4 '12 at 7:06
up vote 3 down vote accepted
  • Buy a voltmeter.
  • Turn the adapter around, read the ratings. It must be something like 18V, 12V, etc. The rating will be stated.
  • Plug in your adapter to the wall socket, turn it on but not connected to the laptop.
  • Measure the output voltage from the other end of the adapter. if it is close to what is stated [+ or - 0.5V] then you can plug in to the laptop. If there is a difference like + or - 5V, there is some fault.
share|improve this answer
Be very careful. With the right (wrong) kind of damage, mains voltage may be passing through, and that can kill. – Bob Nov 3 '12 at 13:19
@Fasih Khatib Thanks a lot. How do I transfer the question? Should I just create a new one there? – Amatya Nov 4 '12 at 7:08
@Bob is right. You should be careful while dealing with mains. And I have flagged the post for moderator attention. They will move it or best is for you to create a new thread there. – Fasih Khatib Nov 4 '12 at 8:18
Fasih, if you already flag it for migration, please don't tell the user to post a new question. We'd almost have migrated it and would end up with the same posts twice. Consequently I've closed this here now, sorry @Amatya. – slhck Nov 4 '12 at 9:21
@slhck oops... I already created a new one there. Thanks for all the help anyhow. – Amatya Nov 4 '12 at 10:34

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .