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System is an Asus N53S laptop. For several months I've been having the standard problem with a flaky DC plug that doesn't work unless it's positioned just so. Just to make life more fun, the battery no longer holds much of a charge, so the system is pretty much useless unless its plugged in. Being short of money, I've postponed fixing either problem.

Now suddenly the power supply is totally nonfunctional. If the power supply hasn't been used in a while, I can plug in the AC end and see the light go on. As soon as I plug in the DC end, the power supply light goes out and the charging light on the laptop never comes on. Disconnect the DC cable, give the power supply a few minutes and its light comes back on.

My first thought is to run down to Office Depot and buy a generic power supply. (There's one that officially supports my model laptop.) But suppose the power supply is fine and it's all the DC socket? That means waiting a whole day for the repair shop to open (of course this had to happen on a Memorial Day weekend).

So which of my bad choices is least bad? Should I spend $40 I can't spare on a new power supply, or should I lose a day's work that I can't spare either and wait for the repair shop to open?

(Yes, I know my situation is too specific, but the basic problem is general enough.)

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Ok that is quite difficult to diagnose. The fact that the supply needs several minutes to recover, might suggest that the problem is on the power supply side. Usually the LED should react faster. This, however, can be misleading. If you have some sort of short circuit on the Laptop side, your supply might get hot or another protection mechanism sets in. Did you try to provoke this effect be fiddling around with the faulty connector (open circuit)? Does the supply get hot? A tricky test would be to put a fake load, but that requires that you have some electronics equipment at hand (at least some resistors with the right dimension).

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