Low-tech but high-consequence. I have a laptop with the power-cable connection causing the power to be disconnected if it gets moved a bit. I've tried with other cables and get the same behavior, so it's the connection on the computer, not the power supply or its cord.

Any ideas on how to solve this? Will putting aluminum foil in there be safe, or might it short and burn the computer?

Which one of the parts is the grounding? There's the cylindrical-part's outer metallic part, its inside, and a thin wire in the center of it. Which one does what?


Here's a link to something like it.

  • 2
    I would massively advise against putting foil in there. The internal power adapter sounds like its been damaged, have repaired a few previously by replacing the part completely. What is the make/model of the laptop? You would most likely be best to seek out a repairs shop to replace the port unless its under warranty? – CharlesH Jan 15 '15 at 12:16
  • HP normally soldered on to a little circuit board. Depending on the model it can be purchased and repaired or take it to a shop depending on your confidence and ability. However don't get ripped off by a 'professional' I've seen people pay way over the odds to get this done and believe me it is not that hard. – CharlesH Jan 15 '15 at 12:24

I wouldn't go near foil.
It moves, it shorts, it goes bang.

If the socket is a 'pin in a hole' structure, making the plug a 'cylinder with a hole in the middle' then with a small screwdriver you could bend the pin slightly towards one side. if you can see inside the socket & determine which side the outer connection is on then bending towards that will help.

It has one caveat - if you do it too hard, you'll break the pin & then your only fix would be what my other suggestion would be - get it fixed professionally.

These pics show the plug & socket type I mean

enter image description here enter image description here

  • Thanks. Perhaps I'll try bending it a little. And hope for the best. – ispiro Jan 15 '15 at 12:21
  • or if it is loose, you could look at either putting a new (slightly larger) end on yourself or looking for an adapter similar to what the picture is of to go to a different size. These type of plugs have different sizes. – Eric F Jan 15 '15 at 12:33
  • Actually the HP connection is like the left part in that the outer side is metallic. And like the left one in that it has the center pin (though much thinner). – ispiro Jan 15 '15 at 12:42
  • yes, they come in many different sizes - some hard to differentiate by eye, especially the 2.1 & 2.5mm. Usual way to figure which of those you have is try it & if it doesn't fit, it's the wrong one ;-) I found better pictures, will replace; see if they look more like it... – Tetsujin Jan 15 '15 at 12:45
  • Your picture update made part of my comment irrelevant haha but yes try different sized ones – Eric F Jan 15 '15 at 13:02

Your situation sound like a faulty power port. It seems from the comments you have an HP and they have a few kinds of replacement parts for that port depending on model:

port type 1

Port type 2

port type 3

So you may have a solder to the board type, or a modular plug in type (not knowing the specific model).

To your second question about positive, ground, and sense, you can see the inner band is positive, while the outer band of the barrel is the ground.


  • Thanks. What does "sense" mean? Is that the minus, or is the ground the minus? (What happens if the "sense" breaks?) – ispiro Jan 15 '15 at 20:47
  • @ispiro From Wikipedia - Remote sense can be used to force the power supply to counteract the voltage drop by raising the voltage at its output terminals. If successful, it will exactly cancel the drop along the leads, yielding the correct voltage at the input terminals of the load – Carl B Jan 15 '15 at 20:59

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