I have a laptop in which the motherboard has apparently been damaged from a power surge. There are clear burn marks on the board and the ribbon cable from the power button is also burned. My question is, shouldn't the power surge have damaged the ac adapter, before reaching the computer? The adapter is intact. Or is is possible that the battery may have been faulty and delivered the incorrect voltage to the motherboard?
George, Very sorry to hear that. Guess it's time for new laptop -- swapping a MB in a laptop is not usually cost effective. Are you still under warranty? IF not you may be able to find the same model laptop on Ebay with a broken screen and combine the systems. Make sure it's exactly the same model, sometimes there is more than one LCD panel used for a given laptop, and the motherboard and the lcd panel must match.
The power adapter for a laptop is like the internal power supply in a TV or desktop PC. Lightning blows through the power supply and hurts parts in TVs and Desktops, so no reason to think the laptop would be protected. (laptops don't run through the battery when they are run from the power supply).
Also, there are components on MBs that sometimes just fail, sometimes with fireworks, even without a power surge.
Good. If it helps, compared to broken LCD screens and the power socket snapping off the MB and busted keyboards, the frequency of power surge problems is nil. Shouldn't happen to you again.
p.s. check out the power adapter before using after you get the new MB installed. Be a shame if the power adapter was bad, overvoltage, and was the root cause of the first MB failure.
p.p.s from your post, you disassembled and will swap the MB yourself. If this is not true, and you are sending your laptop in for service, pull the hard drive before you send it out, reinstall when you get it back.