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Compaq Presario R3000 power cord issue

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June 6, 2006 7:55:42 PM

I have owned a Compaq Presario R3000 for about 2 years now and I've been having this extremely annoying issue lately.

The computer keeps going into battery mode (the screen is darker) even with the power cord plugged in. I thought it was the power cord so I went out and bought a brand new plug. No such luck. I really have to shove the plug into the computer to get it to recognize the cord itself, and even then the screen turns bright for about 1 second, then goes back to battery mode.

This is quite irritating since I use this computer all the time, and can't properly charge the thing unless by some miracle the screen stays lit.

I just need a solution to this problem. I don't want to have to send my computer away to get a new case for it or something, because that is just ridiculous. Is there any easy way to remedy this issue?
June 8, 2006 6:38:49 PM

Nope. System board needs to be replaced. If its under warranty, bite the bullet and have it fixed.
June 20, 2006 4:02:54 AM

Hey sys2021;

Having the same problem you are with my Compaq R3000.

The damn battery light on the front representing the power always turns off and I pull the plug out and then push it back in and have the same results as you.

Went to HPs website and downloaded the latest BIOS software:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/softwareList?lc=en&c...

So far, I have not seen the problem occuring for about 10 Minutes or so, so this may or may not have solved the problem.

Anyway, it is worth a try and much cheaper than a new motherboard.

Brett
Related resources
June 21, 2006 4:19:31 AM

Well;

The CMOS update didn't solve the problem. I am going to attempt to open the thing up and see if the plug may need to be reattached to the motherboard.

Will keep you updated.

Brett
June 25, 2006 3:21:51 AM

I can't believe I'm hearing this. I am having the same annoying issue and thought as well that it was the power cord. I went and bought a new one to the tune of $110. Everythign seemed to be okay for a couple of days. I travel between multiple offices and home on a daily basis and therefore use my laptop extensivley. Somethign peculiar about mine is that when this issue starts happening, it will continue for about 30 minutes, with me inserting and pulling the cord in and out with the same very annoying result. After that it seems to be okay. Is there anything that can be done to resolve this issue???

Douglas
June 25, 2006 6:02:03 PM

Ok;

Confirmed that it is the plug on the motherboard.

I opened up and resoldered the middle pin to the mother board and everything is fine now.


Brett
June 26, 2006 12:24:05 PM

For those of us lacking both the tools and expertise to solder the pin back into place, what are the other options?

Douglas
June 28, 2006 2:31:19 AM

Not sure, since I have not looked into the other options.

As far as the tools are concerned, the soldering iron can be picked up at Walmart for around 5-10 bucks, however, it does require a bit of patience and caution to get the pin soldered back on.

Anyway, sorry I don't have the answer on the other options, but you might also look into a local computer store and see if they would be willing to solder the pin back on for you for a small fee.
July 6, 2006 8:04:19 PM

Brett: I have the same issue but haven't figured out how to get to the power connector - mother board side. Would you tell me how to remove the key board / top cover to access for soldering? Thanks a million! Doug McCullough
July 7, 2006 8:58:11 PM

o get to the keyboard, remove the thin silver top portion of the case above the keyboard. Its rather delicate, but if you pry up one piece you can slowly snap the rest of the piece off. Then there are 4 screws underneath, remove those. Once those are off, you have to carefully unhook the ribbon cable below the keyboard from the motherboard. when you are at that stage, just use a fine tool to gently push the brown security clip forward on the sides of the ribbon and it will slide out easily, just do the reverse to hook it back up. However, this is the 4th machine of that model that I have tried this on and the pin was only the issue one of them having power problems. Good luck though!
July 7, 2006 10:07:43 PM

Thanks a million! Will let you know how it goes...Doug
July 14, 2006 2:49:56 AM

I have tried a couple of times... can't find the silver strip you are referring to ... is it on the keyboard surface side or on the front/side/back side? Thanks... desparate..Doug
July 17, 2006 2:27:03 PM

Doug, it is on the keyboard surface side. The strip covers the entire upper portion of the keyboard surface and includes the top portion of the hindges as well as the power button. I would start on the outside of the case up where the Warning sticker is, work gently across the top including the hindges. It should pop off pretty easily...just be gentle.
July 23, 2006 3:15:22 AM

Thanks ... I caved in and went to Computer ER...they charged me $30 to pull apart and solder...works great! Thanks for pointing me in that direction though... Doug
July 23, 2006 10:11:46 PM

Don't forget to remove the three screws on the bottom of the computer that hold that strip on.
July 24, 2006 2:15:11 PM

I consider myself skilled enough to solder a pin to a board. However, I cannot read the brief instructions posted here and locate the power connector on the motherboard. Here's what I've done:

* Removed screws from underside of laptop that retain the plate above the keyboard.
* Removed plate above keyboard.
* Removed 4 retaining screws for keyboard
* Removed keyboard
* Looked and looked for the connector in question... where is it?

I assumed it'd be painfully obvious. However, the AC power connector is mounted in the back right of the laptop. It is seemingly underneath a bunch of other hardware when attempting to access it from under the keyboard. Are you even referring to the power connector where the AC adapter plugs in? Or are you referring to the power button which I assumed has nothing to do with this issue as my laptop ran great off batteries... until they ran out and I couldn't recharge them.

A picture is worth a million words. :) 

July 24, 2006 2:24:50 PM

Yes...I was referring to the power connector, not the power button. I was not able to even get my top portion off as far as you show here... so I carried it to a "Computer ER" and they soldered it for me for about $30... looking back on the attempts to access and the time, I'd have to say it was worth the $30 for sure.

I know I could solder it IF I could get to it. That was my challenge.

Now I am keeping my batteries (yes, I bought an extra one prior to understanding the power connector was my problem) charged, carefully plugging in my LT overnight to keep them up and running off batteries for the most part...just to avoid the danger of popping the solder loose again.

Thanks everyone for your info and input. For those of you like me that haven't been able to get it open all the way, I hope you have someone in your area that can. It is certainly much less expensive than a mother board replacement.

Best regards, Doug
July 24, 2006 5:01:41 PM

The bottom covers can be removed in 3 pieces (counting the CD/DVD drive and not counting the memory cover, hard disk, battery, etc.).

1. Remove the CD/DVD drive ( 2 screws, it slides out of the side).

2. Remove the smaller bottom cover over the processor/fan.

3. Remove the large bottom cover.
July 24, 2006 5:25:35 PM

So what was the point of me disassembling the keyboard?

Apparently I'll have to figure it out myself and then provide complete directions with some photos. Not that I'm ungrateful for the help provided thus far. It's just much less informative than I'd have hoped. I was expecting to pull a cover and see the part in question, make a single solder, and go back to work.
July 24, 2006 5:30:30 PM

Don't blame me! The only reason I found out about the 3 screws holding the top strip is that I noticed that one of them was about to break.
July 25, 2006 12:47:46 PM

I wasn't blaming you. :) 

I gave up on the self repair. I literally disassembled nearly all of the notebook - took the LCD off, the entire bottom of the casing, keyboard, etc. However, I still couldn't access the board where the power jack is soldered on. It was still hidden under the silver top casing which I couldn't easily figure out how to remove.

It was a fun adventure but I give up and will pay a "professional" to repair it. I'm assuming they'll want $500 to slap a new motherboard to fix it.
July 25, 2006 1:56:37 PM

I would have been tempted to cut an opening in the silver case part and to try to solder it through the hole. But, with my luck, there would probably be something important right there.
August 4, 2006 7:52:35 PM

I am deeply indebted to you for finding this.
August 4, 2006 9:54:41 PM

Phil,

I completed the repair. The factory solders were obviously "cold solders". All connection points were loose, and dull gray in color. Also, the sound on / off switch on the right side of the machine stopped working about 6 months ago, and the switch solder connection had come off the board. I fixed that also, and then vacuumed all the dust out, reassembled the machine and now it works like new.

Make sure you wear a anti static wrist strap connected to your home ground when doing this work.

Print the important maintainence manual pages and follow the instructions. The maintainence manual kind of sucks, as you have to jump around in it, and some things are incorrect. For example, just before you take out the main board assembly, there is a black connector that has to be disconnected, the number of screws is incorrect, etc. Also, it is a good idea to put fasteners for each part removed into a separate small bowl or other container.

When putting the top strip back on, work from left to right, ensuring that the center clip is snapped before the right clip is snapped in. I did not do that and the center screw would not go in until I took the strip off and put it back on.

One more thing. My combo DVD/CD drive did not have a ribbon cable, just a connector inside, including power, I suppose. Take all 4 screws out behind the drive, or it wont come out. Then gently pry the drive out. If you are too forceful, you will break the drive bezel, like I did.

Your model might be as shown in the manual, but mine was not.

The entire repair took about 4 hours, with breaks and a few brews. I would not trust anyone else to do it. Most of the time was just figgerin' out how to do it from the manual. Actual work was about an hour. I used a weller WE550 soldering station, Temperature set at 73.

Ripped apart link
http://206.130.101.158/pictures/Ripped%20Apart.jpg

Solder Here Link
http://206.130.101.158/pictures/Solder_Here.jpg

Sound On/Off Button Resolder Link
http://206.130.101.158/pictures/Sound%20OnOff%20Switch%20Bad%20Solder.jpg

Rod
August 4, 2006 10:21:04 PM

Phil,

Did you get it done? If so, how did it go?

Rod
August 4, 2006 10:46:48 PM

Mine slid out easily, sorry to hear about yours. I hope a broken bezel is not too large a price to pay for restoring usability to your laptop.
August 4, 2006 11:00:24 PM

Phil,

The bezel still snaps in, just is not as tight as it should be. I just can't pull on it. I never did anyway. I have posted pictures with my first entry.

I hope this helps everyone out. There are 85 entrys for new power supply connectors for the R3000 on Ebay, so I am pretty sure that that this is a widespread problem.

Rod
August 7, 2006 10:43:34 AM

Hi Guys,

Thanks for the info I was able to repair one today. Took me some time to figured out how to remove the mainboard from the case. Then i found the pin was borken in the socket near the end. A bit of wire and solder did the trick.

Once again thanks.
August 11, 2006 3:51:31 PM

thanks for all the useful info... my presario R3000 is having the same problem, the battery won't charge anymore and the power supply is not working for longer than 10 seconds... quick question though... did you have to change the power connector (jack) or was it a matter of just solder the loose connections shown in your picture?
thanks again!
Leo
August 14, 2006 1:37:30 PM

I initially intended to change the connector, but the PC would not charge at all at one point. So I immediately took it apart and found that all four solder points were bad from the factory. I resoldered them and it is great now.

Rod
August 19, 2006 6:57:03 PM

Hey all, im havin the same problem with the solder on my power connection. I have the whole bottom side of my laptop taken apart but cant get to the connection because of the metal housing that the fan is attached to. I undid all the screws and still cant get it off. Are there screws from the top??
August 20, 2006 2:33:33 PM

J,

Yes, there are screws from the top. You don't have to take the fans out. Take the whole motherboard out. See my posts on Aug 05. I have links to the manual, etc. The manual states exactly how to disasssemble the unit, althought you have to jump around in the manual a bit.

I have also posted pictures of the disassembled PC and areas to be re-soldered. This is a factory defect from Compaq.

The repair will take a few hours, as this is PC is known to be one of the toughest to take apart. Just take your time and be patient. There is also one wire that has to be dsiconnected just before the motherboard is removed, that is not documented in the manual.

Rod
August 20, 2006 4:28:15 PM

Thanks, I took 4 hours out yesterday to do it, my first time taking a laptop apart, hopefully my last.. But not sure if it did the trick or not, it is working better but not like it should be, im thinkin I might have a bad battery tho.

And o yea, dont use the wrong size screws and put bubbles and holes in your laptop like I did...
August 21, 2006 2:15:15 PM

Everyone,

Regarding JFrizzles last post, if you do this repair, it is a good idea to use a small bowl or container to hold the screws for each part disassembled. That way, you should have a good chance of getting everything back together using the correct fasteners. There are a LOT of screws to be removed and replaced. If you look at my posted photo of the disassembled PC, you will see that I lined up the parts somewhat in the order disassembled and there is a a small plastic bowl near each part, containing the screws for that part. See my August 05 posts.

Rod
August 25, 2006 10:42:19 PM

Guys,

Absolutely brilliant forum- the problem was fixed within £12 and 3 hours of work.
Basically, purchased a power jack for the R3000 from Ebay, got a soldering iron and pulled the laptop apart (it's a pain that you've got to remove EVERYTHING to get to the power jack though!)
Put it back together and voilla, issue sorted.

Thanks to all for uploading the info regarding this issue.

Kas
August 27, 2006 9:14:57 PM

Kas,

Thank you for saying so. I do pride myself on being a very thorough electrical / electronics engineer and have not let any so called 'tech support' persons touch my hardware or software installations. As condition of my work with multiple employers, I have insisted that no individual, other than myself, touch my computers. I rarely post to forums, but after seeing the state of poor assembly of components to the R3000 motherboard by Compaq, I felt compelled to help all of the other folks who are experiencing the same problems, which Compaq will not acknowledge. They simply blame the user. That is not right, and is not ethical. Compaq / HP should be ashamed of their poor engineering and assembly.

I guess that is what you get for $.5 per hour assembly in China. They wave solder the SMT components, then have the pin through components hand soldered by individuals that do not know or perhaps do not care about a good solder joint. I opened another electronic component made in China last week, and discovered that every single solder joint was a cold solder.

Rod
August 30, 2006 10:44:43 PM

This information may or may not help everyone else, but I have had almost the exact same experience.

I bought my Presario R3000 in (close to) June 2004. It worked fine for the first year, with the exception of noisy fans, which were fixed after a call to Compaq. After almost a year of normal use, the computer would switch to battery power for no reason, but it would switch itself back to AC power with no intervention. But a month or so of continued use, it would switch to battery power and require somone to unplug the cord and plug it back in to achieve AC power. This happened rarely, and I didn't think much of it. Now I know I should have, because my warranty expired shortly thereafter.

For a few months, the computer's ability to hold AC power slowly degenerated. Eventually, I would constantly have to replug the cord. Then, the battery stopped charging. I presume this is because the battery had cycled so many times due to the inability to hold AC power. The computer would not even turn off with the battery in. I would have to physically remove the battery in order to turn on the computer.

Because of the power problem, the computer followed a progression of: 1. shutting off after a long period of use or while I was away; 2. shutting off after slightly moving the power cord or computer; 3. turning on for about 10 seconds before shutting itself off; 4. not turning on at all.

After 2 years of owning the computer, I finally ponied up $200 to a repair shop, which was cheaper than Compaq's asking price. The computer worked like a champ for about a month afterwards, except for the fact that the battery wouldn't charge. But after that first month, I am now running into the same problems, and it's getting worse and worse.

I know this is a long post, but as many of you have experienced, this is a frustrating situation. Reading your posts have made me even more angry. I thought the fact that my computer started having problems after the warranty expired might have been a coincidence, but after reading your posts, I know better. Compaq must find this so convenient. If my hard drive failed, or my RAM failed, I would simply replace it. But power issues are completely different. So on this note, is anyone interested in starting a petition? This may seem radical, and trust me, I'm usually the one shaking my head at picket lines. But Compaq should not be allowed to get away with this. We all know now that this problem is not a coincidence. Companies that make products that people depend on with their life, and which they expect to last for years, should be held accountable. This type of "marketing" should not be tolerated. So if anyone is interested in starting a petition, please email me at samjones1986@gmail.com.

Thank you all.
September 2, 2006 8:41:32 PM

hey thanks or all the help. I have spoken with HP/Compaq and they have refused to take responsability for the defect.

I am in lawschool, and this little defect has caused my computer to shut off during two separate final exams. I am doing the initial research for a class action suit against HP/Compaq, and am gathering information from people who have had this problem, or who know someone with this problem.

If any of you are interested in participating in the class, please email me at compaq.class_action@yahoo.com
September 5, 2006 8:53:21 PM

I'm having the same problem but lucky enough for it to stay on long enough to accomplish things. Then, I'm not sure if it's because of heating up, I can't get it to stay on (with the electric cord) to some extent it seems to need a push then other times seems to need to cool off.
Today I decided to do something about it, this has been going on for well over a year now. In any case, I hate to buy a new electric cord if it's not going to solve the problem. I'm so worried that it might
be the mother board, which is what my son is expecting.

Have you had any success with your laptop? Please give me good news.
Thanks, Mary[/b]

ps My last laptop, a smaller compaq also needed a new cord after about a year.
September 6, 2006 1:22:59 AM

This problem can be fixed in 15 minutes (assuming you don't care about appearance of your laptop):

I read all responses, thanks you everybody, many people had useful tips. I myself am a design EE who deals with similar problems on everyday basis. The problem is:

COLD SOLDER JOINT POSITIVE PIN OF DC CONNECTOR TO MOTHERBOARD.

Solution is to touch it with a soldering iron. In order to do that you have to gain access to motherboard which can be done in two ways:
1) 4 hour job as described by couple of people before
2) use a drill to crack the plastic case from the top (you still have to pry off that plastic mask with power on button after removing 3 screws from the bottom as described in one of previous responses)

You don't need to worry about damaging the motherboard - there is a thin steel shield right under the top plastic cover and above the DC connector (motherboard) itself. However you will have to cut that shield a little bit too. There is atotal of 4 pins (3 for ground and one for positive voltage). You can touch all of them with an iron but it seems that only positive pin is the problem (the one closest to the center of the board).

I know that a picture is worth a thousand words but didn't know how to attach them to my response - if someone can explain how it can be done I'll be more than happy to do it.

Again, thanks everybody, my laptop is charging fine now and more importantly I have evrything ready for the next time - if the same problem happens I'll fix it in two minutes.[/img]
September 6, 2006 4:25:23 PM

Please add me to your list, it's sure not fair of them to take responsibility for the defect. I've spent too much money as it its on compaqs and they owe me. Thanks for any type of info on this problem.

Mrs. Mary Ennis (granma)
September 11, 2006 7:33:40 PM

Everyone,

I resoldered all 4 pins and added a bit of solder, for more strength. All four pins on mine were cold soldered. I am surprised it lasted 1.5 years.

A good solder joint should be shiny, not dull. Excess flux can be cleaned off with rubbing alcohol.

Rod
September 11, 2006 11:18:04 PM

Hello.I am expecting a non-charging r3000 to come in this week. Reading the posts around the net regarding this issue, it seems to come down to the dc connector mostly. Thanks for all the info you spread here, the job is extensive, but can be done.
I was thinking about the following possibility: the main pin of the dc inlet is rather short, in terms of lenght until the motherboard soldering joint. Can't I just put a copper tube that fits the center pin into my soldering iron's tip socket, shove it over the center pin, hold it for a while to get the heat to reach the soldering joint and solder the joint like that, at least the center pin?
Or is the temperature to much for the socket's base itself?

EDIT: found on another forum: buy a HP XC1000 all-in-one media cable, or a docking station if you do not want to take the laptop apart. Your power adapter will then charge the laptop through the docking port, as the media cable or docking station is supposed to be connected to that.
I am searching for this docking port pin assignment, as another workaround, sofar it seems to be secret.
September 19, 2006 3:39:26 PM

HP xc1000 Notebook All-in-One Media Cable power cord issue



My son solved the problem. Can't believe it took so long to be directed to the solution.
This new cable gives you an alternative port in which to put your a/c connector. Works
like a charm, absolutely no problem and in fact easier now to use it in conjunction with
the television screen as it's monitor.

HP xc1000 Notebook All-in-One Media Cable app $80 including the s&h.

Thank you and good luck all.
September 19, 2006 3:41:02 PM

My son solved the problem. Can't believe it took so long to be directed to the solution.
This new cable gives you an alternative port in which to put your a/c connector. Works
like a charm, absolutely no problem and in fact easier now to use it in conjunction with
the television screen as it's monitor.

HP xc1000 Notebook All-in-One Media Cable app $80 including the s&h.

Thank you and good luck all.
September 20, 2006 12:29:13 AM

Where did you buy the cable I can't find it in stock online anywhere?
September 20, 2006 12:17:50 PM

When you go to that webiste and click on that link it doesn't take you anywhere that you can buy the cable so I guess they are out. Any other suggestions?
September 20, 2006 1:05:24 PM

They are running out fast everywhere. They had several for sale on ebay (techexcess) last weekend, saw a lot of 17 but shipping was too much ($200) from Canada too this weekend. Keep watching ebay, they sometimes do come up as XC1000, DV318A, all-in-one media, etc. Seems teckexcess noticed the rarity of the cable, you can find them pulling back a lot off ebay, once they found out they could ask what they want for it. (see google's cache) They asked me $280 for a cable, dock and shipping! "Demand is high, stocks are low, so prices go up, they explained me".
Docking stations are still available, starting around $50 on ebay, as another option.
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