A few months ago I was having trouble with my laptop's battery, it is pretty low (~7 min battery life), but the problem was that even when connected it would not always charge.
I had to orient it in exactly the right position (which was prone to change) whenever I wanted to get it working, and eventually it would not charge at all.
That was not the only thing wrong though, the charger was nearly severed and to charge I had to touch the wire to itself creating sparks and leaving whatever room I was in smelling of smoke.
I decided that it was the charger, not the battery that was the problem, and bought a new charger, which seemed to solve all my problems, until just last week I began experiencing the same symptoms that nearly my laptop months ago.
The problem is currently in infantile stages, and I can use my laptop fine, but that's just how it started before, I only need to adjust the cord a bit and it's fine.
Time of this report: 6/4/2012, 23:30:09
Machine name: DIEGO-PC
Operating System: Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1 (7601.win7sp1_gdr.120330-1504)
Language: English (Regional Setting: English)
System Manufacturer: Gateway
System Model: M-6850FX
BIOS: BIOS Version 89.22
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T5550 @ 1.83GHz (2 CPUs), ~1.8GHz
Memory: 3072MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 3070MB RAM
Page File: 1741MB used, 4397MB available
Windows Dir: C:\Windows
DirectX Version: DirectX 11
DX Setup Parameters: Not found
User DPI Setting: Using System DPI
System DPI Setting: 96 DPI (100 percent)
DWM DPI Scaling: Disabled
DxDiag Version: 6.01.7601.17514 32bit Unicode
Glad to see you bought a new power pack, if you had to arc it to get it to work, it did need replacement. The issues you are describing seem to point to a loose or broken power jack. It is a common occurance among almost all laptop brands. This video, although greatly sped up, shows what is involved in replacing the power jack on your model laptop. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjOVOLOW1Hc
If you are not completely comfortable inside your laptop or aren't adept at soldering you may want to take it to a professional for repair ~$100 normally. Be sure to get a quote and some kind of guarantee on their work.
If you aren't intimidated by the innards of your laptop, there are a number of videos and articles on "Laptop Power Jack Repair" and a few on the various types of ribbon cable connectors and how they work.