Hi all,

My laptop started shutting down without notice, it was overheating, so I had the sink fan replaced. That seemed to do the trick for a few weeks. Then the shutdowns again. No warning. On one minute, off the next.

I noticed that the power supply didn't seem to remain connected, the battery seemed to drain or not fully recharge, and the little prong thing (okay, so I'm not a techie) on the powersupply that sticks in the back of the laptop got HOT. Very hot. Untouchably hot. And there was this smell, an odor that seemed burny but not like something singed, more like something toxic getting heated up and being emitted out the back. Hope that makes sense, it wasn't a smoky smell. I thought this smell and loose connection/bad battery charging combo was bad, so I ordered a new power supply. It arrived, I plugged it in, the battery light came on, the machine booted, and all seemed well with the world.

For two hours. Then the no warning, silent shut down. I peered around at the back just in time to note a puff of VERY visable smoke waft out of the hole into which I'd plugged the brand new power supply. AND that toxic smell again. I immediately pulled the power supply out, the end was bent and hot and some of the plasticy stuff (again, not the technical term, I know) around the metal stuff on the end that goes in the laptop was melty looking. Oh, and there was a crack of some kind, a loudish noise, like a snap or crackle (not the rice crispies kind, louder and only one).

So. What do you think? Is the motherboard fried? Has this happened to anyone before? What should I try next?

Thanks in advance for any and all help!

Okay, I'm new to this site, did I ask a stupid question or not ask it right? It looks like a lot of people are reading my Q, but no answer? Even if you just tell me the notebook is toast . . . something?

Heh it sounds pretty bad to me (sry, ive been away for a bit).

I dont kno much to tell ya...im more of a software guy, but ya..it sounds like toast to me :)

Aw, I was afraid of this. Thank you, though. :)

Okay, I'm new to this site, did I ask a stupid question or not ask it right? It looks like a lot of people are reading my Q, but no answer? Even if you just tell me the notebook is toast . . . something?

I have a Gateway M520 Gateway Technical NON Support clams that this problem is not common. Wrong! My laptop almost caught on fire with a similar problem. The connector for the power supply is just supported by the solder joints in the mother board. After a little while AKA after the warranty expires the constant pressure from moving the plug around and plugging and unplugging the power supply causes a loose connection and should be repaired ASAP or the result will be a large unrepairable hole in the mother board. Gateway is not alone in this design flaw HP and Compaq lap tops are just as bad. Ps HP claims this is not common also. Gateway offered to replace my mother board for $300. If you search the web there is companies that make a living just selling replacement jacks and others that make a living just making this repair.

I just bought a motherboard on Ebay. Replacing the Mother board is best left to someone who has experance whth this type of thing. I am going to replace the jack with one that has a nut that can be attached to the case. Your motherboard may not be fried. If you can or know someone who can replace the power jack this is a good fix. I have a coworker who did this with his HP. I am also going to do this to my daughters Compaq. Yes both of these had the same problem.

I just got done removing the DC jack on a M520 Gateway laptop today. I do these kind of repairs frequently. Unfortunatly there is no gaurantee that damage has not been caused to the motherboard when we get these in. The majority of them are repaired with a replacement DC jack. Many different models/brands have this problem. Sounds like your motherboard took a hit when it shorted out ( the snapping sound you heard ). Resistance was building and with resistance comes heat. Heat is the mortal enemy of all computers. The heat build up caused melting and the smell. That's about the jist of it in a nutshell...

Thanks everyone! It was indeed the connector thing at the back, and it's been "repaired" (it's still loose), and my motherboard does seem to have been affected. Sigh. But problem solved (ish), just need a new laptop.

I have one of these to rapair in my shop. I called about new board but gateway wants to fix it themselves so they do not sell the MB. For 299.00 plus tax they will repair or replace if out of warranty. I guess i will just change the jack to save my customer money.

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