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Dell Laptop Charger Went up in Smoke!

MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
18
Rochester, MN
Plugged it in it shot out smoke. Finally managed to pry it open using a couple of flat bladed screw drivers. Once I snapped it open to take a look, based upon smell it appears the main huge Capacitor has internally shorted out. Can this be fixed or should I just buy (ANOTHER) one? This is the 3rd charger in 2 years. 1st one that came with the laptop (not OEM) shorted out at the plug, the second one shorted out at the plug and this one (free at a garage sale) went up in smoke after atleast 6 months in use. This WAS a DELL OEM charger.
 

AutoUnion39

macrumors 601
Jun 21, 2010
4,890
941
thats a valid point!

i remember those "dude you got a dell" commercials. it was cool to own a dell
 
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A.Goldberg

macrumors 68020
Jan 31, 2015
2,396
9,026
Boston
I was refering to Fixing it no rigging it. I can buy a new one for under $10
$10 sounds like the easiest solution. I've never heard of Dell chargers burning up so commonly, or at all. If it was an issue there would have to be a recall. Perhaps you incorrectly rewired your house ;)

Call Dell and report the issue so they are aware. Otherwise they won't know to issue a recall.
 
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AutoUnion39

macrumors 601
Jun 21, 2010
4,890
941
$10 sounds like the easiest solution. I've never heard of Dell chargers burning up so commonly, or at all. If it was an issue there would have to be a recall. Perhaps you incorrectly rewired your house ;)

Call Dell and report the issue so they are aware. Otherwise they won't know to issue a recall.
He should just rig it with zip ties and pink scotch tape.
 
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MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
18
Rochester, MN
The chargers we have for our Dell laptops at work don't spontaneously combust. Then again, they're OEM chargers, not $1.99 Alibaba specials or free garage sale finds ;)
This WAS a 90 Watt OEM Charger..........
$10 sounds like the easiest solution. I've never heard of Dell chargers burning up so commonly, or at all. If it was an issue there would have to be a recall. Perhaps you incorrectly rewired your house ;)

Call Dell and report the issue so they are aware. Otherwise they won't know to issue a recall.
It's not uncommon for the AC Plug to come off the carger with the way I have my laptop setup. Today when I noticed the laptop had the battery icon, so i plugged it back in and not even 1 second (almost instantainouslly) after smoke came out (how since it's a sealed unit im not sure) but then I unplugged it IMMEDIETELY and smelled burning, Thinking maybe it was a A/C cord issue i tried a new cord, this time no smoke, but the LED went out and I smelled burning. I unplugged it again and pried it open. Not able to see anything, I took the laptop and charger over to my grandpa (A retired TV-Repair Man) for him to look at. It's wasn't the capacitor as it sparked when he accidently shorted the contacts of it clearing white glue-like substance out of the way. It worked fine over at his place so i put it back together, taped the case back on and took it back home HOPING it was fixed. Plugged it in at home AGAIN and 2 seconds later it was shooting smoke out of both ends of the charger AND shooting smoke out the end the plugs into the laptop. took it back over and he says it's most likely a resistor, rectifier or something in the area of the load Cap shorting out. No burn or scorch marks on the boad no visual signs of melting or burning ANYWHERE.

EDIT: I am not surprised it happened. I've worked on DELLs before (My ex had a XPS M1530 when i met her) which I fixed several times. Mind you it wasn't even a year old when I 1st worked on it and it died when it was 1.5 years old.

I was given a Optiplex GX260 by my Uncle which was nothing but problems, I was given a Optiplex GX270 by a friend for fixing his Acer Aspire One for the 4th time, its unusable as a computer and now functions as the Internet sharing server running Linux Lite. too many problems with DELLs even my laptop needed repairs.
Just dead short the capacitor and put it back together. It'll be fine...
I don't believe the cap is the issue nor would I think that's safe. I tried taking an IBM charger and put the end for DELL onto it and using that until i could buy a new charger (need my laptop early next month probably long before the replacement charger arrives (have to wait until I am paid next month before I can buy it).

Since the charger is under $7 I will also buy some DDR400 RAM (2x1GB) to max out the eMac (also under $7)
 
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lowendlinux

macrumors 603
Sep 24, 2014
5,311
6,567
Germany
The 90W charger is not supposed to be the mobile charger you're suppose to plug it into the docking station and leave it. There is a smaller charger that is supposed to be you're mobile charger I believe it's 60W and is much more portable. You really out to take better care of your stuff I'm going on 6 years on both my 90W and 60W Dell chargers.
 
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MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
18
Rochester, MN
The 90W charger is not supposed to be the mobile charger you're suppose to plug it into the docking station and leave it. There is a smaller charger that is supposed to be you're mobile charger I believe it's 60W and is much more portable. You really out to take better care of your stuff I'm going on 6 years on both my 90W and 60W Dell chargers.
what difference does it make? There IS no docking port on a inspiron 1420

the charger sits there its never touched
 
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Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,177
481
Elkton, Maryland
Just buy a new OEM charger and be done with it. Do not blame Dell for the cheap knock off chargers that you used previously and this one dying as you do not know the past history on it.
 
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MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
18
Rochester, MN
Just buy a new OEM charger and be done with it. Do not blame Dell for the cheap knock off chargers that you used previously and this one dying as you do not know the past history on it.
I just bought a $7 knock-off. The charger I got with the laptop was a knockoff.

I HAVE A NEW ONE ORDERED. IT'S COMING FROM WALNUT, CA AND SHOULD BE HERE BY THE 8TH
 
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yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,984
2,745
St. Louis, MO
I just bought a $7 knock-off. The charger I got with the laptop was a knockoff.

I HAVE A NEW ONE ORDERED. IT'S COMING FROM WALNUT, CA AND SHOULD BE HERE BY THE 8TH
You spent 7 bucks on a charger when an OEM one is usually north of $50, then you wonder why they don't last and go up in smoke. You're lucky it hasn't burned your house down. Your unwillingness to spend money now is going to cost you more money in the long run.
 
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AutoUnion39

macrumors 601
Jun 21, 2010
4,890
941
I just bought a $7 knock-off. The charger I got with the laptop was a knockoff.

I HAVE A NEW ONE ORDERED. IT'S COMING FROM WALNUT, CA AND SHOULD BE HERE BY THE 8TH
Jesus Christ. You bought a knock off charger again?

You'll never learn will you?
 
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MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
18
Rochester, MN
@MatthewLTL Knock offs are usually extremely poor quality and often die or break within one year of use.
Well, When i bought my laptop 2 years ago at a garage sale it came with a shorted battery and a generic dell OEM-replica charger. It still worked internally but the end plugging into the laptop went bad. The 90W Dell OEM charger went up in smoke after around a year in use. Seems to me the knockoff was better quality, at least, internally. Its $7 (Rounding up) I'm not out anything if it fails in 6 months.
You spent 7 bucks on a charger when an OEM one is usually north of $50, then you wonder why they don't last and go up in smoke. You're lucky it hasn't burned your house down. Your unwillingness to spend money now is going to cost you more money in the long run.
The OEM charger IS what went up in smoke. The Generic "knockoff" never actually failed the end that plugs into the laptop stopped working.

EDIT: I consider myself lucky that it was only the charger that went up in smoke and that the OEM charger didn't take the laptop out with it as it fried itself.
 
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yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,984
2,745
St. Louis, MO
OEM as in you bought it directly from dell.com or OEM as in the eBay seller based in China that sold is for dirt cheap said it was OEM? Unless it was purchased directly from Dell, you cannot be sure that the supposed OEM charger that went up in smoke was actually OEM.
 
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MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
18
Rochester, MN
He should just rig it with zip ties and pink scotch tape.
I tried using a ThinkPad charger with the DELL end put on it as a TEMPERARY thing to give me a charger as I wait for the replacement but it didn't work. The Thinkpad charger put out 16.89V (instead of the 19.5V from the DELL charger, BUT the battery in the laptop is only 11.1V so you would of THOUGHT that a 16V charger would at least power it, but it didn't. CURSES!!!!!
 
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yg17

macrumors G5
Aug 1, 2004
14,984
2,745
St. Louis, MO
I tried using a ThinkPad charger with the DELL end put on it as a TEMPERARY thing to give me a charger as I wait for the replacement but it didn't work. The Thinkpad charger put out 16.89V (instead of the 19.5V from the DELL charger, BUT the battery in the laptop is only 11.1V so you would of THOUGHT that a 16V charger would at least power it, but it didn't. CURSES!!!!!

Jesus H Christ. You're going to blow something up or burn something down.
 
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MatthewLTL

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Jan 22, 2015
1,684
18
Rochester, MN
OEM as in you bought it directly from dell.com or OEM as in the eBay seller based in China that sold is for dirt cheap said it was OEM? Unless it was purchased directly from Dell, you cannot be sure that the supposed OEM charger that went up in smoke was actually OEM.
The charger said DELL on it. The knockoffs don't they just say "AC ADAPTOR" or some such thing.
@MatthewLTL I bet the OEM charger was used and therefore you don't know the history on it. I have never had an issue with Dell chargers but Apple chargers are a different story!
My track record with DELLs through the years make me stay clear of ever buying them. This laptop was $75 2 years ago it is a mid 2007 model, being the fact the DELL computers usually die within 1-2 years it's promising when it lives 5. HP/Compaq don't even live a year but that's a different story of itself.
 
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AutoUnion39

macrumors 601
Jun 21, 2010
4,890
941
@MatthewLTL I bet the OEM charger was used and therefore you don't know the history on it. I have never had an issue with Dell chargers but Apple chargers are a different story!
The best part about the apple chargers is that knockoffs are super rare and even if you did buy a fake MagSafe, you'll know quickly
 
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