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Help fixing gateway MA7 motherboard

Discussion in 'Repairing Electronics' started by angelsblaze, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. angelsblaze

    angelsblaze New Member

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    Hi my daughter has a gateway MA7 model number Mt622b, it suddenly died refuses to turn on or even charge.

    I took it to a computer shop who said it was the DC unit and wanted £80 to fix rather pricey i thought considering the part is only £5 they said they would do it cheaper if the laptop was stripped prior, personally i don't even think they looked at it cause when my dad checked it after stripping it down power was going into the unit but would not go any further for some reason.

    Further investigation by my brother in law found that there are 4 resistors or safety thingis ( i am not computer minded lol) by the DC unit that the power goes into, it is one of these that have broken thus preventing the power going where it should.

    My Brother in Law said he could fix it if he new which part to use, I have been searching all day and can not find any electrical schematics on the internet, which will give him the information he needs to replace the part, and I doubt Gateway would be so kind as to part with any lol.

    If he puts the wrong part in he could fry the motherboard which would obviously be bad as my daughter has all her course work on it, we can not afford a new motherboard or new laptop so does anyone know what part I am on about by my poor description above or know where I can obtain an electrical schematic for my Brother in Law to use.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. HiTech

    HiTech Well-Known Member

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    Motherboard schematics are rare, often left for the factory authorized service centers to purchase. Even at that boards are typically replaced rather than repaired. The SMT components require special tooling to repair them and it's a task at times. If your brother-in-law claims to have resolved things down to a single component, how is it that he cannot identify the specific value of that part(s)? Those "thingies" could be SMT fuse(s) and not resistors. I don't know without seeing a close up shot of what he's indicating. And furthermore, you also run the risk of replacing the supposed failed part(s) and they blow out again from something else further down the line that is at fault.
     
  3. angelsblaze

    angelsblaze New Member

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    Thanks for your responce HiTech, love the signature btw.
    I will see if i can get a pic of the part he reckons is broken, i do see your point that something else could have blown it, considering he is an electrician i would imagine he new what he would need, although computers are not his field of work, he is also a bit of a i know everything kind of guy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. sheldon@jwp

    sheldon@jwp New Member

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    I have the same board here, they aren't fuses I suspect they are surface mount capacitor, resistors etc.

    The markings next to the components are PL1, PC2, PC1, PR81, I think the PC stands for power capacitors, the PR is resistor with not sure about the PL though.

    The colour of the components I think is important too as most dont have markings on them.....

    .....but again this is just my opinion dont quote me on that........
     
  6. angelsblaze

    angelsblaze New Member

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    thanks still waiting on a pic at this rate would be quicker if i drove the 100 mine and got it myself
     
  7. mittens

    mittens New Member

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    you can harvest the data from the hdd before doing the repair. in fact, there is no need for the hard drive to go back in the machine even after the repair is done unless it is successful. (no reflection on the brother--just that power problems do not always occur in isolation)
     
  8. lbwl

    lbwl New Member

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    Hello, did you manage to get this problem sorted? I have exactly the same problem on the same model laptop!

    Am looking at replacing the motherboard from a second hand one but just wanted to know if you had any luck trying anything else?

    Thanks
     
  9. blacklabelrum

    blacklabelrum New Member

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    hello, I have that same model with the similar problem.

    after a lighting storm, a customer brought in his laptop complaining that it would only work with the battery ( which is almost dead ) and not the ac jack. When I opened the unit up I notice 3 (capictor / resistor / fuse) whichever applies, right above the power jack. One looks burnt, it has PL1 stamp next to it. Any info about this particular part would be great!

    thank you
     
  10. golemmaster

    golemmaster New Member

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    Gateway MA3 (MX6426) DC jack

    I have a similar problem with a different model.
    There seems to be a dead short between the throughhole (+19VDC) and neutral/ground plane somewhere on or in the PCB. On one side there is a PC127 and PL13 and the other side has PC2 and PL2. If I interpret this right, they are Power Capacitors and Power (L)Inductors.
    I imagine that either one or both capacitors are shorted or there is a short inside the PCB on another layer.
    If this SM capacitor would short I think I'd see some discoloration, yeah?
    I suspect an internal short but I can't test/prove or fix that I don't think.
    Noob question: What's the use of the capacitors bridging the + an - pads?

    What do you think?

    Here's a couple pics....
    The jack has been removed and solderpads and vias cleaned up.
    On the second pic you can see a scorch mark and slight disturbance on the round pin pad.
     

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    Last edited: Aug 27, 2009
  11. blacklabelrum

    blacklabelrum New Member

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    Ok, I have a suggestion.

    I was thinking about supplying the battery terminals directly with a 12V (500mA) supply? Anyone knows if this might work? Because my system powers on with the battery fine! (but its almost dead).

    thank you
     
  12. golemmaster

    golemmaster New Member

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    Gateway MA3 (MX6426) DC jack

    I removed the capacitors and they aren't shorted. The board is still shorted. Must be further down the line....but it could be anywhere. I don't now how to test without popping bunches of components off. If there was a way of isolating that section of the board, that would be something to work with.


    I don't know if matters a hill of beans but I notice that when I measure resistance between the shorted pin and the ground plane anywhere on the board it's always 6.5 Ohms. When doing the same between grounds anywhere it will of course be low but will vary about .1, .2 Ohms.
    I was just wondering if there was a way to see how far away from the pin the short might be. I might be spinning my wheels.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2009
  13. nlouks

    nlouks New Member

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    Seems its quite common

    Hi, I have the same problem with a Gateway MA7 motherboard.

    The thing is fine on battery. Just won't recognize the adaptor.

    I've checked the Socket and its fine.

    I can't see any burns or breaks.

    Any help? :(
     
  14. sheldon@jwp

    sheldon@jwp New Member

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    If there’s any damage to the motherboard especially around and centre pin solder point on the board it usually causes a dead short, it’s usually the internal layers of the board, you can see this on the second pic above. If I see any damage like that around the centre pin I usually advise the customer it’s not worth soldering a new jack in place if there’s a short as it simply won’t work (pop). These gateway laptops although they have one of the strongest power jacks (PJ15), it appears that a batch they have used must have been week and a lot suffer from this problem. Also if you see any charring or burning on the board then the components around that are likely to be fried even if they look ok or clean up alright. If there’s no damage an IC or other component could have collapsed internally with no visible damage causing the short, in which case a PCB specialist needs to have a look.

    Another possible problem that all laptops, xbox360's and PS3's suffer from is BGA issues with the Northbridge or graphics chips, I've had a few that power on/off within a few seconds, doing a BGA reflow on these chips sorted it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2009
  15. BL4CKB4NN3R

    BL4CKB4NN3R New Member

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    Most computer techs do not ever bother going into repairing individual components on a motherboard unless it's something simple like the jack. It's usually "Your motherboard is bad, replace it". Most of the time, you would be able to get the motherboard replacement from the manufacturer at the full retail price, or find it cheap on Ebay. There are a few dealers on Ebay that like to sell refurbished proprietary components. Good news is, if you find the exact one, you won't have to re-install your operating system. Also, chances are that you would find the same one if it is a common problem with your specific model.

    No matter what, the data stored on the Hard Drive(pictures, docments) will not be effected by problems on the motherboard. There are simple ways to recover that data, although that is a different discussion board. :D
     
  16. sheldon@jwp

    sheldon@jwp New Member

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    @ BL4CKB4NN3R

    I resent that comment, if I knew what part on a board was faulty then I would repair every faulty laptop I could. The problem is that PCB repairs are a specialist skill and require the correct "expensive" equiptment to diagnose what component is faulty, which I simply dont have. Its only the totally dead or power on/off laptops that I struggle to repair if theres no visable damage, blown fuses or a BGA reflow doesnt fix them.

    Think about it.........I'd rather charge someone £100 in labour to fix their laptop (which we do for PCB repairs), than tell them they need a new MB for £200+labour+vat to have them tell me they wont bother........and make nothing from the job..........:(
     
  17. golemmaster

    golemmaster New Member

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    hardware repair

    Understood. I'm not "most techs." I like to explore hardware issues and be able to give a better detailed report to my customers than "...it's bad, replace it." Many times, the cost of the repair is near or greater than the value of the computer or even a replacement computer. Those are the times that I have to tell people the costs and comparisons and suggest NOT repairing the hardware. They respect me for being plain-spoken and honest about my work.
    Sometimes they don't have a problem paying my minimum labor fee. Sometimes they can't and, if it's something interesting and repairable, we agree to trade the hardware to me as scrap in lieu of the minimum payment. We remain friends and they come talk to me the next time they need help.
    Sometimes they abandon the hardware with me, assuming I wouldn't have any options for them. They are not on my sh*t list, they are still welcome.

    I digress....
     
  18. rob001

    rob001 New Member

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    This problem is due to a short in between the layers on your board - but a skilled technician can still repair it. Precision Division in Clearwater FL repairs this problem in the Gateway MA3 / MA7 notebooks. I think they do it for about a hundred, but you'd have to call and check.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  19. rob001

    rob001 New Member

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    Dead Gateway MA3 / MA7 Notebooks...


    Many of you have Gateway MA3 / MA7 (MX6xxxx / MT6xxx) notebooks that don't power on at all. Some of you have replaced your jacks, only to find out that the problem remained.
    This problem is due to a short in between the layers on your board - but a skilled technician can still repair it. Precision Division in Clearwater FL repairs this problem in the Gateway MA3 / MA7 notebooks. I think they do it for about a hundred, but you'd have to call and check.

    Original post restored - moderator.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2010
  20. rob001

    rob001 New Member

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    I agree. I repair motherboards as well. It's more cost effective for the customer, and more profitable once you get good at it. It takes me time to track down the fault sometimes, but I usually find it.

    Dedleted post restored - moderator.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2010
  21. I.T.O.

    I.T.O. New Member

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    MA7 Battery Bypass

    Seeing related threads all over the net. I have a semi-solution to this gateway power jack problem when the motherboard is cooked in that area.

    Carefully push 2 wires into the + and - slots of the battery. The slot connecting to the larger tab on the computer is the batt-minus. the other end is plus. carefully route the wires around the battery and push the battery in place. DO NOT SHORT THE WIRES or NASTY THINGS WILL HAPPEN! I used a 12V regulated low wattage power supply salvaged from an old scanner and an appropriate connector and hooked them up to the wires added to the battery. Use a volt meter extensively to keep proper polarity.

    The computer runs perfectly and the battery gets charged. The battery monitor thinks the computer is running off batteries only .

    Cover the original power jack and DO NOT use.

    I have 2 Gateway MA7 computers with the same problem
    Now they both work
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010

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