Thursday, December 22, 2011

Sugru to the Rescue

A colleague of mine recently brought his personal laptop, a Dell XPS L702X, to work due to an unfortunate incident involving his son, the machine and it's power adaptor. The result of which was that the port at the back of the device had been dislodged from it's intended position, preventing the power supply being connected.

Dell provide decent documentation online for their products, which was lucky as it turns out that the L702X isn't the simplest of devices to dismantle. It was necessary to remove the module cover, optical drive, palm rest assembly, keyboard and display before I could get at the port!

Once I could see what had happened to the port, I found that the metal mount holding it in place had sheared off:

This meant simply re-mounting the port wan't an option. I was able to push the port back into place, but even gently pushing against it through the chassis caused it to dislodge again.

Fortunately, I had recently been introduced to a new product called Sugru. It's a putty-like material that hardens when taken out of it's packet; much better than my original idea of using Blu-Tak! My colleague happened to have some in the office, and we were able to use it to stick the port down to the chassis and wedge some behind it to further secure it:

Obviously, we'll have to see how it stands up to the test of time, but judging by some of the uses people have found for the product, I'm confident it should hold up.