dell power button

i got a call about a dell inspiron 17 7778 2-in-1 laptop. the lady had been talking to her friend about her problem and her friend referred her to me. the laptop had trouble turning on and the power button seemed recessed and damaged.

sure enough, when i picked it up, it was recessed and no click could be felt. and as a result, it would not power on.

i opened up the computer and found that the power button was not actually located on the main motherboard, but on a small daughter board.

dell inspiron 17 7778 2-in-1 power button
dell inspiron 17 7778 2-in-1 power button

this daughter board was easy to remove, one screw and then free the wires to the connector PWBD1. small pull and the daughterboard was free. once removed we get a closer look at the actual button.

dell inspiron 17 7778 2-in-1 power button

wow, i really am surprised at what i am seeing. i was not surprised at what i was already expecting to see, but surprised at actually how poorly attached this button was to the daughterboard. no wonder this button failed. it’s almost as if these flaws were intentional. the legs which were soldered to ground at the face of the button were surface soldered only – not deeper to help provide any strength. when you press this button, the soft solder is too weak to provide any sort of strength with this type of attachment. i don’t think the front ground legs broke, they just look like it was surface soldered.

mid way back, there are some anchor legs. the anchor legs that actually did have a hole provided for them into the motherboard were not connected or secured in any way. just 2 short legs, either side, just resting in 2 holes.

dell inspiron 17 7778 2-in-1 power button

this button was going to fail eventually and sooner rather than later. i won’t be surprised if i get more responses from the blog post about this very issue by people looking for a solution. it’s a very nice and expensive computer and well worth looking into a repair.

the pins at the rear of the button were still attached. the reason for the failure is the shell of the button had bent back so far that the button could no longer be actually “clicked” when it was seated in it’s original location. it had been moved inward so much that it was literally unusable.

actually this lady had already previously taken this to the geek squad at best buy ( and they quoted her a price of $250 plus an estimated time of 5 to 6 weeks to repair. they were actually going to ship it off – i’m guessing they don’t have anybody local to do that type of repair. i actually quoted her much less and it took us less than an hour to open, diagnose, repair and reassemble. i met her before a doctors appointment she had in town and had her computer back to her before she left to head back home. was perfect timing in this situation.

we resoldered the front face, then sealed the entire shell to the daughterboard with resin, allowing it to flow into the gaps in the power button shell and around mid point legs down into the holes in the daughterboard. all in all, this repair should be much stronger than a brand new replacement part.

dell inspiron 17 7778 2-in-1 power button
dell inspiron 17 7778 2-in-1 power button

so, if you are having a problem with powering on your dell laptop, and if feels like we’ve described, contact me and we can discuss it. if you are pretty handy, and can remove the part and ship it to me, i will be faster and cheaper than the geek squad at bestbuy for sure. fix it!

dell inspiron 17 7778 2-in-1 power button

additional related content! – found a recent video where another tech was also working on this same issue – thought you may find his video interesting.


  1. Jon Beyke says:

    I am having the same problem. Where can I buy this switch?

    • mr. fxr says:

      i have no idea – but would be good information if someone is able to source it – i just repaired the existing one. if someone finds a source, please comment with some specifics.

  2. Hank says:

    I think you have to buy the whole “Palmrest” upper structure panel that has the so-called plastic retainer spring clip attached to it. It’s unfortunate we can’t buy just the little plastic clip (retainer). My plastic retainer spring is broken. I am also going to try gluing the power switch housing down like shown above, it was bent back.

    • mr. fxr says:

      glue & solder – make sure glue is not too thin (will seep inside and lock up the button).

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