I just changed the power adapter in my laptop. This is how it’s supposed to look:
And this is how mine used to look:
I can’t for the life of me imagine how the hell I broke it that way. Without realizing it, at that!! I’ve spent months thinking that some part of the power delivery circuitry was acting up, until I finally actually took a look in the hole. It’s a small wonder I haven’t fried the laptop.
Anyway, once I knew what had to be done, it wasn’t that hard. I ordered a replacement from amazon or ebay, I don’t remember, and waited for months for a quiet time where I could risk breaking the laptop.
The actual repair was a little nerve racking (my heart jumped every time the little screwdriver slipped, fearing I had stripped the screw) but in fact really easy, because Dell provides a really nice illustrated service manual on their website. Many thanks, Dell!