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I had a co-worker bring me his Asus A55a laptop that would not power on. The problem turned out to be the small power control board right under the power button. The parts was only $15.00 plus shipping. The local geek shop wanted $180.00 ( 3 weeks turn around time).
That is a bad situation to be in out of warranty; There is no easy quick or cheap fix for this; This would be something for a Local PC Shop to fix unless you are savvy enough, and have the precision hand of a surgeon. You can conceivably fix it yourself.
Long story short; You are correct; My first guess is a broken solder point somewhere on the motherboard or Power Supply;
Power Supplies are a cheap fix, but if you do not find the problem in the Power Supply you will have to replace the motherboard.
Most local PC shops will suggest buying a new laptop because the cost of repair if it's the motherboard is nearly equal to a new laptop.
Find an alternative source of power to test the laptop in other words eliminate the AC Adapter and battery from the equation; Test using a different AC Adapter only, see if the Laptop boots up; If it does, it's more than likely either a bad battery or bad AC Power Adapter.
It's a shot in the dark but the Power Jack may be loose and when power is applied to it the heat buildup may secure the connection to the motherboard which allows you to boot. (Although this would be a first time explanation regarding this) Usually power jack issues are intermittent start ups. Replacing of the power jack; cheap, you can buy the part yourself; again if you are good with soldering you can fix it yourself as well; You will have to disassemble the laptop completely to do this. This repair is expensive at a local PC shop in excess of $100-200 or more.
A motherboard replacement can cost in excess of $300 or more at a local PC shop.
Hope this helps or at least guides you in the right direction.
It sounds to me like you only have a cable/adsl modem bringing in your internet connection. To share your internet with other wifi devices you will need to buy a Wireless router. Be aware you can buy adsl and cable routers depending on what your broadband provider has given you. Take these details into a computer shop who will advise you of the right type of router to buy. Dont buy cheap, go for something like a netgear router.
A battery will charge as you use it . Go aheead and plug it in go about your laptop use as normal it does not need be off to charge the laptop any faster
Its using AC power to run and will still charge the battery
IF it does nto charge in a few hours it could be a weak battery
Try this first beofe you bring it to a service shop EBAY sells every type of battery ever made & Cheap too ! but check for warranty in EBAY bought battery look for return 100 percent guarantee on battery sales
Most laptops graphic cards are built right to motherboard. You can probably bring it to computer repair shop and they can solder new capacitors on it. But they don't make them seperate where a person could swap it out.