Knowledge Base

AC Adapter Not Powering on the Computer or Charging the Battery



This article helps resolve AC Adapter and Battery Issues.

Table of Contents:

  1. Check the AC Adapter
  2. Check the Battery
  3. Dell Battery Diagnostics

Video - Portable Battery Not Charging to help resolve charging issues (English Only) - (1:46).


Check the AC Adapter

  1. Unplug the AC Adapter cable from the notebook computer.
  2. Check for any physical damages to the AC Adapter or the adapter cables. Refer to Dell Knowledge base article AC Adapter Damage for more information.
  3. Check the power indicator light on the AC Adapter.
    (Look for a green light on the AC Adapter block or a blue light on the connector that attaches to the notebook computer.

When there is no light:

Verify the AC power cord is correctly installed. Confirm the power outlet is functional. If found defective, try another outlet.

  1. Unplug the adapter AC power cord from the wall outlet.
  2. Remove the AC power cord from the adapter brick.
  3. Use two hands for attaching the power cord to the AC adapter brick. Hold the adapter in one hand, and place the power cord in position over the two or three prong connector on the adapter brick itself (Figure 1).
  4. Using the palm of the hand, push the power cord in fully, until it clicks (Figure 2).


    Figure 1: Align the power cord.


    Figure 2: Press the power cord firmly until it clicks into place.
  5. If power LED on the system is still not on, remove all media communication devices (external monitor, printer, webcam etc). Reconnect one at a time to isolate the defective device, if any.
    Note: When the light still does not come on the original AC adapter, and another AC adapter of the same type works (if one was available), contact Technical Support when your system is in warranty.
    To check if your warranty is active, refer to Dell Knowledge base article How to Check When Your Warranty Expires.
    If your warranty has expired, a new AC adapter can be purchased at the Dell Batteries and Adapters web site.

When the light is flickering:

Verify the AC power cord is correctly installed. Plug the power cord into the adapter brick by using the following steps.

  1. Unplug the adapter AC power cord from the wall outlet.
  2. Remove the AC power cord from the adapter brick.
  3. Use two hands for attaching the power cord to the AC adapter brick. Hold the adapter in one hand, and place the power cord in position over the two or three prong connector on the adapter brick itself (Figure 3).
  4. Using the palm of the hand, push the power cord in fully, until it clicks (Figure 4).


    Figure 3: Align the power cord.


    Figure 4: Press the power cord firmly until it clicks into place.
  5. Try the AC adapter on a working AC outlet, when the light still flickers, try another AC adapter of the same type if available.
    Note: When the light still does not come on the original AC adapter, and another AC adapter of the same type works (if one was available), contact Technical Support when your system is in warranty. To check if your warranty is active, refer to Dell Knowledge base article How to Check When Your Warranty Expires.
    If your warranty has expired, a new AC adapter can be purchased at the Dell Batteries and Adapters web site.


If there is a error concerning the AC adapter refer to Dell Knowledge base article.

  1. When the LED is on, confirm the laptop battery is functional by powering the unit with AC Adapter.
    AC Adapter Error Message Occurs
  2. Reconnect the adapter DC cable to the portable computer and check the LED, when the LED goes off, contact Technical Support when your system is in warranty.
  3. Press the power button and check for any lights on the computer, if none contact Technical Support when your system is in warranty.
  4. When powering on a Dell portable computer, you may receive an error message similar to:
    The AC adapter type cannot be determined. This will prevent optimal system performance.
    Strike F3 key ( before F1 or F2 key) if you don't want to see power warning messages again.

    Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility.
    If so, check AC Adapter verify it is the Dell AC Adapter shipped with your system.
    Note: If the AC adapter is not recognized in the BIOS, the battery charging circuit is DISABLED by design (The system will not know if there is sufficient power available to run the system and charge the battery).
  5. Unplug the AC adapter from the wall, and from the portable computer, for five to ten seconds.
  6. Make sure the AC adapter is unplugged long enough for the LED on the AC Adapter to go out altogether.
  7. Take out the battery on the portable computer, for more information on how to remove the battery for your specific computer, browse to the Online User's Guide. Click the make and model of the computer and the preferred language. Download the Setup Guide or User's Guide.
  8. Plug the AC adapter into the wall outlet and to the system.
  9. Press the power button, when you are still receiving the same or similar error message pertaining to the power, verify that the BIOS and Video drivers are the latest available from Dell Support website, for more information refer to Dell Knowledge Base article, "How to Use the Drivers and Downloads Website"
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Check the Battery

  1. If you took the battery out for testing the AC adapter, insert the battery back in while the computer is off.
  2. For computers with Windows 7, right-click the battery icon in the lower right-hand corner, click Dell Extended Battery Life Options, if that is not an option proceed to Step 3.
    1. Click the Battery Health tab.
    2. Make note of the message on the page, when the battery shows as "This battery is performing normally", then the battery is performing as it should.
      Note: Most batteries have a One Year Warranty. You can check if your battery warranty is active by referring to Dell Knowledge base article Notebook Battery Warranty Support.
  3. Check the Battery Health in the BIOS, for more information refer to the Dell Knowledge Base article Check the Battery Health in the BIOS. Make note of the message on the BIOS screen under General or the Advanced tab, when the battery shows as "Normal" or "This battery is performing normally", then the battery is performing as it should.
    Note: Most batteries have a One Year Warranty. You can check if your battery warranty is active by referring to Dell Knowledge base article Notebook Battery Warranty Support.
  4. If you have the issue System battery shows "plugged in not charging" when you hover over the battery icon please review the information in our knowledge base article.


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Dell Battery Diagnostics

Our support site provides multiple diagnostic tests that can be run on your system and output results or error codes that can be then used to identify failures or provide to technical support if warranty service is required. These tests can fulfil a support request online and issue an in-warranty replacement where applicable, or direct you to additional resources to replace your battery.
From our main support site navigate to the diagnostic section or click the link below.
  • To run the test, browse to the Dell Battery Diagnostics. We will then connect to your system via Dell System Detect to run the test and if the test fails you can then log an in-warranty service call if applicable or have the option to purchase a new battery from the Dell Batteries and Adapters website.
If you have already used diagnostics in the past your information should be stored and you will be directed straight to the diagnostic test.
When the battery diagnostics fail, you can log a in warranty service call using the following link - Enhanced Preboot System Assessment. You will need to enter the Error and Validation code as seen on the screen, you will also need to enter the Service tag of the faulty computer, just follow the prompts to complete the process.

If your battery warranty has expired and the battery diagnostics fail, a new battery can be purchased at the Dell Batteries and Adapters website. Only Dell batteries should be used in Dell notebooks, and Dell batteries can only be purchased from Dell. A normal characteristic of a rechargeable battery is that its operating duration decreases over time.

The battery may eventually need to be replaced. Based on this characteristic, consumed batteries may not be covered under warranty.

  • SupportAssist, previously called My Dell, detects issues and sends you alerts based on your device, This application gives you access to everything you need to take the guesswork out of maintaining PCs and tablets. For more information on how to obtain and install SupportAssist, browse to the SupportAssist for PCs and tablets page.

Note: You may need to provide the Service Tag or Express Service Code of your Dell computer or select your computer model from a list.

Contact Dell Technical Support for additional assistance and recommendations.

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Article ID: SLN128918

Last Date Modified: 08/11/2016 04:59 AM


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