Knowledge Base

AC Adapter Not Powering on the Computer or Charging the Battery



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).


This article helps to resolve AC Adapter and Battery issues.


1. Check the AC Adapter

  1. Unplug the adapter DC cable from the portable computer.
  2. Make sure the AC adapter is plugged into a AC outlet.
  3. Check the AC adapter's power indicator light.
    (Look for a green light on the AC adapter block or a blue light on the connector that attaches to the computer):
    1. 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.
      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 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.
        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.
    2. 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.
    3. Unplug the adapter AC power cord from the wall outlet.
    4. Remove the AC power cord from the adapter brick.
    5. 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).
    6. 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.
    7. Try the AC adapter on a working AC outlet, when the light still flickers, try another AC adapter of the same type if available.
      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.
    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 Support.Dell.Com Website, for more information refer to Dell Knowledge Base article, "How to Use the Drivers and Downloads Website"

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2. 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.
      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.
    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.

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3. Dell Battery Diagnostics

  • To run the test, browse to the Dell Battery Diagnostics.
    You may need to provide your service tag or select your computer model from a list.
    1. Click Battery Life.
    2. Click Run Diagnostics.
  • To run a full diagnostic on your computer, go to the Dell PC Diagnostics page, click the Advanced tab and click Run Diagnostic.
    You may need to provide your service tag 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: 07/23/2015 10:23 AM


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