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manollette
1 Nickel

Alienware 18 AC Adapter not recognized

I have an Alienware 18. About a month ago, my computer stopped recognizing my power adapter (I am still using the one that came with it). I would plug it in, and it would flash with the 'AC Adapter' notification on the screen, but highlighting the power option in the taskbar would show that it was running on battery power, and it would drain accordingly. On the setup menu, it would list the AC Adapter as [Not Detected]. I removed the battery, one of the cooling fans, and the primary hard drive and re-attached them, and this seemed to fix the issue. After two weeks, the issue repeated itself (on my last attempt to contact you mid-November) I repeated the steps before, and the issue was resolved. It just happened again, and I unplugged the battery and plugged it back in - this resolved the issue. So I have narrowed it down to being temporarily fixable by just reseating the battery. 
As spending nearly $500 to send my laptop in for an issue that is likely either software related or that just requires a battery replacement is out of the question, I would like to know if there's anything I could do to fix the issue from my end. I've been a Dell customer for a very long time now, and to be told it will cost $430 to fix with no possibility of a partial refund regardless of the actual cost of repair is ridiculous. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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6 Replies
Tesla1856
6 Thallium

RE: Alienware 18 AC Adapter not recognized

It could be any number of things including the AC Adapter, the battery, the charging port, and/or the motherboard.

Sometimes it's just that the tiny pin-like contact in the center of the AC Adapter plug is not making good contact inside computer's charging port. That tiny pin is how the laptop reads the Adapter's digital identity to ensure it's genuine.


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manollette
1 Nickel

RE: Alienware 18 AC Adapter not recognized

Thanks for the fast reply. Normally I'd just assume that was the case; that it was a minor hardware issue, and that there's an issue with the charging port. It just struck me as odd that each time it happens, re-seating the battery fixes it for two weeks (almost to the day) before it happens again. Any suggestions for possible fixes? I'm thinking about reformatting my hard drive and reinstalling all of the drivers in case it's a software issue. Also considering replacing the battery (hopefully I can find a place to get a replacement that I can return if it doesn't fix it...). Either way, I'd like to exhaust my options before I drop almost $500 on a repair that might not be necessary. 

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manollette
1 Nickel

RE: Alienware 18 AC Adapter not recognized

Bump

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jmackenroth
1 Nickel

RE: Alienware 18 AC Adapter not recognized

I am having the same exact problem too.  Does anyone know if there might be a product recall on this issue?

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manollette
1 Nickel

RE: Alienware 18 AC Adapter not recognized

Issue persists for me as well; for what it's worth, I've been able to fix it whenever it rears its ugly head. All I have to do is unplug the battery and re-seat it every two weeks or so, and I'm good. An inconvenience that is sure as hell not worth Dell's (ridiculous) $430 non-refundable charge to send in to fix. I just won't buy a Dell product next time, methinks. Tired of all the heartache over their shoddy products. If it breaks down on me, I can always go back to using my Alienware M17 that I got back in 2008, before the buyout. The one that still works fine after 6 years, while my <1 year Dell one is going nuts. 

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manollette
1 Nickel

RE: Alienware 18 AC Adapter not recognized

Just in case it helps, I think I found the problem. It's been 3 weeks since I adjusted to compensate, and the issue hasn't come back yet. If you use the 'power saver' option on the computer (the one that uses up battery to conserve battery life when it's plugged in all the time), try turning that off and see if it helps. 

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