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Steps to determine what is causing batteries not to charge and AC adapter error messages.

Having problems with ac adapters? Is the battery not charging? Are you receiving errors messages regarding incorrect or malfunctioning AC adapters? These can be symptoms caused by not only the ac adapter, but could be caused by the battery or power board as well.  Here are some steps to find out what may causing the problems and may even be able to correct them.

Remove the battery from the system and only have the AC adapter connected to the system. If it powers on then the AC adapter has some functionality.  Make sure that you are using the correct  adapter for the notebook. Check the battery for problems.

Update the BIOS to its latest version.  Download from Support.Dell.com , key in your service tag and look for the BIOS link. The battery and AC adapter will need to function and be connected for the file to install correctly.

Having battery charging problems? Check to see if AC adapter errors are turned off in the bios. On a lot of systems there is an option to turn off AC adapter errors. When having battery problems boot to the bios (F2). Look for the option for AC adapter errors. If they are turned off, turn them on, save the settings and reboot.  If you all of a sudden you get an AC adapter error, you may need to replace the AC adapter instead of replacing the battery.

Some batteries may have a tester. The battery tester is typically located on the bottom of the battery; It is usually a small button next to five LEDs.  Press the button and  if none of the LEDs light or if the pattern of lit LEDs is the middle and end LEDs the battery may be defective.

Make sure that the cables are not damaged and have a good connection. Check to see if the cables on the AC adapter are crimped, frayed or have exposed wires.  Stop using it and replace the power cable or AC adapter. If the cables look fine, try reseating the AC adapter and power cables.  Unplug the adapter from the power outlet and the computer. Reseat the power cable.  Plug the AC adapter back into the power outlet.  The power indicator LED will either be located on the power brick or a band on the end of the cable that plugs into the computer from the AC adapter. If the power indicator LED on the AC adapter doesn’t light try another power outlet. If the AC adapter doesn’t show power on multiple outlets it may need to be replaced.  Plug the AC adapter into the notebook and does the LED on the AC adapter stay lit while being connected to the notebook, this may mean that the AC adapter jack may be shorting out the AC adapter. The power board or system board may need to be replaced.

Look to see if the AC adapter fits into the power jack on the notebook, if the pins on the port are bent or broken the power board or system board may need to be replaced.

I hope this proves to be of some help.  At least it helps point out what is causing the symptoms so you can act accordingly to get these issues resolved.

Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices
#IWork4Dell

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36 Replies
mddsn33064
Bronze

Re: Steps to determine what is causing batteries not to charge and AC adapter error messages.

Have Dell XPS-M2010

Keyboard battery fails every (3) months.

Need help with Dell Accessory Warranty Division. Need step by step info. on how to contact the right division

to get a replacement. Need info. on why battery keeps failing,  this make the (4) battery that has failed.

 

 

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Uffa2u
Copper

Re: Steps to determine what is causing batteries not to charge and AC adapter error messages.

This was a great Post....more information than I have been able to find on my own out there. I have taken most of the suggested steps and I am still having the same problem. I have an Inspiron 1545 laptop. Recently (and intermittently) I started receiving the message about the ac adapter not being recognized. Sometimes the adapter will charge the battery....sometimes not. Sometimes I won't get the message ...and no charging of the battery either. During the "not" times - I can wiggle the cord around a bit and get it to work. But only as long as I don't accidently bump or shift it ...no matter how slightly.....because that will cause it to stop charging the battery...and the laptop display will become dimmer (not as bright as when the ac adapter is plugged in and working correctly.) And I can mouse over the battery icon it will tell me that the battery is not charging but ac adapter is plugged in.  I have updated the BIOS....I have checked the ac adapter wires. Nothing frayed, cut, bent. I have checked the plug that fits into the jack in the laptop. There is only one pin and it is not bent or broken.  I seriously think that there may be short in the connection at the jack end....but I don't know how to check that out. I don't believe that either the ac adapter or the battery are at fault. I think it is an issue with the power jack or something related to that. Help?? My laptop is out of warranty and I can't really affored to spend a small fortune at Best Buy on tech support. It would be really helpful if I could get step-by step instructions on how to test the power jack or power supply to see if something is being shorted out. Oh....btw....another reason I believe that the issue is with the power jack is that ....if I take out the battery and get power strictly via the ac adapter.....I can start up the computer no problem. However.....a slight bump to the  cord....or a shift in how the laptop is positioned....will cause the power to go out and shut down the laptop immediately (similiar to a power outtage in a house would be). Btw....this is the second Inspiron I've owned where this problem presented itself after approximately 1.5 yrs of ownership.

So....please...can anyone send me step-by-step instructions on how to test for this problem....and if it IS that....how to replace the parts that may be worn out? Just because I'm a girl doesn't mean that I can't understand "techie" stuff.  LOL!!!! Smiley Happy  Oh no....my time is up. Battery is getting too low.  I have to try to wiggle the adapter just right...and hopefully get the battery to charge again. Help???

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Re: Steps to determine what is causing batteries not to charge and AC adapter error messages.

I dont know of a test offhand just to check the jack on its own.   I would try to see what the problem follows. If you have access to another 1545 swap out the AC adapter.  If all of a sudden your system works fine, the AC adapter fits fine in the system, you dont have to wriggle the cable and the battery is getting charged  then it is likely a problem with your AC adapter.  If your system has the same problems regardless on what AC adapter you use then it is likely the jack that is causing the problems. Be sure to use an AC adapter that is compatible with the !545 before testing though.

TB

Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices
#IWork4Dell

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Uffa2u
Copper

Re: Steps to determine what is causing batteries not to charge and AC adapter error messages.

Yep....that was going to be my next step. But it means that since I don't have access to another 1545....I'll have to buy a new ac adapter to carry out the test. They're not exactly inexpensive ...especially not the genuine Dell version. Btw....I see a couple of different adapters here on this web site that appear to be compatible. I'm confused about 65 and 90 watt. Can I use either with my 1545?? Or must it be the 65watt kind that came with my laptop?

thanks much for the response!!  Smiley Happy

 

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Re: Steps to determine what is causing batteries not to charge and AC adapter error messages.

Either the 90 watt or the 60 watt adapters should work fine.  Use this link for the 60 watt or try this link for the 90 watt adapters.  Unfortunatly i don't know of any way to test the power jack short of trying different AC adapters.

 

TB

Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices
#IWork4Dell

pamelaact
Copper

Re: Steps to determine what is causing batteries not to charge and AC adapter error messages.

So completely frustrated with this issue and more specifically Dell support! I have an XPS 1330 that has been nothing but problems and finally called to get a replacement battery and apapter last week. I was told that neither were under warranty and that it would cost me $235 for the replacements. I just received the parts last night and they sent the wrong battery. Spent 1 1/2 hours on the phone being put on hold and sent from one incompetent person to the next until the 4th person actually decided to help. Turns out the original support person sent me a battery for the XPS 1550... how that happens when they are looking at your account, can see exactly what machine you have AND you give them all the information they request,  is beyond me. Turns out that the adapter was under warranty but of course no one could make the refund. I had to schedule an appointment for someone to come to my house with a new adapter and mother board AND I had to call customer "support" this morning to get a complete refund processed. Guess what, the rep who answers the phone can't handle that and needs to have his manager call me back. SO, if someone could explain to me the point of being a customer support rep if you have no authority to correct the mistakes that your company makes, please do! I am losing business. I will NEVER buy another Dell product or recommend them to anyone. Their support is non-existant, incompetent.

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jlam645
Copper

Re: Steps to determine what is causing batteries not to charge and AC adapter error messages.

can not update bios to check if it needed updating because to update it you need at least 10% battery life in the battery. unfortunately i do have any life lrft in my battery, i am running off the adaptor and can not update

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ajkanitz61
Bronze

Re: Steps to determine what is causing batteries not to charge and AC adapter error messages.

I have a Dell Inspiron 1525 - it is currently out of warranty. A few months ago, my power adapter/charger stopped working.  So I left it unplugged for about 24 hours, plugged it back in and still no power.

I ordered a new adapter - Dell 65w- AC Adapter PA-12 Family which is the same exact specifications listed on my non working adapter. I need to note that prior to the adapter going bad, I had no problems with my battery, it charged just fine, and I used my laptop with the battery power here and there until the new adapter arrived.

I was excited when the new one came, what is the point in having a laptop if your mobility is restrained?  I plugged in the adapter, turned on the laptop.. My adapter was not recognized.

I shut down, unplugged, waited a few minutes, tried again, same thing. So I decided to see if I could get pass that warning, and I did. So even though it will not recognize it, it is still powering the laptop.

Then I find that my battery indicator in the task bar, says plugged in, not charging. I did a search on the internet that said to update the bios. I already have the most current update  1525_A17.  And since my battery is now dead and has been, there is no way of charging it. I refuse to spend money on another adapter just to have the same problem. I refuse to spend the money on a new battery when the current life of my battery was still up there. 
I do have the adapter warning shut off in the settings. From time to time I check the internet to see if there is something new to try. I cannot even run the bios update again because you have to have 10% battery life.  I am the only one I know with a 1525, my old laptop is an Inspiron B130, neither the adapters or batteries are interchangable.  So here I sit, chained to my laptop.

I would like to know why doesn't my system recognize the new adapter, but powers it up? IF the battery isn't installed, and you can get to the settings screen, ISN'T a computer smart enough to know that the power is coming from somewhere?  Why is updating the bios contingent upon having battery life of 10%?
I actually love my laptop, it does what I want, aside from having to replace the hard drive within the 2nd month of having it.

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Re: Steps to determine what is causing batteries not to charge and AC adapter error messages.

ajkanitz61

I would check to make sure that you have the correct AC adapter for your system.  If it is the correct model then it is unlikely both your AC adapters are defective.  So you are looking at either battery or powerboard after that.  The battery may have a battery tester, check and see if it does, it will be on the bottom of the battery, press the button and how many LEDs light up.  Check the jack that you plug the AC adapters in and see if they fit snugly. Is the pins in the jacks bent?  If the power LED on the AC adapter goes out when connecting to the notebook it is likely being shorted out by the notebook, you may need to change the power board.

TB

Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices
#IWork4Dell

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