1 Nickel

RE: AC Power Adapter Type Cannot Be Determined

Hey All Keeping this going as my wife's laptop was doing the same thing. After scolding her for not taking care of her stuff I began to research and found one of the many things to try. I pushed pretty hard on where the end of the cord goes into the laptop and "voila"! Saw the battery charging light go on. Not sure if it helped, but I pushed from the end of the chord where it attaches to the solid connector thinking maybe it would push the center pin into the laptop further. I now have to apologize to my wife Give it a try and g'luck!
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1 Copper

RE: AC Power Adapter Type Cannot Be Determined

its not the laptop its the ac they do that sometimes, they have em for 50 bucks at walmart

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1 Copper

RE: AC Power Adapter Type Cannot Be Determined

It is EXTREMELY annoying that I had to create an account to post this suggestion!

It is also extremely annoying that Dell doesn't post this, but then they wouldn't make millions having people replace parts that are not required.


Before you spend a dime:

Remove battery and ac adapter

Press the on/off button for 20 seconds

Replace battery and adapter and try it.

If it works, as it did for me, hooray!

If not, you've invested about a minute and no possibility of harm to your computer.

There is a Youtube video with the title 'How to fix your Dell computer'.

The guy spends the whole video smashing it with a sledge hammer. Truly satisfying!

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RE: AC Power Adapter Type Cannot Be Determined

hi, now a day i have similar kind of problem with DELL VOSTRO 3550, have changed new battery but again message - The AC power adapter type cannot be determined. Your system will operate slower and the battery will not charge. Please connect a Dell 65W AC adapter or higher for best system operation" is coming and unable to charge battery also.

pl help to get solve.

rg Manoj kr

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RE: AC Power Adapter Type Cannot Be Determined

hi, I am awaiting solution from Dell


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Andrew Garon
1 Copper

RE: AC Power Adapter Type Cannot Be Determined

Its unbelivable this problem has been ongoing for over 6 years now.

On my Dell XPS M1330, in addition to replacing the battery once,  I am on the 4th power adaptor already. That is about one per year on average. The original lasted around 3yrs and the replacements less than 1yr. I am a heavy user but always look after my belonings, especially necessary work tools such as electronic devices.

The new generic adaptors power the laptop and charge the battery just fine, however the biggest issue is the CPU throttling which takes place locking the processor speed to a its minimum setting. In my case 1.2GHz on a 2.0GHz chip.

In some cases this occurs because of the laptop fan accumulating dust over time, thus the system cuts down on power to prevent potential problems from overheating. Unfortunately its also anecdotaly reported to occur when some power adaptors do not have the correct power output so the system will throttle the cpu to whatever the "brick" can feed.

Its something that some users might not notice, but if you do encounter it you will need a program such as Throttolestop to bypass the throttling limit and have your CPU work in full speed when required.

I have been using RMclock to undervolt the processor and it took me months to actually realise it despite having the CPU readings on full sight at the taskbar. I just didn't pay attention.

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1 Copper

RE: AC Power Adapter Type Cannot Be Determined

I am logging in using my wife's acct login, so you all will understand my next response to this problem.

I work with electronics, and have done so for 39 years.  I am one of two top techs who reports to VP of ops

at our company.  I have 17 years experience in computer related hardware/software Unix/AIX.

I suspect that this problem is not hardware.  Hardware either works or it fails.  Hardware is not 'work this time, fail next time, work again;.  If the message even comes up, for starters, I SUSPECT THAT SOFTWARE IS FOULED UP.  FUBAR.

If you can find the Registry entry and delete ALL related entries related to the charging mechanism, that

would be a start.  Also look in the Windows (x86) entries for Dell folders and see if there are any sub-directories for and related to the charger.

I use a power supply and a makeshift plug for charging my Dell laptop N5040, and it doesn't fart on me.

I use the Dell charger and it farts on me.  THAT tells me it's software.  Probably some capacitive coupling between the power supply and some algorithm on the mother board, coupled with damned software.

BUY TOSHIBA or ANYTHING ELSE but DELL.  I swear, I have had more issues with DELL than any other.  I've used Toshiba before and was impressed.  I have a colleague at work who uses some other brand of laptop and he never has issues like this.-----    Marketing prowess.  It ***!

4 Tellurium

RE: AC Power Adapter Type Cannot Be Determined

Apart from suspecting and assuming what steps did you take to narrow down the "fart" - problem?

1.As a top technician with many years of experience you surely have thoroughly tested the power adapter.
2.You are familiar with its functionality and that it differs from "normal" power adapters.
3.You also have verified the information you were given in the BIOS about the status of the power adapter
4.You do have in-depth knowledge how the mainboard interacts with the power adapter via one-wire technology.
5.You also know that the power adapter under normal conditions charges the battery independent of any operating system - in fact it's not even necessary to have an OS installed.
6.You also know that if the power adapter is not recognized in the BIOS that the system speed will be decreased from100% to 50%
7.You do know that a simple lose connection (usually USER-fault!!) of the power jack or the cable of the adapter is all it takes to "upset" people.


"Hardware either works or it fails.  Hardware is not 'work this time, fail next time, work again"

You are wrong ! If you have ever worked on "chip level" you should know better.

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1 Copper

RE: AC Power Adapter Type Cannot Be Determined

I'm also experiencing this AC adapter cannot be determined issue. my AC adapter will charge my laptop normally during the first plug in. I don't know why but if I unplug the AC adapter and plugging it back again it will pop up the error message AC adapter cannot be determined and if I did not use the AC adapter for 10minutes and plugging it back again it will charge the laptop. I will replace the AC adapter hope it will solve the issue

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5 Rhenium

RE: AC Power Adapter Type Cannot Be Determined

1. The AC adaptor can not be determined is the result of failure of the third wire in the DC cable being damaged. This wir sends an ID signal to the computer indicating the wattage of thecharger, No signal, and the laptop will be throtled back and the battery will not charge well. Same thing happens woith third party chargers that do not have thhe signl wire. Many people use third party replacements, but do not realize the throttling is happeneing.

This damage is usually related to rough handling of the DC cable, such as tripping on it or roughly wrappimng the wire. The majority of charger failures are due to handling. Also, the pin for the third wire in the DC plug is very fine, and can be bent or broken.

Dell does not make these chargers designed to fail early, as many believe. The reason for the signal wire is to alert the user that the laptop is not getting enough power because of a bad DC connection, the wrong charger, or insufficient power output.

Chargers rarely fail because they burnout, although it can happen. Repalcing a charger four times is certainly poor handling.

2. The not charging issue is almost always related to damage to the DC socket on the laptop, again usually from rough handling. The majority of failures are broken solder connections tothe system board, which are VERY difficult to repair. Dell ahs changed from sockets soldered on the system board to separate power boards (cheaper to repair, to just the socket wired to a cable that plugs into the system board. People are still manageing to break these other two types, although not as often.

A sure sign of a damaged socket is the abiity to sometimes getting charging and sometimes not because of movements of the broken solder connections by wiggling the socket.

3. Most of these problems are eventually related to design. Apple uses a magnetically attached DC plug with short connecting pins. However, these are not immune to similar fairures. Dell has been making positive changes based on customer products.

You are all free to go to some other manufacturer, but realize that all brands will have the same types of problems. This riugh handling is why laptops enerally do not last beyond three years. I have two laptops that have lasted eight and nine yearswith no power issues. My daughter had a failed socket and then had her new 1 month old replacement serviced for the same (she paid because this is not covered by the normal wattanty). She wasn't careless, but her five year old twins were!!!

Dell could certainly produce a laptop that could survive rough handling, but I don't think any of you would pay the price. Military grade laptops start at about $10,000.

XPS M1530, Win 10 CU Pro 32-bit
Inspiron E1705, Win 10 CU Pro 32-bit
Dimension 9100, Win 10 AU Pro 32 bit
Inspiron 660, Win 10 CU 64 bit
Inspiron 3668, Win 10 CU 64 bit
Asus T100 Tablet, Windows 10 CU 32 bit

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