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AC adapter cannot be determined

So for the past couple of days my Dell Studio 1555 has been having issues with my battery/adapter. I'm sure everyone is familiar with the message "The AC power adapter type cannot be determined. Your system will operate slower and the battery will not charge. Please connect a Dell 90W AC adapter or higher for best system operation". It happened a few days ago when I unplugged my laptop to bring it somewhere with me. After using it I had about 30% battery left so I plugged it in only to find this message. This has happened to me every time I plug it in.

My laptop is powered but my battery won't charge. As far as I know my adapter seems fine (no flickering lights), the blue light on the adapter is perfectly fine. I checked the powerjack and it seems fine and as far as I can tell there are no breaks in my adapter wires but it's hard to tell.

I've already tried for 2 whole days to fix this problem from rebooting, taking out the battery and putting it back in and restarting, uninstalling and reinstalling compliant control method battery under the device manager, updating my BIOS, updating all my drivers, taking apart my entire laptop and re-attaching everything etc. Any other suggestions?

Or perhaps it's my battery. My laptop is getting quite old, about 4 years old! Under "Dell Battery Meter" it says my battery should be able to charge normally but it's reaching the end of its usable life. So perhaps this is the problem, the battery is too old to be charged? I just want to be 100% sure of what the problem is before I waste my money buying something it turns out I didn't need (poor University student and can't afford it!). I'd take it to have someone looked at but being that I live in a small town there's no place I can take to have my computer looked at or have my adapter/battery tested.

Any help would be great, thanks!

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3 Replies

Re: AC adapter cannot be determined

Hello Sereneinmmorality,

I would suggest few steps would which would help us in isolating the issue further:

  1. Check the Battery Health and the status of the AC Adapter in BIOS. To enter BIOS Setup, restart the computer and keep tapping F8 key at the Dell logo screen. Check the battery health and make a note of the message. If anything other than your battery is "performing normally", the battery should be replaced.
  2. Dell offers a free Battery Diagnostic test, to run the test refer to the Dell Battery Diagnostics site.
  3. Try with a Known Good AC Adapter and check if the issue persists. 
  4. Try booting the computer only with the AC Adapter connected and check if the system boots. 
  5. Also try booting the computer with only the battery plugged in and check if the computer is booting into windows. 

Please try the steps and write back with your findings. 

Thanks & Regards
Allan D
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USIndia. For Dell support videos click Here.

If a post answers your question, please click "Yes".

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Re: AC adapter cannot be determined

1. Tried pressing F8 and  fn and F8 but nothing happened. When my Dell logo comes up there's an option for F12 for boot options and F2, tried both and did not find anything for battery. But I did double-check the "Dell Battery Meter" again since yesterday, still says that my battery should be able to charge normally but it's coming to an end. Then I checked the LED lights on the bottom of my battery, 2 lights come up and when held down for 3 seconds all 5 lights appear

2. Diagnostic tests says my battery life test passed, so this left me confused

3. Haven't been able to try a good AC adapter yet, just moved to a new town and don't really no anyone who's AC adapter will fit mine

4/5. Booting with the AC adapter only works fine and I can run without a battery but I still get that "AC adapter cannot be determined." Booting with only the battery works fine but once I plug the adapter back in it remains unchargeable with the AC adapter unable to be determined

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Re: AC adapter cannot be determined

Hello Sereneinmmorality,

Thank you for replying. It seems to be an issue with the port where we connect the AC Adapter (DC in port). Please consider replacing it. Does the computer have an active warranty? You can check the warranty status here. In case of expired warranty scenario, we would not be able to extend warranty entitled services. If the warranty on the computer has expired, you may contact our Expired Warranty Services (this is for US based customers).

However if possible, you may take the computer to a local store and check with a known good AC Adapter if that works. This would isolate the cause of failure. 

Please write back if you have any further questions. 

Thanks & Regards
Allan D
#iworkfordell
To know more about Dell Product Support, Drivers & Downloads, Order & Dispatch status -> choose your region USIndia. For Dell support videos click Here.

If a post answers your question, please click "Yes".

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