I understand your frustration, but seriously.....the world should abandon a multi-billion dollar, Fortune 100 company..... because you had a problem with a cord?
That's gonna be a tough-sell.
I offer that if you look at the forum for ANY COMPUTER, you will find plenty of people that write the same letter about every brand out there.
....pointless and futile.
Pay the money for a Dell charger, or we'll see you here in a few days complaining about how the new charger you bought "doesn't work"
PS: Dell buys their chargers from the same company everyone else does.
And they also buy their pin-out connectors for the power-input from the same suppliers everyone else does. You folks talk like you think Dell makes these peripheral parts, and they do not. They buy electronics parts from the same suppliers as everyone...and that goes for chips, screens, hard-drives, connectors, cases, fans,...and yes, power supplies.
So no matter who you buy from, you will still get the same parts.
I had the same issue. My power adapter was the problem. I discover this by accident, as I attempt to plug the cable from the adapter into the computer a bit harder and low and behold the M17x Laptop suddenly was aware of the power neccessary to run my old 260m graphics card. Dell did update my Bios though for free, even though my warenty was expired, so I am greatful they did help my there. But I really wish they didn't scare me about my motherboard going bad. Have your Dell techs convey it is the power adapter, it's common sense.
I am experiencing this same problem. And it's much more than just a common case of pin failure in a power cord.
As has been shown to the be the case across many different Dell laptops from MANY MANY purchasers, Dell has designed their laptops with a proprietary chip pair to "identify" official Dell PSUs. One chip in the motherboard, one chip in the PSU brick. Either chip or any where along the electrical connection within the cable, plug end, or power jack can fail, and if so, you will get the 'unrecognized adpater" error, along with the attendant CPU throttling (about 75-80% on my laptop) and network connectivity problems, and the battery stops charging. And as demonstrated, this part tends to fail quickly and often.
All this might potentially be understandable if the power supply was actually having trouble supplying the required voltage to operate the laptop properly, but as demonstrated in many cases, the PSU is functioning perfectly fine as far as providing power. The ONLY problem is that one of the two ID chip is or the connection between them has failed, and the ONLY purpose these chips serve is to make sure that you're using an "official" Dell PSU.
In my case, my laptop is 4 years old, and out of warranty. To buy a new PSU from Dell is $90; if it's the chip on the mobo that failed,that's more like hundreds of dollars for a mobo replacement on my $2000 laptop - out of pocket. And all this just so that Dell can force me to only buy their "genuine" overpriced replacement parts.
I'd say that's a FANTASTIC reason not to do business with them ever again - that and the HOURS upon HOURS I've wasted with their offshore tech support who can barely understand English, let alone have any useful technical knowledge of computers or how to troubleshoot them without reading off of a script.
Ebay, for 40 bucks I got a new power adapter.
Search ebay for "Original OEM 240W Slim AC Power Adapter Cord/Charger Dell Alienware M17x Laptop"
The seller is yourdelldude.
For 3 or 4 months I've been getting a similar message on my Inspiron N7010, but it boots & runs okay, and the battery seems to charge okay; I can unplug and run for couple hours with no problem. Right now, if I hover my cursor over the system tray battery icon, the message is, "97% available (plugged in, charging). So I think ROCKIN982 has given a cogent reply: the chip in the brick, or the chip on the motherboard has failed, or is failing, but the power adapter in fact is functioning.
I'll continue to ignore the warning until the battery won't charge at all ...then it will be time for a new laptop. (And it might be a Dell because, overall, my Inspiron has given me very good service.)
Even though this thread is a bit old: thanks for the answer; bykleck096. You confirmed what I already suspected.
If anyone is interested, this article explains the defect:
Anyways, after buying such an expensive laptop, I didn't really expect the charger to break so soon, or for that matter that it is such a common problem. Really makes me think about switching to another brand.
This is no "design flaw", as the article you linked to surmised. It's called "PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE".
It's clear these A/C adapters are designed to last only past the warranty period (if that -- my old XPS has the issue from day-one and was replaced under warranty and this same warning message appeared with my subsequent Alienware laptop and has now manifested again). Which, BTW, is a garbage "warranty" in and of itself, because consumer warranties override any arbitrary retail warranty of a product. All that's required is for consumers to have the inclination to chase their claims and retailers would have to honour them well past the measly warranties they offer, by law... but most people don't bother, so these Machiavellian practices continue unabated.
The fact that the power cable side of the adapter can be easily replaced for any region's power outlet plug configuration, yet the side of the adapter that actually breaks down - the circular plug that goes into the laptop - cannot, is all the evidence one needs to confirm that Dell manufacture these things for A) easy, cost effective multiple regional configurations (initial point), and B) premature breakdown to elicit more sales.
I'm coming up to a new gaming laptop purchase and, frankly, I don't see myself going with Dell again. They're just too money-grubbing and their products are really starting to show their rotting, "Made in China" flesh beneath their stylised, Christmas light lit veneer.
PSS: Dell might buy their parts from where most others do. But guess where those parts come from...
In other words, all the fancy, useless lights and alien icon mean diddly squat because you're getting the same Gaungdong made garbage everyone else is, only for quadruple the price!