Check the battery - when it fails to power the notebook, is there any charge left in it (there should be a charge meter on the battery). If not, and there is no sign of other trouble - such as a failure to recognize the AC adapter, replace the battery. At two years old it's time for a new one.
I have a similar problem. I have an inspiron 1521 and the battery Led light on my laptop started blinking orange, but not continuous. It is blue for a few seconds then flashes orange several times then goes back to blue. The Led lights on the battery show all green when I check the battery. The monitor shows 85% available and charging. When I disconnect the power cord my laptop shuts off immediately. I don't have an addional battery or laptop to test. Is this possibly a battery problem or something else? I'm not sure what to do. Don't want to buy another battery if that's not what the problem is. This is the original battery and I've had my laptop for about 1 1/2 yrs.
I'm having the same issue with my wifes Insp. 9300 laptop. Battery light is flashing orange. It will just shut down on her in the middle of working on something, its as if it had no battery and it lost AC power. I dont know if the AC converter is going bad or craps out therefore causing the laptop to run on battery power and then it dies when drained. I thought she would get a msg saying battery power is low but she says she doesnt get anything. When I use it on the weekend trying to trouble shoot it I never have any issues with it....but then again I'm using a different power supply that she keeps in her bag. any ideas? thanks.
I am the proud owner of an Inspiron 9400 and my two boys have the Inspiron 6000 each. I found when I swapped batteries (yes they fit) the flashing orange light went back to green. After speaking with my friendly dell customer service representive I was quickly informed that the battery had reached the end of it's like (2 to 3 years) and it was time to purchase a new one. The computer recognizes that the battery is faulty and it will not charge it. I would advise that for optimum performance that you purchase new from Dell. Yes you can find recondition ones on E-Bay, but remember that you only get what you pay for. You bought the best, stay with it. Vista users usually get alert balloons popping up weeks before the charger goes into orange mode........Cheers
The same thing happened on my Vostro 1710 today. It was purchased 15 months ago. However, the battery still seems to function as normal. It still lasts about 45 to 60 min during video playback that cause around 50% CPU load. But I'm afraid the battery may never recharge again after it runs dry. That happened to my previous laptop after a few years.