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Last reply by 06-02-2006 Unsolved
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2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Insp 9100 "System cannot determine AC adapter type" - Help?

Hello, all
I have an Inspiron 9100 that's about two years old, with virtually zero problems until the last couple of weeks. When the system boots, perhaps three times out of five, it will generate an error during POST stating "The system cannot determine the AC adapter type. This will prevent optimum system performance."
The "optimum performance" that appears to be impaired is that the battery will no longer charge while I am using the computer - only if the machine is off.
A Dell chat/support rep suggested I replace the AC adapter, but said it could be the battery, or it could be the motherboard in the laptop....
I'm wondering if anyone else has seen this problem, and what (if anything) they did to fix it. My trick knee tells me it's not the laptop itself, but either a cord or the adapter itself, but I'm holding off spending any $$ until I'm relatively confident it's the right choice. So I thought I'd defer to any greater experience anyone here might have. A new battery is over $200, so it's not my first choice...
Many thanks in advance,
Replies (4)
2 Bronze
2 Bronze

Just an update on this topic:

After my little voltmeter told me my PSU was consistently putting out only 18.5VDC rather than its specified 19.5V (over 5% below spec), I decided to take a $60 gamble and buy a new power supply. Dell no longer carries this model, so I had to go to the Internet and find a third-party vendor reselling original Dell parts.

The good folks at had my original 150W adapter for $60 total - brand new, not refurbished - and it has completely olved my problem. No more POST messages, my battery charges properly, heck, even my iced tea tastes better now. :)

Thanks to those who offered suggestions here.



2 Bronze
2 Bronze


had the same problem with my Inspiron 8600.

I had the POST error message each boot. The system ran fine with AC power, but the battery was no longer charged.

Dell support suggested it to be a windows problem and to rebuild the system... It took me some effort to persuade the support guy that a BIOS error message is unrelated to windows xp.

Finally, they sent me a new AC adapter and everything was ok.

2 Bronze
2 Bronze

My Inspiron 9100 started to give me the same message after updating software for portabele computers, you car turn the check for AC-adaptertype "OFF" in bios settings, then you w'ont get this message at every boot. My battery works fine, and is properly charged.

Claus Nielsen

10 Diamond

It's not the battery; try another adapter. If that doesn't work, it's the mainboard (which is by far the most likely faulty part).
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