If you wrap the cord around the adapter for transporting???
Have it plugged in and bent to the side at a 90° angle???
This can happen to your AC adapter jack.
Today I was preparing an E6420 XFR for shipment to a customer.
While testing I use the AC on my bench that I know is good and tested.
The last thing I do is test an AC adapter to ship with the laptop.
And the very first one I tested this happened.
So I thought I would take the time to show what the cause of this "Alert" can be.
First thing I did was slice a few inches of the cord from the jack back towards the AC.
And guess what I found???
The wire from the "Center Pin" going to the AC adapter had worked itself loose.
Now everyone should know that this wire from the center pin carries no voltage.
The other two wires are for the 19.5 volts.
The center pin wire is for communicating with the system and BIOS.
That is why it gave the "ALERT! The AC adapter wattage and type cannot be determined."
For demonstration purposes I just lightly soldered the wire back to the center pin.
Plugged it back in and powered on.
And now the "ALERT" was gone.
Now this is not to say that every time this "ALERT" is displayed it is a broken wire going to the center pin.
It could also be:
1. The AC adapter.
2. The center pin is missing/bent in the jack.
3. A non-Dell AC adapter.
4. The DC jack on the laptop.
5. And some times the system board.
Best of luck and kind regards,
Very nice piece of diagnostic work and a fine tutorial.
Thank you for your reply @JOcean
I thought it was a subject that others would find helpful.
I have others that I plan to post in the future.
Good darn information here, hopefully everybody that have a problem with their AC adapter will take a look at this thread.
Thank you for your reply @LSUFAN51
I go through so many AC's a week and run into a few that are bad.
So I thought it was time to post what I found with most of the ones that give the "Alert"
The second most common failure is a bent or broken center pin.
good info, thanks. i see new genuine Dell adapters on ebay for $13...last year I soldered a genuine Volvo tailgate wiring harness....many many wires. fun: eek. so i am capable. but for 13$ i will avoid becoming intimate with a center plug:)
Good find. Thank You.
For me solution is a bit simpler - trying to reposition the center pin and the matching center connector in the laptop with a match. It is because Dell has it's arms growing from their arses and not able to create a proper charging connector. The center pin in these connectors which tells laptop that the charger is original Dell's charger is crappy. When the center pin does not connect laptop thinks that charger is not original and decides not to charge.
Sadly it is not a permanent fix as the center pin from time to time gets loose andwiggling, adjusting it is necessary. Permanent solution would rewire or change the connecor on both laptop and original charger. But Ido not want to do that.
What do you suggest me DELL as a solution for your <Profanity removed> design fault?