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How to Troubleshoot Power Issues on a Dell Laptop

Summary: If your Dell laptop is not able to turn on, follow the troubleshooting steps to help you resolve power issues. Learn how to perform basic checks to identify why your computer is notSee more

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Article Content


Symptoms

  • Dell laptop is not able to turn on.
  • Power LED on the laptop is off.
  • Power LED on the AC adapter is off.
  • None of the LEDs on the laptop respond when you press the power button.
  • There is no LED or sound indication that the laptop is turned on.

Troubleshooting

Follow the troubleshooting steps below. Expand the sections below to learn how to perform each troubleshooting step to identify the cause of the power issue on a Dell laptop.

Most often, restarting the computer resolved many issues. The residual power in the computer may cause the laptop not to turn on. Follow the steps below to drain the residual power.

  1. Power off the laptop. Press and hold the power button for 10-15 seconds.
  2. Disconnect the AC adapter or power cable, and remove the battery.
    NOTE: For Dell laptops that have a nonremovable battery, see the Dell knowledge base article How to Reset Real Time Clock (RTC) to Recover Your Dell Laptop.
    NOTE: For certain Dell Latitude laptops, we recommend you try and recover the laptop using the forced ePSA method. See the Dell knowledge base article How to Use Forced ePSA to Recover from POST or Boot Failure on Dell Latitude PCs.
  3. Disconnect all devices or peripherals like USB drives, printer cables, and media cards (SD/xD).
  4. Press and hold the power button for 15-20 seconds to drain residual power.
  5. Connect the AC adapter or power cable and the battery.
  6. Power on the laptop.

If this did not resolve the issue, go to the next step.

The AC adapter cable and power cables may get frayed or cut, and wires may become exposed at either end of the cables. This may be due to the way the cable is wrapped around the AC adapter, or if the cable is subject to undue stress. If the damage is severe enough to expose wires, you should discontinue using the AC adapter. To check the AC adapter, cables, and adapter port on the laptop for any damages:

CAUTION: Dell recommends using only Dell branded AC adapters that are compatible with your laptop. Dell does not recommend using third-party AC adapters or batteries on a Dell laptop.
  1. Unplug the AC adapter from the wall outlet.
  2. Unplug the AC adapter from the laptop.
  3. Check the AC adapter and cables (including the power cable) for signs of physical damage or overheating.
  4. Check if the pin inside the plug or adapter port is bent, broken, or damaged.
Warning: Grasp or hold the plug and not the cable while disconnecting the AC adapter from the laptop.
Warning: Dell AC adapter works with electrical outlets worldwide. However, power connectors or power strips may vary among different countries.
CAUTION: If the AC adapter or cables are damaged, discontinue using the AC adapter immediately.

To learn more, see the Dell knowledge base article Identify AC Adapter Damage on Dell Systems.

SLN155074_en_US__5ac1(1)
Figure 1: Frayed cables
SLN155074_en_US__6ac3
Figure 2: Exposed wires
SLN155074_en_US__7ac4
Figure 3: Cut cable
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Figure 4: Pin that is bent or broken

If you notice damage, contact Dell Technical Support for repair options. If you do not find any damage, go to the next step.

  1. Unplug the AC adapter from the wall outlet.
  2. Connect another device on the wall outlet to verify if the wall outlet is working correctly.
  3. Try a known-good wall outlet.
  4. Plug the AC adapter directly into the wall outlet.
    Bypass any power regulators like surge protectors, UPS (uninterruptible power supply), power splitters.
NOTE: If the AC adapter is connected to a docking station, connect the AC adapter directly to the laptop to verify the functionality.

If the wall outlet is working correctly, go to the next step.

Reseat the AC adapter by following these steps:

  1. Unplug the AC adapter from the wall outlet for 15 seconds.
  2. Unplug the AC adapter from the laptop.
  3. Plug the AC adapter to a known-good wall outlet.
  4. Plug the AC adapter to the laptop.
  5. Check the LED indicator on the AC adapter.
NOTE: LED indicator may be located either on the AC adapter brick or the adapter (DC) plug.

If the AC adapter LED indicator is on, go to the next step.
If the AC adapter LED indicator is off or turns off when connected to the laptop, contact Dell Technical Support for repair options.

Ensure that you are using the original AC adapter that was shipped with the laptop. Using an AC adapter from other laptops or one that has a lower wattage may cause the following issues:

  • An error message like "The AC adapter type cannot be determined. This will prevent optimal computer performance" or "Unknown or incorrect AC adapter detected" may appear.
  • Your computer may reduce the processor (CPU) speed to save power.
  • The laptop battery might not charge or charge slowly.
  • The AC adapter might heat up.

Dell laptops may use either a 45 W, 65 W, 90 W, 130 W, 180 W, or 240 W AC adapter. For optimal performance, use the original AC adapter that came with the Dell laptop. The AC adapter wattage information is printed on a label that is on the bottom of the AC adapter.

If this did not resolve the issue, go to the next step.

When using a docking station, it is essential to isolate if the docking station is causing the power issue. Universal USB docking stations do not provide power to the laptop. The AC adapter should be connected to the laptop. For Dell Thunderbolt or E-Series docking stations, verify that the original AC adapter that is shipped with the docking station is connected to the docking station.

  1. Disconnect the laptop from the docking station.
  2. Connect the AC adapter to the laptop.
    NOTE: It is recommended that you use the AC adapter that was originally shipped with the laptop. Do not use the AC adapter that was provided with the docking station.
  3. Power on the laptop.

If the laptop is turning on without the docking station, see the docking station manufacturer's website to troubleshoot the issue with the docking station. For troubleshooting guides of Dell docking stations, see the Dell knowledge base article Guide to Dell Docking Stations.

If this did not resolve the issue, go to the next step.

Certain Dell Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, and Precision laptops are equipped with a motherboard integrated self-test (M-BIST). M-BIST is a integrated diagnostic tool that helps identify system board embedded controller (EC) failures. M-BIST must be manually initiated before Power-On Self-Test (POST) process and can be initiated on a Dell laptop that is not able to turn on.

NOTE: The motherboard integrated self-test (M-BIST) feature is available only on select Dell Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, and Precision laptops.
  1. Press and hold the M key and power button on the keyboard.
  2. Check the battery status LED:
    NOTE: To learn about the location of the battery status LED, see the User Manual of your Dell laptop.
    • If an error is identified, the battery status LED will turn amber. Contact Dell Technical Support for repair options.
    • If there is no error, the battery status LED will remain off.

If this did not resolve the issue, contact Dell Technical Support for repair options.

Helpful videos

Laptop Computer Not Turning On (Official Dell Tech Support) on YouTube

Duration: 01:32
Closed captions: English only

Cause

SLN155074_en_US__14Battery(1) SLN155074_en_US__15Power(1) Browse our Battery and Power site for additional resources and information.

Resolution


Out of Warranty support Out of warranty? No problem. Browse the Dell.com/support website and enter your Dell Service Tag and view our offers.

NOTE: Offers are only available for US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, and China personal computer customers. Server and Storage not applicable.

Article Properties


Affected Product

Laptops, G Series, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Retired Models

Last Published Date

07 Jun 2021

Version

8

Article Type

Solution

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