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AC Power Adapter Type Cannot Be Determined


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AC Power Adapter Type Cannot Be Determined

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So.. I see this problem has been posted about before, so I just wanna know what my options are.

This problem actually popped up on me a few months ago, but I was able to remove and insert the power cord a few times and the message would go away and I would be able to charge my battery. But as a month or two passed, it became more finicky, and I had to jiggle with it a little more, but still, I was able to charge my battery and use my laptop wire-free.

Now today, I've been trying all day, and cannot for the life of me get the battery to charge. I get the following message when I plug the wire in.

"The AC power adapter type cannot be determined. Your system will operate slower and the battery will not charge. Please connect a Dell 65W AC adapter or higher for best system operation."

Also, I think its worth nothing that a lot of people mention that this error message comes up while they are booting their Laptops, mine only comes up once Vista is loaded and I attempt to reinsert the cord.

So, I have tried another Dell charger, a 90W one, and the same problem does occur (My original is a 65W). I am planning on getting a different battery tomorrow to see if it is the battery, as this ones usable life was getting quite low, down to barely a half hour per full charge. My warranty, although I'm not sure of the specifics, was not expired when this problem first came up, but is now expired by I would say 2 months at the most.

Oh, I have a M1330, and I have gotten a lot of use out of this laptop, and I was hoping to use this for school beginning in  mid January. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions about what I should do? As I said I am a student, so the more cost-friendly the better. Thanks a lot


Rajat Varma

All Replies
  • At a minimum, the power jack on the mainboard needs to be replaced - if that doesn't fix it or a competent repair shop tells you it won't, you'll need to replace the system board.


  • So from Dell's end.. i'm outta luck, they wont be able to help me out at all huh?

    That ... I should've realized that this wasnt a one-time problem and called it in when my warranty was still active... :(


  • If you Google "does not recognize ac power supply" your results will be Dell, Dell, Dell, Dell,Dell, etc.

    Seems to be their problem.

    Their response is that it is ours.

    Thank you Dell...

  • I've had the same issue with my 6000.  Have had the motherboard replaced 3 times.  That cleared the problem for about a year or so each time.  But eventually the power jack in the back of the laptop will wear out or it's solder joints become loose and I'd get the dreaded " AC power adapter type cannot be determined" message.  After called DELL and explaining the situation, they would dispatch a tech with new motherboard and replace it.  Last time, the adapter plug was worn also.  So the tech replaced the power adapter too.  Glad I got the extended warranty.  Along with the main board being replaced, DELL replaced entire case and display plastics as they were cracking.  

    As this issues seems rather common with the 6000, maybe DELL will step up and replace yours as a good will gesture even though it is off warranty by a couple months?  See if the first level of customer service you talk to can bump you up to the next level.  I beleive that second level is able to be a bit more flexable & accomadating than the first group you reach. 

    This 6000, even with the power/battery/motherboard issue, is the best laptop I've owned.  Will never buy another laptop w/o the extended warranty though.

    Good Luck


  • I am going to take it to a laptop repair place and get the motherboard fixed.. can someone tell me if this is a recurring problem? or a one time fix will do it?


    This has been an absolutely terrible experience with dell, i mean its obviously a known issue with dell laptops, shouldnt there be some kind of product recall -- or atleast a submission that they are at fault? It's not like we bought some cheap item from the dollar store, its a laptop, and I saved my hard earned money for it.. and now because of a manufacturer's defect that happened to show up just after the warranty expired, i have to bear the costs...  All my friends had told me to get the extended warranty on the laptop, and I figured that since I wasn't that heavy a computer user, just basic surfing and music is all I use it for..  I would be okay without it. Now I know better..


    This was my first Dell and will be my last... Thankfully..

  • The power jack is one of the weakest links on ALL electronic devices using an external power supply - notebook, cell phone, or MP3 player.  They simply do not stand up to hard use and they can easily break.

    If you do decide on replacement rather than repair, by all means - NEVER ever buy a notebook without at least a 3-year warranty - they are inherently unreliable devices;  one in four needs a major repair in that timespan.  Repairs are expensive where the mainboard or screen is involved and though you might think otherwise, bear in mind that Dell didn't make your system - in fact, about 70% of all notebooks regardless of nameplate are made by just two companies, and the other 30% are made by just a handful of others.  They're all alike in design, and all about the same in reliability.



  • I also have this same problem as well as many, many others.  In my research on it, I have found out that this failure is deliberate on Dells part and Dell's way to make more money from us the user by selling us over priced replacement parts and expensive warranty upgrades.  If you are interested in finding out more about this here is one of the links I found discussing this problem.



  • Well, I have already gotten this problem fixed. Fortunately, I was able to shop around and get it fixed for a reasonable cost..


    I will get whatever use I can outta this laptop now and be purchasing other makes from here on out.. 

    I can't believe that dell doesn't even let their own customers contact them if they are out of warranty without paying for it..


    You truly provide exceptional service Dell..

  • Rajat,

    I have a Dell XPS M1330 laptop and I'm experiencing the same problem. When I boot up, I get the same message stating that it does not recognize the ac adapter (which is the same adapter that came with the laptop). I fit the F1 keep to continue. The adapter does power my laptop but it's just not charging the battery. I thought about buying another adapter but am not certain that that will fix the problem. How exactly did you finally fix the problem and roughly how much did it cost you?

    Danita (will never buy another Dell)

  • I went to a laptop repair place and they tried a different charger and it started charging the laptop so I went and bought a new dell charger and haven't had any problems with the charging since..

    I suggest even when you find the charger, just say that you'll only purchase if the charger works for your laptop

    I found someone on craigslist selling dell wires and I bought one from him for about 30 bucks


    Hope that helps


  • Rajat,

    Thanks for responding to my post. I'll try buying a new adapter and see if that work for me too.


  • Danita, I'm having a similar problem with a brand new 1737 and have to hit F1 at bootup to get to my desktop.

    I have contacted  Dell  tech support and they were helpful. They sent me a new 9 cell battery which has "not corrected the problem" ( I had my Doubts but I have a warranty and thats what they wanted to send me)

    I will contact them ASAP and see what else needs to happen?

    I tried my Wife's Dell 90W AC adapter and it didn't work so for you to buy one is I hope for you a good result.

  • Hi Chisels1,

    I have not purchased another 65W AC adapter yet. I'm still getting the error message at boot up and have to hit the F1 key to get to the desktop. I hope to get another adapter this weekend. I let you know the outcome.


  • If it's brand-new, call for a warranty replacement.


  • This is all very interesting...  I just bought a used dell latitude d610 laptop and it was working just fine.  Then along came this error message and my kids told me that their dell laptops did the same thing and they are not the same year or model as mine.  Interesting that this seems to happen on so many of the dell laptops!  I guess this will be my last dell purchase!