Steps to determine what is causing batteries not to charge and AC adapter error messages. - General Hardware - Laptop - Dell Community

Steps to determine what is causing batteries not to charge and AC adapter error messages.


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Steps to determine what is causing batteries not to charge and AC adapter error messages.

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Having problems with ac adapters? Is the battery not charging? Are you receiving errors messages regarding incorrect or malfunctioning AC adapters? These can be symptoms caused by not only the ac adapter, but could be caused by the battery or power board as well.  Here are some steps to find out what may causing the problems and may even be able to correct them.

Remove the battery from the system and only have the AC adapter connected to the system. If it powers on then the AC adapter has some functionality.  Make sure that you are using the correct  adapter for the notebook. Check the battery for problems.

Update the BIOS to its latest version.  Download from , key in your service tag and look for the BIOS link. The battery and AC adapter will need to function and be connected for the file to install correctly.

Having battery charging problems? Check to see if AC adapter errors are turned off in the bios. On a lot of systems there is an option to turn off AC adapter errors. When having battery problems boot to the bios (F2). Look for the option for AC adapter errors. If they are turned off, turn them on, save the settings and reboot.  If you all of a sudden you get an AC adapter error, you may need to replace the AC adapter instead of replacing the battery.

Some batteries may have a tester. The battery tester is typically located on the bottom of the battery; It is usually a small button next to five LEDs.  Press the button and  if none of the LEDs light or if the pattern of lit LEDs is the middle and end LEDs the battery may be defective.

Make sure that the cables are not damaged and have a good connection. Check to see if the cables on the AC adapter are crimped, frayed or have exposed wires.  Stop using it and replace the power cable or AC adapter. If the cables look fine, try reseating the AC adapter and power cables.  Unplug the adapter from the power outlet and the computer. Reseat the power cable.  Plug the AC adapter back into the power outlet.  The power indicator LED will either be located on the power brick or a band on the end of the cable that plugs into the computer from the AC adapter. If the power indicator LED on the AC adapter doesn’t light try another power outlet. If the AC adapter doesn’t show power on multiple outlets it may need to be replaced.  Plug the AC adapter into the notebook and does the LED on the AC adapter stay lit while being connected to the notebook, this may mean that the AC adapter jack may be shorting out the AC adapter. The power board or system board may need to be replaced.

Look to see if the AC adapter fits into the power jack on the notebook, if the pins on the port are bent or broken the power board or system board may need to be replaced.

I hope this proves to be of some help.  At least it helps point out what is causing the symptoms so you can act accordingly to get these issues resolved.

Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices

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  • Have Dell XPS-M2010

    Keyboard battery fails every (3) months.

    Need help with Dell Accessory Warranty Division. Need step by step info. on how to contact the right division

    to get a replacement. Need info. on why battery keeps failing,  this make the (4) battery that has failed.



  • This was a great Post....more information than I have been able to find on my own out there. I have taken most of the suggested steps and I am still having the same problem. I have an Inspiron 1545 laptop. Recently (and intermittently) I started receiving the message about the ac adapter not being recognized. Sometimes the adapter will charge the battery....sometimes not. Sometimes I won't get the message ...and no charging of the battery either. During the "not" times - I can wiggle the cord around a bit and get it to work. But only as long as I don't accidently bump or shift it matter how slightly.....because that will cause it to stop charging the battery...and the laptop display will become dimmer (not as bright as when the ac adapter is plugged in and working correctly.) And I can mouse over the battery icon it will tell me that the battery is not charging but ac adapter is plugged in.  I have updated the BIOS....I have checked the ac adapter wires. Nothing frayed, cut, bent. I have checked the plug that fits into the jack in the laptop. There is only one pin and it is not bent or broken.  I seriously think that there may be short in the connection at the jack end....but I don't know how to check that out. I don't believe that either the ac adapter or the battery are at fault. I think it is an issue with the power jack or something related to that. Help?? My laptop is out of warranty and I can't really affored to spend a small fortune at Best Buy on tech support. It would be really helpful if I could get step-by step instructions on how to test the power jack or power supply to see if something is being shorted out. Oh....btw....another reason I believe that the issue is with the power jack is that ....if I take out the battery and get power strictly via the ac adapter.....I can start up the computer no problem. However.....a slight bump to the  cord....or a shift in how the laptop is positioned....will cause the power to go out and shut down the laptop immediately (similiar to a power outtage in a house would be). Btw....this is the second Inspiron I've owned where this problem presented itself after approximately 1.5 yrs of ownership.

    So....please...can anyone send me step-by-step instructions on how to test for this problem....and if it IS to replace the parts that may be worn out? Just because I'm a girl doesn't mean that I can't understand "techie" stuff.  LOL!!!! :)  Oh time is up. Battery is getting too low.  I have to try to wiggle the adapter just right...and hopefully get the battery to charge again. Help???

  • I dont know of a test offhand just to check the jack on its own.   I would try to see what the problem follows. If you have access to another 1545 swap out the AC adapter.  If all of a sudden your system works fine, the AC adapter fits fine in the system, you dont have to wriggle the cable and the battery is getting charged  then it is likely a problem with your AC adapter.  If your system has the same problems regardless on what AC adapter you use then it is likely the jack that is causing the problems. Be sure to use an AC adapter that is compatible with the !545 before testing though.


    Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices

  • Yep....that was going to be my next step. But it means that since I don't have access to another 1545....I'll have to buy a new ac adapter to carry out the test. They're not exactly inexpensive ...especially not the genuine Dell version. Btw....I see a couple of different adapters here on this web site that appear to be compatible. I'm confused about 65 and 90 watt. Can I use either with my 1545?? Or must it be the 65watt kind that came with my laptop?

    thanks much for the response!!  :)


  • Either the 90 watt or the 60 watt adapters should work fine.  Use this link for the 60 watt or try this link for the 90 watt adapters.  Unfortunatly i don't know of any way to test the power jack short of trying different AC adapters.



    Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices

  • So completely frustrated with this issue and more specifically Dell support! I have an XPS 1330 that has been nothing but problems and finally called to get a replacement battery and apapter last week. I was told that neither were under warranty and that it would cost me $235 for the replacements. I just received the parts last night and they sent the wrong battery. Spent 1 1/2 hours on the phone being put on hold and sent from one incompetent person to the next until the 4th person actually decided to help. Turns out the original support person sent me a battery for the XPS 1550... how that happens when they are looking at your account, can see exactly what machine you have AND you give them all the information they request,  is beyond me. Turns out that the adapter was under warranty but of course no one could make the refund. I had to schedule an appointment for someone to come to my house with a new adapter and mother board AND I had to call customer "support" this morning to get a complete refund processed. Guess what, the rep who answers the phone can't handle that and needs to have his manager call me back. SO, if someone could explain to me the point of being a customer support rep if you have no authority to correct the mistakes that your company makes, please do! I am losing business. I will NEVER buy another Dell product or recommend them to anyone. Their support is non-existant, incompetent.

  • can not update bios to check if it needed updating because to update it you need at least 10% battery life in the battery. unfortunately i do have any life lrft in my battery, i am running off the adaptor and can not update

  • I have a Dell Inspiron 1525 - it is currently out of warranty. A few months ago, my power adapter/charger stopped working.  So I left it unplugged for about 24 hours, plugged it back in and still no power.

    I ordered a new adapter - Dell 65w- AC Adapter PA-12 Family which is the same exact specifications listed on my non working adapter. I need to note that prior to the adapter going bad, I had no problems with my battery, it charged just fine, and I used my laptop with the battery power here and there until the new adapter arrived.

    I was excited when the new one came, what is the point in having a laptop if your mobility is restrained?  I plugged in the adapter, turned on the laptop.. My adapter was not recognized.

    I shut down, unplugged, waited a few minutes, tried again, same thing. So I decided to see if I could get pass that warning, and I did. So even though it will not recognize it, it is still powering the laptop.

    Then I find that my battery indicator in the task bar, says plugged in, not charging. I did a search on the internet that said to update the bios. I already have the most current update  1525_A17.  And since my battery is now dead and has been, there is no way of charging it. I refuse to spend money on another adapter just to have the same problem. I refuse to spend the money on a new battery when the current life of my battery was still up there. 
    I do have the adapter warning shut off in the settings. From time to time I check the internet to see if there is something new to try. I cannot even run the bios update again because you have to have 10% battery life.  I am the only one I know with a 1525, my old laptop is an Inspiron B130, neither the adapters or batteries are interchangable.  So here I sit, chained to my laptop.

    I would like to know why doesn't my system recognize the new adapter, but powers it up? IF the battery isn't installed, and you can get to the settings screen, ISN'T a computer smart enough to know that the power is coming from somewhere?  Why is updating the bios contingent upon having battery life of 10%?
    I actually love my laptop, it does what I want, aside from having to replace the hard drive within the 2nd month of having it.

  • ajkanitz61

    I would check to make sure that you have the correct AC adapter for your system.  If it is the correct model then it is unlikely both your AC adapters are defective.  So you are looking at either battery or powerboard after that.  The battery may have a battery tester, check and see if it does, it will be on the bottom of the battery, press the button and how many LEDs light up.  Check the jack that you plug the AC adapters in and see if they fit snugly. Is the pins in the jacks bent?  If the power LED on the AC adapter goes out when connecting to the notebook it is likely being shorted out by the notebook, you may need to change the power board.


    Specialize in Laptops, Mobile Devices

  • New HDD? Sounds like maybe all the Dell drivers weren't installed when the OS was reinstalled. Check in Device Manager for any unknown devices or yellow exclaimation marks.

  • Catch 22.

    If you already downloaded the update, you might be able to install it by booting into Safe Mode. But if the battery is pooched, a Bios update won't help.

  • Hi, i'm having a battery issue on a Latitude E6500.

    This morning the battery indicator was flashing blue (3 times) followed by continious flashing orange.

    Portable didn't bootup to Xp. Same problem in docking station.

    Removed battery, checked status leds, all ok. Placed back the battery and problem was gone.

    Portable is working now, what can be the cause of this incident? No errors in bios.

  • I have the correct AC Adapter for my system.  My old adapter, the green light does not come on. My new adapter, the green light is on and remains on.

    The battery does not have a tester.  It is the original battery that came with the system.  Prior to the day that my ADAPTER stopped working, the battery was fine.  There was a span of 1 week that I solely used the battery. I had maybe 3 % left on the battery when my new adapter arrived. And yes it is the correct 65 watt adapter for my 1525 model, Genuine Dell too. When I booted up the very first time with the new adapter, the system would not recognize it.  3 months later, it still does not recognize it, and the battery will not charge.

    I fail to see where the cause for the adapter not being recognized is the fault of a battery, which when removed from the system, still brings the adapter not recognized.

    I fail to see where the cause for the adapter not being recognized is the fault of the power board, because if it were that, I would not be able to boot up at all , consistently, no matter where in the house I have my very light desktop plugged in at.

    The pin in the AC Adapter is straight, not bent. The LED light remains on, whether it is hooked up to the laptop, or unplugged from the laptop.

    As I said, I had a faulty AC Adapter with my first laptop (B130) that was replaced by Dell because the system was still under warranty.

    This system (1525) is not under warranty.  I have read posts by numerous people across the internet, that are having this problem.

    Will I really have to purchase a Power Adapter and Battery? When there is nothing wrong with what I have right now, it is the SYSTEM that will not recognize working parts.

  • IdeaHere is a thought... Why doesn't Dell release a BIOS Update that doesn't require a 10% battery charge? Targeted at those specifically that are having this issue of the system not recognizing a new adapter?
    1. If more than 1000 owners of the Dell Inspiron 1525 are having issues with adapters and batteries, clearly there is a problem. If it is just the adapters and batteries then these specific models should be recalled.

    My old B130 laptop I had to replace the screen, keyboard, and hdd. The HDD being replaced twice!

    My 1525 has only had the HDD replaced in the early months of having this laptop.  Yes I am currently using my 1525 plugged in, working, but not charging.. With a Dell PA-12 65 watt adapter....

    Very very disappointed in how we owners are treated after the warranty runs out.

    Seriously considering removing my automatic payments to Dell until Dell fixes their problems with the Inspiron 1525

  • Hi,

    My Dell INSPIRON Warranty expired recently and within a month I have the same problem of the AC adaptor not being recognised!The adaptor was fine till yesterday and the battery was also charging fine.What has happened all of a sudden for it to stop charging?I have downloaded the latest Bios A14 and that   hasnt resolved the problem.

    Does Dell manufacture/supply  parts now which are designed to fail as soon as warranty is over ?This cannot be a conincidence if its being repeated across Dell Inspiron owners.Either there is a manufacturing fault or something else happening here.

    Pl help/advise.


    Sanjay Das