Any way to prevent "The AC power adapter type cannot be determined" message on XPS M1710? (AC adapter is properly plugged in)


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Any way to prevent "The AC power adapter type cannot be determined" message on XPS M1710? (AC adapter is properly plugged in)

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I often get the following message between the "Dell" and "Windows" screens when I boot up my XPS M1710 while it's plugged in:

The AC power adapter type cannot be determined.  The system can only boot with a 130 W power adapter or greater.  Strike the F1 key to shutdown.  To resolve this issue, try to reseat the power adapter.

This message occurs when the AC adapter is fully and properly inserted, and it is the Dell AC adapter that came with my laptop.  Is there anything I can do (possibly a registry hack) to force the computer to boot instead of displaying this message?  After it gives me this message and I'm forced to press F1 to shut it down, it takes an extremely long time to get through the "Dell" screen on the ensuing boot (1 minute or so).  My battery holds so little charge that when this happens, I have to power the laptop on while it's plugged in, unplug it when the progress bar on the "Dell" screen has completed, then plug it back in when the "Windows" screen appears.

This is an old laptop and I will soon be getting a new one, so I'm not going to spend the money to buy a new AC adapter and/or battery for the XPS M1710, but I'd like to fix this problem if it can be done otherwise.


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  • Hi Nharp0386,

    Welcome to the Community. Press the F2 key at the Dell Logo on startup to load into the Bios, and check what does it say next to AC adapter, if it says unknown, try another working adapter. If the working adapter works then its an issue with your ac adapter, if it says unknown in the BIOS then its a motherboard failure.

    Thank you


  • 1.Follow DELL-Royan's advice

    2.If you still have no solution to your problem and start thinking of throwing away your laptop visit

  • What BIOS version do you have. Hit F2 at boot to enter the BIOS to see what version you have.


    Alienware M11x R2 - Inspiron 17R (7010) - Inspiron E1505


    Forum Member since 2004

    "If your issue was resolved, please click  Yes ".

  • Thanks everyone for the replies.  I pushed F2 to go into the setup, but instead of going there, it gave me the message about the AC adapter.  With the battery I was using, the battery light on the hinge continuously flashes three times in orange, then once in green while the laptop was plugged in.  I switched batteries, and with the new battery, the battery light does not illuminate at all until I wiggle the AC adapter plug in the laptop over and over again, at which point it will light up in green, and I can then power the system on and not get the message.  When I did this and pressed F2 to successfully go to the setup screen, it said AC Adapter = 130 W.  As for the BIOS version, it says BIOS Version = A06 (04/02/2007).

  • The DC Input jack is broken or the power brick has a break in the cable for the tiny center pin.

    Report Unresolved Customer Service Issues here
    I do not work for Dell. I too am a user.
    The forum is primarily user to user, with Dell employees moderating.

  • I have a similar problem. 

    After power jack replacement, Dell XPS gives this error message: The AC power adapter type cannot be determined. The system can only boot with a 130 W power adapter or greater. Strike the F1 key to shutdown.

  • I had about the same problem except it said "AC Adapter type cannot be determined and the battery will not charge. This was the same adapter it came with and never had any problems with this before. I unplugged and took out the battery twice like Dell recommended. I updated the BIOS. In the BIOS it said the adapter type could not be determined. None of that changed anything. Then about two hours later I unplugged it and plugged it back and it worked. I have no idea why it decided to start working again.

  • I used to have that problem until it just stopped working. Fact of the matter is Dell power bricks are designed to break from normal use. The cable for the tiny pin in the middle is broken inside the brick and is not easily fixed (you would have to bust open the brick). Horrible design and this officially marks the last Dell machine I will ever buy. With a registry hack that prevents the check (making sure the AC adapter you're using is from Dell to make them more money) the power adapter is perfectly capable. I have a 130W power adapter (XPS L1502X) and so does my brother (Studio ... not sure on the model). Mine came with the laptop when purchased and the power adapter cannot be recognized by mine or my brothers laptop. Now my computer recognizes my brother's cable but here's the catch: His cable puts less current than mine and this can seriously damage my machine. So when Dell says this is a 'safety feature', it's complete bull. If it was, it wouldn't allow my brothers cable to go into my machine. Nice one Dell, you lost a customer and I will make sure that everyone I speak to in search of a new laptop does not purchase your junk.

    I'm currently waiting on a replacement power brick that I ordered off ebay so I can charge my laptop again. Dell will charge you 70-80$ for this, on eBay it's around 30-40$ - just avoiding the retail markup.

    I am not throwing accusations at Dell for designing the brick to fail, I am going off many posts from electrical engineers who experienced the same frustrations and took it upon themselves to expose this scam.

  • I have a Dell xps m1730 with this problem. The first time it happened they sent a Computer tech to my home to supposedly replace motherboard & power cord. When he got here he asked if I had recently updated the graphics card. I said yes I had. He rolled back the graphics card & no more error happening. Graphics card is aNvidia  Geforce 8700.

    Lately my laptop went to Dell to get fixed. It came back with new fans & a video card which is now Geforce 8700 gt x 2. I play world of warcraft & it just wouldnt play the game well at all. All video options in the wow game are set to either low or disabled. This morning the laptop barely boots up. Windows error telling me my graphics card drivers are somehow effecting my laptop & making it load up slow. So I go to Nvdiea & get the latest drivers for the graphics card. Everything installs nice but on reboot I get that old error I had 2 years ago about AC power adaptor. |Battery is now not charging at all. So I roll back drivers & now no more error of the AC power but I still have slow loadup & wow game is not running great. Funny thing is that its games like WoW & Rift with such intense graphics that just do not run well on my laptop at all but most other games are just fine.

    If asked I would say to never buy a Dell laptop again. 3 years of it being fixed over & over. 1 hard drive, 1 motherboard, 2 adaptors, 3 video graphics card & countless phone calls to Dell is just not worth the headache. My hubby puurchased an Alien through Dell & he hasnt had the problems that I have had but since latest patches in the WoW game he now has to turn his graphics in the game down also. His card is also an Nvidia graphics card,,imo these cards just suck when it comes to online gaming. I have not had anyone who has onein their laptop  say they play the game on the top graphic settings in WoW.

    The laptop heats up so bad (& has from the day one) you cant touch the left hand side top of the keyboard. Plus so does the adaptor itself,,severely hot! I had a 3 year warrenty which is now gone. Dell wants to sell me another year of warrenty but with 2 different agents trying to sell it to me I got 2 different prices. I turned around & put that 300 bucks toward a decent HP desktop & it runs WoW way better then either of our laptops.

  • i have face same problem with everybody with "the ac adopter type cannot be determined" my laptop is Dell Studio XPS 16-1640 16" HD Laptop BLACK it seems no solution with this problem or a correct technical suggestion to overcome this problem especially from DELL manufacturer itself, what is wrong with this people?

  • Try a new Dell adapter.  If that doesn't solve the problem, the system needs an internal repair (on this model as I recall, the power jack is cabled to the system board - replace the power jack).

  • I bought a Chinese knockoff off eBay and it works great... $30 too instead of the $100-something Dell wants to charge you for a sub-par charger. In fact, I would call it a Chinese knock-UP!

  • The genuine Dell power adapters generally cost between $30 and 40.

  • Cheapest eBay one I could find was $50. Either way this one i bought now has already outlasted the Dell one

  • so all DELL's laptop experience same problem, so buy no ore this brand.