Original Question: Laptop battery or AC adapter issues by DELL-Terry B
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 Support.Dell.com , 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.
Here is a Dell document that that further discusses troubleshooting power issues.