Laptop battery won't charge

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Bassman316, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. Bassman316


    May 27, 2008
    Longs, SC
    Hey guys- I've ran into a problem with my laptop over the past couple of days. I have a Dell Inspiron 1420 running Windows Vista, and the battery and charger have been working fine up until recently. Several days ago I plugged my wall charger into my laptop, and instead of seeing the battery meter in the tray showing it's charging, I get an error message:

    "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".

    Some of what I've read around the Internets suggest that the battery is toast, but it's been holding a charge just fine lately, and I haven't received any kind of message suggesting the battery's nearing the end of its use life. Before I go and spend money on a new battery and/or wall charger, has anyone run into this problem before?

  2. It could be the charger is going dodgy, the connector in the laptop is guffed or that the battery is knackered.

    Do you know anyone with a similarish Dell? Many of the chargers are the same. Might be worth borrowing one to try and rule that out as the cause.

    Batteries aren't toooo pricey either if you want to try buying another one.
  3. JakeAndAirwaves

    JakeAndAirwaves Guest

    Jun 3, 2011
    I had a Dell XPS that did the same thing. I read it was a problem with the connector in the computer.

    Shortly thereafter the whole computer just stopped working. Motherboard failure.
    I'm sure it was two separate issues, and yours should be fine. But the conspiracy theorists of the Internet say that Dell engineers them to fail after a certain period of time. Who knows.
  4. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    How long have you had the pc?
  5. FronTowardEnemy

    FronTowardEnemy It is better to go unnoticed, than to suck

    Sep 19, 2006
    Chicago Illinois
    Pull the battery and leave it out. Plug in AC adapter and see if it powers up. If it doesn't power with the battery out then the AC adapter is bad.
  6. Bassman316


    May 27, 2008
    Longs, SC
    I've had it for ~4 years now. I haven't tried powering it up sans battery with just the AC adapter plugged in...I'll have to give that a go when I get home from work tonight. I've found a few websites that sell batteries for my model Dell at a much lower price than off Dell's website (around $135 for my model), so if it comes down to it, it won't be too painful.
  7. BassyBill

    BassyBill Still here Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 12, 2005
    West Midlands UK
    Good idea to try it without the battery in - that should tell you something. I suspect this is an adaptor issue.

    FWIW, I've never had a problem with a Dell adaptor and both my Dell laptops have needed replacement batteries after 3 or 4 years. When they failed , it happened pretty much instantly - they were fine one day and would not hold even a second's worth of charge the day after. But when the batteries went bad, I never had a problem running either laptop with its adaptor, even with a dud battery in there. That's why I suspect the adaptor in your case.
  8. Bassman316


    May 27, 2008
    Longs, SC
    Okay. Just tried removing the battery and booting her up with just the adapter, and all is fine, so that must mean the battery's bit the dust. I just find it strange that it threw that error message about the adapter when the adapter is working just fine. Oh well... it's off to find a new battery. Thanks for the responses everyone!
  9. While I agree, that it would seem the likely source of the problem now (also if it's an older machine) but it could be a connector between the battery and the laptop. Have you checked to see if the connectors all look alright, nothing bent or corroded?
  10. Bassman316


    May 27, 2008
    Longs, SC
    Just checked, and everything looks fine... That crossed my mind as well, but I'm not seeing any corrosion or bent connectors.
  11. Marley's Ghost

    Marley's Ghost Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    I have been using Dell laptops since 1999 and ime batteries last about 2-3 years.
  12. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio!

    Jul 3, 2001
    Chester, Connecticut
    Former Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    The farmer inside (I'm sure you've heard of him) obviously sabotaged something. ;)