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Laptop Battery: Plugged In, Not Charging -> How to Fix!

Discussion in 'Gadgets | Software | Apps' started by Kaustubh Katdare, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. Kaustubh Katdare


    Engineering Discipline:
    CEans, here's how to fix the laptop battery Plugged In, Not Charging issue. I had almost two sleepless nights fixing this problem and finally found out the fix.

    Problem: When you plug in the power adapter to your laptop [Mine is Dell XPS m1210], the battery indicator on the laptop does not turn up. When you login to your system (mine is Windows Vista Business 32 bit); the battery notifier in the task bar says "Plugged In, Not Charging".

    Problem Areas:

    1. Your laptop's power adapter.
    2. Your battery.
    3. Your laptop motherboard.
    4. System BIOS.

    What to do if you experience this problem:

    I searched numerous forums and blogs finding a fix. Of course, as an Engineer, I should have first found out the root cause of the problem; but I panicked and rushed to find a fix. Learning from my own mistakes here's my advise to you -

    1. Borrow an adapter from your friend and try to plug it into the laptop. Observe the battery indicator light on your laptop. If the light turns on; it's time to get a new adapter. Get in touch with your laptop vendor.

    2. If step #1 does not work, turn of your system and try taking out the battery; then wait for 5 minutes. Plug it in and turn on your system. Plug in your power adapter and observe. This step solved the problem for many folks out there! Not an engineer's way to solve the problem, of course.

    3. Flash your system BIOS. Don't worry, it's not as hard as it sounds. Simply get the latest BIOS driver from your laptop manufacturer's website and run the setup. The system will reboot, update the BIOS and restart. This might solve the problem for you.

    4. If this too, does not work; it's the time to call your laptop's technical support. If you still want to try out stuff on your own to fix the problem; try browsing through Device Manager in Windows [Type Device Manager in Run box or Rt. Click on 'Computer' and then select properties]

    For me, step #1 worked after trying out step 2-4 :p. I should have performed the step #1 but thought of more complicated solution like "Flashing the BIOS" :mrgreen:. Trust me, most complicated problems have most simple solution.

    I hope this helps folks who're experiencing the problem. All the best!
    • Like Like x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. Aashish Joshi

    Aashish Joshi Maniac

    Engineering Discipline:
    I've faced similar problems with my laptop(HP dv2002tu). Unplugging the power adapter and plugging it in after a bit has always worked for me!! Would like to get to the bottom of the problem though.
  3. ash


    Engineering Discipline:
    Thanks for the tips biggie.

    I wasnt so fortunate. My li-ion battery was busted after a voltage surge. It costs $100 (the generic ones) to replace it cause its an old laptop model, *sigh*

    Laptops should have a separate power charging board (at least mine does). Root of problems could be related to that if all else fails :)
  4. Kaustubh Katdare


    Engineering Discipline:
    For me; the problem was the voltage spike. Plugged in my laptop into a faulty power point and boom.

    @Mad_Scientist: Did you try removing the Microsoft ACPI Compliant Control Method Battery from device manager and then scanning for the hardware changes?

    Might solve your problem.
  5. Aashish Joshi

    Aashish Joshi Maniac

    Engineering Discipline:

    hehe..I don't use windows!! Anyway, haven't had the problem for quite some time now..
  6. Kaustubh Katdare


    Engineering Discipline:
    Unfortunately, for me, Ubuntu reported that the battery was charging (even when it was not!). I had to boot into Linux just to be sure that it was not a Windows driver problem.
  7. motiami

    motiami Newbie

    Computers, You can never understand them.....
    taking out the battery and putting it back in after 10 seconds solved the problem.
    I skeeped stage 1 because I do not have a friend that has the same adapter...
    bye the way, I have an Acer 5740G with win 7 64bit...

    Thanks for the great tip!!!
  8. Logik

    Logik Newbie

    Engineering Discipline:
    Electronics & Telecommunications
    Well same thing is happening with me. mine is Inspiron 1420. (c2d 1.83Ghz, 2GB DDR2 RAM OS:win7 ultimate 32 bit)

    but this time mine error is like:

    now this is really funny. i used to get this message way back in jun2008. that time my lappy was in warranty. but as mad_scientist said, i used to unplug & plug in pin. simple. it used to work. never faced this error in last 2 years (except once or twice). but now from last 4 days. this error is occupying my screen constantly. i checked on BIOS. it saying AC adapter type: unknown.

    now my system performance really degraded. i am getting half of the original processor frequency. (core0: 997MHZ & core1: 997MHZ)

    things i have done:

    1) I updated the BIOS to latest. no help.
    2) removed battery for 10 mins. then booted again. no help.
    3) none of my frnd has this inspirion 1420 adapter.

    something interesting i found:

  9. Kaustubh Katdare


    Engineering Discipline:
    Looks like this is a common problem and I searched for more solutions that 'work' when your laptop shows that the adapter is plugged in but not charging. Here's a video solution that seems to have worked for majority of people. It's not technical, but involves proper cleaning of the connectors. Check it out -

    Basically, you should clean up the contact heads of the connectors and then try again. The video also demonstrates that you should clean out any static charge from the laptop by pressing the power button for a long duration, about 20 odd seconds.

    Overall, I'd recommend following this checklist before you take your laptop to the service center -

    1. Check the connections once again, from scratch!

    2. Take out the battery, clean the contact leads with a clean & dry cloth. Remove all the connectors from the laptop and try connecting the battery again.

    3. Make sure that the connectors are properly inserted in their appropriate slots.

    4. Make sure that your gadget isn't heating up. Sometimes, heat may cause electronic components to behave abruptly. So fix that problem, if it exists.

    5. For MAC OSX computers, most of the problem related to charting can be solved by resetting the - System Management Controller (SMC)

    Please post your solution / problem in this thread so that we can discuss it in more detail.
  10. PuneetVerma

    PuneetVerma Maniac

    Engineering Discipline:
    Energy Systems
    I found this problem too much when my earlier laptop became 3 years old. What I used to do was, waiting for few hours so that laptop cools down fully and then try. It worked every time. But I never tried to look into problem deeply.

    anyways very informative post :)
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Paul Ulrich

    Paul Ulrich Newbie

    Engineering Discipline:
    Don't waste all that time checking stuff that probably isn't wrong!
    I had a Dell 14R and it intermittently would not charge. The problem got progressively worse until it stopped working altogether. I Eventually got around to fixing it and found the problem was the signal wire was open between the AC jack cable and the AC jack.
    If you have similar symptoms, beware! don't let that battery sit more than 3 days on < 20% charge - you'll ruin the battery. If you want to see how I fixed it - here are step by step instructions with photos: http://mye-life.blogspot.com/2013/02/dell-laptop-plugged-in-not-charging.html
    Dell laptops have a signal wire from the brick to the mobo that is notoriously good at failing. If your symptoms are similar to mine, then just do this:
    Try your charger on another computer. if that computer's battery charges, then the problem is in your laptop. Fix your laptop!
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. xiang gang

    xiang gang Newbie

    Engineering Discipline:
    Ihave a laptop Dell Precision M4300 ,The AC power adapter type cannot be determined. Your system will operate slower and the Dell Precision M4300 battery will not charge. Please connect a Dell 65W AC adapter or higher for best system operation” (needless to say that the power adapter IS a Dell 65W
    #12 xiang gang, Feb 20, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2015
  13. Kaustubh Katdare


    Engineering Discipline:
    Frankly speaking, the best solution for this problem is to get your battery replaced every three years on a regular Dell laptop; if you are heavy user of laptop. By 'heavy use', I mean over 4 hours daily. The batteries, in my experience, have very short life and it's better that you spend that extra money on getting a new battery set than getting stuff damaged.

    From what I've been reading, one of the potential issues that causes this problem is that the localised heating that may damage the battery circuitry. The damaged electronics prevents the operating system from ensuring that the connection is proper. It's something I have not verified, but might be worth your attention.

    If anyone's still facing this issue, do share the problem with us and we'll try to find a fix for you.
  14. Ankita Katdare


    Engineering Discipline:
    Computer Science
    Can anyone explain why this could happen someday all of a sudden you plug-in your charger in your laptop and the charger won't show the usual green LED and the laptop's battery wont get charged. But, after a few tries (plug-out and plug-in OR switching the power source ON or OFF) it magically starts working again.

    What exactly goes wrong in the few minutes?
  15. Scottyyyy888

    Scottyyyy888 Newbie

    Engineering Discipline:
    Hello! Thank you to everyone for these useful tips! I read everything and it is clarified me what happened to my laptop! I thought that the problem was within it but all problems because of adapter. I have this model Dell 450-15098 koopt u voor € 49,82 bij hardware.be - Is it possible to fix it by myself? Or i should buy new one? I will be very greatful for any recommendations!
  16. Kryptik

    Kryptik Apprentice

    Engineering Discipline:
    Computer Science
    I see so many people had given fixes so I'll throw in a couple of workarounds that you can do until you get it fixed.

    Go to power settings in your laptop and set it to power saver mode. Following this while your adapter cord is connected to the laptop and is turned on. Remove the battery and reconnect it again.

    Your battery should ideally start charging in most scenarios.

    Cheers !!
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