Dell laptop battery Plugged in not charging solution?

August 4, 2015 at 04:06:01
Specs: Windows10
I have a Dell Precision M4600 and have recently faced the problem of "Plugged in, not charging." The laptop was fine for the first couple of months and all of a sudden this has come up. The laptop is constantly at 0%. The battery and AC adapter are fine as far as I know. I've tried different things that I've found online: Shutting down and taking the battery out, lightly tapping/punching the area, installing and uninstalling the battery stuff, even blowing on the charger and charger input. Everyone was able to use these methods to solve the problem but I haven't been so lucky. If possible I'd like to do something at home rather than purchase new hardware. Bear in mind I'm not savvy enough to be able to slice open cables and whatnot.
I hope I've provided enough information on my predicament.
I'd be so glad if you'd help me.
Thanks!

message edited by dafirenze


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#1
August 4, 2015 at 04:58:52
Most likely it's a bad battery. These are normally warrantied for a year, so you may have to buy another one. Do you have another M4600 that you can try your battery in? Or one that you can borrow? If so, and your battery doesn't charge in the other system, then it's the battery.

If the borrowed battery doesn't charge in your system, then it's probably the Motherboard or the charging pins for the battery.

If that's the case, you could pay for a new Motherboard (since I assume the warranty has run out,) or just run the system on A/C power all the time.


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#2
August 4, 2015 at 05:08:36
Thanks for the tip, I don't have another M4600 to try out. Also, the only way that I'm using my laptop is by constantly having the A/C in. If no one else can provide a solution then I'll resort to getting a new battery or motherboard.

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#3
August 4, 2015 at 08:19:37
The laptop was fine for the first couple of months and all of a sudden this has come up.

Is this laptop "new" or nearly so; and is it still under warranty?

If so then go back to vendor and/or Dell and seek a replacement battery - or even laptop...?


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Related Solutions

#4
August 4, 2015 at 08:38:49
No warranty, I'm afraid. This was bought second hand but was mostly unused, anyway.

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#5
August 4, 2015 at 09:04:30
mmm that's a pity...

If you can find a source locally that may have a suitable battery - possibly a used computer outlet, or even a computer fair - often spares etc. there - you might be able to test with a different battery and see if it will charge?

A trawl via Google may bring up an inexpensive replacement battery (and also Amazon - often good deals there for batteries) ? I would be less inclined to new MoBo if it's more than say quarter-half the cost of a new laptop? Replacing a laptop MoBo is quite a chore. a oot to strip down and remove; and more than a few connectors etc. to redo/reseat - securely - if it's all to work OK afterwards.

Do you have the (service) manual for the Dell ? There is often a basic "user" manual - how to get it working and so on; and then the more complete/complex actual "service manual" - how to take the laptop apart etc.. It's the latter you would be well wise to secure and have a good read - before opting to replace the MoBo...

Incidentally there is whole slew of stuff about this problem; this is the google list... Perhaps have a look-see incase there's anything amongst them that may resolve the problem?

http://tinyurl.com/pj6aade

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#6
August 4, 2015 at 09:08:51
The service manual can be found/downloaded here:

https://www.manualowl.com/m/Dell/Pr...

And there are a few youtube videos too re' taking some of it apart (the laptop - not the manual).

And another version (from the Dell site) of the manual:

http://tinyurl.com/pqm3m6p

message edited by trvlr


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#7
August 4, 2015 at 09:18:46
The dilemma I face is that through the many discussions I've searched through for a solution, a lot of people say that the battery needn't be replaced, but a lot of other people say the opposite. That's why I'm looking for a solution that doesn't necessarily need to be buying a new battery/charger...

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#8
August 4, 2015 at 10:12:45
Appreciate the dilemma; if the charger operates the laptop OK with/without the battery present, and battery doesn't charge when present.. Then either it's the battery - or a connection at the charger/mains adapter input jack? That the laptop works on mains though does seem to point to either the chargnig cct. on the motherboard; or the battery. Any chance to test with a know good battery - whatever its age - would eliminate or confirm the battery?

I have not personally known a battery fail; and only once of an on-board charging problem The latter being an intermittent connection on the input jack (or probably cct. board around it) - although the laptop worked fine nonetheless with mains applied...! Have known more than a few mains adapters/chargers fail...

Chargers are cheap enuff - batteries of course a little more. If possible see if a local store has one that you could test with? Although I'm of the feeling it's not the charger... since the laptop works fine with it (i.e. on mains only)?


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#9
August 4, 2015 at 10:35:49
Try pressing Fn+ F2. I've read that doing so toggles the charge to the battery either on or off.

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#10
August 4, 2015 at 10:54:59
I've tried Fn + F2, nothing seems to happen

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#11
August 4, 2015 at 14:15:06
"I've tried Fn + F2, nothing seems to happen"

For starters, you've posted in the Vista forum but your specs say Win10. Which is it? And when you use those keys to toggle the charge, how are you checking to see if it's working or not? If you hover the mouse pointer over the battery icon in the notification area, does it say "plugged in, not charging"? Have a look at this:

https://www.pntbrother.com/laptop-b...


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#12
August 4, 2015 at 15:02:25
If you do eventually get another battery, I've had better luck with used Dell/Dell OEM batteries than the off-brand new ones.

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#13
August 5, 2015 at 00:23:19
Oh, sorry, I don't know why I've put Vista... It's Windows 10

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#14
August 5, 2015 at 00:30:51
UPDATE ON SITUATION. WHILE BOOTING UP THIS MESSAGE CAME UP:
"ALERT! THE AC POWER ADAPTER WATTAGE AND TYPE CANNOT BE DETERMINED. THE BATTERY MAY NOT CHARGE. THE SYSTEM WILL ADJUST THE PERFORMANCE TO MATCH THE POWER AVAILABLE."
Now it says there's no battery detected at all. I also hit F2 at boot-up and it says the Battery is not installed and That "AC Adapter = Unknown"
I'm sorry if the answer seems agonizingly obvious but I can't figure it out. IS THE PROBLEM THE AC ADAPTER OR THE BATTERY. SHALL I GET ONE OR THE OTHER OR BOTH?!?!?!?!?!?!
I'd appreciate it sooooo much if someone could help.

message edited by dafirenze


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#15
August 5, 2015 at 00:59:36
The adapter is running the laptop now so it's probably good. It's no guarantee but I think it's the battery. Here's an ebay search for an M4600 battery:

http://www.ebay.com/dsc/Laptop-Batt...

Looks like you can get a guaranteed good used Dell OEM for around $30. You may want to compare part numbers with yours to make sure you get the right one. Sometimes the sellers get sloppy when listing compatible models.


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#16
August 5, 2015 at 03:31:02
The mains adapter - is it the one that came with the laptop; and does it have a Dell badge on it? Does it have a part number even?

It may be worth to double check "exactly" which one you have and compare that part number etc. with a genuine Dell version?


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#17
August 5, 2015 at 05:09:16
Yeah, it came with the laptop and is 100% legit

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#18
August 5, 2015 at 06:23:58
mmm Sorry to appear pedantic - but just because it cam with the (second hand laptop) doesn't mean it's a genuine Dell article - or guaranteed third-party item?

It does have Dell on it?

If not then perhaps google for make/part number etc on the adapter to see if comes up as genuinely OK for a Dell. Although that it performed OK for a few months would seem to indicate the adapter is OK for that Dell model.

Which then points to the battery and/or motherboard issues? Unless the adapter is not delivering adequate volts to charge the battery; but manages to run the laptop?

Have you put a meter across the adapter output? This will of course give an off-load reading - which ought to be "at least" the same as under load (plugged into the laptop); possibly slightly above it. But if it's reading even slightly less than stated volts out - off load - then it would become a suspect in my thoughts...


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#19
August 5, 2015 at 13:41:30
I was given a Dell Inspiron laptop to work on but wasn't given the AC adapter. I checked the output volts/amps on my HP adapter & they seemed compatible so I tried it. The laptop boots fine but I see a very similar message during every boot/reboot. It also says something like "please connect a Dell 65W AC adapter".

I looked at the underside of the Inspiron & one of the stickers says "for use with adapter PA-12". I suggest you look for that label under your laptop, then see if the model number provided is the same as the adapter you have. From what I could find, your adapter should be PA-3E or PA-10. Both are 19.5V / 4.62A.


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#20
August 7, 2015 at 05:03:23
I reiterate my first comment. :)

Flip the system over. What's the Service Tag?


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#21
August 7, 2015 at 08:48:00
DTRJLQ1 is the written service tag.

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#22
August 7, 2015 at 08:54:16
Enter that into the appropriate place on the Dell support site; and it takes you to the support area for that machine. Manuals, software, and drivers etc can be found there.

Likely there may be references too (possibly in the manual) regarding the actual mains/power adapter/charger?

Worth to verify what is spec'd for the charger unit; and if possible the actual Dell reference numbers for it?


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#23
August 7, 2015 at 08:57:43
This is where entering the tag (product support is the starting place) takes you to:

http://www.dell.com/support/home/us...

Might be worth having a browse; maybe even running their tests too?


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#24
August 10, 2015 at 07:27:59
Speaking of Dell tags (a different name for Serial Number) there are actually two kinds....

(1) The Service Tag is a 7-character code, and the (2) Express Service Tag is a 10-digit code that is a numeric version of the Service Tag. Both codes are on the bottom of your laptop.

http://www.dell.com/support/content...

i_Xp/Vista/W7/W10 User


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#25
August 12, 2015 at 05:08:29
A friend of mine had the exact same problem, and it wasn't the battery that was the issue.

The Warranty on that your system expired 14 July of 2014. So unfortunately, if it's not the battery, and it's the power connection for the battery, that would require a motherboard replacement. You could buy a new laptop for the price of a replacement motherboard and the labor to install.

If you can, just continue to use the A/C adapter.


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