1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Dell Inspiron 1501 not recognizing AC adapter

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by gnuuser, Jul 31, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. gnuuser

    gnuuser Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    My Dell Inspiron 1501 (out of warranty and running XP Pro if that matters) has stopped recognizing the AC adapter. The adapter is a recent genuine Dell replacement for an older one that would no longer charge the battery, the second one I had had to replace because of the "AC adapter not recognized" error. It worked fine for a few weeks, and its green LED still goes on when plugged into the outlet, but now the icon in the system tray is the battery icon, not the AC icon, and the remaining battery time keeps decreasing. There is no error message; it just acts as if the AC adapter isn't there. The plug feels wobbly in the socket, so something is loose.

    Googling around for information suggests that depending on what's wrong, it could be fixed with a bit of soldering, or the motherboard may need to be replaced (i.e., time to get a new computer). I've done minor repairs inside desktops, swapping out memory, drives, etc., but nothing that involved soldering. I'm also considering getting a spare battery and an external charger and swapping between batteries to keep it running -- it's a decent machine apart from its power problems and I'd rather not have to replace it just yet.

    Questions:
    - How can I tell whether the socket can just be re-soldered or the motherboard really would need to be replaced for the AC adapter to be recognized again?
    - If it may be relatively simple to fix, are instructions available online? Pictures or diagrams would be a major help.
    - Does anyone have experience with external battery chargers? Any recommendations for/against specific brands? Comments on reliability and/or safety?

    Thanks!
     
  2. vicks

    vicks

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2005
    Messages:
    5,145
    Hi and welcome to TSG forums.
    Try going into device manager, what does it show about batteries there?
    Vicks
     
  3. gnuuser

    gnuuser Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks for the quick response, vicks!

    Uh oh. When I brought up the 1501, after the initial screen, it told me, "Warning: the battery cannot be identified" and then either "This system cannot charge this battery" or "This system will not be able to charge this battery", and press F1 to continue.

    Device Manager:

    Batteries has two entries under it, Microsoft AC Adapter and Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery.

    When I right-click Batteries and check Properties, it just has a General tab with the Batteries icon and the OK and Cancel buttons.
     
  4. aliasme

    aliasme

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    157
    Trust me on this; if the socket feels loose, it IS loose; in fact, this is a common problem on many brands of laptops, practically inherent in most of the designs. Take the system to a local electronics repair shop; call around first and find one willing to do the repair. I've done this repair dozens of times; the most difficult part is disassembling the laptop to access that area of the motherboard. It is entirely possible that you'll find someone who has performed this type of repair previously; people who repair electronic devices tend to know their way around the block...

    If you know how to disassemble and reassemble the system, so much the better. You can take it to the shop, break it down, then let someone resolder the connectors at the back of the connector. Once that is done, reassemble the system, and test it on the premises. If it begins charging, pay the tech and keep his business card handy. Be sure to take some extras to pass out to family and friends...

    This will be MUCH cheaper than any other alternative, and you won't have to spend money on items you probably don't need (extra battery and charger).

    Just an FYI; when I resolder these connectors, I usually modify the system to keep the connector more stable in the future. That way, the solder won't break again for a long time, if ever. I'm willing to bet that any good electronics tech could take a look at your system and find a way to better immobilize the connector for you.

    Let us know how this turns out...

    EDIT: Just saw your reply to Vicks; if you're seeing those error messages, the connections are going to fail completely very soon, if they haven't already. Call your local electronics repair shops during the week; I'm sure you'll find someone who can resolve this for you.
     
  5. gnuuser

    gnuuser Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Ooops -- hit the wrong button in the middle of entering the reply.

    Properties for Microsoft AC Adapter has tabs General, Driver, and Details. General tab says Device type: Batteries, Manufacturer: Microsoft, and Location: on Microsoft ACPI-Compliant System. Device status says, "This device is working properly. If you are having problems with this device, click Troubleshoot to start the Troubleshooter. Device usage shows "Use this device (enable)" (pulldown also has the disable option). Driver tab says Driver Provider: Microsoft, Driver Date, 7/1/2001, Driver version: 5.1.2535.0, Digital Signer: Microsoft Windows Publisher. Driver Details shows two files, C:\WINDOWS\system32\DRIVERS\battc.sys and (same folder) CmBatt.sys. Provider is Microsoft Corporation, File version: 5.1.2600.0 (xpclient.010817-1148), then copyright notice and the same digital signer info. Details has a LARGE pulldown menu; item showing is Device Instance ID, value ACPI\ACPI0003\2&DABA3FF&0. (More available on request, but I'm afraid I'll run the rest of the battery down if I try to get all the values.)

    Properties for Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery also has General, Driver, and Details tabs. The General tab has the same information as the other General tab. The Driver tab also has the same information, including the Driver File Details. On the Details tab, the Device Instance Id is ACPI\PNP0C0A\1 (and a long list of other items).

    I'll be happy to provide any other information that may be useful, but please be as specific as possible about what you need since the thing now has less than two hours of battery life left (yes, I'm using another computer to post this message).

    Thanks!
     
  6. gnuuser

    gnuuser Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    aliasme,

    Thanks for your response, which came in while I was finishing the interrupted answer to vicks's question. I'll check around for a good repair place this week. Not having a proper repair manual for the laptop, though, I'm not brave enough to take it apart. I did try reseating the battery -- no change. :-(
     
  7. aliasme

    aliasme

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Messages:
    157
    I just googled this string:

    "Dell Inspiron 1501" manual download

    First sub-link showed me this:

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins1501/en/index.htm

    You can VIEW the manual here:

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins1501/en/sm_en/index.htm

    or download it here:

    http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins1501/en/sm_en/sm.zip

    Check it out; might tell you or the tech how to disassemble it to fix the connector.

    Good luck with this; let us know how this turns out...
     
  8. gnuuser

    gnuuser Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks again, aliasme. (Note to self: repeat "Google is your friend" until you remember it....) It looks like replacing the modem isn't too hard, but getting to the motherboard itself, if that's what has to be soldered, is going to be tedious. It's good to have the manual, though. Thanks for tracking it down.
     
  9. aka Brett

    aka Brett Banned

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2008
    Messages:
    16,918
    Have you shut the laptop down..removed the battery to check basic brick function?
    It must be doing something as you would soon end up with a dead battery

    On some dells you can check battery health in the bios......its not detailed....either showing normal or not.
    My current dell 1525 came shipped with a wobbly connector where it plugs into the unit...I have a friend with a 1525 it does the same thing.

    Dells are picky about the battery and sometimes the adaptor...sometimes this occurs after a bios update for some reason.

    go to this link below and download the zip version..extract and run
    post back the battery info as well as current voltages while the unit is "plugged"in

    http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html
     
  10. gnuuser

    gnuuser Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    aka Brett,

    When the laptop is plugged in without the battery, pressing the power switch gets no response. :( You're right, the battery is running down and has maybe an hour of runtime left before the whole thing becomes a brick. At this point I'm turning it on only to troubleshoot.

    Battery and voltage information from HWMonitor.exe -- thanks for the link!

    Hardware monitor Battery 1
    Voltage 0 11.48 Volts [0x2CD5] (Current Voltage)
    Capacity 0 95460 mWh [0x174E4] (Designed Capacity)
    Capacity 1 53269 mWh [0xD015] (Full Charge Capacity)
    Capacity 2 29559 mWh [0x7377] (Current Capacity)
    Level 0 44 pc [0x37] (Wear Level)
    Level 1 55 pc [0x37] (Charge Level)

    I ran it twice, once with the adapter plugged in, once unplugged. There was no difference in the numbers. If any of the other information would help, please let me know.

    Thanks!
     
  11. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/939815

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice