In this post I explain how to troubleshoot battery charging problems. I will discuss most common failure examples and suggest some troubleshooting steps.

Example 1.

Laptop shuts off when AC adapter unplugged.

When you move the cursor arrow over the battery icon while the laptop is connected to AC adapter, it show the remaining charge and says “charging”.

The power meter utility (if available) also shows that battery is connected and charging.

But… as soon as you unplug the AC adapter, the laptop shuts off completely.

Possible problems:
1. The battery not seated correctly. Try reconnecting it.
2. The battery contacts got dirty or oxidized and it’s not making good connection with the motherboard. Apply some electronic contact cleaner on the contacts.
3. If reconnecting the battery doesn’t help, most likely it’s bad and has to be replaced.
4. If you replaced the battery but the problem still exists, this is motherboard related failure. Apparently the charging circuit on the motherboard failed. In this case the whole motherboard has to be replaced (or repaired on the component level).

 

Example 2.

The battery not detected by the laptop.

There is a red cross on the battery icon.

If you move the cursor arrow over the battery icon, it says “no battery detected”.

Possible problems:
1. Most likely the battery is bad. You have a very good chance to fix this problem by replacing it with a new one.
2. If replacing the battery doesn’t help, this is motherboard related failure. The motherboard has to be replaced (or repaired on component level).

 

Example 3.

The battery discharges very quickly after it reaches some critical point.

The battery detected by the laptop and charges properly to 100%.
When you unplug the AC adapter, it take normal time to discharge until some critical point (let’s say 80%) but after that the battery discharges very quickly to 0%.

Possible problems:
This is battery failed. It has to be replaced with a new one.

 

Example 4.

The battery charges only if the power plug positioned correctly.

You have to wiggle the power plug in order to charge the battery. After you find the right position, it charges properly.

Possible problems:
1. AC adapter failure. The AC adapter power cable is damaged. Here’s how to test your AC adapter.
2. If the AC adapter works fine, most likely this is power jack (connector where you plug power adapter) failure. In this case the power jack has to be replaced.

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147 Comments

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  1. 97
    cj2600 Says:

    chainrup,

    my dell latitude e 4300 laptop battery icon shows a cross mark and is not charging my battery. it does not run when i remove the battery from laptop

    This could be a problem with the battery charging circuit on the motherboard.
    Normally, the laptop would run from AC adapter when the battery removed.
    Also, I would suggest testing the laptop with another power adapter. Maybe your original adapter failing (not providing enough power to start the laptop and charge the battery).

  2. 96
    cj2600 Says:

    @ Irfan,

    I m using Compaq 420 laptop from last One year, recently I have noticed my battery is charging upto 85% only, what could be the proble, when i unplug charger from laptop and afain pluging battery meter will show for a while it is charging and also battery is discharging very fast. can you please advise the best solution.

    Most likely this is battery related problem. Replace the battery.

  3. 95
    chainrup Says:

    my dell latitude e 4300 laptop battery icon shows a cross mark and is not charging my battery. it does not run when i remove the battery from laptop , where as till a day earlier it was giving a backup of 5 hours.

  4. 94
    Irfan Says:

    I m using Compaq 420 laptop from last One year, recently I have noticed my battery is charging upto 85% only, what could be the proble, when i unplug charger from laptop and afain pluging battery meter will show for a while it is charging and also battery is discharging very fast. can you please advise the best solution.

    REgards/Irfan

  5. 93
    cj2600 Says:

    @ elise,

    I have a Toshiba satellite. A55-S0164..sister said it worked fine till it went dead. The power cord light is blue and its on. But the laptop is dead. Battery in or out …being plugged up matters none. Its just dead. What should my next steps be?

    If the laptop doesn’t turn on at all, there could be a problem with the power button board. Shown in the step 10, it’s above the keyboard.
    There could be a problem with the DC jack.
    Also, could be dead motherboard.
    I cannot tell which one is failing without looking at the laptop.

  6. 92
    elise Says:

    Just was given a laptop cuz I can’t afford a new one. Never had a laptop so im not so fast in cracking this baby open but I have a Toshiba satellite. A55-S0164..sister said it worked fine till it went dead. The power cord light is blue and its on. But the laptop is dead. Battery in or out …being plugged up matters none. Its just dead. What should my next steps be? Thanx!

  7. 91
    cj2600 Says:

    @ daniel,

    just bought a brand new ac adapter + battery but the problem is when i connect the ac wire the light on the adapter blinks but when i remove the wire from the l/top socket it stops blinking and i think it has to do with my laptop unable to startup.

    Unfortunately, I think there is a problem with the motherboard. Probably the battery charging circuit failed or something like that.
    Just in case, try starting the laptop just form AC adapter with battery removed. Can you?

  8. 90
    daniel Says:

    Hi! just bought a brand new ac adapter + battery but the problem is when i connect the ac wire the light on the adapter blinks but when i remove the wire from the l/top socket it stops blinking and i think it has to do with my laptop unable to startup.Thanks any help will do.

  9. 89
    Glenn Says:

    I have two identical ‘Dell inspiron 1420′laptops, Dell#1 was not charging neither powering on when plugged in…. Battery in #1 was placed in Dell#2 to determine if battery was good, and it did charge with no problems.

    After switching back batteries, Dell#2 was not charging but able to power on when plugged in only.

    Now Both Dell will not charge batteries in their respective computers.

  10. 88
    cj2600 Says:

    @ julio,

    The laptop turns on when you press bottom, but just for a very short time , you can hear going but then stop. Screen is blank at all time while starting.

    As I mentioned in the previous comment, test your laptop AC adapter.
    It’s possible the adapter failed.

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