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. 17
    Nathan Bagobiri Says:

    Congratulations!!! Your tutorials are spectacular and has been of tremendous help to me as an upcoming laptop technician. Keep the flag flying u are 1 in a million

  2. 16
    Michael Says:

    Ned, I had the same problem with my Dell Inspiron laptop. My battery was going from about 60% to 0% very quickly. I replaced the battery and it fixed the problem. Hope it helps.

  3. 15
    Ned England Says:

    Dear Laptop repair guy,

    Recently my Toshiba Satellite (big, about 3 years old) has been having battery problems. It has significantly reduced battery life, but worst of all it doesn’t warn you reliably about the level of charge, it just jumps straight from about 50% to the 5% warning red light situation.

    And now, for example, it is plugged in, 71% available, but NOT charging. Why wouldn’t it charge up to 100%?

    Is there anything I can do? Get a new battery?

    Yours

    Ned

  4. 14
    AbuAzmy Says:

    Hi, I have problem in my Acer Aspir 4810t laptop and I ask for your help please.

    The laptop work fine on power charger and in windows battery icon it read the battery level for example 23% and after 1 day 22% or 21% .
    but don’t charge it, when I disconnect the charger the laptop shutdown.

    until this problem the color of battery light in laptop is orange when it charging and blue for 100% full charge, but now always blue.

    I make update to the bios from windows but nothing work.

    after week of this problem when I open it to see if I can fix it, the touch bad mouse won’t work too.

    That’s it, Please help me.

  5. 13
    orville Says:

    hello laptopman..

    I have my friends laptop

    and he ask me to fix it

    and according to your tutorials here

    thank you anyway..

    his laptop has no display

    and the system is booting properly

    so I assume that there is something wrong with

    the connection of the lcd to the system

    or should I just re seat the memory

    but the another problem is the cpu fan

    is not working.. hopefully the motherboard

    is still ok.. thank you in advance

  6. 12
    cj2600 Says:

    LaptopMan,

    I’m curious … these tutorials you are doing here on laptoprepair101 .. is it POSSIBLE that you can put all of these HELP tutorials in ONE package so I can BUY it.

    You don’t have to buy it. All my tutorials are available for free. :)

  7. 11
    LaptopMan Says:

    cj2600: I just BOUGHT the course from laptoprepairvideos.com .. I’m curious … these tutorials you are doing here on laptoprepair101 .. is it POSSIBLE that you can put all of these HELP tutorials in ONE package so I can BUY it.

    Thanks

  8. 10
    cj2600 Says:

    hardeep,

    my problem is assocaited with example 3…I had bought usb T.v tuner card. When i pluged in t.v tuner card, laptop was running on battery, it suddenly turned off.After dat incident, laptop battery backup has reduced to 15mins or so..It charges fast and runs out fast..around 37% remaining it shows low battery singnal..whether it is motherboard related problem or battery has damaged?

    If the laptop still runs on battery power but it just doesn’t last long, most likely you have a problem with the battery.

  9. 9
    hardeep Says:

    sir, my problem is assocaited with example 3…I had bought usb T.v tuner card. When i pluged in t.v tuner card, laptop was running on battery, it suddenly turned off.After dat incident, laptop battery backup has reduced to 15mins or so..It charges fast and runs out fast..around 37% remaining it shows low battery singnal..whether it is motherboard related problem or battery has damaged?

  10. 8
    cj2600 Says:

    Roger,

    I have a laptop with no display on the screen but when i use external monitor,it has a good display!!!do you think the lcd of my loptop was damaged and it must be replaced?

    Turn on the laptop (without external monitor connected) and take a closer look at the LCD screen. Can you see a very faint image on the screen? The image could be so dark that you have to use a flashlight to see anything? Anyway, is the image there?

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