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. 37
    rup Says:

    i have dell studio 1435 laptop.plz tell me a battery charging IC no.becuse crittical battery not charging and problem related to a charging ic

  2. 36
    Jen Says:

    My hp battery is completely dead so I’ve been plugging it into the wall. but now it barely powers on for a second, just enough for it to light up then powers off automatically. What can I do?

  3. 35
    stace3610 Says:

    Thanks for the advice; I was hoping it wasn’t a motherboard issue but I suppose I need to bite the bullet!
    Keep up the good work.
    Regards,
    Stace3610.

  4. 34
    cj2600 Says:

    stace3610,

    I have an Aspire 5310 which works fine in every respect except the following: the battery discharges very, very quickly. When on and plugged into the mains, it shows as charging (according to both hardware light and Vista system tray icons) but continues to discharge at an alarming rate (c.30mins). It even discharges when off! (Proper “off” not standby.) Takes about 8-10 hours to completely discharge whilst off (even when still plugged into the mains and with the “charging” light on) during which the laptop base remains warm around the battery/motherboard connection (even without AC adaptor in place). This happens with three different batteries that I can charge up without problem in another laptop.

    Have you tried another AC adapter. Maybe your adapter is faulty and doesn’t provide correct voltage? Just a guess.
    If it’s not the adapter, sounds like you have motherboard problem. Otherwise, it wouldn’t fail same way with three different batteries.
    I think most likely this is motherboard failure because you said “It even discharges when off! (Proper “off” not standby.)”

  5. 33
    stace3610 Says:

    First, the website is great and extremely useful. Thanks!
    I have an Aspire 5310 which works fine in every respect except the following: the battery discharges very, very quickly. When on and plugged into the mains, it shows as charging (according to both hardware light and Vista system tray icons) but continues to discharge at an alarming rate (c.30mins). It even discharges when off! (Proper “off” not standby.) Takes about 8-10 hours to completely discharge whilst off (even when still plugged into the mains and with the “charging” light on) during which the laptop base remains warm around the battery/motherboard connection (even without AC adaptor in place). This happens with three different batteries that I can charge up without problem in another laptop.
    Another point is that once completely discharged whilst off, I need to recharge the battery elsewhere and then replace it in the dodgy Acer whilst the mains plug is in and on or it won’t start (with or without battery in place).
    Apologies for the long post but this is driving me mad!
    Stace3610.

  6. 32
    cj2600 Says:

    watcha06,

    My friend asked me to repair his Acer Aspire 4920. when i press the on button, it didn’t boot. so i charge it. but when i press the on button again, it is discharged from the power charger. the light that indicating charging will turn off. what actually the problem of my friend’s laptop?

    Please provide more details.
    Does the laptop turn on at all?
    Can you turn it on with the battery removed?
    Does it display any video on the screen?
    etc…

  7. 31
    watcha06 Says:

    My friend asked me to repair his Acer Aspire 4920. when i press the on button, it didn’t boot. so i charge it. but when i press the on button again, it is discharged from the power charger. the light that indicating charging will turn off. what actually the problem of my friend’s laptop?

  8. 30
    cj2600 Says:

    xfact,

    am running windows 7 and i just buy a new battery it came with 50 pct charge. plug in the ac adopter for 2hours and its still at 50 pct. i try other chargers. still nothing. i guess its something with the battery charging circuit on the motherboard. any idea how to fix that if its the case?

    Could be defective battery.
    Also, try reconnecting the battery a few times, it’s possible the battery contacts oxidized and reconnecting the battery will fix the issue.
    Is it a third-party battery? I really trust only factory replacement batteries.

  9. 29
    xfact Says:

    well i see a strange problem. am running windows 7 and i just buy a new battery it came with 50 pct charge. plug in the ac adopter for 2hours and its still at 50 pct. i try other chargers. still nothing. i guess its something with the battery charging circuit on the motherboard. any idea how to fix that if its the case?

  10. 28
    cj2600 Says:

    Bill,

    So I now have the laptop again and when you take the battery out it is dead as a door nail. I followed you directions on checking out the AC adapter and it bounces around from .02 to .12 volts so I believe the trouble is the AC adapter. I would just like some confirmation before I tell her she now needs to spend more money for an AC adapter.

    I think you need a new AC adapter. Shouldn’t be very expensive.

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