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. 57
    cj2600 Says:

    suhail k m,

    ther is cross mark on the battey when charger connected. But you know battery was charging

    Are you still using the original factory battery or this it third-party replacement battery?

  2. 56
    Nicole Says:

    I have been trying so hard for the past 2 weeks to figure out what is wrong with my battery on my compaq presario cq61. I did everything from removing drives, taking out the battery, etc….but but my 12 yr old son..moved around my ac cord into my laptop and got it into the right spot and it start charging again….it is finally at 100% again!!!! So I have to say its the port or the adaptor. Hope this helps. I thought it was a software problem for so long….

  3. 55
    suhail k m Says:

    I have compaq v9000 and emachines e725 laptops, ther is cross mark on the battey when charger connected. But you know battery was charging

  4. 54
    cj2600 Says:

    Ankur,

    i have a C700 Compaq laptop its work on battary but no power on with adptor

    Could be bad AC adapter. Test it with a voltmeter. Make sure the adapter outputs correct voltage.
    Could be bad DC jack in the laptop.
    What happens if you remove the battery and start the laptop just from AC adapter. Any signs of life at all?

  5. 53
    cj2600 Says:

    Asif Nawaz,

    I am laptop Technician.wants help in motherboard charging circuit to repair on component level.can you help me?

    Unfortunately, I cannot help you with that. I don’t repair motherboards on component level.

  6. 52
    Ankur Says:

    i have a C700 Compaq laptop its work on battary but no power on with adptor

    pls help

  7. 51
    Asif Nawaz Says:

    I am laptop Technician.wants help in motherboard charging circuit to repair on component level.can you help me?If yes then i will start my question.or is there another blog you know to make this type of discussion.any help will be apriciated.

  8. 50
    cj2600 Says:

    Paul,
    Sounds like your AC adapter is OK.
    You said the screen looses brightness intermittently. Does it go from normal brightness to completely black screen or the screen just gets darker a little bit?
    If the screen just gets darker, most likely it happens because the laptop switches from full power to battery mode.
    Usually it happens when there is a problem with the AC adapter or DC jack.

  9. 49
    Paul Says:

    48
    cj2600 Says:
    February 9th, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    Did you test the AC adapter?
    Find a multimeter and test voltage on the AC adapter plug. While testing the voltage, move the cord. If power cuts off, you have a problem with the cord.
    A bad AC adapter cord can cause intermittent battery charging failure.

    I have a compatible AC adapter, distributes various voltages.
    I use set to 18V and the multimeter reading is 18.2V.
    Can I try to set 19V? The reading multimeter is 19.4V.
    Even if I move the cable and jack does not change anything, the voltage is not interrupted.
    The load shedding is intermittent individually.

  10. 48
    cj2600 Says:

    Paul,

    When I try to charge the battery occurs the problem … namely, that the charging is intermittent and the screen loses brightness intermittently.
    The Dc jack seems to be good.

    Did you test the AC adapter?
    Find a multimeter and test voltage on the AC adapter plug. While testing the voltage, move the cord. If power cuts off, you have a problem with the cord.
    A bad AC adapter cord can cause intermittent battery charging failure.

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