Battery charging problems

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.

156 Responses

  1. @ marine kelvin,
    I haven’t seen a problem like that before.
    Most likely this is some kind of motherboard failure. Apparently the circuit responsible for charging the battery is not working properly.

  2. marine kelvin

    my laptop shows its still charging even when disconnected from the power source.what might be the problem

  3. dawood khan

    thanks brother
    i think i found a best site for my all solutions

    inshallah , i will ask with u if i get any doubt

    thanks agian

    dawood khan

  4. @ mayana khan,

    i have dell inspiron 15r 5521 my battery is not charging above 80%..

    Sounds like your battery is getting old and has to be replaced.

  5. @ Sanjeev,
    Here’s how to test the DC jack.
    Disassemble the laptop and remove the top cover. Plug in the AC adapter and test voltage on the DC jack terminals. If you get the same voltage as on the AC adapter and it’s not cutting off when you move the cord, probably the DC jack is OK.

    If the laptop is completely dead and shows no signs of life when you push on the power button, probably this is motherboard related failure (I assume the power adapter and DC jack is OK).

  6. Laptop is dead…
    1.Tested adapter-it’s working…
    2.Tested laptop removing battery and discharging it and with AC supply only..It’s not working

    possible reasons could be 1.dead battery 2.DC jack failure
    3.mother board failure

    How can I test 2nd and 3rd options here?

    any manual or steps for this please?

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