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.


153 Responses

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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.

  4. I just found this site and it is great! It is now book marked.

    I am trying to fix a friends Gateway MT6831 laptop. She initially had a hard drive failure so we put a new HD in and installed the OS and additional software. I had it up and running for 3 days with out any problem so I gave it back to her and it worked fine until the battery died. She plugged in the AC adapter and gets a blinking red light. 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. Thanks Bill

  5. The information in this article has helped me a lot. Thank you for providing it and I wish the best of the future to you!

    John Hallquist

  6. benzboy,

    have gateway netbook not even a year old. battery charges up to 87% and doesn’t fully charge. yesterday its up to 78%. tried charging and discharging but didn’t help.

    Sounds like battery failure.
    Isn’t your laptop still under warranty?

  7. benzboy

    have gateway netbook not even a year old. battery charges up to 87% and doesn’t fully charge. yesterday its up to 78%. tried charging and discharging but didn’t help. tia

  8. Well your computer battery may no be inserted correctly as it might have come out due to a fall. You need to go to a computer repair shop to get it inserted correctly.

    Rgds

  9. peter,

    my laptop battery seems to be fine but it’s not charging. When I plug in the charger to the wall socket it shows the green light but when i plug it into the laptop it’s starts blinking(which is not normal) and the laptop does not charge.Whats wrong?

    It’s hard to tell without testing the laptop with another known good AC adapter.
    Does your laptop work fine with the AC adapter plugged when the battery is removed? If it does, most likely the AC adapter is good.
    Most likely it’s either bad battery or possible motherboard failure. I cannot tell.
    I would try replacing the battery first.

  10. Hi Laptop guy my laptop battery seems to be fine but it’s not charging. When I plug in the charger to the wall socket it shows the green light but when i plug it into the laptop it’s starts blinking(which is not normal) and the laptop does not charge.Whats wrong?

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