Dell laptop wont charge battery.

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  #1  
Old 08-18-12, 12:15 PM
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Dell laptop wont charge battery.

I have a Dell Latitude 131L laptop. I have replaced the battery and the charger. While the laptop will run on AC power it will not charge the battery. It says plugged in not charging. If I restart the laptop I get an error screen that says the charger is not recognized. Is there a solution to this? I know there is an identification pin in the plug end of the charger and it is still there.
 
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Old 08-18-12, 01:33 PM
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Have you tried your old charger cord? There may be something wrong with the replacement, say like too much or too little voltage, etc.
 
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Old 08-18-12, 01:42 PM
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Yep. Was having same problem with it as well.
 
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Old 08-18-12, 01:49 PM
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Assuming you have an identical replacement to the original charger it might be the charging circuit on the board. It has been a while since I looked into issues with a Dell Latitude D600 I have so I am not sure if the charging circuit is on the main motherboard or on a circuit board where the power button is. I will try to do some checking on Dells website for you but would really need the service tag number to more easily identify the laptop as there are certain variations that are made during certain model years. Once I have that Dell does have an online service manual that makes it fairly easy for anyone to diagnose and repair their own computer and I can point you hopefully in the right direction. I will post back again after I do a bit of research.
 
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Old 08-18-12, 02:11 PM
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I found the support page as far as diagnostics are concerned and it looks like the charging circuit is on the main motherboard with no secondary boards being present. It could be where the power cord is plugged in being bad but it doesn't in my opinion seem to be a likely candidate as you are getting power to the laptop. I will try to find something on Dells community forum perhaps someone has posted a similar question there. Here is the link to the diagnostic page Documentation. Be right back after I check that out.
 
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Old 08-18-12, 02:30 PM
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I looked around on the community page and I didn't see anything specific to your laptop but you could always post a question there yourself. Joining is still free as far as I can see. Here is a link to Dells Community Home - Dell Community . If your laptop is fairly old then trying to get it repaired I am afraid is going to be next to impossible or very expensive at the very least. Once a model year has gone by the technicians at Dell or any computer manufacturer for that matter will not want to repair your computer and more than likely offer you a trade in instead. So I suggest you have it looked over by a professional who will not charge much for a diagnostic and then you can take it from there. Good luck to you!
 
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Old 08-18-12, 04:57 PM
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Could be one of three things. If it's older than 2-3 years, the battery could just be shot. Due to their chemistry, laptop batteries don't last long no matter how you take care of them.

I'm not sure about your specific one, but Dells usually have a three pin connection on the charger. Either a squarish plug with three actual pins, or a coaxial 'barrel' with an inner sleeve and pin. The extra contact is for an identification signal between the charger and laptop (to stop you from using a "non-approved" charger). If the signal is not present, you get that error. So if the charger worked before (and the battery is good), either you have a broken signal wire in the charger cord or the input jack on the laptop itself has begun to break loose from the motherboard. I have heard that the identification chip can be fried by using an incompatible charger, but I've never seen that myself. Usually it's the cord itself has broken from constant flexing (this is why you don't wrap the cord around the brick! ).

Using a multimeter set to DC, CAREFULLY check for voltage between the center pin and the OUTER sleeve. DO NOT short the center pin to the inner sleeve! You should see approx 3-5v. If you don't the wire is broken somewhere inside the insulation. If you do, the problem most likely lies in the laptop's input jack.

 
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Old 08-18-12, 07:56 PM
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hvactechfw JerseyMatt makes a valid point about the battery maybe being bad. I had discounted that idea earlier because of the error message you said was there. It very well could be though as there is circuitry in the battery itself and as the battery gets older it will not show being fully charged at least not on my model of Latitude. As I remember though the battery on your laptop has no indicator on it or at least it appeared to not have one when I looked at a picture of the battery on Dells website.
I have bought several Dells and all of them used and ones I have had to work on and comparing Dell batteries to one other brand of laptop I have they seem to last longer at least with my experience anyway. That being said I did buy a Latitude D600 that had a bad battery and when I had put that battery into a Latitude D600 that I knew had a good charging circuit the battery charging light constantly flashed. So have you see a constantly flashing light? If so then probably the battery has gone bad. A question for you JerseyMatt where I myself haven't done this I would think there is a way to take the battery out and then see with an ohm meter if the battery compartment is getting any voltage and if so the best way to go about as to settings etc. As you know I am not an expert but you have worked on these I assume in your computer shop. I have only replaced screens and cleaned some out and never tested anything so your input is valuable!
 
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Old 08-19-12, 05:13 AM
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The battery meters respond differently to a failing battery depending on what version of Windows you are running and the monitoring circuitry built into the battery. Sometimes they never show fully charged, and sometimes they show fully charged but the meter drains rapidly. In this case the 'Time Remaining' recalibrates to reflect the damaged battery. Sometimes Dells simply trigger the 'Not Charging' error. Windows 7 actually communicates with the battery's monitor circuitry in a way that it can detect when the battery is nearing end of life (similar to the SMART feature of the hard drives) - like mine is..





The indicators on the battery itself is simply a 'fuel gauge' just like the one in Windows. It's just so you can check the relative charge level without having to boot the computer. It won't tell you if the battery is any good or not.

And due to the circuitry inside the battery (that's why there's usually 8-10 pins on the battery connector), you can't just take the battery out and stick a voltmeter on the terminals to see if it's charging. If there's no battery detected in the slot, it wont try to charge. Good thought though.
 
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Old 08-19-12, 06:52 AM
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Found the problem

I bought this charger on amazon. It did not work at first, it would just say plugged in not charging. I dropped the brick and then it started working. then my dog got excited and ran into the cord and unplugged it from my laptop and unplugged the brick from the power cord. After that it would not charge anymore. After checking Jersey Matt's suggestion of voltage between the center pin and the outer sleeve I found no voltage so as I figured it must have been somewhere in the new charger. After trying and trying to open the brick I finally got it! Here is what I found:
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Now I just have to find my solder gun........
 
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Old 08-19-12, 08:30 AM
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Now that's what I call quality workmanship! Friggin cheap Chinese garbage.. Glad it was in the brick and not in the laptop. Its a bear soldering new jacks onto multilayer motherboards..
 
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Old 08-19-12, 08:46 AM
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Well... it apparently broke off part of the board as well... I'm trying to solder to the circuit and I can't get it.
 
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Old 08-19-12, 02:17 PM
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Yeah thats what it looked like.. If that's the case you have to solder a bridge wire to the pads on either side of the break (be careful of any surface mount components), and tie that wire in on one of the sides. You won't be able to (easily) repair that broken pad.
 
  #14  
Old 08-19-12, 02:47 PM
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yep, I gave up... I bought it for like $8 so am I surprised about the quality; NO. Also, for $8 I'm not out much... just a bunch of time, a burnt finger, and now, no battery at all to rely on when my laptop comes unplugged. Guess I will spend a bit more on the next charger, Lesson I already new learned again.... You get what you pay for.
 
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Old 08-19-12, 06:33 PM
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JerseyMatt I kind of thought there wouldn't be a way to check on the laptop itself as I kind of figured there would a switch or circuit or something but I wasn't sure which is why I asked you if you could test it. I kind of wondered about the power supply as you will note in my reply. I agree with you hvavtechfw you do get what you pay for. While I don't always recommend e-bay in this case I am as I really think you can find a genuine Dell charger. A genuine charger will almost always be better than a non genuine. You might possibly be able to get a new one directly from Dell but it will be more expensive than going through e-bay. Like with all places of course you will have to use care and ask plenty of questions.
I don't care much for soldering either and I have done it a few times. The hardest time was re-soldering a switch on an old beat up desk top computer where room was just about as tight as on that charger. I wish you luck hvactechfw in finding the genuine charger.
 
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