I have a Dell Inspiron E 1505 and I am having some problems with charging my battery. It is intermittent. When I do hook the adapter back up I get the message "AC Power adapter can not be determined" and it doesn't charge.
The "PC Experts" that I took it to are trying to tell me that it is the adapter itself, but it will run off of the adapter when hooked up. That tells me it has to be inside. Besides it charging periodically overnight.
I've heard that the problem is sometimes the AC adapter, and sometimes it is internal (requiring mobo replacement). I'm up to date on this as I just had the same issue on my Dell XPS M1330. In my case, it was a bad AC adapter, much to my surprise (I'm on my 3rd motherboard in 2 years). Also for me, I was able to run the laptop on the adapter, though it could not charge the battery. I guess the adapter still worked, but did not provide the usual amount of power. Booting up, I got a message stating that my system was being underclocked (or something to that effect) to compensate for insufficient power. It did run quite a bit slower too.
Anyway, if you are still under warranty, don't buy anything until you talk to Dell tech support. I was amazed the warranty covered the AC adapter. If not covered, I'd be tempted to try finding another adapter you can try, see if it solves your issue, before buying, just in case.
Thanks for your responses. I have been working with this adapter for the last few weeks and have found that it will charge when moved around for a bit and seating it differently. It is definitely not the adapter. It is the plug on the computer that is bad..