Older compaq presario laptops

i have an older compaq laptop with the rounded rectangle ended charger and at the moment the laptop doesn't seem to recognise the laptop i am not sure if it is the laptop or the charger
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  1. Buy a cheap multimeter and (if necessary) fashion some probes that will fit the charger plug (first check the output voltage on the power adapter is a safe one -- like 12 or 19 or 30 volts).

    Compare the reading on the multimeter with the claimed output of the cube -- if the reading is zero or way off, you need a new adapter. Unbranded adapters can be found fairly cheap on e-bay.
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