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Why wont my dell inspiron work with an non-dell charger

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February 14, 2010 11:23:51 PM

My Dell Insiron 1525 charger stopped working. I got an OEM replacement on eBay. It worked fine for 2 weeks then I started getting a note upon startup saying the computer did not recognize the charger. Now I see the AC works but the battery won't charge. I assume there is a code in the Bios that forces a user to stick with a expensive Dell replacement charger.... is there anyway to disable this?
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
February 15, 2010 12:33:35 AM

I guess it's possible Dell have boobytrapped that model to stop you using cheaper PSU but it's also possible that the e-bay charger isn't working properly so, if it's not too late, you might ask the vendor for a replacement (assuming the unit offered promised to work with yours or all Dell models).

In this situation I would look to a small computer retailer/repair guy for a used original Dell unit. It's in the nature of laptops that computer and PSU get separated. So orphans turn up in places like that.
February 15, 2010 12:53:51 AM

That, or the ebay seller sold you a lemon that was on the way out already. How old is your battery?

P.S. There are reasons that they tell you not to use other equipment with their laptops.
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February 18, 2010 11:40:39 AM

No, Dell specifically prevent perfectly good OEM chargers from charging the battery. Those chargers will power the computer but not charge the battery.
August 14, 2011 9:02:00 PM

Just like printer manufactures chip the ink cartridges, so Dell chips the power supplies, and batteries. Your laptop or desktop will refuse to charge the battery and down-clock the CPU to some minuscule fraction of full power if you dare to try to avoid the Dell Consumables Tax. I spent $3000 on a Dell Precision M6400 16gb quadcore desktop replacement, only to have the PS die after a year. Dell wanted $110 at the time, and I purchased another brand with the same voltage and current for $20 plus shipping, only to learn about the greed of Dell. A followup call to Dell support was among the most aggravating and frustrating experiences I've had. This experience caused me to go from a staunch supported to a rabidly anti-Dell, bad-PR mouthpiece. : )

That said, here's the expose on the AC adapter teardown, showing the cute little - and utterly functionally useless - chip that causes the problem: http://www.laptop-junction.com/toast/content/inside-del....

And here are two solutions for the clockspeed:
http://www.pbus-167.com/ Notebook Hardware Control
http://cpu.rightmark.org/ RightMark Clock

The laptop batteries can no longer be charged with a non-Dell-branded powersupply - fixing that's beyond any hacks most folk will be comfortable with. The only choice is to wither bite the bullet and buy a ridiculously overpriced, intentionally delicate Dell (R) ToastingBrick(tm), or else mock up or buy an external battery charger - which is also expensive and nontrivial.

Dell won't change their policies - so Don't Buy Dell. There are better brands out there, ones that come with much better service plans and don't involve a girl named Amy with an Indian accent.
November 30, 2011 5:01:41 PM

anonymous_19 said:
Just like printer manufactures chip the ink cartridges, so Dell chips the power supplies, and batteries. Your laptop or desktop will refuse to charge the battery and down-clock the CPU to some minuscule fraction of full power if you dare to try to avoid the Dell Consumables Tax.


The chip inside the Dell power supplies actually contains information the computer uses and reads, specifically how much power the AC Adapter is capable of providing (among some other things that I haven't decoded). Some Dell laptops only require a 65W adapter to run, but if you are going through a docking station they require a 90W adapter. This chip basically allows them to figure out which one you have plugged in. It allows them easy compatibility across all adapters and systems, all the 65W/90W/120W adapters have the same plug which allows you to use them across multiple different types of laptops without those laptops breaking the adapters.

Now... that being said, it does mean you pretty much have to use Dell adapters and they are pretty expensive. The decision to add chips in wasn't done explicitly to screw consumers over though, it's actually somewhat a safety decision. It prevents your laptop from pulling too much power from a power supply that can't handle it and since most of the cheap ones are made in china, I wouldn't trust their over current protection circuitry too much. Best case scenario, your blow your AC Adapter and it doesn't work. Worst case scenario, it burst into flames AND damages your laptop. It does however limit your choices to pretty much Dell options :(  They opted to go with 100% safety rather than trust the consumer that they know what their doing and if in the process they get to make themselves some more cash, win-win for them. It also probably helps cover them from a legal perspective.


P.S. Reverse engineering the information in the chips is tricky. Taking that information and putting it into another chip in a set up that can actually be read by your Dell laptop, MUCH more difficult, but can be done if you have the correct tools.
a b D Laptop
November 30, 2011 8:17:03 PM

The issue is with the crappy OEM parts, cheap batteries have similar issues, they run OK for a few months, then the charge they can hold almost always nosedives. Blaming Dell is like installing cheap aftermarket brakes and yelling at Chevy because the car does not stop as well.
a b D Laptop
November 30, 2011 8:49:56 PM

I'd say it's more of a installing cheap break assembly that doesn't have the hook up for hand brake and then blaming dell for hand break not working.

hmm i think i got something wrong there. oh well
a b D Laptop
December 1, 2011 4:13:36 PM

AntiZig said:
I'd say it's more of a installing cheap break assembly that doesn't have the hook up for hand brake and then blaming dell for hand break not working.

hmm i think i got something wrong there. oh well


Maybe more like walking into a zoo with raw steaks in your pockets and complaining that the lions are looking at you funny.
a b D Laptop
December 1, 2011 4:39:57 PM

hahaha good one
July 16, 2012 9:44:30 AM

What a pile of poo dell could have put the chip in the pc. if the power was bad it could not charge. and you are teling me all the rest of the pc manf. is takeing so sort of risk? there is prob. miiions of chargers lost evey year.
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