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Problem with Laptop not charging

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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February 29, 2012 10:28:12 AM

Right, got a slight problem with a laptop. It's a Dell Inspiron.

It's stopped charging. When plugged into the wall, the light on the power brick comes on, but the laptop itself doesn't seem to receive any power. Windows's doesn't recognise what it's plugged in, does nothing and just keeps draining battery as per normal usage.

I've tried various combinations of removing the battery and power cord and trying to boot up. It does not boot with the AC plugged in and battery out.

Funny thing is, at one point I noticed there was some slight condensation build-up on the power jack that goes into the computer. It's since been dried, completely, taking 24 hours under a light heater & with the AC on dry mode when I've not been in, battery & all cables out. No dice.

I've not got it to 0% battery yet, no idea what's going to happen then (if it'll stay on or not). I kinda want to keep it for emergency's sake, so not in a rush to drain it. Also I don't have access to another power cord, not yet anyway, but will be able to take a look this weekend. (I live exactly nowhere near a city to actually get one)

In the meantime, curious if anyone has any idea on how I may be able to fix it? And also, will electronics stores let me "test" a power cable before buying, in case it is simply just a broken cord?

Cheers!
a b D Laptop
February 29, 2012 11:51:39 AM

if you gently wiggle the power cord that goes in the back of the laptop if it seems like it has alot of play to, which is common the power port has come loose or unsouldered from the board.
two choices replace board or resolder it. i had one done from a radio repair place in town 15$ held up for about a year and then i replaced the whole laptop.
February 29, 2012 11:57:06 AM

Wiggled it and the cable, doesn't work at all. The DC connector itself doesn't seem to be loose.
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a b D Laptop
February 29, 2012 12:21:43 PM

My sister's Inspiron 1525 developed the same symptoms half a year ago. Luckily for us, it was still within the 3 years warranty period by a couple of months, so it was sent off, and came back repaired.

I researched the topic then, and came to the conclusion that it's a common error with this model, and it's cause is some circuit board inside the computer, which is responsible for the charging, which is just deteriorating over time.
February 29, 2012 8:44:04 PM

Was it the daughterboard? If so I'm just going to do the replacement myself. Only thing I don't want to do is start soldering, I've never soldered before and don't want to start with a laptop.
a b D Laptop
March 1, 2012 7:05:02 AM

On the paper that came back with it, "Motherboard replacement" was written. And indeed, the BIOS version was not the same, so they did replace the motherboard.

I don't know if that "daughterboard" was also replaced with it or not. I don't know, if it was necessary to replace the whole motherboard (possibly with other circuits), or they just did it because it's more simple.
March 5, 2012 5:10:08 AM

Upon taking the thing apart, I have discovered that the daughterboard that has the power adaptor, USB port and VGA port is covered in rust/corrotion. this part, for reference.

I assume replacing it may solve my problems?
a b D Laptop
March 5, 2012 7:52:23 AM

I wish I could tell you more. That's a decision you'll have to make, I'm afraid.

Hey, they have a 30 day return policy, so all you can lose is the 15 bucks restocking fee (and the shipping back, I guess). I can see that it's also eligible for free shipping? (Yeah, it's included in the price, we all know it...).

I find it a bit disturbing that for 5 times the price of that component, you can get a brand new laptop, with 2nd generation Intel Core-i3 processor, 500GB hard drive and 4GB DDR3 memory...
!