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Laptop Causes AC Charger Light to Go Off - No Charge

Posted on 2013-01-03
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a Dell Inspiron N5030.  Whenever I plug the AC charger into the port, the light on the charger goes off.  I have to unplug the charger from the outlet and plug it back in to get it to come back on.  Then, same thing ... try to plug it in the laptop, and the green light on the charger goes off, dead.  Any ideas?
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Question by:BullfrogSoftware
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Expert Comment

by:Scott Thompson
ID: 38741799
Is this an official Dell AC Adapter? Do you have another one on hand you can test with? It is either the AC Adapter, the DC Jack, or the battery. My bet is on the AC Adapter. Try plugging it in without the battery in and see what happens.

BTW, long shot. Could be motherboard. Post results.
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Expert Comment

by:Scott C
ID: 38741806
It looks like your charger is going bad.  The only real way to troubleshoot this would be to plug it into another compatible Dell laptop to see if the behavior is still the same.

Or plug another AC charger into your laptop.

They aren't expensive.  It might be worth your time/money to get one to see.

http://www.amazon.com/Adapter-Charger-Inspiron-E1505-E1705/dp/B0037YC3QU
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 38741817
Dell chargers have a built-in self test, if the light is going out when you plug the laptop the fault may be with the power board on the laptop.  Do you have another laptop compatible with this charger you can swap over for testing?
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 38741829
Either faulty laptop or faulty charger.

This looks like a DC power supply charger of 19 volts and 5 amps.  Can you confirm this by reading the specs on the charger?

It probably has overload/short circuit protection which could be one reason it is shutting down.  You could confirm the charger works by using a multimeter and and carefully touching the outer case and inner connector of the charger connector and reading the voltage and see if any is there.  If there is voltage and the green lamp stays on you know that the charger is outputting power.  If that occurs you'd then have to test and see how much amperage the charger can output.

But if the charger works OK then the problem lies in the laptop.
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Author Comment

by:BullfrogSoftware
ID: 38741873
Well, I had pulled out an identical laptop, and it charges fine.  Even switched the batteries to make sure that wasn't the issue.  So, where in the laptop might the problem lie?  I am assuming the board.
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Accepted Solution

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Scott C earned 2000 total points
ID: 38741879
Yes, the system board.  If it's still under warranty let Dell fix it.

If not, you need to weigh the cost of getting a new board,  and installing it vs. purchasing a new laptop.

Here is the service manual for that laptop:

ftp://ftp.dell.com/Manuals/all-products/esuprt_laptop/esuprt_inspiron_laptop/inspiron-15-n5030_service%20manual_en-us.pdf
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Author Comment

by:BullfrogSoftware
ID: 38741888
9 times out of 10, I will purchase an entire laptop used (same model, usually on eBay) and swap the hard drive, rather than replacing the board.  Looks like this might be the solution.
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Expert Comment

by:Scott C
ID: 38741890
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by:Scott C
ID: 38741897
If you can get one for a good price it sure would be.  Then you'd have the old one for spare parts.
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Author Closing Comment

by:BullfrogSoftware
ID: 38741909
Thanks everyone.
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 38741925
Most likely you have a faulty connection somewhere on the power jack module - see the service guide for location (it's next to where you plug the adaptor in!)  either the solder connection on the the board is broken or the copper connector to the cylinder socket is worn and not making a connection to the adaptor.  Again a multimeter will help track this down.

You can get replacement units for less than $20
eg http://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Original-Dell-Inspiron-p07f003/dp/B009UL0WBW
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