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CPi PPL D266XT Laptop Won't Charge Battery

Posted on 2015-02-24
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
I have a CPi PPL D266XT Dell Laptop.  Its used for an old CNC machine so its importance is great and replacement with a newer laptop isn't an option.  The problem I'm having is the system will not charge the battery.  I've tried a new battery, power adapter and motherboard.  When I plug the power adapter into the system the green light on the power adapter goes out.  If I unplug the adapter the light reappears.

Recently the motherboard was replaced.  There are a couple cards that plug into the motherboard.  The PCMCIA and Audio Card.  My feeling is that there is something grounding out somewhere.  I've removed the battery, floppy drive and RAM.  Still when the power adapter is plugged in the light on the adapter goes off.  If I plug the power adapter into the old board the power adapter light stays lighted.  I've plugged a battery into the old motherboard and power adapter and the light stays on.  However the battery does not charge.

Feels like the next step should be to order another power adapter just to make sure the one I have isn't the problem.  Even though its newer.  Thanks in advance for any ideas.
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Question by:1namyln
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 40629059
The power adaptor for this model has built-in diagnostics for over-voltage and short-circuit which is when the green LED goes out so I suspect that your adapter is actually OK.

Why was the old board "retired"?
Is the battery OEM or "compatible"
Are both batteries detected in the Dell BIOS?
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by:1namyln
ID: 40629101
The battery will not charge.  If the battery is removed and the power adapter left connected the system will not power on.

Only one battery is installed.  The BIOS does detect the battery and states how much charge is left.

Its as if the adapter does not supply any power to the system.
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by:1namyln
ID: 40629106
This is a recent problem.  The battery currently still has about 50% charge left.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 40629151
Why was the old board "retired"?
Is the battery OEM or "compatible"
Are both batteries detected in the Dell BIOS? < I was working on the idea that you had two batteries you could test - old and new ("I've tried a new battery, power adapter and motherboard")

These venerable laptops are commonly suffering from ageing PCBs and it's not uncommon for them to spontaneously develop problems :(

My guess (and that's all it is) is the least likely components to be at fault here are the battery and adaptor.  If you want to test the adaptor theory you can probably pick up a replacement for $10-15 but if this is a critical machine you might be better investing in another replacement board - I understand the reason for keeping it but that compromise comes with a cost, and that is reliability.
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by:1namyln
ID: 40629188
Why was the old board "retired"?  When the laptop would no longer charge.  First a new battery and power adapter were tried.  System still will not charge and or accept any power from either adapter.

Battery is compatible.  Both batteries are detected within the BIOS.

As for the "venerable" laptop, this replacement board does the same as the old.
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by:nobus
ID: 40630049
>>   I've tried a new battery, power adapter and motherboard.  <<  then you replaced the whole chain
unless the replacements are not good - it should work
so i say : one of the replaced is bad - or not compatible; most probable = battery
i have seen lots opf problems with "compatible" batteries - use the exact one from Dell
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by:1namyln
ID: 40630546
I've ordered another power adapter.  An OEM adapter.  The first replacement was a generic one.  To be clear, I can remove all batteries and neither power adapter will power the device.  The only way the system will power on at the moment is that there is about 45% charge left in the newest battery.
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by:nobus
ID: 40630770
and this happens with both motherboards?
then try genuine batteries
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by:1namyln
ID: 40630777
How is another battery going to help?  The system does not receive any power from the adapter.  The battery is the only way the system will power on.  The battery only has charge from before the problem occurred.
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by:nobus
ID: 40631079
>>   The system does not receive any power from the adapter   << that should be fixed first

but it looks like the classic problem with more than 1 bad part - so you should test each one
what i don't understand is that you said you changed all parts - and it still does not work

so i suggest to proceed step by step :
1-measure the adapter output voltage - should be 19 V
2-connect adapter to laptop - measure the power coming in after the dc jack
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Author Comment

by:1namyln
ID: 40633658
Just received a new OEM power adapter and the same thing happens when I plug it in.  Light on the adapter goes out.  Doesn't matter if battery is connected to system or not.s
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40633682
measuring is the only way
if you don't want to  -bring the parts to a shop, and ask them to sift the bed from the good parts
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by:1namyln
ID: 40633692
Multimeter will arrive tomorrow.
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by:1namyln
ID: 40633693
In the mean time going to be removing one part at a time and testing.
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by:nobus
ID: 40634868
that seems the way to go; waiting for results
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by:1namyln
ID: 40635621
Found the problem I believe.  Unfortunately my initial visual inspection wasn't thorough.  Ordered a new part.  We'll see what happens.
IMG-20150227-103441110-HDR.jpg
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by:1namyln
ID: 40635630
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Assisted Solution

by:nobus
nobus earned 250 total points
ID: 40635802
swollen caps -  yep that was a plague in the past time
replace all !
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Accepted Solution

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☠ MASQ ☠ earned 250 total points
ID: 40635925
Unfortunately this is a problem that comes with the older hardware. If the machine is going to remain "mission critical" you should really look at sourcing a couple of working motherboards to maintain business continuity but the older components are statistically more likely to fail.

Again, appreciate the CNC issue and know you don't want to hear this, but you really need to look for a different solution long-term.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40636862
i hope it's all that is bad
do you have an ESR meter?
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by:1namyln
ID: 40666630
Finally got the right part installed.  The system will display power light now but that's it.  No video, etc.  External or on the LCD.  This laptop has proven to be a gigantic PITA.
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by:1namyln
ID: 40666632
When I turn it on I see a solid power light.  Solid numlock, capslock and scroll log.  Those three stay lit for a bit then go off.  The power light stays lit until I press the power button.  It goes out immediately when I press it.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40667393
if you really need that laptop working - look for an identical motherboard on ebay
otherwise - just look for a new one
chances are you won't get this easily fixed
you can also send it to a repair shop :
https://www.ifixit.com/Device/PC_Laptop
http://www.laptoprepair.com/
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Author Comment

by:1namyln
ID: 40667632
I have another motherboard and power board. Two of each actually. Today I'll be switching parts again to ensure I didn't get a dud part.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 40667729
and be sure you ground yourself properly!
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Author Closing Comment

by:1namyln
ID: 40675729
Thanks for your help and patience.  Problem was the power board.  The first power boards shipped fit but the video connection was different.  Once I received the right one it worked great.  Thanks again.
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