My posting today is a total departure from the usual subjects and issues on which I comment.

I have been beset with a problem on my laptop – a Dell Inspiron 1764 – which Google searches have shown to be a relatively common problem affecting laptops irrespective of the manufacturer – and therefore not confined to Dell. I use Windows 7 but the problem also affects other operating systems such as Vista and XP.

What happens is that when one tries to charge the battery a message appears that an incompatible adapter is being used and therefore the battery is not charging. However, power is being transmitted to the laptop and one can continue to use it but the battery will not charge.

The causes for this problem apparently vary: some say it could be a defective charger, others suggest that the battery is defective and quite a few people say that the problem is with the motherboard. Some claim that reverting the bios to an earlier version seems to solve the problem. Others suggest that it is a bug in the Windows operating system. Some people, whose laptop is out of warranty, have spent a lot of money trying different fixes.

I am using the charger that Dell supplied with the laptop so I know that it is not an incompatible charger. Tests have shown that my battery is fine. I doubt if it is the motherboard on my laptop since the fix I have outlined below takes care of the problem – at least for a while.

After endless googling, I came upon a solution almost by accident that someone said worked for them. I tried it out and, lo and behold, it took care of the problem – although from time to time when the problem recurs I end up having to repeat the process. I claim no credit for the fix – it was posted on this site. But it took me forever to find it so I thought that I would make it a blog entry in case someone does a google search and ends up on this blog.

Here are the steps to take – slightly more detailed than outlined on the above site:

1. Disconnect the AC from the laptop
2. Shutdown the computer
3. Remove battery
4. Re-connect the AC
5. Startup the computer
6. Go to Control Panel and open Device Manager
7. Expand the Batteries category and right-click all of the Microsoft ACPI Compliant Control Method Battery listings, and select Uninstall . You may have just one instance of it.
8. Shutdown the computer
9. Disconnect the AC from the laptop and unplug the connection from the wall socket.
10. Re-insert the battery
11. Re-connect the AC
12. Startup the computer

This worked for me – though once in a while I end up having to repeat the process. If your laptop is still under warranty, obviously the best solution is to contact the manufacturer. But if you are out of warranty giving this fix a try may save you needless expenditure. I don’t believe that taking the above steps will adversely affect your computer – but, it goes without saying that you do so at your own risk.

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34 Responses to “Dell laptop problem: “Plugged in battery not charging””

  1. James Herdman says:

    The instructions sounds janky but this really worked, cheers m8

  2. TJ says:

    Glad to hear that it worked for you. It is weird that these steps takes care of the problem. BTW, never heard the word “janky” before. Had to look up the urban dictionary for the meaning!

  3. Saira says:

    Papa — Neeta and I say janky all the time!! That shows you REALLY don’t listen when we’re talking to you…

  4. nicole says:

    thank you for the easy instructions. I’m having this very problem on my Dell inspiron1764. but my question is this: do I need to reinstall the driver for the acpi compliant control method battery? or is this left off? does windows do it automatically when it scans for updates?

  5. TJ says:

    Nicole, I don’t know what operating system you are using. I use Windows 7 and when one restarts the laptop, it will automatically reinstall the driver.

    I believe this is so with other versions of Windows but this is based on what I read when I was researching a fix to the problem.

    Hope that it works for you – and if it does, do post a comment so that it benefits others with the same problem.

  6. Nicole says:

    I am using Windows 7 64 bit.

    After completing the process, the problem seems to have been fixed! Upon checking the battery device manager, the driver is there automatically.

    Thank you!

  7. TJ says:

    Glad to hear that it solved your problem.

    The steps one goes through seem bizarre and I have no idea why it solves the problem.

    Thanks for taking the time to post that it worked for you. I hope that others who resolve the problem employing this approach will also post if only for the benefit of others.

  8. Nicole says:

    Thank YOU, Mr. Joseph.

    I googled the heck out of this problem, and this was the only mention I could find anywhere. Even on Dell’s website AND Microsoft Windows’ website.

  9. Eddie says:

    It seems A’s if I’m the only one this didn’t work for :-(

  10. TJ says:

    Eddie, I am no expert when it comes to computer issues but based on my experience, if you can borrow an AC adapter and see if that works with your laptop, it may help narrow your problem.

    Dell sent a technician when I had the issue with a replacement motherboard and a new AC adapter. The technician plugged in the new adapter and the problem went away. There was no need to replace the motherboard.

    Assuming that your laptop is not under warranty any longer, the adapter would be a relatively inexpensive fix if that is, in fact, the problem.

    Good luck!

  11. kssum says:

    Thanks ! it works for my Dell..

  12. Nicole says:

    An update: My laptop decided to do this again, and I had to go through this process again. I guess it’s not a permanent fix, but something that has to be done every so often until a real fix can be found..

  13. TJ says:

    Nicole, the next time it happens – if you are able to access another suitable adapter – see if that takes care of the problem.

    The fix worked for me until it stopped working altogether and then Dell provided a new adapter and that took care of the problem permanently. It is likely a problem with the adapter or the motherboard or both. A motherboard repair would be very expensive if your warranty has expired.

  14. guy says:

    worked GREAT!!!

  15. Ron MacLeod says:

    The procedure is fine since it offers a resolve. The final answer is to replace the adapter. Dell has a mechanism to determine if it is a Dell adapter or not. If the specs vary on the adapter it indicated the unit is about to fail or is not providing the power range that is normal. It may power up the unit after you press the F1 key but will not charge the battery for example. So if you are under warranty call Dell and get a replacement. Go to Support.dell.com to check warranty status anytime by inputting you service tag on the bottom of the laptop
    or do an F2 and see it in the bios.

  16. TJ says:

    Ron, I certainly agree that if the laptop is under warranty, that would be the optimal course of action. But if it is not under warranty, from what I read when I had the problem, people have spent a lot of money on a trial and error approach including changing the battery, the adapter and even the mother-board. In my case, I was in India when the problem started and Dell (India) said that they did not support the 1764. When I returned to the US two weeks prior to the expiration of the warranty, Dell sent a technician with a replacement mother-board and an adapter. The new adapter took care of the problem immediately and it was not necessary to change the m-b.

    Adapters are relatively inexpensive – so if the above approach does not work, perhaps one ought to try and see if the adapter will solve the problem.

  17. Herman says:

    I cannot start my Dell inspiron without the battery, with or wthout the AC connected

  18. TJ says:

    Herman…not sure what you are saying. If you are not able to start the laptop with the AC connected, it would seem to suggest a problem with the power getting to the laptop whether it is because of a faulty adapter or where the power connects within the laptop.

  19. Cody says:

    Yeah, I have the same problem sometimes. But I realized that I live in an old house and there’s always a lot of stuff plugged in and the breakers cant take it so my laptop wont charge. When I move it to another room or unplug something else in the room I’m in it’ll charge again. It’s weird, and I thought my charger was about to break lol

  20. raja says:

    if done this manner, made any problem in my computer

  21. TJ says:

    raja, if you are asking if these steps are likely to harm your computer, the answer is that it should not do so. However, as stated in the post, it is at your risk since each individual situation can vary.

    Good luck ….. and do let us know if it worked for you. It may be of help to others faced with the same problem.

  22. raja says:

    its working

  23. Lokesh says:

    Working, But problem striking again.. Any permanent solution?

  24. TJ says:

    Lokesh: From my research while I was having the same problem, the most likely culprits are either the A/C adapter or the motherboard. In my case it was the former and when that was replaced, the problem went away. My laptop was still under warranty and when the Dell technician came to service my laptop he came with a new A/C adapter and a replacement motherboard – he did not need to use the latter.

    If you can get access to another compatible Dell A/C adapter, try and see if that takes care of the problem. It is obviously the cheaper fix.

    Keep in mind that I am not a tech professional. Good luck and do post what worked for you – it may help others with the same problem.

  25. YA says:

    working for dell E6410 and win7.

    thank you for this post.

  26. IbI says:

    it worked just once after that when i replug the charger it is not working again and icon shows “plugged in, not charging”

  27. Aaron W says:

    thank you this solved my problem. now i can take back this $75 charger i bought yesterday

  28. adam says:

    Thank you, this worked first time, glad I found your post before I spent any money

  29. TJ says:

    Glad it helped you. Some have commented that this is a temporary fix. If the problem resumes, your best bet is to test whether another charger works with the laptop and if it still does not work then it may be a problem with the motherboard. Good luck.

  30. sunil says:

    sir i have dell vestro laptop. win 7 os.i3 processor&4gb ram .the problem is replace the battery .wat can i do for that issue. pls tel me how can solve the issue

  31. TJ says:

    Sunil, please explain your specific problem.

  32. mubarak says:

    my problem is when i use my computer for a few minutes,then come to shut down. and when i see the message in icon say there is a problem in my battery,can you tell me what can i do in order to solve this problem

  33. dubdub says:

    it din’t work for mine sucks :(

  34. alex says:

    thanks for your help cause my laptop is working now!

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