Overview: Be it any brand Dell, Lenovo, HP, Acer or any other brand, charging issue has always been a frustrating issue. Many laptops and All in One user are facing the charging issue. We have come across many different errors with different brand mentioned below:
“The AC power adapter wattage and type cannot be determined. The battery may not charge. The system will adjust the performance to match the power available. Please connect a Dell 45 W AC adapter or greater for the best system performance.”
“The connected AC adapter has a lower wattage than the recommended model which was shipped with the system. To boot with the AC adapter, please connect the AC adapter which was shipped with the system. Press Esc to continue.”
“HP Smart Adapter
HP offers a wide range of Smart AC Adapter for your convenience, replacement and travel needs. Find these accessories and more at select retailers.
Your computer is designed to vary performance as needed when a smaller capacity Smart AC Adapter is connected. However, your computer exceeds the power rating for the Smart AC Adapter connected. Please connect a higher capacity Smart AC Adapter.”
“Plugged in Not Charging”
Let’s understand the reason for these error messages and troubleshoot it.
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So, let’s start with the real user’s practical scenario!
Practical Scenario: AC Adapter wattage and type cannot be determined
My daughter’s laptop is an Inspiron 14-3452 (3000 series). We got it recently in November during the Black Friday sales at Best Buy, so it’s not very old. The error the laptop has been getting is; “The AC power adapter wattage and type cannot be determined. The battery may not charge. The system will adjust the performance to match the power available. Please connect a Dell 45 W AC adapter or greater for the best system performance.” Sure enough, we got “plugged in, not charging.”
Source: Dell Community
So, let’s go ahead and troubleshoot the charging issue.
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Step 1: Look for Any Damage
The first thing we have to check for any damage to the AC Adapter, charger and to the port where you plug in the charger. Sometimes the charger does not fit in properly. Also make sure that the charger is plugged in properly, try wiggling the charger to the port and check if it is charging the PC. After you are sure that there is no physical damage and all is good, try the next step.
Look for any kind of damage to the charger, sometimes pin is bent.
Look for the damage to the DC IN port.
Step 2: Use the Branded Charger
Make sure that you are using the same charger which came with the system. Even if it is not the same charger make sure that the manufacturer is the same for both PC and charger and the charger has the correct wattage which is meant for the PC. Do not use Universal Charger.
Step 3: Connect Power Cord Directly to the Wall Outlet.
We recommend you to connect the charger directly to the wall outlet. Do not use any surge protector. Using surge protector sometimes causes slow performance, slow Wi-Fi and many other issues.
Step 4: Reseat the Power Cable
Try reseating the power cable which is connected to the AC adapter. Sometimes reseating the power cable resolves the issue.
First, unplug the power cable from the AC adapter as shown below
Now plug the cable back to the adapter properly.
In case issue not resolved after reseating, move on to the next step
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Step 5: Check for the LED Light Status on The Charger or Adapter
When you plug in the charger to the wall outlet you should be able to see the small LED green/blue/white light on the AC adapter or the charger. If you can see the light that means the charger and AC adapter is fine and the system is not recognizing the power supply. There might be an issue with the DC IN port where you connect the charger or it may be the motherboard.
In this pic LED ring is on the charger. Most of the time LED light is on the AC Adapter brick.
If you do not see any LED light on the charger or the adapter then your charger may be faulty, you may have to contact your system manufacturer to get another charger.
Please note- Sometimes it is seen that the LED light on the charger/adapter goes away as soon as you plug in the charger to the PC. This is caused due to reverse current issue, in this case, the motherboard may be faulty. You have to contact the manufacturer to get the faulty part replaced.
Step 6: Check the Battery and AC adapter status in the BIOS.
Go to your system BIOS and check what is the status of the AC adapter and Battery. You can check in the BIOS if the charger and battery is being recognized.
For Dell user, start the PC and immediately keep on tapping the F2 key on the keyboard to go to the BIOS. You will see AC adapter status under the battery information and if the BIOS interface is different then under the main option you will find the AC adapter status.
Contact the system manufacturer in case the AC adapter is not detected on the System.
Step 7: Check the Charger on Another Good Known System
If you have a similar model number or another good known system then you can check if this charger is working on another good known system. Make sure the AC adapter is of the same wattage and is compatible with the system.
Note- Do not use the charger on non-compatible systems.
Step 8: Use the Charger of Similar/Another Good Known System.
Try using the charger of the similar model number or another good known system on this affected system. Make sure AC adapter is of the same wattage and is compatible with the system.
Note- Do not use the charger of non-compatible systems.
Step 9: Update the BIOS and All the System Driver
Go to your system manufacturer’s website to update the system drivers and BIOS to the latest. Sometimes updating the BIOS and drivers fix the charging issue.
For Dell user, visit this link and enter the service tag number of your PC and then update the BIOS. If the battery is less than 10 percent and the AC adapter is not charging the system then you might not be able to update the BIOS. In that case, you have to force update the BIOS. Please visit this link to force update the BIOS
If following all the above steps do not resolve the issue then it might be a hardware issue. You might have to contact your system manufacturer to get the faulty parts replaced.
Step 10: Run the Complete Hardware Test
Run the hardware scan on your computer to determine any hardware failure which may be the cause of the charging issue.
For Dell users start the PC and immediately keep tapping F12 on the keyboard to go to the one-time boot menu. Select Diagnostic on this screen and then hit enter, it will run the hardware test and will let you know if there is any hardware failure.
By now you must be aware of the causes of “plugged in not charging” issue and different error associated with charging. I hope this post helped you to resolve the charging issue.