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TOPIC: The Dell AC power Adapter can not be determined

The Dell AC power Adapter can not be determined 7 years 3 months ago #50

  • Arnaud
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After powering up your Dell you see the following message:
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 65W AC adapter or greater for best system performance.
To resolve this issue, try to reseat the power adapter.

Strike the F3 key (before the F1 or F2 key) if you do not want to see power warning messages again.

Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility
Press F5 to run onboard diagnostics.


Do NOT press F3. Once pressed you will no longer be alerted when your laptop falls back into the safe performance level at boot time, which will cause your PC to be much slower.

Press F2 to enter the setup utility.

Browse to Settings -> General -> Battery Information.

Observe the text below the battery picture, it should read "AC Adapter = Unknown".

  1. Unplug your power connector from your laptop, wait three seconds and replug it back into your laptop.
  2. If that doesn't help, unplug the power cable from the wall socket and wait until the led on the adapter totally dims and replug it back.
  3. If that also doesn't help, wiggle the cable along its total length, disconnect / reconnect the power connector from your laptop and rotate the connector half circle two ways inside its socket for a few times.
  4. Finally, if all of the above do not help, the sensor pin of the power plug may have become oxidized over time. Take a pair of tweezers and grab-scrape along the pin as if you would want to pull it out of the connector. Do this a few times to cover all sides of the pin.

Try the suggestions above until the text below the battery picture changes and shows the wattage instead of Unknown. For example "AC Adapter = 65W". This indicates that it's able to determine the adapter's power capacity again.

Hit the "Esc" key or click the "Exit" button to leave the setup utility.

You can try the above solution while running your operating system instead of from the BIOS Setup. Just watch the battery indicator/led of your laptop case and follow the steps above until the led stays on. If it turns off after 1 or 2 seconds it means that the adapter was not recognized.
Arnaud Kleinveld
Last Edit: 4 years 7 months ago by Arnaud.
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