The AC power adapter type cannot be determined message in Dell


  1. Dell = trash.

    My overpriced MX17 laptop had a the “7 beeps of death” error out-of-the box. Then the aforementioned power adapter issue followed, but was intermittent and had no tangible effects (other than the warning message). Later on it was revealed that Dell were no longer updating drivers for the GPU in my laptop 7970M — only a couple of years down the track!) so certain games would not run on my more-than-capable hardware and now the “cannot determine power adapter” problem is back, but this time it’s throttling the GPU, so I cannot use the laptop properly!

    Last Dell e-waste product I buy.

  2. I’ve bought 3 Dell Inspirons from 2009 until 2012. First Inspiron was my mum’s (her 75th. birthday is just today ;), and she wanted – once it occured – only original replacements from DELL. I could’nt convince her for 3rd. partie and it wasn’t my money, so I gave her what DELL wanted. More than 200 Euros for original DELL-replacements of battery and charger. Didn’t help that long, ’cause her replaced adaptor only made it for about a year and a half, then it started with the same messages again. I can clearly state, that my mother never moves the laptop at all, she wanted a laptop as “state of the art”, but not to move around with it.

    On my own laptop I tried to solve the issue with 3rd-party-equipment, but well, we all know, this doesn’t really solve the problem. So with my machine I’m at the same point like my mum. Just got there with less money spent :).

    As the 3rd and newest of these has now too “given up” and presents me this message, I digged in a bit further into this problem and ended up at Dell support-forum to Get rid of all of my anger.

    You know what DELL? You might consider, that you earn big money with after-warranty sales. I might have accepted a system-message, about me not following your “cash-flow-ideas”, that I would run the machine on my own risk and disabling the battery-charging to prevent your high-quality-equipment from further damage.

    What I don’t accept is clocking down the cpus and leaving us with almost useless systems for modern hardware/software. I got the hint, that “all this old hardware” needs a replacement.

    Guess what I will buy within the next weeks: Buy anything but DELL.
    Guess what I will tell people who want to buy within the next years: Buy anything but DELL.

  3. ADAPTER TYPE CANNOT BE DETERMINED/ NO CHARGE–dell laptop- my fix was a bent pin in the socket of my charger cable. bent it back, charges now. THANX!

  4. maybe you must downgrade the BIOS. On my M4800 all BIOS newer than A06 will bring this error and reduce processor speed of 800mhz, if I plug in not an original Charger. With A06 BIOS all fine.

  5. Can’t even change my bios as it flags up I need more charge in my battery to flash it.

  6. We had this same problem with the dell 15 5550 Inspiron. Did everything from putting a new battery in it to updating the bios. Finally took the barrel plug on the power pak apart and found that Dell uses a three wire system…white, black and blue on ours. the white and black are the positive and negative ,but the blue wire which connects in the center pin of the connector is the information wire that tells the computer that it is being charged with a dell charger. If the computer does not get that signal then the battery will not charge and you will get that message. I do electronics and on mine the blue center info wire came off. I resoldered it and it has worked ever since. I think maybe Dell is the only power supply that does this. If you don’t know how to micro solder…spend the 45 bucks and get a new Dell charger.

  7. Thank you very much for this tip! I had the same problem and bought a new power cord from Best Buy but it did not work (dig not have the 3 wire leads). I took the barrel plug apart (my original Dell power cord) as you suggested and noticed that the blue wire was broken. I re-soldered the wire and BINGO! That worked! I will buy a replacement power cord form Dell. Thanks again for your insight. Saved be the cost of a new battery- Garth.

  8. Dell created this problem intentionally by creating a proprietary power supply which has a control pin which sends a signal to a security chip in your computer. They had to spend EXTRA MONEY to do this. In doing so, they need to make back the cost of all of those extra non-standard parts. So they blackmail you to buy DELL replacement parts. Their computers could easily work with other adapters. DC voltage is not that complicated. But Dell wants you to believe that somehow a non-Dell 12V DC supply with enough amperage is not “quality Dell parts”.

  9. I have inspiron desktop needs the 65 w adapter but when turn it on says not the right adapter so will work slower (refuses to accept it is in fact the 65W, and dell adapter that came with comp) but instead of slower it just turns it right off. any ideas? thanks. (I am not computer literate so cant do stuff inside machine and my last comp died cause dell update didnt say was going to do things to BIOS and I got nervous when saw that happening turned it off and my comp completley died) Thanks

  10. In my case,it was the power supply jack. Look( with the flashlight) In the center of it.There should be little pin like conductor (straight piece of wire, something that looks like center of RGB cable TV connector) My was bent to the side.Take a pin and make it straight again. Also, with the same pin clean the center hole of your computer power port. (it might have become obstructed by plastic, due to the center conductor not going properly into it). Don’t forget to kill the power before you do anything with the power adapter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

3 + 6 =