Laptop charger - Dell PA-12 Plugged In Not Charging

A common problem with Dell laptops seems to be the "Plugged in not charging" problem. We encountered this problem on a Dell E6220 laptop with a PA-12 family adapter. Sometimes when plugged in it would work properly and sometimes not.

People seems to be tearing their hair out for this problem on different Dell laptops with different chargers. The solutions vary and the cause of the problem too.

The diagnostics utility on the E6220, accessed by pushing F12 on boot and then selecting Diagnostics revealed that at the correct state it was charging at 65W, but when faulty it was only 1W.

A friend of mine who owned the E6220 tried replacing the socket on the laptop, which did not give any results at all except more hassle in terms of reassembling the mess of a laptop. After replacing it Windows still reported the same charging state.

After some research, mostly on Youtube it could be the plug on the charger or the cable. So I connected the charger to the laptop and in diagnostics mode I cranked the cable in different ways to detect the break. 

When I came up to the plug I found it. It turned out to be where the cable goes in to the plug. Pushing it to one side resulted in 1W and pushing it quite hard to the other resulted in 65W.

Now, how can this be? Well, this kind of charger has 3 pins, not 2, and if some of the cables to them break in the cord it messes up the communication/charging voltage with the laptop.

This is a personal note. Last updated: 2015-07-27 15:36:02.







Don't forget to pay my friend a visit too. Joakim