How to troubleshoot your Dell Inspiron notebook battery

If your #DellInspiron notebook appears to be showing some battery hiccups lately, our suggestions below may help. Today’s troubleshooting article provides solutions to common symptoms of Dell battery issues. We hope you’ll find our suggestions helpful.

Before we proceed to the main topic, we would like to remind you that we accept requests for assistance regarding their Windows computers. If you have a problem that you can’t seem to find a solution to, send us your issue by following the link at the bottom of this page. Just remember, windows problems can sometimes be difficult to diagnose so kindly make sure that you give us very detailed description of the problem. You want to mention relevant history that may have led to the issue. The more information that you can provide, the higher the chance of us diagnosing the issue more efficiently. We also expect that you mention whatever troubleshooting step/s that you may have done before contacting us in order to prevent repeating them in our article. Again, the more details you can give us, the faster it is for us to pinpoint the cause and its corresponding solution.

Dell uses Lithium-ion batteries to power their Inspiron models. Such batteries are also the type other laptop manufacturers use in their own machines. Dell batteries are specifically designed for their own laptops. The batteries themselves are tested and validated using Dell specifications. In this troubleshooting article, we aim to help users having trouble with their Dell laptop batteries only.

This troubleshooting article only provides solutions to batteries that are not physically damaged but appears to be non-functional. Like any other Lithium-based batteries, your Dell battery can also suffer from factors such as aging, depletion of charging cycles, or exposure to extreme temperature. If you notice any swelling or bulging in the battery pack, we strongly recommend that you discontinue using it. Although a swollen battery does not present a safety hazard, leaving it inside can put extra pressure on other components causing physical deformity or break in the circuit. It may also cause intermittent power problem, which can eventually lead to long-term power issue.

Symptoms to watch out for

One way to know if your problem is being caused by a bad battery is to watch out for telltale signs such as:

  • notebook no longer appears to be charging
  • battery no longer holding a charge
  • battery is not recognized by the PC
  • battery indicator LED no longer glows or keeps blinking all the time
  • battery charge stuck at a certain percentage

Troubleshooting your Dell battery

If your notebook seems to be having one or all of the symptoms above, these are the ways to troubleshoot the issue.

Check if AC adapter is functional

Your notebook won’t obviously charge if the AC adapter is not working as expected.  To check if the AC adapter is working normally, try to see if the AC adapter is recognized by the laptop. Here’s how:

  1. Reboot your Notebook.
  2. Once Dell logo shows up, press F2 key and wait until Entering Setup appears.
  3. Verify the AC Adapter Type in the BIOS options.

If AC Adapter Type is None – Ensure to connect the AC adapter to the PC.

If AC Adapter Type is Unknown – Follow this link to fix AC adapter issues. If AC Adapter Type is recognized correctly, proceed to the next step.

Let your Dell Inspiron laptop charge while its OFF or when it’s on BIOS mode

There may be an operating system glitch causing the battery from draining power fast, or to not charge at all. To see if this is the case, you must try to see if your laptop charges when the operating system is not loaded. This will also help you determine if you have a hardware malfunction or not.

  1. Turn off your notebook.
  2. Enter BIOS mode by doing any of the following combinations:
    1. While the PC is off, charge the battery for a while.
    2. Or, restart the laptop and tap F2 key to enter BIOS or System Setup. Charge the battery within BIOS.
  3. Verify if the battery charge percentage has changed. You must see an increase in battery charge. If nothing changed, or if the charge decreased,  you most probably have a hardware issue.
  4. Restart the laptop and proceed to the next step.

Run an online battery diagnostics test

If your laptop has enough battery can still work normally, we suggest that you run Dell’s own battery diagnostics tool to help you with your battery issue. If your laptop can’t connect to the internet, or won’t even power on at all, simply skip this suggestion.

To do the test, you must download Dell System Detect first, then run the diagnostics.

Verify battery health status

Lithium-ion batteries loses capacity over time so if your laptop has been around, it’s possible that the current problem is being caused by a degraded battery. To determine the status of your battery, you must do any of the methods detailed in this article:

Run latest BIOS version

BIOS is software environment independent of the operating system. It loads before the operating system, making sure that all necessary components are verified before Windows run. It’s a code that’s embedded in the motherboard and requires its own update from time to time. If you haven’t updated the BIOS yet, make sure that you do.

Before you attempt to update the BIOS, make sure that you have the battery installed and AC adapter connected to the mains power.

To update your BIOS, you can follow the instructions in this post.

Use Dell ePSA or PSA diagnostics

At this point, it’s more likely that bad hardware is to blame so it’s a good idea to use Dell’s own hardware diagnostic tests. These tests make use of both the built-in diagnostics and those that you can find in their online knowledge base.

Use Windows provided battery troubleshooter

Aside from using OEM-provided diagnostic tools, you can also make use of Microsoft’s own battery diagnostics called Windows Hardware and Devices troubleshooter. This tool is available in Microsoft Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 & Windows 10 only.

To use Windows Hardware and Devices troubleshooter, follow these steps:

  1. Open Run command tool by pressing the Windows key + R on the keyboard.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type Control and press the Enter key on the keyboard.
  3. On the top-right corner, in the Search box of Control Panel, type Troubleshooter and then click Troubleshooting.
  4. Once you’re in System and Security item, click Power.

Reinstall Microsoft ACPI Battery driver

If Windows Hardware and Devices troubleshooter won’t help, reinstalling the necessary ACPI Battery driver might. Here’s how:

  1. Open Run command tool by pressing the Windows key + R on the keyboard.
  2. In the Run dialog box, type devmgmt.msc and press the Enter key on the keyboard.
  3. In Device Manager, click > or + sign next to Batteries.
  4. Right-click Microsoft ACPI-Compliant Control Method Battery, click Uninstall.
  5. Click OK to confirm uninstalling the driver.
  6. Restart your computer.

Check if battery is covered by a recall

Some Dell batteries in the past were recalled for some reason. If you have a new system and the battery appears to act erratically, it’s worth checking if the particular battery model is under a recall program. To do that, you need to check the battery PPID (Dell Part Piece Identification). Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to Dell Product Bulletin website.
  2. Click Lookup.
  3. Type the Battery PPID and enter the Security Code. To find Dell PPID, visit this link.
  4. Click Next to check if the battery is under recall. If the battery is under recall, you will be asked to provide your contact information.


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