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Troubleshooting 101: Is It Your Laptop's Power Port, AC Adapter or Battery?

If your laptop isn't booting up and can't be turned on or if it won't charge, you may be facing a hardware problem. Here are steps you can take at home to isolate the issue.

Updated: June 28th, 2023

Troubleshooting 101: Is It Your Laptop’s Power Port, AC Adapter or Battery?

Imagine the scenario where you plug in power, but there is nothing.

Your laptop stops getting charged. This is one of the most common issues faced by laptop owners.

There may be several reasons for this to happen. Some of the causes are easy to fix on your own, while others require you to take professional help. There may also be chances that you need to go for a full-blown system replacement.

Knowing the problem can save you hours of frustration and money. There are a few things that you need to know, after which you can narrow down the probable causes of this power failure. Here is a quick guide that can help you determine where exactly the problem lies.

Troubleshooting steps you can take at home

If your laptop has no power, there may be several reasons for that. Here are some troubleshooting steps that you can take at home to help you see where the problem may arise:

Connect the power cable

The most obvious troubleshooting step that you can try out is connecting the power cable to your laptop. If your laptop only has battery power, you can try connecting an AC adapter. This may solve the problem. Make sure that you have correctly plugged in the AC adapter on both ends.

Check for the bent pin on your AC adapter and power port

There are some AC adapters that come with a pin at the part that plugs into the laptop. You can try examining the connector of the adapter to see if the pin is bent or broken. If you see that there is a problem with the pin, it means that the AC adapter is not transferring power to the laptop. To fix this, you just need a new adapter. No need to visit a store, just find a replacement.

Some laptops have a pin inside the power port and not on the adapter. If the pin is bent or broken, it means that the laptop is unable to receive any power. You can repair or replace the power port on the laptop.

Drain electricity from the laptop

This is something like an electrical clog. It just need a little power wash to boot back up.

With these steps, you can restart your laptop, and it may begin to work:

  1. Disconnect the AC adapter. If possible, you also need to remove the battery.
  2. For thirty seconds, hold down the power button. This can help drain all residual electricity from your laptop.
  3. Do not replace the battery, but plug the AC adapter into the laptop.
  4. Turn your laptop on by pressing the power button of your laptop. When you do this, you can verify that the laptop boots correctly.
  5. If the laptop turns on, you can shut down the laptop like you normally do.
  6. If you had previously removed the battery of your laptop, you could now put it back in.
  7. Turn the laptop on again. This may cause your laptop to start working again.

Remove the battery and put it back on

You can disconnect the power cable from your laptop and then remove the battery if it can be removed.

Do not connect them for at least a minute.

After a minute, you can put the battery back in the laptop. Connect the laptop to the power cable, and you can try turning the laptop back on.

How do I know if my laptop AC adapter is working?

There are several ways to find out whether your AC adapter is facing issues. Here are some symptoms that can let you know if your AC adapter is facing issues:

  • LED (if applicable) of the AC adapter is not on or is red (should be green)
  • LED (if applicable) may turn off when connected to the laptop or is inconsistent
  • Not charging the battery (only helps if your laptop is at least on, and you can see the charging symbol)

You can check if your AC adapter is working or not using the following methods:

Check if the adapter is plugged into a wall outlet

The first thing you can do to check if your AC adapter is working is to check that it is plugged into the wall outlet tightly and securely.

I know I know I know, this may seem to be a very obvious step, but sometimes an adapter can get loose even without your knowledge. I would guess, 15% of the clients coming into our store, this is the main reason their laptop is not powering on. When we plug it into our AC adapter and boots right up, the inventible happy but face palm happens 80% of the time.

Check the indicator light of the adapter

Another way to know if your adapter is working is to check whether the adapter brick’s light is turned on or not. If the light is on, make sure that it is green in color. This power light is indicative that your AC adapter is receiving power.

  • Red is always bad
  • Amber orange is not necessarily a bad sign

Depending on the brand, the colors of the indicator light mean different statuses, however, red is universally bad and green or white is good.

Check the wall outlet

Check if the wall outlet is working properly. You can use a voltmeter to evaluate the power output. With this, you can check whether or not the wall outlet is working. There are wall outlets that need the light switch to be turned on for the outlet to be active. This is available in most modern apartments and condos, so you can check for that. You can also try to plug in the AC adapter to another wall outlet.

Another thing that you can look for is that there is nothing tripped or turned off in the circuit breaker.

The adapter brick connection

AC adapters normally come in two pieces. You need to make sure that both of these pieces are connected properly and securely. The two pieces come together at a single piece that is known as a brick. You can disconnect all parts and then try reconnecting them together.

The power connection port of the laptop

The power connection port of the laptop connects to the motherboard. There are several solder points through which it connects to the motherboard. If even one of the solder points is damaged, it can prevent the laptop from getting any power.

You need to fix this by soldering the power connector onto the motherboard.

How do you troubleshoot a bad battery on a laptop?

You need to check the battery of your laptop. If your laptop has a removable battery, you can take it out.

For about 15 seconds, hold the power button of your laptop. This will help you drain all extra electric charges from the laptop.

With the battery still out, plug in the power cable and then turn the laptop on. If the laptop turns on, this means that the adapter is working well. The problem is with your battery.

You can first try putting the battery back on your laptop and see if it works. If it does not, then you may need to replace the battery.

If you do not see a battery compartment on the bottom of your laptop, this may mean that the battery is in-built. In such cases, you may need to open up your laptop if you can. However, it is best to take the help of a professional specialist.

What if it is internal and not removable?

There are some laptops that do not have a removable battery – in these laptops, the battery is internal. This is extremely common these days, and unless you have a business class laptop, your battery is internal.

If this is the case with you, the best thing to do would be to take your laptop to a professional (like Gophermods).

It is not advisable to open the laptop with an internal battery as this could lead to additional unnecessary damages. Broken keyboards, motherboards, displays, plastic hinges, etc. It’s typically never fun bringing in your laptop in a plastic bag or box in 22 pieces.

By the time you purchase the tools, take the time, risk additional damages, you could have taken it to one of our Minneapolis stores. Our skilled technicians will diagnose the issue and offer a quick, efficient and reasonably priced solution. As a locally owned Minnesota company, our customers are our highest priority. You can trust that we’ll fix the problem quickly and get you back to work as soon as possible.

Simply head over to our computer repair page for a quote.