View Full Version : Crazy laptop issue (battery)

10-15-2009, 7:50 PM
A couple weeks ago I booted up my Dell Inspiron 1501 and it says it won't recognize the battery, so it won't be able to charge it. Crazy thing is it does recognize the battery in Windows, and does continue to charge it. I'm running Windows XP with the latest service pack and my BIOS is up-to-date if any of that makes any difference.

It's really not much of a problem to me, just weird. And it makes start up slower because the error screen requires me to press "any key" to proceed. While we're at it, which one's the any key? :D Kidding. But seriously, if you know why this would be happening I'd like to hear about it.

I've thought about simply removing the battery, cleaning all the contacts, and re-inserting it. But I figure if it's reading the battery, and in considering the weird error message, it might be best to leave good enough alone until I can get a new battery and/or laptop. In case it decides after I plug it back in that it doesn't want to read it anymore. That might sound paranoid and slightly superstitious, but I figure the only way to fight voodoo is with voodoo.

Anyways thanks in advance.

10-15-2009, 8:08 PM
Sometimes reflashing the BIOS can fix it. Download that latest BIOS (which you already have installed) and reinstall it.

I'm pretty sure that the 1501 doesn't have a calibration tool in the BIOS itself but you might want to hit F2 and take a look as that can often fix the problem. If you accidently make a change just make sure not to "Save and Exit".

Strangely, I have seen this issue happen when the AC adapter power cable itself is damaged in some way, too. If you have access to another adapter try charging with it as the problem may go away.

10-15-2009, 9:08 PM
How old is the battery? If it's more than 2 years old, it's possible the laptop
refuses to recognize it (vs not recognizing it). Within windows, some
batteries provide discharge/charge cycle count and max/actual capacity
info. You should be able to guesstimate if your battery is too old.

10-16-2009, 9:21 PM
It gives me the option of the F2 menu, tried that and looked around many times since it first started this... Nothing in there that seems to me will fix it. I couldn't get any kind of diagnostics or anything.

It's just now about 2 years old. What do you mean by refuses to recognize versus not recognizing? What does this mean for the health of my computer and its battery?

I will try re-doing the whole BIOS thing, thanks guys.

10-16-2009, 10:49 PM
Are you sure it's not the power cable that is not being recognized?

I had a similar thing happen to a Dell Inspiron 1405, and had to get a new AC adapter to get the battery to charge. It would run off the adapter, but would refuse to charge the battery. I ended up getting a new power cable for it, and it works fine now.

10-17-2009, 1:09 AM
if the batt has an on-board power gauge, when you press the button, and (there are 5 leds) if 1, 3 and 5 light up, it means you have a defected or dead cell in it...