Solved! Dell Inspiron 2200 laptop battery is "normal" in diagnostic, but won't boot laptop


Nov 20, 2006
RE: Dell Inspiron 2200 laptop battery is "normal" in diagnostic, but won't boot laptop
I acquired this Dell with very little time on it, judging by its almost pristine condition-- a "desk drawer queen" by all appearances. However, when the original battery is charged fully and the Dell's system setup / battery status indicator says the battery is "operating normally", it will not boot the system.

When the laptop (with no battery or charger attached) has been bled of all previous charges by a constant 15-second press of the power button, the battery is inserted, and start button depressed, system lights stay on only a second and then blink out. A second attempt produces no response but a brief green flash of system LEDs. After rebooting with charger attached, and checking the (F2 Setup module's) battery charge indicator, the battery shows almost a full charge, with only slightly lower charge percentage.

So, the boot problem is either the battery or its mainboard charging circuit. The battery is expensive, as batteries go, and I do not have another bootable machine available which uses the same battery, to test the original battery with a working system. Now, I am in search of another way to determine whether the problem lies with the mainboard. As matters stand, it would be only slightly less expensive to buy a new battery than a complete used, but "working" 2200 system. It seems (almost) ridiculous to buy another machine, merely to test the condition of the original laptop and its battery.

Unfortunately, attaching VOM test leads to certain battery contacts does not reflect battery performance under startup, so even that approach is out. At this point, does anyone have an idea about an effective test for whether the problem is the original battery or the mainboard?


Nov 20, 2006
"... is the battery in it the original OEM battery or an aftermarket one? And, to be honest, even if the device was hardly used or in good condition doesn't mean the battery isn't bad...".
  1. The battery has no Dell logo, so it appears to be an aftermarket battery. Since I have no history for the laptop or its battery, I can only guess whether the laptop's battery diagnostic ("battery operating normally") is accurate.
  2. Yes, batteries vary widely in quality, and since battery replacement is my only affordable option, I recently decided to purchase a new battery (not Dell). If that produces no boot, my next option is mainboard replacement, or some touchy work replacing the DC input jack, or perhaps checking (and resoldering) the AC connector.
Thanks for your observations.
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