Question Dell Laptop Works on AC Only

Oct 25, 2020
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Dell 5770, 17" screen, Intel core i7 8550OU CPU, 128 GB SSD, 1 TB SATA HDD, internal DVD Writer, etc., suddenly refused to power up unless connected to AC, with battery completely disconnected from the system.

Sorry for the long explanation below, but wanted to make sure the complete picture is available.

The Inspiron laptop was worked without incident for a little over two years, until a loose charging port had to be repaired (actually replaced). For another year, everything was normal. Then one day, at power-up, message said battery was not charging. Local repair shop (great reputation and very good with previous computer repairs) kept it two days and said the charging circuit appeared to be bad, but the computer would work fine using AC only. I took it home, turned it on, and it booted up fine. A few hours later, I powered it down, added an extension cord, and tried to power back up, but all I got in a dozen tries was a brief blink of light from the lighted keyboard. So, back to the shop it went.

Two days later, I picked it up again and they had determined that the computer would power up ONLY if the battery was completed disconnected from the computer, which they had done, leaving the disconnected battery inside the case. (They offered explanation as to why it WAS powering up with the battery connected when I picked it up the first time, but did it only ONCE after I got home with it.)

So it's been about six weeks and EVERYTHING is working fine, except that it has to be connected to AC. The same shop told me a replacement motherboard would be about $750 and therefore not worth replacing. They offered no suggestion for repairing the motherboard, so I have three questions. (1) Does what's happening sound like it really is a charging circuit problem? (2) If so, how difficult and expensive is that to repair, and how do I find a technician qualified to do it? (3) And finally, what is the likelihood of a successful repair, vs the likelihood that a repair attempt will cause further problems to the motherboard (if, indeed, there actually already is motherboard damage, in the charging circuit)?

I love the machine and would prefer to keep it, but don't want to spend significant $'s that won't solve the problem. Would appreciate feedback re: the accuracy of the previous diagnosis, and any suggestions for moving forward -- preferably involving saving the machine. Thanks!
 

AlHuneke

Prominent
Jul 7, 2020
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It does sound like a charging circuit/power supply issue. Repairing the motherboard is probably not feasible for most shops but you might get lucky. Have you talked to Dell to see what they would charge if you sent it to them for repair? I doubt it would cost $750.

A couple things to keep in mind--with the machine being several years old, the battery is likely nearing end of life. Also if you send it to Dell for repair, it may come back with the windows reinstalled and all your data/programs gone. i
 
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