Dell Studio 1555 won't charge for more than 1 second

thomaswp

Commendable
Oct 6, 2016
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I've got a Dell Studio 1555, about 7 years old. In short, when I plug in the AC power, the charging light comes on white for 1-3 seconds and then goes off. The the computer can run on battery power, but that's run out, and it won't run on AC power.

The longer story is that I stopped using the computer about a year ago, and it sat in storage. Recently I gave it to my brother and it worked just fine for about a day, running games and programs. The battery had died in storage, but it charged to 100% just fine. Then the next day, while on, asleep, and plugged in, the problem must have started and the laptop stopped drawing AC power. We didn't notice and started a game of Civ 5. In retrospect, the computer was obviously running on battery, since the game was running so slow. Within an hour, the computer ran out of battery and shut itself down. We fiddled with the adapter and could only get the charging light to come on for a few seconds at a time when plugging it in. We've tried another adapter with the same results. The original adapter that was being used when it stopped working is quite old and a bit frayed.

I'm reasonably comfortable taking the thing apart, but it's not worth spending much money to fix it, given the age of the laptop.

So, I'd love to know what's wrong and how difficult would it be to fix?

Thanks!

 
I get that it won't charge when on (even sleep or hibernate) however will it charge when totally off?

I ask, because if it won't charge when on, but will when off, the the problem may well be the charger cord. If it isn't getting enough power to the laptop to both run it and charge it, then that will happen. That, of course, would require purchasing the new one though.
 

thomaswp

Commendable
Oct 6, 2016
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No, it doesn't charge when totally off. The battery is dead, so we can't turn it on either.


Fairly confident it's not the cord, since we've tried two different adapters with the same result.

 

thomaswp

Commendable
Oct 6, 2016
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Yes, unfortunately that makes no difference.
 

thomaswp

Commendable
Oct 6, 2016
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I'm guessing it's not the battery, given that it ran off battery power after it stopped charging, and won't run on AC w/o the batter. Is there any way to verify the charging port is the problem short of replacing it?
 
The simplest way would be to see if you know someone with a similar device and try their charger. The only other way I would think of would require you test to see if power was getting past the port (when plugged in) and to the motherboard and where it stops.
 

thomaswp

Commendable
Oct 6, 2016
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Hey, so I replaced the DC power port (like this one)., and not much changed. The charging light came on white for 1/2 a second and then went off. Then it stopped reacting altogether, just like the last one.

If it's not the port, is there anything it could be short of the motherboard? I don't think that would quite be worth replacing on a computer this old.

 

thomaswp

Commendable
Oct 6, 2016
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Can the charging circuit be replaced independently on a Studio 1555? Doesn't look like they sell and independent DC board for 1555 (see here). My impression was that without a lot of electrical experience the only way to repair a charging circuit would be to bring it into a shop or replace the mobo, both of which would be probably more expensive than the computer is worth.

Also, all the posts I'm seeing about the charging circuit talk about how the battery won't charge but the computer can run on AC power. That's not the case with me. Does the charging circuit also affect the computer's power w/ no battery?
 
You are correct. Unless you have the skill/tools/experience, you would have to go through someone who can do the work. And even then they may well seek to replace the motherboard.

Some computers will not run with a battery out.
 
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