My friend's Dell laptop was working fine until one day for no apparent reason, it wouldn't power up. The power adapter seems to be OK, I measure 19.5 volts DC on the plug. When I hit the laptop's power switch, the green LED on the adapter just fades out and nothing whatsoever happens on the laptop itself.

This is a PIII which I installed Ubuntu on for my friend, and he let me use it for a month on a trip. I feel responsible for it not working, and want to try fixing it. The battery doesn't seem to hold a charge, so I had it plugged in most of the time. I suspect it's a bad jack for the power input, since the plug is vulnerable the way it sticks out, but why would it just suddenly go like this with no warning? Any ideas?

Well you wont normally get warning for something like this, as it is quite old as well. Have you tried using different power supply cable to see if that makes it work.

It could be due to something getting shot on the system itself which results in the adapter circuit to fail and may be thats why the battery aint getting charged either. I would not push the laptop power switch on and off to check it unless i m sure the problem at the main power supply to the system is working just fine as it could lead to the mobo bing fried which will mean absolute death for the system. Look into the power connectors and leads to the battery and the socket where the mains are plugged in on the pc.


The laptop has a cracked case which I hadn't noticed before. After a week of trying, it finally just decided to power up. Possibly the planets were aligned just right, and I said and did the right thing at the right time but the owner is happy enough since he only uses it for playing music and videos once in a while, nothing important.