****UPDATED INFORMATION BELOW****
As promised I contacted Dell about this issue by emailing the top 19 executives in the company (9 or so of the emails bounced back). I received a response from this individual:
Dell | Executive Customer Support Team
Phone +1 800 624 9897, Extn: 72-83898
My work schedule is 9:00 am – 6:00 pm CST Sunday to Thursday.
He promised to “look into” the situation. We spoke on the phone and it was clear to me that this person didn’t bother reading the post or any of the comments. We then had a follow up conversation where he said “our researchers have looked into this issue and can not find that this is a known issue.” It’s obvious at this point that Dell needs to hear from all of those with this issue so they can confirm it as a “known issue.” I asked Surendra if it was his official statement that Dell was not interested in pursuing this matter….he would only say that they would “look into it further.” I STRONGLY urge all of those with this issue to send an email to the address I listed below. Reference this blog post, your comment on the post, give your service tag, and let them know you are serious about this problem!
****Original Post Below****
As you may or may not know, I run a business out of my home called Tech Guy Consulting. I’ve been doing this since I was 17 and have developed a pretty decent customer base in my home area. One of my loyal customers brought me their 2 year old Dell Inspiron 1525 tonight with a handful of issues, but only one stood out to me as “outside the norm.” After a factory restore, the computer power management icon (the little picture of a battery with a power cord over it –in the bottom right hand of the screen) show that the power supply is “plugged in not charging.” So I eliminated all software issues right off the bat:
-Updated the bios
-Updated all drivers (not necessary but worth a shot)
-Uninstalled/Reinstalled Microsoft ACPI Compliant
-NOTE: this is on a fresh install from a Dell factory image
And then a little hardware troubleshooting…
-Tried a working Power Adapter and Battery from another 1525 (no dice!)
-Cleaned the contact port for the power adapter
-Cleaned the contacts for the battery
-Reseated the memory
-Allowed the battery to discharge completely to 0% (I did this by removing the power adapter and booting the computer into the bios. The bios will not hibernate the computer like Windows will, so leaving it in the bios will drain the battery to the point that it will not power on your laptop)
-Tightened the screws that hold the DC Power Circuit board to the chassis
-Unplugged the adapter, removed the battery, and held down the power button for 15 seconds
After all of this, I still encountered the same error. It’s also important to know that the system bios will report the power adapter as an “unknown adapter.” My conclusion for this issue is that the Dell 1525 has either 1. A faulty DC Power Board (a circuit board in the computer that has the DC Power Jack attached to it along with the 2 USB ports next to it) or 2. A faulty motherboard.
Could I replace one or both of those parts? Certainly! However, should my customer have to sink $300 + in the repair of a computer they purchased for around $500 new? Not in my opinion. So I set off on a research tangent…what did I find you might ask?
1. My customers are not alone in this issue. There are THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of 1525 owners with this identical issue
2. There are thousands of sites and message board posts dedicated to this issue, one stating that there are over 40,000 logged complaints about the issue. Some people state that “blowing in the battery” helped, but I assure you…this solution is most likely just coincidental Here are a few of the sites I visited…
I could post a tremendous list of sites but we’ll pass on that idea for now. The fact is there are thousands of known complaints about this issue. So, being the junior detective that I am…I called Dell. After I spoke with one ridiculously rude foreign fellow (he had teenage girl style argument with me before transferring me in the middle of our conversation) I was sent to Tech support. However, this particular laptop is out of warranty and I was already aware of Dell’s “No Warranty? You’re S.O.L.” policy. I spoke with the technician and his supervisor, both of whom stated that “Dell has no official statements on this issue.” They did, however, offer to sell me the parts at a ridiculous price, so I could keep my customers happy. At the end of the conversation, all I got was “no warranty no help.”
So basically my customer is forced to pay the fee, use their laptop on the power adapter for all eternity.
Here’s the reason I took the time to write this article. Dell knows about this problem, with all of the complaints there is NO WAY they don’t know. However if there is no “big public stink” made, they will never rectify the issue and compensate the customers who, in my humble opinion, have every right to feel nothing but ripped off. So here’s my proposition to you loyal 1525 owners: Post a comment in this blog post stating your model number, when you purchased, the fact that your having the “plugged in not charging” issue, and anything else you want to rant about concerning this issue. In exchange, for every 100 comments this blog post receives I will send an email and put in a call to Dell Customer Care referring them to this post. I will also post links on Ripoff Reports and the Consumerist. My goal is to help all of you 1525 owners (my wife has this laptop, although she doesn’t have this problem) find satisfaction. Whether that be through free replacement parts or repairs from Dell, or..dreaming a little dream here, replacement laptops from Dell. Do not remain silent! Let’s tell the big wigs at Dell that we will not be pushed around!
A few requests when posting a comment…
Please don’t post any proposed solutions, as I’ve already exhausted them all. The idea is that we be straight to the point and that these comments all remain relevant.
***UPDATE NUMBER 2***
Some are reporting that purchasing the charging circuit board and replacing it may solve this issue, however, I have not noticed any consistency in these reports. It may be worth a shot, but be warned, some who have replaced the daughter board have only found this to be a temporary solution, with “plugged in not charging” returning shortly thereafter.