Solved Mystery of my Dell Laptop

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BoraMurdar

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Well let me introduce my beast :D Vostro 1015 Laptop | Dell

It's an old laptop, that served me well through all these years. I bought it in 2010.
Dual Core Celeron on 1.8GHz, 2GB of RAM, HDD 320GB (last year replaced with Silicon Power SSD 240GB - the best investment of my life :p )
Battery half-dead from 2013 due to some electricity malfunction in apartment I lived in... Battery lasts for kinda ~ 3-5 minutes when fully charged.

Problem :

It starts randomly with
XEDoliC.png


Power adapter is fine, I checked the voltages and wattage with multimeter.

When this happens, I strike F1 and boot to Windows. System is running slower, main symptom/sign is that Celeron's Cores speed drops to 1.36 GHz. So the combinations are :
  • When this happens I pull out the supply cord out of laptop, monitor the core speed, and it elevates to it's nominal 1, 79GHz (sometimes to 1,65GHz due to Intel's Speed Step). I insert the power again it drops again to 1,36GHz
  • Power plans are set to Maximum Performance (but I tried other plans also)
  • I reseat the battery, same happens.
  • I pull out the battery, same happens
  • I drain the battery until system shuts down, and power it on again, the same happens
So, when on battery, I suppose, the system is OK and speedy with the core speed on it's factory settings 1,79GHz. And when on Power Adapter it drops to 1,36GHz... Windows is sayin' that battery is plugged in but not charging.

I tried to pull out the battery, and uninstall

Capture.PNG

Windows reinstalls it when system boots again, but no changes to core speeds, nor battery charging changes.

So the mystery part is : THAT SOMETIMES, ONE OF THE STEPS I TOOK TO FIX THIS PROBLEM, OR COMBINATION OF STEPS, ACTUALLY WORKS!

tim-and-eric-mind-blown.gif


and sometimes no matter how I try, and do the same I did before, nothing helps...
_____________________________________________________________________________________

It would be very appreciated if someone knows what's going on :) :(
 

BoraMurdar

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Check BIOS POST settings if any settings that can be done to remedy this.
Update the BIOS

BIOS is updated to latest version and I cannot change any special settings in it
I am not sure that buying a new battery will solve the problem as core speed is low when battery is pulled out also
 
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XhenEd

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"The system will adjust the performance to match the power available."

That could be the main reason. It could be a lack of power from the adapter, or the laptop is damaged inside that it couldn't properly read the incoming electricity.
 
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Atlas147

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My PC of a different brand was facing the same issues of decreased power and sometimes the computer would just hard shut off at 40%, brought it into the shop and the techs told me it was an issue with the motherboard, they replaced it and boom it worked perfectly fine again.
 
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LabZero

Hey Bora

As @XhenEd says, It seems to be a problem of the power supply.
About the voltage, there are problems, but to measure the power/watts can be difficult because the measurement must be made with the multimeter connected in series and the power depends on the load.
Also, It can be a problem in the control circuit of the power supply at mother board level.
 
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BoraMurdar

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try disabling POST in BIOS
I think I can't disable POST on my laptop BIOS
Also, It can be a problem in the control circuit of the power supply at mother board level.
I've checked the adapter and in/out spots for proper voltages with multimeter and it seems to be fine, with variations of 0,3 volts.
As you said, I think the problem is in motherboard circuit, and I would need to disassemble the whole laptop to access the mobo (parts are put on very stupid places in Vostro 1015)
 
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Paul B.

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> Battery half-dead from 2013 due to some electricity malfunction in apartment I lived in

Just noticed this is an old thread, but I'll post this anyway...


Chances are the electricity malfunction fried circuitry, rendering the MB unable to either charge the battery correctly or recognize the adapter, the latter accounting for stepped-down performance. Dell in that era used a method (a chip or a third wire) to identify its own chargers, supposedly to protect the consumer from himself by forcing use of Dell brand chargers.

If the BIOS flash didn't do it, the next step is a replacement adapter. Then the motherboard. Sometimes you get lucky and there's an inexpensive daughterboard that performs the DC input function, but that doesn't appear to be the case with this model.
 
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BoraMurdar

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If the BIOS flash didn't do it, the next step is a replacement adapter. Then the motherboard. Sometimes you get lucky and there's an inexpensive daughterboard that performs the DC input function, but that doesn't appear to be the case with this model.
Thank you for your inputs.
It happens so randomly that only thing that cross my mind is the mobo malfunction.
 
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SHvFl

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It's the motherboard. I have a dell also that does this also but for now not often. What i noticed is that if i boot without the charger and mid boot i plug it in it works ok for me. Though on my laptop the problem it's at it's start because it happens maybe twice per month.
 
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Myriad

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@BoraMurdar

I once had a customer bring me two Dell Latitudes ( probably of a similar vintage to your machine )
They would run fine on mains power but completely refused to charge the battery.

These Dells used a 3 wire system from power brick to laptop.
I found that both the power brick and laptop contained an identical chip that can be very sensitive
to power surges , overload etc and would fail.
This gives rise to the error messages about "unrecognized power-supply " or whatever.

These chips are made by Texas Instruments but are not available to buy .... anywhere !

The customer had bought a cheap copy of a Dell supply in the Far-East .... same result .

I'm wondering if this is the cause of your problem ?

UPDATE - I've just found some of my notes on this and the manufacturer was not TI
The chips are labelled as :-
DALLAS - 2501 - 0613D2 - +571AA
Where DALLAS is the manufacturer ID. (aka MAXIM semiconductor ).
 
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BoraMurdar

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@Myriad

Like I said, it happens so randomly that I cannot find a pattern when and why it happens.
For example, now, I powered on my laptop, battery 100% charged, used it for a while, turned off, and switched off the button on power extension cord,left my apartment. Afternoon, when I tried to power it on, it started showing the error message that AC Adapter wattage cannot be determined etc etc. Checked the CPU speed and right, it's 1.36GHz. Pulling out the power cord out of the laptop (laptop powers from battery) and CPU speed rises to nominal 1,79GHz. Adapter cord back in and it drops again to 1,36GHz. Tried :

  • Uninstalling driver controllers for Battery and AC Adapter (combined and separately) from the battery and from a power cord (so 8 combinations)
  • Dissembling AC Adapter
  • Cold drain the electricity from the laptop
  • Draining the electricity from a battery only
  • Changing AC Adapters from 65W-95W, sometimes it helps but not always. (battery not charging)
and nothing.

It will fix itself eventually, just dunno what pattern of do's and don't's should work.
 
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Myriad

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@Myriad

Like I said, it happens so randomly that I cannot find a pattern when and why it happens.
For example, now, I powered on my laptop, battery 100% charged, used it for a while, turned off, and switched off the button on power extension cord,left my apartment. Afternoon, when I tried to power it on, it started showing the error message that AC Adapter wattage cannot be determined etc etc. Checked the CPU speed and right, it's 1.36GHz. Pulling out the power cord out of the laptop (laptop powers from battery) and CPU speed rises to nominal 1,79GHz. Adapter cord back in and it drops again to 1,36GHz. Tried :

  • Uninstalling driver controllers for Battery and AC Adapter (combined and separately) from the battery and from a power cord (so 8 combinations)
  • Dissembling AC Adapter
  • Cold drain the electricity from the laptop
  • Draining the electricity from a battery only
  • Changing AC Adapters from 65W-95W, sometimes it helps but not always. (battery not charging)
and nothing.

It will fix itself eventually, just dunno what pattern of do's and don't's should work.


Arrgh !

The nightmare of electronics techs everywhere , at every level .... the dreaded intermittent fault !!

For what it's worth , this is what I found out for certain , in my Dell case :-

There is no DC voltage on that " 3rd wire " ( what I think of as " coms " ) when tested on a fully working Dell plus genuine PSU .

I didn't have a scope to hand at the time but I'll bet a dollar to a cent that that line has a strobe on it , and that the
charging problem is because one , or both of those " mystery chips " is not detecting it.

I found a photo of the one in the power supply , from way back when I was wasting my time in a futile attempt to buy some .

Dell PSU chip.jpg

The other one is on the MOBO , right next to where the power plug goes in ( but I don't have a photo of that one ).

The first bit of bad news is that if one of them has failed , there is no way to find out at which end .
And the second bit is that I have never found anywhere to buy them ... anywhere , ever !

BTW , I have at least 8 Dell laptops from that era in my storage , and I have never salvaged a single useful part
from any of them !
Anybody wants them just needs to pay for the freight charges :)

It is interesting to note that the cheap copy of the Dell psu I mentioned earlier did not have this chip fitted .
 
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nclr11111

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Now, i know just about **** when it comes to electronics but if this really is a "UniqueWare™ Add-Only Memory, known under type DS2501, DS2502, DS2505 or DS2506. The difference is the size of the memory." that it says on this page:
http://www.laptop-junction.com/toast/content/inside-dell-ac-power-adapter-mystery-revealed

Shouldn´t it be possible to use a crappy piece from here to replace it? I mean it´s a DS2501 and as i understand it nothing else really matters?? However it seems as if needs to be programmed before use...
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/10P..._7&btsid=9bf6b840-4709-4ff7-b6b5-ffbf8d0b37a9

But then i´m no good at electronics! :p
 
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