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I have a Dell Inspirion and the power supply port appears to be damaged.

Basically when I plug it in I get a nice popup telling me that it couldn't detect that its a Dell power supply so it won't charge the battery and underclocks the system. It still works for other purposes (that is, giving power).

I thought it was the actual power supply cable so I bought a new one, that worked for a while, provided I inserted it at JUST THE RIGHT angle. But now that's not working anymore, so I assume its the part which connects to the computer.

The battery charging I can live without, the underclocking I can't. I'd like a way around this issue. Things I've tried:

  1. Updating the BIOS
  2. Replacing the power supply cable
  3. Inserting it at different angles
  4. Turning it off and on again
  5. Swearing at it
  6. Twisting it while inserting it

So, is there a workaround somehow? I'd like to avoid taking out my soldering kit and risking permanently damaging expensive equipment if that's allright. I'm hoping for a software solution.

Added: The exact model is a Del Inspirion N5010

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Interesting to learn the theory behind why its causing the issue, but it doesn't help my issue. – Haedrian Jun 29 '12 at 9:37
I have Dell Inspiron N5010 and I had exactly the same problem. I took it to the service and got it replaced for around 20€. Then I replaced cooler (20€). Then I replaced one chip for screen (50€). Screen was all white. Then my video card died because of overheat. That one he saved (50€), how I don't know. And now it can't recognize battery and won't charge it. Guess what laptop I am not going to buy next. – Ljubomir Đokić Aug 7 '15 at 10:57

Sounds like it's the DC jack. Please note however that not all laptops require soldering to replace the DC jack. Some of them are removable components. You haven't told us which exact model Inspiron you have.

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Its a Dell Inspirion N5010, I updated the original question. – Haedrian Jun 28 '12 at 20:04
From what I can tell by searching around, this is a model that does need soldering. Unfortunately, software cannot solve this. It's possible a BIOS hack could, but that would be a lot of work for something that's going to get worse anyway. Eventually no electricity will get to it at all. Your only recourse is soldering a new DC jack onto the board, or buying a replacement board. It's also very hard to say, given that the laptop is not in front of me. – jlacroix82 Jun 28 '12 at 20:14
Well that sucks. I guess I'll back up everything very deeply and replace it. I'm not really the kind of person to open up a laptop and play around with the insides unless its really dead. THe connector does feel loose and it feels like its not entering correctly (I can see the metal a bit) - does that tell you anything? – Haedrian Jun 28 '12 at 20:23
Sounds typical. I get this problem with my repair business every now and then. If you aren't comfortable opening it up, you'll have to replace it. Otherwise if it at all lasts until it dies all the way, use it until it breaks and attempt to repair yourself if you want. Keep your data backed up. – jlacroix82 Jun 28 '12 at 20:45

Okay, this is a well known issue. For whatever reason, on the power pin, Dell included a signal to tell the laptop what kind of power supply is connected. This does not always work right. In fact, there are MANY reports of this failing. There is usually a setting in the BIOS to fix this - you will have to boot to the BIOS and look around. The setting is usually about detecting power supply and to inactivate this feature.

Note: Seems from searching, some versions of the BIOS don't have the ability to shut off AC Adapter detection. Just have to try and search yours.

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