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My fiancee has a Dell laptop with Windows Vista on it. His laptop charger was old so we went to Walmart and picked up a Targus laptop charger which is compatible with his computer.

He had some problems with it previously, which have been fixed. His computer had not been online and updated for a few years.

Today he restarted his computer (with the new charger first plugged in) and the computer did not boot into Windows.

The screen kept flashing blue and then went on its normal restart cycle (also had a black screen with white words on it for a second at some point).

He was given the option to run start up repair or just starting normally, but neither worked (it would flash when it started normally and would continuously scan when you chose the start up repair before flashing as well).

I told him to unplug the charger and see what happened - It worked! Now it seems to be working, we ran a virus scan to make sure.

  • Should I be more concerned?
  • Was it one of the famous vista software blips?
  • Was it because of the power cord?

Details of the Old cord:

- Input AC 100-240V~ 1.5A
- Output DC 19.5V 3.34A

Details of the new cord:

- Input 100-240V~ 2.5A, 50-60 HZ 
- Output 19.5V 4.61A
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Kindly be more precise and use technical jargon as much as possible here onwards. Use paragraphs and proper formatting.. e.g. Describe laptop, what year it was bought in? What is configuration? Did you bother to test the charger before you bought it? – tumchaaditya Aug 3 '12 at 6:30
I'm not sure what the question is - you say "vista software blip" which implies it occurred only once (and doesn't seem like a software issue to me)? Does it now boot up fine when plugged in? – Dave Aug 3 '12 at 7:52
it looks like your power adapter has a different current (A) than the previous one. I would be careful as that may damage the computer. – parashep Aug 3 '12 at 8:15
@parashep no it might not, the only thing that matters is the correct voltage, the actual current drawn is distinguished by the voltage and the inner resistance of the circuitry, the number on the charger is just a maximum. – Baarn Aug 3 '12 at 9:01
@WalterMaier-Murdnelch that's a good thing to know. – parashep Aug 3 '12 at 16:23

Things to check. Some Dell laptops are picky about their AC adapters. If you go into the BIOS setup, there may be an option where you can set whether the laptop checks the adapter for correct wattage. Exactly what they are doing, I'm not sure, but if they don't see an actual Dell AC adapter of the correct wattage, they give a message about the adapter possibly being unable to supply enough power and then they may or may not boot. This is able to be turned off in the BIOS.

Also, Targus universal AC adapters come with a bunch of different tips to fit different computers. Mine came with something like a dozen tips. I presume you looked up the correct one to use since the tips will also change the output voltage. Make sure the tip you are using is the correct one for the Dell. There should only be two in the package for Dell computers and you can match them up to the old adapter tip or make sure it's a good fit for the socket.

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Aside note - Dells (at least recent 'professional' lines) actually have built in circuitry which verifies AC adapter type. HP do too, and probably many others. Interesting article on the subject here – wmz Aug 3 '12 at 11:42

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