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Recently my dell inspiron n5010 has failed to recognize my 90W adapter (despite powering it just fine).

Full error message:

"The AC power adapter wattage and type cannot be determined. the battery may not charge. the system will adjust the performance to match the power available please connect a dell 90W AC adapter or greater for the best system performance. Strike the F3 key (before F1 or F2 key) if you do not want to see power warning message strike the f1 key to continue, f2 to run the setup utility"

The central pin in the 90W adapter looks fine and the battery works without the adapter (also works with just adapter inserted), however, the computer wont charge and scales down the processing power to a crippling speed. Given that my warranty is finished and Dell support doesnt help much once warranty is up, is there anything I can do to get the processor back to its full functionality?

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There is a chip in the Dell AC adapter that communicates with the motherboard to identify itself, evidently something has failed either with the chip or the motherboard. I would try another AC adapter, if this does not cure the problem, it is a motherboard issue.

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I have a similar issue and found this very helpful site with a lot of troubleshooting info:

The center pin is what the laptop uses to detect the adapter type, so there may be an issue with that wire either at the adapter or at the connection that it makes to the laptop (either the DC jack or solder point on the motherboard).

Try finding a new adapter to try or you might have to repair the motherboard. Also an option is to get a docking station which will bypass the pin issue and charge the battery normally.

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