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Thread: Inspiron 9100 battery problem

  1. #1
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    Inspiron 9100 battery problem

    I have a Dell Inspiron 9100 with a type G1947 battery. For the past month or so, the battery has been failing intermittently. Some of the time, after being plugged in for hours (so theoretically fully charged), the battery will fail about 3 minutes after I run the computer on battery power alone. Other times it works for an hour or more. The battery is over 2 years old, so it might be dying, but why would it fail sometimes and not others?

    Thanks,

    Steve

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    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Could be random problems with the AC Adapter or the charging port on the motherboard. Of course, all batteries are NOT created equal...

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    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Isn't Dell having some troubles with batteries catching on fire? Might want to check to see if your model is part of that recall???

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    Head Honcho Administrator Reverend's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Booger View Post
    Isn't Dell having some troubles with batteries catching on fire? Might want to check to see if your model is part of that recall???
    http://www.techzonez.com/comments.php?shownews=18976

    http://www.techzonez.com/comments.php?shownews=19011

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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Booger View Post
    Isn't Dell having some troubles with batteries catching on fire? Might want to check to see if your model is part of that recall???
    Thanks, it's not part of the recall, though.

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by rik View Post
    Could be random problems with the AC Adapter or the charging port on the motherboard. Of course, all batteries are NOT created equal...
    Thanks for the response. I've had the problem with it shutting down, though, even when the Windows Power Meter says it's fully charged. Is the Power Meter not always accurate?

    Steve

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    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Normally it is accurate but you can always check the battery charge in the BIOS. Enter the bios by hitting F2.

    But like I mentioned, this may not be a battery charge issue. If the battery is fully charged but the computer can't receive that charge, it could shut down.

    You can also run the diagnostics on your system by holding the >Fn< key while turning the system on. This throws it into a "Pre-boot System Analysis" test. See what it does there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rik View Post
    Normally it is accurate but you can always check the battery charge in the BIOS. Enter the bios by hitting F2.

    But like I mentioned, this may not be a battery charge issue. If the battery is fully charged but the computer can't receive that charge, it could shut down.

    You can also run the diagnostics on your system by holding the >Fn< key while turning the system on. This throws it into a "Pre-boot System Analysis" test. See what it does there.
    Interesting. First of all it says
    The AC Power Adapter type cannot be determined. This will prevent optimal system performance.

    Is this surprising? I have the standard Dell-issue adapter.

    Later on in the DST Short Status Test it says failed, error code 1000-0146. Msg: Unit 0: DST log contains previous error(s).

    I get this error message even though I have reinstalled Windows XP today. (Got the same message before and after the reinstallation.) I hear that this indicates a hard drive problem, although I haven't had any trouble booting up. Should I be worried about this? Is there any way of resetting that log and doing the test "fresh"?

    None of the other tests have failed.

    Thanks,
    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by stevenc View Post
    Interesting. First of all it says
    The AC Power Adapter type cannot be determined. This will prevent optimal system performance.

    Is this surprising? I have the standard Dell-issue adapter.

    Later on in the DST Short Status Test it says failed, error code 1000-0146. Msg: Unit 0: DST log contains previous error(s).

    I get this error message even though I have reinstalled Windows XP today. (Got the same message before and after the reinstallation.) I hear that this indicates a hard drive problem, although I haven't had any trouble booting up. Should I be worried about this? Is there any way of resetting that log and doing the test "fresh"?

    None of the other tests have failed.

    Thanks,
    Steve
    Sorry to follow up on my own post, but some later tests did fail. The hard drive read test has failed in at least 3 blocks, saying "uncorrectable data error" (code 0F00:0244), and in at least 2 blocks saying "Address mark not found or media error" (code 0F00:0240). But I've not yet had any symptoms of a bad hard drive yet other than test results. So if the hard drive is under warranty should Dell be replacing it?

    Thanks,
    Steve

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    One last thing, and to get back on topic:

    Under the Symptom Tree I chose the tests for "not working from battery" (or however it's worded), one of which is Left Battery Bay - Battery Charger Test

    The result depends on whether I start it with the charger plugged in the computer or not. If I start the test with it unplugged, the test passes. If it's plugged in at the start, the result is
    error code 3600:011A Msg: Battery test failed--charger should be shown as charging battery

    Not sure which one is the correct way of doing the test.

    Steve

  11. #11
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Normally if you get this message "Power Adapter type cannot be determined", the adapter needs to be replaced. One thing before you call them tho is to make sure you have the latest bios installed for your system.

    As far as the "DST Short Status Test it says failed, error code 1000-0146. Msg: Unit 0: DST log contains previous error(s)" that doesn't neccesarily mean the drive is bad. It means that the error logs show errors. Could just be some bad blocks (that ALL hard drives have).

    You can run an extended test on the hard drive but it's probably ok. If it took a format and reinstalled the OS it's gonna do fine, generally speaking. Are you having any problems that might indicate an issue with the hard drive?

    Bottom line is, Call Dell. If it's under warranty they can at least replace the ac adapter.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rik View Post
    Normally if you get this message "Power Adapter type cannot be determined", the adapter needs to be replaced. One thing before you call them tho is to make sure you have the latest bios installed for your system.

    As far as the "DST Short Status Test it says failed, error code 1000-0146. Msg: Unit 0: DST log contains previous error(s)" that doesn't neccesarily mean the drive is bad. It means that the error logs show errors. Could just be some bad blocks (that ALL hard drives have).

    You can run an extended test on the hard drive but it's probably ok. If it took a format and reinstalled the OS it's gonna do fine, generally speaking. Are you having any problems that might indicate an issue with the hard drive?

    Bottom line is, Call Dell. If it's under warranty they can at least replace the ac adapter.
    Thanks for your help. Regarding the DST Short Status Test, though, I'm not sure I understand the point of a test which is so sensitive that pretty much all hard drives would fail (and once failed, always failed, apparently).

    The only problems with the hard drive so far have been that it couldn't read a few data files (not system files, but my own JPGs) when I tried to back up the hard drive--5 to 10 out of several thousand, as I recall.

    I will check about the warranty on the adapter. It seems to work fine for powering the computer from AC but maybe it isn't always charging the battery properly, as you say.

    Steve

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