Dell laptop battery issue
June 26, 2011 8:26 AM   Subscribe

Hello. I have a 4yo Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop and about a 10 days ago it stopped charging. It said, "0% available, plugged in but not charging". Took the battery out and put it back in a couple of times and it went back to normal, charged up fine. It happened 2 other times but it went back to charging. However, now it seems to be stuck in the - "plugged in but not charging mode". Any ideas? Thanks
posted by mikedelic to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Buy a new battery, 4 years is about the expected lifespan of a laptop battery.
posted by COD at 8:36 AM on June 26, 2011

Seconding COD, I have ran into that particular problem and it sounds like your battery has bite the dust.

When I've ran into this problem rehabing older laptops, I generally just hope on amazon and can get a new one for $20 or so.
posted by handbanana at 8:40 AM on June 26, 2011

If it really is the case that removing and re-inserting the battery made it suddenly start working normally, there may just be oxidation built up on the contacts.

Remove the battery, and clean the contacts with a pencil eraser. If possible, clean the ones inside the laptop too.
posted by teatime at 9:16 AM on June 26, 2011

(Some?) Dell batteries have a charge count in them, too, so it'll stop charging when the battery has reached that charge count.
posted by mendel at 9:48 AM on June 26, 2011

you need a new battery. I just had this happen and a new battery, expensive though they are, was what fixed the problem.
posted by FlyByDay at 12:04 PM on June 26, 2011

Even though it probably won't work, cleaning the contacts (the gold bits where the battery connects to the laptop) with an eraser is free, simple, and harmless. And it just might work, so I'd definitely try that before I ordered a new battery. Worth a shot.
posted by Scientist at 3:09 PM on June 26, 2011

You could always try the old freezer trick: put the battery in a freezer bag and bung it in the freezer overnight.

I know this sounds like ridiculous voodoo, but it's worked for me twice (albeit with much older batteries - one from a Newton MP2100 and again with a late 90s Dell laptop).
posted by jack_mo at 3:39 PM on June 26, 2011 [1 favorite]

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