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What to Do if Your Dell Notebook's Power Supply Stops Working

written by: Steve McFarlane•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 10/15/2010

Without power your computer won’t work. Here is what to do if your Dell notebook power supply light goes out or simply stops working.

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    There are several problems that may cause a notebook’s power supply to stop working. They include shorts in the cord, power failure, and a blown fuse. The trick is to quickly determine if the problem is a simple one, if the power supply has failed or if the problem is caused by something else. There is a chance that it’s just the power supply light itself that has stopped working; if that is the case then you can continue using the power supply without a problem. In other cases you will need to consider one of the options outlined below to resolve the problem.

    Before you start to worry about replacing the power supply, ensure that the power failure is not caused by a general power failure from your power service provider. This may seem like a simple suggestion to make to intelligent readers, but one would be surprise at just how many people take their computers to a repair shop when all they needed to have done was plug-in the computer or fix a faulty power socket.

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    Repair or Replace

    Another reason a Dell notebook power supply light goes out is often due to a broken cable. This can happen as a result of frequent moving around of the laptop with Dell notebook power supply light goes out the power cable attached. The flexing and twisting will, over time, cause the cable to chafe and break. An easy fix is to strip the plastic covering where the break is, and twist the ends back together. To identify where the break is, feel along the cable for a lump, a gap, or where there is less resistance when the cable is twisted.

    Tip: The break usually occurs close to where the cord is plugged into the back of the laptop.

    You must be careful to cover the stripped wires with electrical tape, epoxy or a similar nonconductive adhesive after you fix the break, taking special care to ensure that the two wires (in the power cord) never come in contact with each other.

    Another possible cause of a power supply failure is a blown fuse, but because laptop power supplies are well sealed and are often difficult to open and reseal, it may be better to simply purchase a new power supply. New power supply replacements can be found on eBay for less than $12 in many instances, with the possibility of you finding a used one for much less a strong possibility.

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    As you can see it is not difficult to resolve an issue with a failed power supply. Once you have determined that the power supply is at fault, (by checking that there isn’t a general power failure or a problem with the power outlet) you will then need to determine if the cable is broken, if a fuse is blown, or if the cables are securely connected. In some cases it may be worth your while to try and repair the cable yourself if it’s broken, and in other cases you may be better off to replace the power supply, especially considering the fact that new and used Dell laptop power supplies can be had for peanuts on auction sites such as eBay.

    Image Credits:

    “Dell notebook power supply light goes out.” Lorentey