Dell XPS 9560 AC Adapter Unknown

Discussion in 'Dell XPS and Studio XPS' started by szumial, Oct 10, 2018.

  1. szumial

    szumial Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi all!

    My XPS 9560 has an power-issue - it doesn't recognize the AC Adapter, stating in BIOS that it is "unknown". When the battery is inside it is not being charged and I have an impression, that with the cord plugged in, it is discharging quicker than normally. When the battery is drained, the laptop will not always boot - however, with the battery out, it turns on properly (with a warning message, that the AC Adapter wattage is not recognized).

    Now, I did some troubleshooting, as I do have two of these laptops and here's what I'm getting:

    - ruled out the AC Adapter - I have two of these and each presents the same issue; the second laptop recognizes both without problems
    - ruled out battery issues - swapped batteries to observe the behavior - both batteries are in good condition and able to charge in the "good XPS"
    - swapped the charging port - both sockets are working fine in the "good XPS"
    - updated the BIOS to see if that fixes my issue - no luck
    - followed the "drain residual power" procedure - no change

    After draining power from this laptop and letting it run without the battery inside on heavy load (ran a game to force some extreme conditions), it somehow started detecting the AC Adapter again, so I plugged the battery in again and it charged up to 50%. I tried disconnecting the adapter and connecting it again and it worked as expected, until I moved the laptop to another room and left it there to fully charge - at some point, the LED light went off and it has stopped charging again.

    Ok, that's a long post - hope that someone can keep up and recommend something :)
    Oh, the laptop is not under warranty, so sending it back is not an option.
     
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  2. custom90gt

    custom90gt Doc Mod Super Moderator

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    You've done a ton of great troubleshooting.

    Have you tried to reset the bios to default (either in bios setup or by holding the power down for 30 seconds)? Odd that running it under heavy load would some how "revive" it and cause it to start working again. I'm hoping that's not a clue that it's some sort of solder joint or something. Did it stop charging when you moved it or shortly thereafter?
     
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  3. szumial

    szumial Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the reply! This is not my first time troubleshooting a laptop, but I haven't seen anything like that before.

    I have drained the power by pressing the power button for over 30 seconds when the battery was taken outside. I have also tried restoring bios defaults. It seems to me like a voltage controller issue? I don't know if such thing exists, but my bet for now is that the motherboard is doing some funny business here.

    When I unplugged the laptop and moved it, it was initially changing, but when I looked at it like a quarter later, the charge was gone. Today it was charging again while gaming, but then lost it somehow, so it might as well be random that the wattage comes back to normal.

    It feels like there is way less power in the xps when it has this 'unknown adapter' issue - os seems way slower, animations take long to load - undervolted due to the lack of power. Any other clues?

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A5010 using Tapatalk
     
  4. szumial

    szumial Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi All!

    TL:dr
    My Dell XPS 9560 has problems detecting the AC Adapter and crashes in Windows frequently. After some troubleshooting I've done, my guess is that the MOBO is faulty, but you might have some more suggestions or ideas on how to deal with it. Since it is out of warranty, I want to keep the repair cost to a minimum.

    Questions:
    - Do you think it is possible to find someone to troubleshoot this notebook for me to double check the case?
    - Is it possible to replace just the charging circuit on a motherboard?

    Config:
    Dell XPS 9560 with 4K Display
    CPU: Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8-3.8GHz
    GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (4GB GDDR5)
    RAM: 16GB DDR4-2400
    SSD: Toshiba XG4 m.2 NVMe 1TB SSD
    Battery: 97Wh + 130W Dell AC Adapter
    OS: Windows 10 Pro

    ----
    Ok, here comes the whole story. Now, keep in mind that I own two of these machines (almost identical - the other has more RAM and a different NVME), so I am able to swap some parts between them. I'm also quite good with tech - not a pro, but I know some stuff.

    AC Adapter Unknown
    I noticed that the laptop was not charging in Windows, so went to BIOS and saw the above message. Troubleshooting went as follows:
    - changed the AC Adapter - same issue - the other XPS working fine with both adapters
    - swapped the batteries - same issue - the other XPS working fine with both batteries
    - swapped the charging jack - same issue - the other XPS still ok
    - reset BIOS - same story
    - took out the CMOS battery for some time
    - "drained residual power" by holding the power button for a long time with no battery in

    After these two last steps done together it magically started working again on any adapter and any AC outlet in the apartment. However, I was presented with another issue - the NVME drive was not able to boot into Windows and I was not able to repair it via recovery - did a clean install and it finally booted up.

    I went away for 4 days and after I was back, the same issue with my AC Adapter not being recognized is present. I followed the same steps as before with no luck this time, however after unplugging and plugging in the adapter many times, it finally started charging. Needless to say, it is enough to unplug it and the issue might come up again. The laptop's battery is not charging and it becomes terribly slow, probably because it reduces the CPU power.

    Windows errors
    After the first troubleshooting I had to reinstall Windows and ever since then I am having random crashes - regardless of the workflow. It is always one of these mysterious messages: IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL or BAD POOL HEADER. Google search suggests that it might be one of so many issues, that it's hard to troubleshoot this. Nevertheless, I did the following:
    - swapped the RAM stick - no luck
    - reopened and repasted the CPU and GPU for better thermals - no luck
    - updated all drivers, BIOS, everything from Dell's website - no change

    Now I am suspecting this is actually some compatibility issue after the clean install, so I might try to reinstall the OS again, but wanted to consult with someone before proceeding. Below you will find some exemptions from the crash logs.

    Ya, this post is quite long, but if you go through it and find it interesting, or have any ideas, please indicate.

    ----
    Crash logs
    crash dump file: C:\Windows\Minidump\103018-9187-01.dmp
    This was probably caused by the following module:*ntoskrnl.exe*(nt+0x1A9490)*
    Bugcheck code: 0xA (0xFFFF854280000000, 0x2, 0x0, 0xFFFFF801A3B92E50)
    Error:*IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL
    file path: C:\Windows\system32\ntoskrnl.exe

    crash dump file: C:\Windows\Minidump\103018-7906-01.dmp
    This was probably caused by the following module:*ntoskrnl.exe*(nt+0x1A9490)*
    Bugcheck code: 0x19 (0x22, 0x0, 0x0, 0x0)
    Error:*BAD_POOL_HEADER
    file path: C:\Windows\system32\ntoskrnl.exe
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2018
  5. custom90gt

    custom90gt Doc Mod Super Moderator

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    Have you swapped the SSD between the computers to see if the other one gives you grief?

    Is the adapter connection dependent on anything else besides unplugging it and trying it a few times (like if you put the laptop at a specific angle, press in more or less, etc)?
     
  6. pressing

    pressing Notebook Deity

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    Not a popular XPS problem. Can you charge via USB-C?

    A few people had to replace the "power-adapter port" inside the XPS recent models. That is somewhat flimsy I suppose as a cheap stopgate to destroying the entire laptop.

    At home you can partially test and reseat the original connections. The part is fairly cheap also on eBay or Amazon (albeit probably knockoff so I would find a reliable supplier). Page 79 below.

    https://topics-cdn.dell.com/pdf/xps-15-9560-laptop_setup-guide_en-us.pdf
     
  7. szumial

    szumial Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thanks for the replies guys! I appreciate the help. I'll try to answer your questions below.

    That's a good hint - I have a spare Toshiba NVME, so I'll test this out, however I find it unlikely that the drive has just gone bad. I can test it with a clean Windows install. I also doubt that the drive is related to my power issues, but let's see where that goes.

    I have tried just now and the laptop charges over a USB-C dock station, which itself is connected to a Dell 180W AC Adapter.

    As described in one of the original posts - I have already replaced the port between my two XPS machines and this is ruled out as an issue here. I can also add, that there are no preconditions to which the AC Adapter starts to be recognized - no specific way of inserting the jack, no specific pressure has to be applied, not even the AC outlet is an issue - it seems completely random.
     
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  8. pressing

    pressing Notebook Deity

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    I just paged @GoNz0 to see if he has some ideas here. Hopefully he has a few minutes to drop in. . .
     
  9. GoNz0

    GoNz0 Laptop Engineer & Online games hosting.

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    Have you done what custom90gt suggested and held the power button down within the bios to initiate the auto recovery?
    I am not sure if you did it with the battery disconnected to discharge regaining voltage instead reading your reply?

    I had this after a bad flash on mine and had to do that. The charge light will flash during recovery and once it's stops you can boot into the bios to see the result.



    Sent from my SM-G920F using Tapatalk
     
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  10. szumial

    szumial Notebook Enthusiast

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    Do you mean to long press the power button in BIOS after swapping the nvme drive? Or just long pressing it in BIOS?

    As part of my troubleshooting I long pressed the power button without the battery in my laptop, to drain the remaining current. I wish it was a bios-flash issue rather then a hardware problem.
     
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