Most Curious (aka something funky's going on with my Dell and I have no idea what it means)

| 38 Comments | 1 TrackBack

OK, so I have a Dell Inspiron 1150 laptop, and while it’s not the world’s greatest piece of hardware, it gets the job done. Historically, my two biggest complaints are the weight (aka too f*cking heavy) and the battery life (aka too f*cking short). Arrrrrrrrr.

However… just today, the battery charge light started acting a bit funky. Normally, me mateys, when the battery is charging, the light is either solid green (charging from 0-80%) or a very slow blinking green (charging from 80-100%). If the laptop is unplugged, and the battery is below 10% charge, the light starts blinking orange. If the laptop is unplugged and the battery is above 10% charge, then there’s no light. Similarly, if the computer is running straight off of the AC adaptor and the battery is fully charged, there’s no light.

Today, however, I’m finding meself getting a cycle of four short orange flashes followed by a longer green flash, constantly repeated whenever the computer is on and the battery is in (or if the computer is off, but the battery is in and the AC adaptor is plugged in).

Obviously the pattern of lights means something, (probably something like “the circuitry in your battery is borked”) but what exactly is something? Arrrrrrrrr.

(Yes, I’ve tried Googling, and yes, I’ve tried Dell. No joy on either occasion.)

So, if you just happen be a Dell tech wandering by who knows what the answer to this mystery is, please, help!

1 TrackBack

TrackBack URL: http://paulfrankenstein.org/MT/mt-tb.cgi/94

For DHL to show up to deliver yet another AC adaptor for my laptop (which, if you’re wondering, is a Dell Inspiron 1150). This will be the fourth power adaptor that I’ve had. The first one (aka the one that... Read More

38 Comments

that happened right before mine started leaking battery acid all over my leg.

i think you have a short.

Re: the posting "Most Curious (aka something funky's going on with my Dell and I have no idea what it means)"---did you ever get it resolved (the orange blinking lights)? My Inspiron has been doing this all morning. Any help greatly appreciated.

I'm getting the exact same problem with my laptop. Anyone have any info on what the problem is?

I'm having the exact same problem with my Inspiron 5100 and can't figure out what the problem is. Has anyone figured anything out regarding this?

Me too...I haven't figured anything out except that it's incredibly annoying when the laptop's OFF and you're trying to sleep, and that unplugging the AC adaptor from the back and plugging it back in stops the blinking for a little while.

I have a spare battery, I'll put that one in and get back to you.

I don't want no acid leakin' down my leg, shoot.

mine is doing this too now. anyone know why?

I changed the battery, and it's not doing it anymore. So, in combination with Steph's comment, I'd suggest you all do the same. Don't take any risks with Dell and its kerploding batteries!

We have an Inspiron 6400 that is only 5 months old, and the same "fault code" has started on the battery charge light. Four quick orange flashes, then one long green flash. Just noticed it today. Tested the battery status lights, and all 5 LED's light up green. Nothing in the manual mentions this problem. Looked on the DELL site, and ran the battery S/N to see if it is one that is recalled. It states that the battery is OK and is not part of the group that is recalled. The charger does have a green light that is illuminated, but not very bright. Can not say for sure if the brightness has changed on this charger. Will be trying to scare up and answer with DELL tomorrow.

After a few phone calls, and some trouble shooting with Dell, it was determined that the battery on our Inspiron 6400 was infact causing the fault code on the battery charge light. Received the replacement battery from Dell this week. It was still on warranty, so this time I am the winner!! Have been using it for a few days, so I am now confident that the issue has been resolved. I cannot fault Dell's service this time, they were great.

Hopefully this info will assist others with the similar fault code.

this started happening to me like 1 week ago. cant seem to find anything wrong with it though. laptop still holds charge, a miserable 1 hour long but yeah i can drain batt and charge it up again. light just flashes on though

i unplug my battery w/ just AC power and it stop, plus my battery is near the end of its life little more than 2 years old and holds a charge for almost 15 min.

i unplug my battery w/ just AC power and it stop, plus my battery is near the end of its life little more than 2 years old and holds a charge for almost 15 min.

I have the dreaded Inspiron 1150 at the house now. I have rebuilt several laptops in my time but this has been the most frustrating. It came in for the power jack problem. The original jack had been resoldered several times to the point of damaging the motherboard. I opted to replace the motherboard. I recieved the motherboard about a week ago. The installation went smoothly but when i tried to start up for the first time, I just got 10 blinks out of the battery light. The light was orange, but I'm not sure if it is capable of displaying multiple colors or not, anyway.....The PA-10 adapter is new, I'm fairly certain the battery is good, The damn thing won't even post. No fan, No bells , no whistles, just ten orange blinks mocking me like a grade school bully. Any help is appreciated.

>laptop still holds charge, a miserable 1 hour long

Good laugh at that one.

If you are getting one hour instead of 4 like me, then the battery does NOT hold a charge.

Also, four very quick flashes then a green seems to be a battery problem. A chip in the battery talks to the computer.

Generally I like Dell, but they are pricks for not releasing the meaning of the LED blink codes.

This has just started on my Dell Inspiron 5100. It's almost 5 years old but holds battery for about an hour. After my original Dell charger blew-up (literally - it blew the fuse in the plug, the fuse in the extension and tripped the circuit-breaker, all with a very impressive BANG! noise).
Shame new BATDWOOL batteries are hard to come by!
I agree, Dell are pricks. Not too much of a problem since this brick is mostly a Desktop replacement for a not very mobile student it's not too much of a big deal.
This isn't the only problem I've had, mind you. Oh no. It's had a new mobo from Dell (thankfully in extended warranty), new fan, new optical drive... I've solved an overheating issue by applying arctic silver 5 and dusting the heatsinks.
All in all, this laptop is a fighter, a survivor, but only because I'm capable enough to maintain it. I have to be, I can't afford a new one!

Ok the light means that either the battery is defective or its over heatiing my dell c600 blinks so u should replace it soon

Ok, for everyone having this problem...

I work for a software company, and am internal IT for, said company. And we get this problem more often then id like.

The issue is that the battery is "nearing the end of its usefull life" there are ways to fix this, and, for future models, dell has "smart batteries" that will actually TELL you the whole "your battery is nearing the end of its usefull life, please replace it" but basically, ya, the battery is going to be dead soon. Now, i know someone somewhere is going to reply to this whinning that "my battery is brand new, i just got my laptop blah,blah months ago". So what. if you DID just get the laptop, or the new battery, then you more then likely haev left it on the charger forever in a day, or CONSTANTLY have it being charged.

what this does is this:
Rechargable batteries have a "memory". What that means is, the battery will start to cycle itself, based on the last time the battery is actually charged. IE. if you continually recharge the battery when its still 90% full, the usefull "part" of the bettery becomes that remaining 10%. lesson learned here, LET YOUR EFFIN BATTERIES GET LOW FROM TIME TO TIME! it will keep you from buying another battery, the friggin things aint cheap.

to FIX this problem, one of two things can be done.
If your battery is relativly NEW, let the damn thing DIE, charge it FULLY, and let it die AGAIN. that next recharge, should help the battery "re-learn" what its real limits are. Note that if youve done this 4 times or more, give it up, your battery is dead.
the second thing is just to get a new battery, cuz the one youve got is either too old, or too screwed. usually you can only "bring back" a new battery. Not an older one.

Keep in mind this will actualy work for ALL electronic things that have a rechargable battery with them. Cell phones, gameboy's, etc.

long story short, if your battery never gets a chance to lose its charge, your only screwing yourself. let teh damn thing die from time to time. Let it get low on power for once. If ya just going to keep the damn thing plugged in, then buy a desktop and stop wasting your money on a laptop.

oh ya, nd if ur dumb enough to charge it to the point that it leaks all over your leg, u prolly deserved it. that thing call HEAT is a sign that things inside the laptop are getting HOT.if ur sittin there, usin ur laptop, charging it at the same time, and its gettin super HOT on your lap, leg or whatever, theres a REASON why its getting so hot! duh! either buy something to COOL IT DOWN with, or let it chill a sec! laptops are NOT desktops, nor are they comperable replacements when you think of the cooling systems in them. you are lucky that the HEAT only led to your battery popping. As retarded as a person must be to not realize that heat = BAD in something electronic, the whole battery popping this is far prefered to , oh, i dunno, FRYING YOUR PROCESSOR!! cuz then ur just fookt =)

Have a nice day =)

For more "no shit" I.T. Advice, contact The IT Guy at pullzar@hotmail.com
i may be blunt, but i know what im talkin about.

Pullz

Thanks, Pullz.

My Dell Inspiron 6400 is giving me the same blinking battery message (four quick orange and one long green). This started happening about the same time that my battery quit doing anything for me. So putting two and two together, I'm guessing that I need a new battery.

Time for a call to Dell.... where every they are.

Regards,

Josh
www.DuroPC.com

Lithium ion batteries do not suffer from memory effect:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium_ion_battery

Plus, the laptop doesn't trickle charge, so it cant overcharge, but the batteries do get hot, and this is the main cause of early life failure.

The post removed the underscores from the link above

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lithium(underscore)ion(underscore)battery

I have the same problem on a Dell Inspiron 6400 (four quick orange flashes followed by a longer green flash). On the phone with Dell now to get a new battery since I'm still under warranty. Just hope it doesn't happen with the next one. I think from now on I'll unplug my battery whenever I don't use it. I think that should extend it's life. Also, I do let it die from time to time so the battery memory doesn't screw things up.

Well my Dell Inspiron 1150 is about 4 years old, same battery and powerpack. Yes we have left the power cord in most of the time, I would say 99% of the time. It has gotten down to less than 10% battery life a few times, but that is because we did not know the plug came out. It now has the four amber and one green light blink code going on and my first thought was the battery, since they only have a two year life span. Just FYI wikipedia, is not a credible source to quote anything, since it can be modified by everyon ein the world. Not saying your post about the ION batteries is not true, but I think ION batteries can still build a memory and suffer from not letting it lose a charge from time to time. I guess it is time for me to buy a new battery.

I have the same problem, but the battery led's blink green-off-green-off-green (5 led's). I've had the battery for over two years now, and it still holds a decent charge.

On batteries themselves: Li-Ion batteries do not have "memory", but like all batteries, their performance does degrade significantly over time. Li-Ion batteries are damaged, however, if you discharge them entirely (your computer usually prevents this).

Either way, if this is actually the battery telling me to replace it, it's freakin' annoying.

I bought a DELL Inspiration 6400 on July 2006. Yeah, I had the same problem on April,2007 ! 4 amber flashing and then a long green. After I changed the battery, the problem was solved!!

Yesterday, the same problem happened again!! So I believe the battery is going to die soon....However, this time the battery is out of the warranty!!!

So I will use my laptop with out battery and keep the AC connected as a desktop!!

I have the same issue. Look in the Dell page for the term amber (that's how they call the orange light). They claim it may be because it is too hot, I doubt this is the case.

I have a Dell Inspiron 1150.... please help... there are letters and numbers on my screen, what do I do?

I am glad I found this blog in google. My wife's Inspiron 1150 laptop is doing the 4 blinking orange lights, 1 green light thing. Now I can stop wondering what is wrong and get a new battery.

It's indeed Dell's overheat protect on the battery. When a battery is at near end-life, but also when you've got a "still good battery" running to "near depletion charge", it will become _very_ hot. When you try to charge it, it will throw that 4+1 code at you. Happens a lot when either you're running the machine of your lap, or if the machine's lost the 5 rubber feet which happens pretty fast.

Solution : cool down the battery for 5 minutes. 5 minutes in the fridge, and hey presto, the battery WILL load again -unless- it's really damaged. Classical problem on all Dell 1150/5150's, JUST like the classical "chip solder busting" underneath the "C" door. (which I had to fix on my old 1150 too : if your Dell is prone to rebooting/crashing when being tapped on the palmrest on the LEFT of the touchpad, you've got the same problem and the mainboard has to be resoldered).

I forgot about that trick. My 5150 has has the motherboard replaced twice -- once under original warranty and once under the class action settlement. I recently found out the mike jack doesn't work, and the power connector is gimpy. Let's see, $80 for a battery, $125 to fix the power connection, and I still have less than a gig of memory, so to upgrade to 2 gig would be another $120 and I'll have a four year old machine that weighs a top with a ticking time bomb for a motherboard.

I think a better solution will be to look for a new laptop. My wife's Fujitsu has never given a lick of trouble.

i have the same problem with the blinking lights..except i am not even using a bettery just the cord...and yet it still isnt turning on just giving me the green light followed with the orange...what should i do

Throw the bastard out and get a new one!

I recently replaced the original battery for my dell inspiron b130 because the battery had died completely. it had done what others had described and that was that it blinked orange a few times rapidly then it would blink green. now i have a new battery that i got from hong kong and was half the price and lasts twice as long as the orginal dell battery BUT now i keep getting a blinking orange light. as far as i can tell nothing is wrong because as soon as i unpluc the ac cord and plug it back in the blinking stops. im just confused as to why its doing it because as far as i can tell the battery is working perfectly when unplugged and lasts a long time. does anyone have any ideas??

That's EXACTLY my case: Dell Inpiron B130, dead battery with the 4 orange + 1 green flashing. Got a new battery from ebay China, sometimes it flashes orange constantly even though is connected through mains. It stops flashing when I disconnect-reconnect the mains. Other than that, the battery seems perfectly fine.

computer might be hibernating magnet swith on fekt side of computer stuck telling sceen to not start up

Don't listen to pullz, he may be blunt, but he is also a moron. I feel bad for whatever location has his IT department.

I've had the battery problem on two batteries bought when the 1150 was new - they both started doing the rapid blink thing even when plugged in - very annoying as the battery life had gone down and they needed to be plugged in most of the time. Here's what I did based on my x60 battery maintenance procedure. At a high level the problem is at the batteries memory level.

1) go to power otions for battery and remove all low battery and critical battery alarm actions. This will allow the battery to literally run to dead without shutting down early.

2) change your battery setting to "always on" - you want the battery to run full power without interruption. (with older batteries they do run hotter, I put a fan on mine while doing this process)

2) disable any running program and take the machine offline - you are going to run the battery until it just conks out so you don't want anything running that will be affected by a direct power outage.

3) run a fully charged battery down until the machine shuts off. Notice that it will run down to critical battery quickly, in my case 30 minutes with little activity. Once everything starts blinking critical, notice that it will take another 30, if not 40-50 minutes to completely drain and die.

4) repeat this process until the warning lights go away - for one of mine it took 4 cycles and one took only two cycles. Fully dead to fully charged and back again.

5) A couple of observations I made - the battery runs cooler - the battery life is much longer, Ican go 2 full hours on these 4-5 year old batteries now - even though the last 30 minutes is below 10% sometimes. I ran this process about 10 cycles before I re engaged the alarm actions and I set them at 2% as low as they allow.

Give it a shot - these batteries are 400-500 a piece now a days.

SLM, thank you so much for the hint of really emptying the battery, finally a real solution to my problem.

Hello, we have a Dell B130 that the last message we saw was something about a critical battery level and then went into hibernation. Tried charging with no luck and ended up buying a new battery. Now when I power it up, steady orange battery light and it tries to power up for about 5 seconds and then shuts off. Any ideas? Thanks for your help.

Leave a comment

Pages

Powered by Movable Type 5.12

Archives

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Paul published on September 19, 2006 6:23 PM.

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr was the previous entry in this blog.

Some Things Never Die is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.