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The AC Power Adapter Type Cannot Be Determined, Please Connect A Dell 90W AC Adapter

Last night I upgraded the BIOS on my Dell Studio XPS 13 from A11 to A14. The BIOS upgrade appeared to work without issue however when the computer rebooted with the new BIOS version I received a boot error and then once I skipped the error I received a popup message within Windows 7 as well. The problem ended up being something really silly which is explained below but I wanted to note in case someone else ran into the same issue.

Dell Power Adapter Type Warning:

AC Power Adapter Type Cannot Be Determined

Dell AC Power Adapter Type Warning Text:

“The AC power adapter type cannot be determined. Your system will operate slower and the battery will not charge. Please connect a Dell 90W AC adapter or higher for best system operation.”

A very similar message to the one below showed on the boot screen as well but I failed to get an image to post in the article and I had trouble duplicating the error after it occurred the first time.

Resolve Dell AC Power Adapter Type Warning Message:

After rebooting and getting the same exact messages from the BIOS and from within Windows 7 I looked towards the power adapter port. Sure enough the power adapter was plugged in just enough to not have a solid connection to the computer but not far enough out of the power power to not register. I simply plugged the AC power adapter into the computer all the way and afterwards I no longer received the error.

Possible Other Power Adapter Issues:

Dell laptops are notorious for the power port to become worn out over time so I would assume it is possible to get the above error if the connection still works but isn’t 100%. This port can take a beating if you use the laptop in your lap while it is plugged in. It is also possible for the actual power adapter to go bad so if the problem is not as easy as it was for me I would consider trying a different power adapter first. Make sure that the power adapter you try is made for the Dell laptop (or whatever type of laptop) in question.


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