Dell Laptop Power Adapter Problem

If you receive a message stating “The AC adapter type cannot be determined. This will prevent optimal system performance.¬†Strike F3¬†key ( before F1 or F2 key) if you don’t want to see power warning messages again” then there are a few things you can try before replacing the laptop power adapter. Before you begin, however, you should first double-check to make sure you are using the same power adapter that came with your Dell laptop. Once you have confirmed that, try the following.

Dell Laptop Power Adapter

Dell Laptop Power Adapter Troubleshooting

  1. Unplug the power adapter from both the laptop and the wall and leave it unplugged for a couple of minutes.
  2. Remove the laptop battery. The battery compartment is on the bottom of the laptop case.
  3. Plug the adapter back in to the wall and the laptop.

Other Dell Laptop Power Adapter Tips

If you continue to receive that error message, try a different outlet in the house. If you are still having issues after you have tried all of that, you can try updating the Dell laptop’s BIOS. To download a new BIOS for you Dell, go to the Dell support website and look up your computer’s model or enter the service tag number. You can find all driver downloads–including a new BIOS–for your computer at the Dell Drivers and Downloads site.

If you continue to receive that error message, or if your Dell laptop develops other power issues, you should consider replacing the Dell laptop power adapter or take the laptop in for service.


  1. Mark October 17, 2010
  2. John Daniel December 20, 2010
  3. Nisan March 20, 2011
  4. Ravi July 3, 2011
  5. dan September 18, 2011