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Power Adapter Problem


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#1 GrayAnderson

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 05:14 PM

I'm not sure quite where to post this, so apologies if it's in the wrong forum.

As far as I can tell, the power cable on my Lenovo P50 has more-or-less conked out on me.  It's one of the USB lookalike adapters.  I purchased a replacement at Best Buy this afternoon (an Insignia 90W, for the record)

The replacement seems to be working, but my computer is giving me a song-and-dance about it not providing enough power.  I call it a song-and-dance because I have had it plugged in for about the last 20 minutes, and it was holding at 80.43 watt-hours left.  It has been holding at that level regardless of whether I take steps to maximize or minimize power usage.  The output is 90 watts/19 volts (from what I can tell, the Lenovo unit is 20 volts instead of 19).

I'm reasonably convinced that Lenovo's software is having a temper tantrum but I am open to the possibility that the voltage is at issue (or that I simply got a bad unit).  If it's Lenovo's software to blame, is there a workaround?  If it's a bad unit, I can just return it and get a replacement.  If it's a bad model, I can return it and specify what I need (though it would seem odd that Best Buy's unit isn't "fit for purpose").  Advice?  Thanks.


Edited by hamluis, 05 May 2018 - 06:10 PM.
Moved from Win 7 to External Hardware - Hamluis.


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#2 GrayAnderson

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 07:05 PM

(1) Thanks for moving this to the correct forum.
(2) I left the computer plugged in (on the new plug) and it did charge.  So clearly it is capable of charging; it just seems to be acting utterly passive-aggressive about it.



#3 OldPhil

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 07:20 PM

How old is the battery?


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#4 GrayAnderson

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 07:27 PM

The battery (and the computer) were both purchased new in January 2017.

Edit: Also worth mentioning is that to my knowledge, the computer has not had any previous battery issues.  With the charging while shut off, it charged to 86.37 of 86.64 (and it probably got all the way up; it was poorly plugged in for a few minutes at startup).


Edited by GrayAnderson, 05 May 2018 - 07:29 PM.


#5 OldPhil

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 08:48 PM

Looks like all is well.


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#6 GrayAnderson

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 09:00 PM

Looks like all is well.

Understood.  I'm guessing that I'm just going to have to shut it down in order to get it to charge?  (That's highly annoying in situations where I'm on and off a charge...but probably not the end of the world, at least for now.  It would basically leave me unable to check on the status of a charge without starting it up.)

(Edit: I'm asking this because the computer is still, at least in theory, insisting that I'm not plugged in.)


Edited by GrayAnderson, 05 May 2018 - 09:20 PM.


#7 joseibarra

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Posted 05 May 2018 - 11:48 PM

You know this does not sound like a Windows problem, right?  Unless Windows is presenting some error/informative messages.

 

It sounds like a Lenovo problem/issue.

 

What is the "song-and-dance about it not providing enough power" about which you speak?

 

If there are some error messages, informative messages or readings that don't look right have you considered asking in the Lenovo community where their experts hang out?

 

They may be very familiar with the song and dance.

 

https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/English-Community/ct-p/Community-EN


Edited by joseibarra, 05 May 2018 - 11:48 PM.

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#8 Platypus

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 01:12 AM

The standard PSU for that unit is 170W. People on forums who have experimented with lower powered supplies report that a 90W will only run the unit in a very low power mode, dim screen etc, or can be used to recharge the battery between sessions.

 

Also, if the Lenovo power sensing circuit is designed for 20V, it could calculate that the 90W 19V PSU is an 85W unit.


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#9 GrayAnderson

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 01:22 AM

@Platypus:
Thank you very much.  That's what I needed to know.  Alright, I'll take this guy back to Best Buy and try to do an exchange/refund tomorrow.  I'm much obliged.



#10 DavisMcCarn

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Posted 06 May 2018 - 10:19 AM

As a note, the P50 can come with anything from a 65 watt adapter to a 230 watt one depending mostly on the video (and CPU chip).  What is the part number and wattage of the original adapter?


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#11 GrayAnderson

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 03:12 PM

Ok, I have a replacement adapter.  It is plugged in now and while it is drawing power, it is also refusing to charge the battery further.  However, it also isn't being nearly as "touchy" about continuing to provide power (the other would stop providing power at the drop of a hat).

My best guess, at this point, is that there's a problem on the computer's end (and this computer is getting a little temperamental), which means that I am probably in the market for a new laptop before too long.



#12 OldPhil

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Posted 15 May 2018 - 03:51 PM

Have you run this battery all the way down at any point?  Some batteries have a memory which can in some cases limit the full charge.  I do not know if that holds true with the newer batteries, but it may be worth running it all the way down then doing the charge.


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#13 Platypus

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Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:02 AM

When you've had a PSU fail, it is possible that something in the laptop has been damaged if the PSU spiked it's output voltage.

 

I think Phil's suggestion is good, run the battery until the system powers down, give the battery a full charge with the laptop powered down, then power up on battery alone. See what the condition report is for the battery. If it has 100% or close charge, and reports good usage time remaining, things are looking promising.

 

From the other side, for assessing operation of the laptop itself, power up without the battery and see if the system operates happily long term. If the system runs happily for hours without the battery, but the battery gives short usage or doesn't charge fully after being cycled, then the battery may not be healthy.


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