Question

Power supply problem

My Toshiba Satellite L300 runs ok with battery only, but when the AC adapter is switched on, the battery will not charge. The power and battery LEDs flash along with the battery icon. I am also getting a soft ticking sound from the LH side of the laptop. I have replaced the battery (which was on its last legs) and checked the voltage to be 19v from the AC adapter. Any advice gratefully received!

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Answer
That's not good.

The battery charge circuit is in the laptop on the motherboard. Unless it's the old battery issue (anything over 2 years old) 99% of the time this takes a new motherboard.

You write you replaced the battery. It's possible that is bad or the old battery was not replaced soon enough.

Try this. Leave out the battery and ... does that work?

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Reply

With the battery out and on AC power only, the green power led lights up, but laptop will not start. With the new (still charged) battery only, starts up ok. The old battery was definitely not replaced soon enough, but what detrimental effect would that have had? Should this laptop be able to run with the battery out?

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You asked.

1. what detrimental effect would that have had?
An old battery could have bad cells and the motherboard circuits fail as they try to charge an old battery.

2. Should this laptop be able to run with the battery out?
At the office we have some 100 laptops over the years. Only 2 and they were the same model required the battery to boot up.

So the test failed and it's likely the motherboard or charger has failed. I don't want to upset you but leaving old bad batteries in devices can be costly.

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Yes, a costly mistake indeed. Would it be cost effective to replace the motherboard on a 2007 Vista machine?

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Maybe.

I've brought some back by picking up a working but something bad (broken LCD?, missing parts) laptop on ebay. My $$ limit is under 99 bucks for a host laptop to pull parts from both.

But with deals over the past year I snagged these for close to 100.

1. Under 88 bucks I got a 15 inch Chromebook on groupon.
2. At 129 bucks I got a black friday dual core 4GB 500GB HDD 15 inch laptop on Amazon.

I watch http://www.cnet.com/cheapskate/ too since once in a while there's a deal out there.

Tip: If you never used Groupon there's a code for your first buy at 20 or 25% off which is why my Chromebook was such a killer deal.

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Thank you for your help and useful tips!

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