My Chromebook's sudden demise

Alisande

My Dell Inspiron Chromebook 3181 appears to have died. I bought it on a Black Friday deal in 2018. I use it for part of most days, but 1.5 years seems like an awfully short lifespan.

I assume the battery--or maybe the battery charger--is the problem. The battery has been great about holding a charge, and I don't normally let it get very low. But yesterday it wouldn't turn on. It displayed an orange icon with an exclamation point in it in the center of the screen. I figured it must represent a battery, so I charged it and it was fine. It was okay this morning too, but turned itself off later and won't start again. I tried charging it, but nothing changed.

Surely the battery life should be longer than 1.5 years too. According to Dell's website, the warranty expired in January.

Is there a way to test the battery charger? When I plug it into the Chromebook the LED lights up white, which according to Dell means the battery is critically low. Would you say this indicates the charger is working okay?

Thanks!

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mikie_gw

Does it start and run while the a/c adapter is attached?

If not you most likely would want to try another adapter from del if returnable.

Or maybe buy a cheap one on eBay... https://www.ebay.com/itm/For-Dell-Inspiron-Chromebook-11-3181-P26T002-65W-Charger-AC-Adapter-Power-Supply/254021216271?hash=item3b24d8280f:g:mCsAAOSwafJdygWK

But it could be the battery is shorted/screwing things up, or could be some other internal falt. Can you remove the battery and try it on the a/c adapter?

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Alisande

Thanks, Mikie. It doesn't do anything when the adapter is attached, other than show the white LED light. I guess getting a new adapter/charger is the only way to find out if it's causing the problem. Cheaper than buying a new battery . . . or a new Chromebook. :-)


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Elmer J Fudd

I think it's unlikely a problem with the power cord. Many low-end PCs (like Chromebooks) don't have strong or robust batteries and what they have can have a limited life. If it's been consistently used on a disconnected basis and then recharged, it's possible the battery is shot or it could be something else.

It could cost you $100 to buy a replacement battery and pay someone to install it. And that may not fix the problem. Or you could buy a new one for $250.

I'd buy a replacement.

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Alisande

It may come to that, Elmer. If I do get a new one, do you recommend a touch screen?

Meanwhile, my son came up with another power supply, and the Chromebook started up right away while plugged into it. I'm letting it charge, and the white light is getting yellower. I think that's a good sign.

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Elmer J Fudd

That is a good sign and hopefully what I thought to be an unlikely cause of the problem works.

Other than a dislike of HP products, I have no recommendations. I think electronic products, like cars, have good and bad individuals even among good brands.

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dee_can1

About the touchscreen, I got it with my most recent laptop, and I wouldn't do without it now. Love it, it really comes in handy.

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