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  1. #1
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    Noise from laptiop when charging battery via AC adapter

    Emergent hardware (driver?) problem:

    Charging a Dell E6510 laptop via the undocked AC adapter, the laptop makes excessive, loud (and, frankly, disturbing) noises. The noise comes generally from beneath the keyboard, distributed and not from the adapter or from the port location and not obviously from the speakers on either side of the keyboard. There's a cycle to the statis/whir ... about 1 sec ... and it's infrequently interrupted by complete silence for a few beats, before it resumes. My activities affect the noise ... ie, if I scroll a document, load a new browser page via a link, etc, the static/screeching changes rhythm to match the activity.

    I say "disturbing" since the staticy whirs and clicks are quite audible, and sound like they're damaging components.

    There are 3 reasons this may *not* be a hardware problem, since the laptop charges silently in 3 situations:
    1 - Charge the battery via the docking station (rather than the laptop's own AC adapter)
    2 - Start the laptop in Dell's Boot Diagnostics mode (without loading Win7-SP1) while charging on laptop AC adapter;
    3 - This started once a while ago, immediately after updating Intel ethernet drivers via a Dell Driver pack. I backed out that driver pack, and the problem disappeared. I updated the same drivers directly from Intel, and had no subsequent problems. I didn't connect the noise/Dell Driver update/battery charging at that time, but was undocked and charging via the AC adapter.

    The problem recently started again. I've installed only MS Win7 Updates recently, and I didn't see any related to Intel drivers (but was watching).

    Dell claim I need a new motherboard, but this is one month after Dell just replaced the motherboard after out-of-box failure. (Yes, Dell hardware reliability and customer "care" practices really have sunk as low as independent vendor reliability surveys indicate in recent years.)

    So any help appreciated on these questions:
    1 - Has anyone resolved such an issue before without extensive hardware replacement by the vendor?
    2 - Could I be damaging the hardware further while this noise is audible?
    3 - Could there be core problems that are somehow masked by Docked charging. IE, I don't hear the noise, but that doesn't mean everything is fine.

    Any ideas/suggestions welcome. Thanks
    GG

  2. #2
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    Could be a power supply problem - not sufficiently stable or not enough current for the laptop.
    Could the the motherboard power controller.
    Could be the battery is not well - take it out and replace it to clean the contacts.
    If Dell recommend a replacement mobo at no cost, let them do it.

    cheers, Paul

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  4. #3
    Super Moderator Deadeye81's Avatar
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    I agree with Paul, particularly with his first point. If the docking station recharge is working without the symptoms, then I would strongly suspect the AC power adapter as faulty.

  5. #4
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    Thanks, both. Looks like Dell have to at least replace the MB and AC Adapter, if not the entire system.

    This would be the 2nd time they replace the motherboard since delivery in Oct-2010.

    I imagine that this work is done in a relatively uncontrolled environment (ie, a repair depot work bench) compared with the original fabrication center.

    So if Dell got it wrong once (ie, MB failure within a month of replacing the MB), I have little hope for success on a repeat repair.
    I would therefore at least insist on a *replacement* with factory-build system this time, rather than workbench surgery.

    Can anyone confirm/refute my assumption of repair depot workbench being inferior to original fabrication?
    GG

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