I have a 3-year old Dell Inspiron 4100 (256MB RAM, 20GB HD, Windows ME, Wireless) that has been having power issues for the past month. Over the course of a month, the time I was able to use my laptop without the power adapter went from around 1 hour down to about 10 minutes, at which point, I kept the adapter plugged in 100% of the time.
A few days ago, I left my computer while I was out for a few hours and it had turned off while I was gone (while plugged in). The next day, when I turned it on, the battery light was blinking amber and the sys tray said that the battery was charging, but it never went above 0%. Over the course of that day, the computer turned off about 3 or 4 times, and it would take about 10 minutes of rest before the computer would turn back on.
Last night, I tried booting it with the battery out and the adapter plugged in, and it held the power for about 5 minutes, then shut off. Now the computer won't boot at all (plugged or unplugged, battery or no battery) and no lights are on the computer. Yes, the power outlet is fine - i've used 5 different ones at this point and the green light on the battery pack of the power adapter is on at full blast.
Sorry so long (I used to be a software support analyst, so i know the more info the better) but i guess my real question is does it sound like the adapter, the battery, or something internal that's not getting the charge? Which piece would you recommend me replacing first?
Thanks so much.