Question My Lenovo Ideapad 320 only works on battery power, but not on AC Power (plugged in).

onepocketkid386

Junior Member
Dec 22, 2019
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I am new here, so not sure if I am asking in the proper section of the forum.

My Lenovo Ideapad 320 only works on battery power, but not on AC Power (plugged in).

One night while I was using it, I decided to plug in an external HDMI monitor into the laptop.

As soon as I started to plug in the HDMI connector into the HDMI laptop port, the laptop completely turned off in an instant (it just died).

My 1st thought was that I just shorted out the motherboard, and killed my laptop, but I was able to turn the laptop back on, and it worked just fine.

Well, a little while later, I noticed that even though I had the AC Adapter plugged in, the battery was dying, and the LED light on the DC power jack was not on.

I found a very similar (looked almost identical, other then the screen display) Lenovo Ideapad (I think it was a model 120) at a pawnshop, that looked identical, but with different (much slower hardware specs), but it came with a 45 Watt AC Adapter.

The design of both laptops looked almost identical, and the internal batteries were also identical in appearance, but the voltage was different on them.

The 45 Watt AC Adapter would not power the Ideapad 320 on, but I was able to put the battery of the Ideapad 120 laptop into the 320, and it worked just fine, but only off of battery power.

Anyways, the laptop in question is a Lenovo Ideapad 320-15IKB, that was made for the German market (if that makes a difference), and has an 8th Gen Core i5 CPU, with Dedicated graphics (I think 2GB of dedicated graphics), which the same one that was made for the US Market does not have (it only has shared / onboard graphics), if that helps with my issue at all.

Also, it says on the back that it requires a 20V 3.25A AC Adapter I assume, which is a 65 Watt AC Adapter, from what I see, from one that I found on ebay.

I understand that this is a longshot, but could the issue be that a 45 Watt AC Adapter will not power on the Ideapad 320, which I believe came with a 65 Watt AC Adapter?

I tested the Generic universal AC Adapter (that I was using with the Ideapad 320 at the time that it died) in the other Lenovo Ideapad 120, and it did not work, so I believe that it is dead.

Remember, that the laptop appeared to short out, and die instantly, but I was able to turn it on (on several occasions) until the battery eventually died, and I was able to use a charged battery from a Lenovo 120 (that looked almost identical to the 320) to power on and use the Ideapad 320, but I have not tried to order the proper 65 watt (20V / 3.25A) AC Adapter for it yet (been really low on money, so have not been able to order it yet).

Anyways, does anyone here have any thoughts as to what the issue of the laptop might be?

Is it possible that I just need to order the proper 65 Watt AC Adapter, even though a 45 Watt AC Adapter from a very similar Ideapad did not work on it?

Is the issue probably a dead DC Jack? I do not know how to solder, and that is what would be required for that repair, but the part is very cheap (under $10).

Or could the issue be a short in the motherboard, even though I have been able to use the laptop just fine with a charged battery?

Thank you very much for any thoughts, or suggestions about this issue.

Thanks for your time.
 

corkyg

Elite Member | Peripherals
Super Moderator
Mar 4, 2000
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My sense is that it could be a broken connection on the laptop's A/C/port, or a faultyor inadequate A/C adapter.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
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yes first thing would attempt is to purchase a good power brick, If you could try to charge usb-c (if that is a option) second I would buy a new power jack (some are very easy to replace with just a ribbon some require 2 solder points.
 
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C1

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2008
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You can pick up another adapter at the eWaste recycle center for a pittance (eg, $5).
They typically have bushes of adapters across all kinds of brand laptops. My Fujitsu A8110 laptop adapter is rated 19volts @ 4.22amps. Assuming correct polarity, something like that should be sufficient to power the laptop in question or at least verify that it's not an adapter power issue.

Otherwise, I would take it to a competent private repair facility that specializes in laptop repair and have them diagnose what might be going on.
 

Amol S.

Senior member
Mar 14, 2015
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I am new here, so not sure if I am asking in the proper section of the forum.

My Lenovo Ideapad 320 only works on battery power, but not on AC Power (plugged in).

One night while I was using it, I decided to plug in an external HDMI monitor into the laptop.

As soon as I started to plug in the HDMI connector into the HDMI laptop port, the laptop completely turned off in an instant (it just died).

My 1st thought was that I just shorted out the motherboard, and killed my laptop, but I was able to turn the laptop back on, and it worked just fine.

Well, a little while later, I noticed that even though I had the AC Adapter plugged in, the battery was dying, and the LED light on the DC power jack was not on.

I found a very similar (looked almost identical, other then the screen display) Lenovo Ideapad (I think it was a model 120) at a pawnshop, that looked identical, but with different (much slower hardware specs), but it came with a 45 Watt AC Adapter.

The design of both laptops looked almost identical, and the internal batteries were also identical in appearance, but the voltage was different on them.

The 45 Watt AC Adapter would not power the Ideapad 320 on, but I was able to put the battery of the Ideapad 120 laptop into the 320, and it worked just fine, but only off of battery power.

Anyways, the laptop in question is a Lenovo Ideapad 320-15IKB, that was made for the German market (if that makes a difference), and has an 8th Gen Core i5 CPU, with Dedicated graphics (I think 2GB of dedicated graphics), which the same one that was made for the US Market does not have (it only has shared / onboard graphics), if that helps with my issue at all.

Also, it says on the back that it requires a 20V 3.25A AC Adapter I assume, which is a 65 Watt AC Adapter, from what I see, from one that I found on ebay.

I understand that this is a longshot, but could the issue be that a 45 Watt AC Adapter will not power on the Ideapad 320, which I believe came with a 65 Watt AC Adapter?

I tested the Generic universal AC Adapter (that I was using with the Ideapad 320 at the time that it died) in the other Lenovo Ideapad 120, and it did not work, so I believe that it is dead.

Remember, that the laptop appeared to short out, and die instantly, but I was able to turn it on (on several occasions) until the battery eventually died, and I was able to use a charged battery from a Lenovo 120 (that looked almost identical to the 320) to power on and use the Ideapad 320, but I have not tried to order the proper 65 watt (20V / 3.25A) AC Adapter for it yet (been really low on money, so have not been able to order it yet).

Anyways, does anyone here have any thoughts as to what the issue of the laptop might be?

Is it possible that I just need to order the proper 65 Watt AC Adapter, even though a 45 Watt AC Adapter from a very similar Ideapad did not work on it?

Is the issue probably a dead DC Jack? I do not know how to solder, and that is what would be required for that repair, but the part is very cheap (under $10).

Or could the issue be a short in the motherboard, even though I have been able to use the laptop just fine with a charged battery?

Thank you very much for any thoughts, or suggestions about this issue.

Thanks for your time.
First calm down, there is no need to panic. The second thing is to look all around the the power adapter that came with the Ideapad 320. There could be a chance that you might have missed the Wattage amount that could have been engraved or molded on to it. I have a Lenovo ThinkPad P52, the 170 watt power adapter that came with it has "170W" casted/engraved on it on the top side of the adapter (bottom side contains all the regulatory and main specs of the adapter). Is it listed there?

Even if it is or is not, another issue is that a majority of European and Asian countries have their power outlets running between a range from 200V - 240 V. The US of course runs on 100V - 125V, and thus a majority of US products like power adapters are designed to be able to run between 100V - 240V, for travel purposes. However did you check if the adapter that came can work on the US voltage. It could be that not enough voltage is going thru. Try to see if there is a 60W adapter that is available for your laptop that is sold in the US or US website.

You could go to an authorized Lenovo dealer or technician, and they would be able to better help you with this situation. Did you also try asking at Lenovo's own official forums : https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/English-Community/ct-p/Community-EN
 

onepocketkid386

Junior Member
Dec 22, 2019
24
2
16
yes first thing would attempt is to purchase a good power brick, If you could try to charge usb-c (if that is a option) second I would buy a new power jack (some are very easy to replace with just a ribbon some require 2 solder points.
Hi, The laptop has a USB-C port, so does that mean I can use that to power the laptop? That would be great if possible. Thanks for your help.
 

onepocketkid386

Junior Member
Dec 22, 2019
24
2
16
Hi, The laptop has a USB-C port, so does that mean I can use that to power the laptop? That would be great if possible. Thanks for your help.
I think this might help me get my laptop working again (will be crossing my fingers).


Thanks so much for your very helpful reply.
 

C1

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2008
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The user manual for the Ideapad 320 shows the power jack as a conventional cylinderacle connector plug.

In addition, the Type C port is shown as Gen 3.1 and NOT DENOTED AS PD CAPABLE. (Also, use of Type C ports for PD is really really new and, based on the vintage of you unit, it is not likely that your unit would be able to fully operate from the Type C, but you might be able to charge the battery provided the unit is turned off.)

Your best bet is let a competent repair shop check the unit out and if it is only the adapter, then let then the shop order the correct FRU replacement.
 

onepocketkid386

Junior Member
Dec 22, 2019
24
2
16
The user manual for the Ideapad 320 shows the power jack as a conventional cylinderacle connector plug.

In addition, the Type C port is shown as Gen 3.1 and NOT DENOTED AS PD CAPABLE. (Also, use of Type C ports for PD is really really new and, based on the vintage of you unit, it is not likely that your unit would be able to fully operate from the Type C, but you might be able to charge the battery provided the unit is turned off.)

Your best bet is let a competent repair shop check the unit out and if it is only the adapter, then let then the shop order the correct FRU replacement.
Thank you very much for looking into that for me. I also have a very similar Lenovo Ideapad 330S (8th Gen - Core i3) with a USB-C port. Do you think that if I were to buy a USB-C to USB-C cable, the Lenovo Ideapad 330S might be able to charge the battery of the Lenovo Ideapad 320, with it turned off? I assume if there were any chance of that working, then I would need a USB-C 3.1 to USB-C 3.1 Cable. By the way, I imagine that a repair shop would not be willing to diagnose the issue of the laptop for free, and who knows how much it might cost just to diagnose the issue. I am really poor, and really do not have the money to pay a repair shop. Might just be better off selling the laptop for parts if I can't get the issue figured out and fixed on my own. I have watched some youtube videos on Soldering, and think I can do it on my own, if needed (if I can find a decent quality Soldering Iron for cheap). Anyways, thanks for your help.
 

C1

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2008
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Below is link to the manual for your Ideapad. (The link should open to page 25 which shows the power adapter connector that plugs into the left side of the laptop near the rear.)


If you know someone with a voltmeter, then check the adapter voltage at the connector. With the meter in DC mode and with the meter's negative lead on the connector's outside barrel and the positive meter lead connected to the center pole, you should obtain +20v. Be super careful not to short the adapter connector (ie, center pole to barrel) when doing this test.

If you dont get any or a very low voltage, then I would just replace the adapter.

As regards the connector on the motherboard, that's most likely not the issue. There's no reason to think that the motherboard connector broke just at the instant you plugged something into the HDMI port. However, it is always prudent to spend time to wiggle and press in the power adapter connector while energized in attempt to detect a bad connection/connector.

Oh ya, the bad news is that according to the Lenovo manual trouble shooting, if the adapter turns out to test good in this case (ie, but battery does not charge and computer does not energize), then Lenovo's recommendation is to replace the "mainboard." This is where a repair shop might be able to help not havng to do that (eg, they might be able to do a mainboard repair, of course, depending what is found).
 

onepocketkid386

Junior Member
Dec 22, 2019
24
2
16
Below is link to the manual for your Ideapad. (The link should open to page 25 which shows the power adapter connector that plugs into the left side of the laptop near the rear.)


If you know someone with a voltmeter, then check the adapter voltage at the connector. With the meter in DC mode and with the meter's negative lead on the connector's outside barrel and the positive meter lead connected to the center pole, you should obtain +20v. Be super careful not to short the adapter connector (ie, center pole to barrel) when doing this test.

If you dont get any or a very low voltage, then I would just replace the adapter.

As regards the connector on the motherboard, that's most likely not the issue. There's no reason to think that the motherboard connector broke just at the instant you plugged something into the HDMI port. However, it is always prudent to spend time to wiggle and press in the power adapter connector while energized in attempt to detect a bad connection/connector.

Oh ya, the bad news is that according to the Lenovo manual trouble shooting, if the adapter turns out to test good in this case (ie, but battery does not charge and computer does not energize), then Lenovo's recommendation is to replace the "mainboard." This is where a repair shop might be able to help not havng to do that (eg, they might be able to do a mainboard repair, of course, depending what is found).
Thanks for your help. One thing that I want to ad. When I tested the Lenovo Ideapad 320 using a 45 Watt AC Adapter, from a Lenovo Ideapad 330S, the light next the the DC port came on, and Windows Power Management said something like "Plugged in", but the battery was still dying. Does this mean anything? Does this mean that the DC Power jack probably does not need to be replaced, and the issue is probably something else? If the DC power jack was dead, then the LED light would not light up, right? And Windows would not detect that it is Plugged In, right? But the LED light did light up (only because there was a battery that had power left in it), and Windows detected that an AC Adapter was plugged in. It just was not charging the battery. Also, should a 45 Watt AC Adapter from a very similar Ideapad be able to charge and power on a laptop that originally came with a 65 Watt AC Adapter? If it should, then replacing the AC Adapter with a 65 watt adapter would not help. Thanks for your help.
 

onepocketkid386

Junior Member
Dec 22, 2019
24
2
16
One other thing, that is completely unrelated to the issue. For some reason the laptop should have 4GB of RAM soldered on to the motherboard, but it only detects the memory that it added to the one additional memory slot that is available. So, it only detects 4GB of ram, when it should have 8GB (4GB on board, plus 4GB added). Crucial memory detector says that the max ram for the motherboard is 20GB (which is the same with similar Ideapad laptops), but in reality the max ram would only be 16GB for a single 16GB SO-DIMM. Just wondering if the missing 4GB of onboard memory could mean that the motherboard is failing, and part of the reason why the battery now does not charge. It does seem that I shorted the motherboard though, because now I remember that there was a spark for a split second at the moment that the HDMI plug touched the HDMI connector for the laptop, right before the laptop died (turned off in an instant). Thanks for any thoughts about this.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
5,231
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so did you buy a new power brick? that was number one thing to try since you can return it if it doesn't fix! yea it does sound like a failing motherboard with those issues you listed but its hard to tell. I did check if usb-c charging was offered (but i didnt check very hard and from what i saw it said no) ((but double check your manual)) you are not the first person stating problems from hotplugging your hdmi, i didnt know this as i have always hotplugged it ;( but now i will shut down before plugging since boot up is so fast nowadays. i have no idea about power bricks from "recycler" places but wow the idea sounds great (of course how do you know it even works when you get it?) glad you are updating i am interested in the fix to your issue.
 

onepocketkid386

Junior Member
Dec 22, 2019
24
2
16
so did you buy a new power brick? that was number one thing to try since you can return it if it doesn't fix! yea it does sound like a failing motherboard with those issues you listed but its hard to tell. I did check if usb-c charging was offered (but i didnt check very hard and from what i saw it said no) ((but double check your manual)) you are not the first person stating problems from hotplugging your hdmi, i didnt know this as i have always hotplugged it ;( but now i will shut down before plugging since boot up is so fast nowadays. i have no idea about power bricks from "recycler" places but wow the idea sounds great (of course how do you know it even works when you get it?) glad you are updating i am interested in the fix to your issue.
Hi, well I figured that since the 45 Watt AC Adapter from a similar Ideapad 330S did not work to power the Lenovo Ideapad 320, that the original 65 watt AC Adapter that came with the Ideapad 320 probably would not work either. I seen on ebay that many sellers are saying that the 45 Watt AC Adapter is compatible with the Ideapad 320, so I figured the a 65 watt AC Adapter would not work either.

If anyone happens to know that my Ideapad 320 requires at least 65 watts to get powered on, and requires its original AC Adapter, and that a 45 watt AC Adapter from a similar Ideapad would not work for it, then please let me know.

I have just been too broke to order one. Would like to get the original 65 watt that originally came with the laptop, but it is around $25 on ebay (and I just have not had the extra money to order it yet).

I forgot to mention that I purchased the laptop used from a local seller on Craigslist, and it came with a Generic Universal AC Adapter, that had Voltage options on it. I had it for maybe a month before my incident happened with it, and after that, I figured out that the AC Adapter was dead, after I tested it on a similar Ideapad 120, and it did not work on it.

I was able to use the battery from that Ideapad 120 to run the Ideapad 320 though, but I had to charge the battery on the Ideapad 120, and then put it in the Ideapad 320 1st, and then I could use the Ideapad 320 just fine until the battery died. Then I would need to remove the battery, and charge it again on the Ideapad 120, before switching it again.

So, I know that the Ideapad 320 works just fine, and the only issue is that I am unable to charge the battery.

The 4GB of built in memory had always been missing since I purchased the laptop used, and I did believe that was very strange, because according to Crucial and other system specs for the laptop that I found online, that 4GB of onboard (non removable) memory should be there.

Anyways, would like to take it to a repair shop, but I can't imagine they would diagnose the issue for free. Can't imagine them working for free, with no guarantee that I will pay to get the issue repaired.

Anyways, thanks for all of your time.

Thanks for any other thoughts.
 

onepocketkid386

Junior Member
Dec 22, 2019
24
2
16
Thanks for that. So, that means that a 45 Watt AC Adapter (from a very similar Ideapad) should work, but it does not, so the issue is either the DC port, or the issue is the motherboard. A replacement motherboard might cost more then the laptop was worth to begin with (as a used laptop I mean). Anyways, you said there is a way to test the DC adapter, to see if it failed, or if it is still good, using a Voltmeter? Thanks.
 

C1

Platinum Member
Feb 21, 2008
2,256
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91
As stated in the Lenovo forum, the 45 watt and 65 watt adapters are compatible/interchangeable (connector polarity and voltage wise) and thus are able to power Lenovos within that Ideapad series.

Therefore you should be able to test the 65 watt adapter by plugging it in the 330s to see if the 330s system works correctly.
 

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