I was able to test my Dell Vostro 1510 with a known-good battery today. It turns out that the issue is the battery, which I bought new off Dell *. I knew that either the battery or the motherboard was at fault, just not which. Thanks to a fellow Dell Vostro 1510 owner who lived nearby, I now know that the motherboard works. At least with his battery.
At this point, I’m rather frustrated. I would have been somewhat happy buying a new Dell Vostro 1510 off the ‘net, because I would then have a set of spare parts to play with. Instead, I’m stuck with a (seemingly) broken battery…
As evidence, here’s a shot of my Vostro (still running Windows 😦 ) booted, without a power cord:
The remaining options are to test the new battery in the other Vostro owner’s machine (difficult; it’s only a motherboard at the moment), try to get Dell to respond and offer to replace the battery (unlikely to work…), buy a new battery (possibly not from Dell), and finally, buy a completely different machine**.
Or maybe I’ll just use the Toshiba… it might be easier!
*Probably. I’m 99% certain. It could be that the motherboard circuitry only works with some batteries, and not with others…