Dell laptop Task Manager CPU stuck at 22%

I had the strangest problem troubleshooting a client’s slow laptop. I ran a full diagnostic, hard drive checked out. The craziest thing was the hard drive was a SanDisk SSD and it was performing nothing like an SSD.

One thing that stood out to me was the CPU being stuck at 22% no matter what I did. It would not go higher or lower. On a hunch, I Googled “22% CPU dell” and came across someone on the Dell forums who had the same problem. It has to do with the power adapter not being able to charge the battery. In the case of the Dell forum and my client, it was the third-party power adapter. I noticed the battery was not going any higher than where it was initially.

I unplugged the power adapter and the CPU usage on Task Manager started going and the laptop started running at its normal SSD speed. I was shocked.