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Thread: laptop battery

  1. #1
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    laptop battery

    I've read the threads that a search for "laptop battery" throws up, and know that I'm not going to Shock or do anything drastic.
    Our power went out today. I'm going to have a serious talk with my UPS tomorrow, but in the meantime I'm surprised (dare I say Shocked?) to find that my laptop battery is at 3%. BIG surprise when everything went out.
    The first battery lasted 11 months 30 days 23 hours and 59 minutes, roughly, and I got a free replacement under warranty.
    This (second) battery has outlived its warranty by about one month, so I'll be purchasing a new one.
    It will have to fit the custom socket in the laptop, so I suppose I'll have to order it from the same firm that supplied the two short-lived batteries.
    Am I trapped in a scam whereby I'll have to return to this supplier each year with a fresh cheque?
    Or are there alternate options to purchase a battery that might last longer than 1 years and a day?
    (signed)"In The Dark" of Toronto.
    P.S. I should add that 99% of my use of the laptop is on my office desk, plugged in to the mains circuits.
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    Re: laptop battery

    How often do you run the laptopon battery, until it warns you that the battery is low?

    We have found that if we do this at least monthly the batteries seem to last as long as the machines does. We replace them (laptops) about every 3-4 years <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: laptop battery

    >How often do you run the laptop on battery
    I haven't run it on battery alone for almost a year. When I visit a client site, i take and use the power brick, plugging into the mains.
    I don't take the laptop with me on holiday,... or to bed.
    I suspect the laptop battery has been run down for a while and I've just not noticed it.
    Should I have been running without the battery while I'm at my desk?

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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: laptop battery

    Rechargeable batteries can have a 'memory' - if you don't use them they get used to the idea of not working and fail to store any meaningful amount of charge. (I think more modern technology has overcome this problem.)

    Ideally, you need to 'exercise' rechargeable batteries by discharging them on a regular basis - once a month as Dave suggests should be OK. They are designed to be used in this way and definitely benefit from it. Other types of batteries, such as the sealed lead acid kind found in a UPS, are designed to spend most of their life on a float charge, only delivering the goods in an emergency.

    >> I suspect the laptop battery has been run down for a while and I've just not noticed it.
    No - the battery will have been charged up but with very limited capacity. I expect when your lights went out, the capacity was probably well over 90% but rapidly fell to near zero.

    >> Should I have been running without the battery while I'm at my desk?
    No - I'm not even sure all laptops will run without a battery of some kind in place.

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    Re: laptop battery

    Before going out and buying the new battery unit, check with the manufacturer of your notebook, to see if there is a software repair service available.

    For example, my Lenovos and IBM thinkpads have the ability to recondition the battery with a downloadable tool specifically designed for them. It goes through a series of charge draining and recharging cycles... that is, at least how I understand it.
    Christopher Baldrey

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    Re: laptop battery

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by DaveA on 19-Mar-08 07:32. )</P>Also check that your recharging software is current and working.
    If you had rebuilt this machine, did you install ALL of the required software? I have seen machines that would NOT keep a charge because, the owner remove ALL OEM supplied software, including the charging software and his batteries would NEVER charge.

    Edit.
    We keep the batteries in the machine ALL the time.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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    Re: laptop battery

    My laptop has a utility for checking out the batteries, very useful for knowing when they are getting tired.

    StuartR
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    Re: laptop battery

    >Ideally, you need to 'exercise' rechargeable batteries by discharging them on a regular basis
    I'm confused. It's me, not you.
    (1) Are you suggesting that I should have been discharging it regularly, and by not doing so have ruined my battery (in which case I should buy a new one)?
    or
    (2) Is there something I should be doing with my defunct battery? How do I discharge it? Presumably not by shorting it out with copper wire. Judging by the way in which lights, radio and laptop all screamed to a halt, there's as good-as-zero charge in it right now.

    >No - I'm not even sure all laptops will run without a battery of some kind in place.
    This laptop will. When the first battery died (under warranty) i took it back to the shop for them to ship-back, and ran for a week quite happily without the battery.
    (Ugly thought: If I'd just left the new battery out and run off mains, would I still have a useful/usable battery?)

    (But see also my response to the other good posts below)

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    Re: laptop battery

    >check with the manufacturer of your notebook
    (Still confused)
    Control panel, Computer management, Computer says it is an "ACPI Uniprocessor PC"
    Under "batteries" I see three entries (attached). Right-click, Properties reports in all 3 cases "device is working properly", but what do they know? I notice that some of the drivers are dated 2001. I am reluctant to start fiddling without knowing what I'm doing.

    I have the Z-100 CD which I use when I reload my machine (Video, Audio, Touchpad drivers). It has 28 folders (Adobe, Norton etc) most of which i can identify through the readme.txt, but some of which are meaningless to me.
    I don't see any software that hints at batteries.
    There is something called "Power4Gear", but I'm reluctant to set it up without knowing what it is.
    There is "How to install ATK0100 ACPI Control Driver in Windows XP", but I'm not sure that that is battery-related.

    I suspect that if i went and obtained a third battery at this stage, I'd probably be doing it the same harm/damage I unwittingly did the first two.
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    Re: laptop battery

    >Also check that your recharging software is current and working.
    Frankly, I'm so ignorant that I didn't know there was "battery-charging software"; I thought it was just diodes et al. that trickled electricity into a battery. Oh Well.

    >If you had rebuilt this machine, did you install ALL of the required software?
    Almost certainly not. The Z100 CD gives me a menu (attached) of which I use the four items marked with red paintbrush.

    I'll respond with an attached Readme.txt from the root folder of the CD.
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    Re: laptop battery

    >did you install ALL of the required software?
    Attached is the readme.txt from the Z100 CD.
    There's nothing here that suggests to me battery-recharging, but then it's probably a product-name, rather than a purpose name.
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    Re: laptop battery

    >My laptop has a utility for checking out the batteries, very useful for knowing when they are getting tired.
    I think this is similar to what I see through Control panel, Display, Screen saver, Power (attached) without the option to purchase a new battery by cliking on a link, no?
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    Re: laptop battery

    How valid is this advice, in general, for laptop batteries?
    It is from http://209.167.114.38/support/techsupport/.../-TSB000690.htm
    "Battery Care for Toshiba Notebooks"

    DIFFICULTY HOLDING A CHARGE

    If you experience difficulty in charging the battery, or if the battery capacity has decreased over time, the following procedure might re-condition the battery:

    1. Unplug the computer from the AC adapter and turn it on. Let the computer run under battery power until the computer turns off, indicating that the battery is fully discharged.
    2. Remove the battery pack.
    3. Using a soft cloth, wipe off the battery packs connectors and the AC adapters connectors.
    4. Re-insert the battery pack.
    5. Plug the computer into the AC adapter and check the wall outlet, making sure the connection is firm.
    6. With the PC turned off, let the battery charge until the battery status light or icon glows green.
    7. Unplug the AC adapter.
    8. Remove the battery.
    9. Wait 30 seconds and re-insert the battery.
    10. Plug the AC adapter back in.
    11. Let the battery recharge until the battery status light turns green or the icon displays 100%.
    12. Now your battery should be fully charged. Unplug the computer from the AC wall outlet and turn on the PC. You should notice longer battery life.

    NOTE: If the battery has been fully charged and the battery is removed, or not charged further, the battery shelf-life will be approximately 6 to 7 days.
    All batteries hold less charge as they age. Over time, if you attempt to charge a battery and the battery charge indicator does not show a full charge, you may need to purchase a new battery. The main battery has a warranty of one year.

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    Re: laptop battery

    Simply running your laptop on battery power will discharge the battery. i.e., ideally you would, every week or so, unplug it from the mains power and use it until the hibernation-is-imminent warning came up.

    Whether or not it is beyond recovery depends on the battery and if there may be 'recovery' software available as per Chris's <post:=701,667>post 701,667</post:> .

    Personally, I would go through several multiple cycles of charge and discharge and see if the capacity seems to improve. Even if you can get it to only hold out for 20 minutes, that may be enough; considering you appear never to want to run it on batteries that would cover a more elegant shutdown in the event of a power failure.

    Taking the battery out and simply not using it may have left you with a more usable battery, but it would also have left you with a very blank screen when the lights went out...

    PS: Never, ever, discharge a battery by shorting it out unless you have access to, and are wearing, a bomb-disposal suit and have put Jupiter in the fridge for safe-keeping.

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    Re: laptop battery

    > I think this is similar to what I see through Control panel, Display, Screen saver, Power (attached)
    > without the option to purchase a new battery by cliking on a link, no?

    The difference is the "Storage Capacity" bar, that shows the ability of the battery to hold a charge. When I had a worn out battery it showed 100% charged but with a very low storage capacity.

    StuartR

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