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    LANGALIST PLUS

    Extend the life of your laptop's battery


    By Fred LangaWith proper care and feeding, the expensive lithium-ion batteries in your notebook PCs and other portable gear can run well for many, many years.

    On the other hand, common battery-care mistakes will reduce your batteries' run times and lead to needless and costly early replacement.

    The full text of this column is posted at WindowsSecrets.com/2010/01/21/03 (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.
    Last edited by revia; 2011-01-20 at 15:05.

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    Interesting article. But I am unsure whether the suggestion to leave the battery out of the laptop when you are running it off the mains is sensible. It may work for some models, but in others lack of the battery may result in harmful voltages as the battery is no longer there to limit these. Hard to verify without actually doing it, but be warned...

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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Sergeant View Post
    Interesting article. But I am unsure whether the suggestion to leave the battery out of the laptop when you are running it off the mains is sensible. It may work for some models, but in others lack of the battery may result in harmful voltages as the battery is no longer there to limit these. Hard to verify without actually doing it, but be warned...
    Batteries can and do act as capacitors, to an extent absorbing voltage spikes depending on their properties. But it also occurred to me that unless you have a separate UPS, you lose the inherent ability of a laptop to survive a power outage.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Another part of this article made mention of the Windows 7 "God Mode". Actually, there are a number of "God Modes" in Windows 7. An article in CNet News gives a rundown on several of them. These modes may be convenient for people like myself who heavily customize Windows, but unless you like to really get under the hood of Windows, these modes are not particularly useful, and harmful changes can be made using these modes. If you want to create these folders, be very careful about getting the corresponding ID Strings (hex-codes) correct.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-13860_3-10...ol;mlt_related "Windows 7 Has Lots of God Modes" by Ina Fried ("Beyond Binary" column)

    Fascinating stuff, but definitely beyond what most users will ever need to know.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leif View Post
    Batteries can and do act as capacitors, to an extent absorbing voltage spikes depending on their properties. But it also occurred to me that unless you have a separate UPS, you lose the inherent ability of a laptop to survive a power outage.
    Most UPS units also regulate voltages, which is also important if you are like me and run your laptop on AC power with the battery out. Do not try running with the battery out unless you are connecting through a UPS.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Also in this article is the Ready-Boost story. Originally, Ready-Boost was designed to allow computers with only about 2 GB of RAM to run Vista more smoothly, especially when running very CPU and RAM intensive applications. Since even the lowliest laptops running Vista or Win-7 these days seem to come with 4 GB of RAM, newer, more efficient Core i3 and Core i5 processors, and 64-bit Windows, I doubt seriously that Ready Boost will offer any advantages to most users today. It was a bridge technology whose time has come and gone. Ready Boost can even SLOW performance on PCs with a lot of RAM.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    As for using Windows Safe Mode for routine maintenance, I take a different approach. I shut off my Internet connection. Then I shut down each of my security programs through its Tray Icon, leaving on only the one I'm using for scanning. And I exit my sound manager and a couple of other background tasks. Whether I am doing backups, deep scans, or defrag runs, this is enough to allow me to get the maintenance work done without having to respond to pop-up nags or have hangups or lengthy delays in executing mainetnance tasks. I also employ this strategy when burning CDs or DVDs. Any background process can interrupt a burn and create a coaster. And backup archives can be ruined by background processes. Again, I never go into Safe Mode (unless my antispyware program detects a rootkit, which has only happened four times in six years), but instead use the Tray Icons or the Windows Task Manager shut down unnecessary processes for a nice, quiet maintenance environment while staying within Windows Normal Mode. Screen Savers and power management time-outs also should be shut down during maintenance.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    This article also mentions "event ID 51" disk errors in XP. I am getting too many "event ID 55" errors in Windows 7 what is up with that?

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    Silver Lounger t8ntlikly's Avatar
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    I don't know what that error is, but it has got to be better than an ID10T error!!! LOL
    Thanks John
    Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at. (Murphy's War Laws #39)

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    One other word of caution: Absent the internal battery - even if connecting via a UPS - the DC connectors to most laptops are pretty anemic. Even the most-fleeting loss of power will place any work in progress at risk for loss. There is also potential for even further loss if a disk being written to is corrupted by a midstream loss of power. If your time and your work product have any significant value, having that battery in place as in internal UPS will likely outweigh a minor extension of the battery's life from hibernating in the refrigerator.

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    How do I know what kind of a battery I have. My computer is about 2 years old. Are they all now lithium-ion batteries?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobprimak View Post
    Also in this article is the Ready-Boost story. Originally, Ready-Boost was designed to allow computers with only about 2 GB of RAM to run Vista more smoothly, especially when running very CPU and RAM intensive applications. Since even the lowliest laptops running Vista or Win-7 these days seem to come with 4 GB of RAM, newer, more efficient Core i3 and Core i5 processors, and 64-bit Windows, I doubt seriously that Ready Boost will offer any advantages to most users today. It was a bridge technology whose time has come and gone. Ready Boost can even SLOW performance on PCs with a lot of RAM.
    what about computers with only 1Gb of RAM, bobprimak? this Dell Inspiron laptop I'm currently using with Vista Home Basic 32bit edition has 1gig of memory. what good will ReadyBoost do with this kind of configuration?

    i may try those battery saving tips Fred mentioned in his article. the battery on my 6-year old XP laptop seems to be running out of juice relatively quickly for less than 1 hour.

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    what about computers with only 1Gb of RAM, bobprimak? this Dell Inspiron laptop I'm currently using with Vista Home Basic 32bit edition has 1gig of memory. what good will ReadyBoost do with this kind of configuration?

    Yep, that's exactly the type of configuration Ready Boost was designed to boost. It may help. Just don't try to run or restart your machine without the Ready Boost Flash Drive plugged in. Home Basic does not really support Ready Boost. You should consider upgrading to Windows 7 Home Premium. It may run just fine on as little as 1 Gig of RAM, if other hardware is up to the task. Randall C. Kennedy of Infoworld.com says that even those little Atom-powered Netbooks can run Win-7 Home Premium. Stick with the 32-bit edition.

    Ready Boost takes some of the load off of RAM, which is exactly what you would need to do for better Windows performance.
    -- Bob Primak --

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