Battery Charge Problems

Dell / LATITUDE C640
September 29, 2009 at 22:28:54
Specs: Win2K / Linux Mint, 2.127 GHz / 2039 MB
I bought this laptop about three weeks ago on ebay, and the battery was DOA. This is the one item that's not guaranteed. So I bought a new (generic-not OEM) battery and it took forever (about 24 hours) to charge, and even then it was only 92% charged. I ran it down, then recharged it, it finally showed a 100% charge, but it took at least 24 hours. When I check the charging state, the display shows that it's charging along with the percentage of charge. Something seems to be abnormal here. On my other laptop even if I run the battery completely dead, and even if I continue to use it while charging, it will fully charge in 3 hours. I don't know how long this battery has been laying in inventory before I bought it. I plan to swap it out, ebay will make them exchange it. I've already contacted the seller. I'm not even concerned about that. I'm wondering if there are any settings on my laptop that has anything to do with charging. I've always thought no matter the device, if you're getting a charge, then the charging system is not at fault. Is this correct? It's not the power cord, because I bought a new (OEM) spare, and that makes no difference. And by the way, this is the third charge it's on now and it's been over 24 hours ago and I checked it and still only 82% charged. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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#1
September 30, 2009 at 04:47:04
EBAY, always a risk, seems like the internal charging circuit is faulty......

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#2
September 30, 2009 at 10:15:11
I agree with Pater. It would appear that the charging circuit is not putting out enough current. Those circuits usually are controlled to push a lot of current when the battery is completely dead, and then taper off as the battery becomes charged. It sounds like the circuit night be stuck in the 'trickle charge' mode.

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#3
September 30, 2009 at 10:39:24
Is there a test to confirm this? I noticed when I had to F12 to boot from CD/DVD, that there is a diagnostic mode. And assuming that you're both right, is there any downloads from Dell that would help me, or are there any settings to adjust to resolve the problem? The laptop is still under warranty from the buyer for 30 days, and the Square Trade warranty that I bought is good for 2 years, beginning on the 61st day after purchase. If a warranty repair is needed, I would rather go with Square Trade, because they will actually fix my laptop or refund the price of purchase, whereas the refurbisher would "swap out" the laptop, in which I would lose all my software upgrades, especially the Windows 2K that I paid $60 for. It can only be installed on a single PC, cannot put it on another. I still have the media, but would have to purchase another key, which can be risky. Thank both of you for taking the time to help me. This is how I learn, through various forums staffed by members for no pay. I really appreciate you two, and all the many others that have helped me.

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