Laptop self-powers off - Due to dead battery?

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August 9, 2011 at 12:12:55
Specs: Windows XP Sp3, Mobile Intel Pentium 740@ 1.733 GHz
I bought a used laptop (Fujitsu-Siemens S7020D) that has a dead battery. So the laptop works only when connected to AC line.

The problem is that the laptop shuts off by itself- done it a couple of times. Could this be due to the dead battery?

I checked the Windows event viewer logs but there was no clue whatsoever what would cause the power-offs. Latest power-off took place when the F-Secure Internet Security 2011 was scanning for malwares (the scanning took much resources).

I have Lavalys' Everest Ultimate program, which reports at Power Management section: Power State: AC line, discharging, critical.

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August 9, 2011 at 12:43:51
Laptop (main) batteries rarely if ever have a warranty longer than one year.
They work as they should for a year or so, then they begin to rapidly deteriorate - from what I've seen, by the time two years has gone by, they cannot be charged to anywhere near their rated capacity, and it gets worse after that.

Old laptop batteries often develop internal shorts and that can cause all sorts of problems.

If this is happening when both the old battery and the AC adapter are plugged in, try removing the old battery.

If the battery gets HOT rather than just warm after at least a half hour has gone by with the AC adapter plugged into the laptop, it's definitely internally shorted - you must replace it. Trying to charge internally shorted batteries has been known to cause the laptop to catch on fire !

It never fails to be a puzzle to me why owners of laptops are often so miserly about replacing the (main) battery.
You DO NOT necessarily need to buy the laptop brand's battery - you just need to buy one that is compatible with being used in your laptop model.
There are lots of clone batteries out there on the web that have the same one year warranty, they're often made in the same countries as the laptop brand's battery, and they often cost a lot less than the laptop brand's battery.

If your reason for not replacing the battery at regular intervals is you rarely or never use the laptop on the battery alone, then why did you buy a laptop ? The primary reason for buying a laptop rather than a desktop computer should be that the laptop is portable and can be used where there is no AC power ! If you don't actually need a portable computer that can be used where there is no AC power, you get a much better bang for your buck when you buy a desktop computer !

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August 9, 2011 at 20:14:30
As above try AC power with the battery removed. If this works then leaving the battery installed may cause other problems if as above you have a short internally within the battery. Definitely replace the battery if this proves to be the problem.

Note to all laptop users:
Many problems with battery life can be traced back to poor battery charging techniques. I have seen laptop batteries go 3 or 4 years or longer with little loss in battery usage and only minimal shortening of life. To get the most out of your battery life you need to STOP plugging it in every time the battery is down a little bit from full. You need to allow the battery to run down (deep cycle) often which is good for the battery. You do not need to let it shut down due to low battery, but you should often wait until you do get the first low battery warning. You should let it run down to around 20% battery capacity or below as much as possible. This does not mean that occasionally you need to stress out if you need the full charge for an important day, meeting, heavy school day, etc., on those days, just charge it the night before. You can however work at home (or watch a DVD) until the battery is getting low and then plugging it in, finishing, and then leaving it to charge. You also should never 'cook' your battery by leaving it plugged in for more than the time required to charge it (when not actually using it). This means if you plug it in at night then unplug it in the morning even if you are not going to be using it that day. You also should use the power intelligently which means that you should use hibernate when you are taking short breaks (going between classes, driving short distances between clients, etc,) of up to maybe 20 minutes. Use Sleep for longer breaks (longer drives, lunch breaks, etc.) up to about 2 hours. Turn off the computer when you are not going to be using it for hours (overnight, etc.). These will reduce unneeded drain on the needed battery life and reduce other problems as well. This will work for all battery types including Nickel Cadmium, Nickel Metal Hydride, and Lithium batteries.
Another example of this is that I have a cell phone that is more than 3 years old and I still get 5 to 7 days on the battery with light to moderate usage using the deep cycle technique I outlined. My daughter has a laptop at college and she is about to begin her senior year (3+ years) and it is only now that she is beginning to see a noticeable battery life loss but it is still manageable. I hope that this helps everyone at least a little. You can even use a few deep cycles in a row to help improve your battery usage (at least moderately).

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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