Plugged in but Losing Power

Toshiba Satellite l305d-s5895 notebook
June 29, 2009 at 16:20:04
Specs: Windows Vista, 3 GB
My laptop has recently begun pretending to charge, sort of speak. While plugged in, it will indicate that it is charging, both on my computer screen and on the indication lights, but I will lose power instead of gaining power. It is really irritable because I work with full-screen programs and won't check what the battery level is at because I assume it is charging and then my laptop will suddenly shut off. Any answers or advice?

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June 29, 2009 at 20:10:07
Laptop batteries stink.

Your problem could be any of the following or more.

Software is wrong, battery is bad, charging circuit is bad, connections are bad, power supply is bad.

I'd remove the battery and try to power the system with the power supply. It should work.

Look at the battery and connections. Be careful if any liquid or other substance on battery.

This is where I'd use a volt meter to test battery voltage and if I can get to charging or see if really charging. Might have to have a shop or friend to do that.

Might have to just hope and buy a new battery if you don't have any other ideas. It may or may not work.

This is the part of the story I consider a new laptop. They are not much more than a replacement battery in some cases.

"Best Practices", Event viewer, host file, perfmon, antivirus, anti-spyware, Live CD's, backups, are in my top 10

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June 30, 2009 at 18:09:22
Thank you for your help. I should still be under warranty which I believe covers all hardware. (:
I will be trying a few of the mentioned ideas, as well.

Again, that you for your time. [:

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June 30, 2009 at 18:56:29
Try this to narrow down the problem:

Unplug your battery from the computer and only use the power adaptor. If the computer starts fine, and runs without restarting etc, the problem is your battery.

It's always good to fully "cycle" your battery; in other words do NOT keep the adapter plugged in 24/7, it will drain the battery and destroy the memory of the cells. Always allow the battery to discharge fully before you charge it up again. ALWAYS. And when you are not traveling, always use the adapter and disconnect the battery. Your battery life will last much longer. Hope that helps.


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July 1, 2009 at 10:27:13
Thank you so much for all the advice. I just tried removing the battery and running only with the adapter. So far, it hasn't given me any issues, such as the mentioned restart issues, etc.

I think it may be that I have a bad battery as well as a bad adapter. I noticed that the cord plugged into my laptop has random spots where the copper wire within it is twisted, it is visible by looking at the exterior of the wire. I also found a nick in the cord a small ways away from the adaptor box that exposes some of the interior copper wire.

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July 1, 2009 at 16:20:08
If the laptop is shutting off while plugged in, it isn't a battery issue. Your laptop is probably overheating and shutting down to save itself. Buy a can of compressed air and blow in into the vent holes to remove dust buildup on the heatsinks..

Keeping your power supply plugged in all the time will not drain the battery, quite the contrary it will keep it topped off.

As far as memory effect on batteries goes, yes in the old days when laptop battery packs used nickel metal hydryde or even nickel cadmium that could create a memory effect if you didn't discharge the battery all the way before charging it.

Todays laptop batteries used Lithium Ion technology which is not prone to memory effect. The charging circiut in laptops are very sophisticated these days.

You cannot overcharge or damage a battery by leaving in all the time with the power adaptor plugged in.

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July 1, 2009 at 17:27:16
Thank you. You all have been extremely helpful.

However, I've had my battery removed and have been using only the adapter to supply power to my laptop and I have not been experiencing any issues at all. So it seems it may just be the battery. Probably a defective battery considering I only got this laptop in the passed November. \:

Also, I do not believe my laptop is overheating because I use a fan that sits directly under my laptop to cool it. Even with the fan, I still check the temperature of my laptop to see if it's still getting too hot and that has not been the case at all.

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July 1, 2009 at 17:53:06
Okay, I change my mind. I've had the battery removed and the laptop running only on adapter for about three-to-four hours and it just shut off suddenly. Also, I've returned the battery and turned the laptop on again with the adapter plugged in and it's again pretending to charge but still losing power.

I sense maybe the battery and the adapter are both defective. I'm almost positive it didn't overheat because the fan was on and the laptop didn't feel very warm at all.

Is it possible that my adapter is overheating? The box feels pretty hot.

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July 2, 2009 at 09:43:58
Yes, it's possible that the power supply is going bad, but I don't think that is the issue since you say it even shuts down with the battery in. If the power supply quit while the battery was plugged in the laptop would continue to run on battery power.

You said you checked the temperature of your laptop. How are you doing that?

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July 2, 2009 at 16:40:27
I check it just based on touch. I feel the area where my battery is, the keyboard area, and the right side of my laptop (opposite to the battery). It doesn't feel nearly warm enough for it to be overheating.

The battery loses power while being plugged in. It keeps losing power until it reaches critical mode and the laptop shuts off. Even after this event occurs and I try to turn my laptop back on and have it charge, it won't. It will just keep pretending to charge and shutting off due to insufficient energy. I think it will actually charge if my laptop is shut off and charging but, if I charge my laptop to full while it is on and leave it plugged in, it will pretty much behave as if it wasn't plugged in at all but acknowledge that it is in fact plugged in.

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