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koam
Pink Pecker
Premium
join:2000-08-16
East Puddle
Reviews:
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Laptop battery not powering computer, charged 97%

A friend's Lenovo laptop has a problem related to the battery. Up until yesterday the battery was working fine: She could unplug from AC and battery would power the computer.

When computer's running on AC, if she unplugs AC power, with battery in, the computer shuts down immediately.

When plugged in with battery in, the Windows power indicator reads battery is plugged in, 97% charged, not charging.

The battery charge indicator LEDs on the computer are all fully lit when computer's on and plugged in.

Additional info: New problems with this computer this week include:

1) Network Connections won't automatically connect to wireless network that it normally connects to. After each reboot, we must manually connect to wireless. Settings won't save and remember to connect on its own.

2) Windows Desktop photo that she'd previously set has now reverted to a generic blue desktop.

3) When trying to download a free utility on cnet, she inadvertently clicked on an ad and downloaded and installed several programs (games, and other things she didn't want). I uninstalled those but wonder if malware could have caused the battery issue and the other 2 issues above. I ran spyware, virus checks, etc and it's all clean.
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koam
Pink Pecker
Premium
join:2000-08-16
East Puddle
It's strange that the computer says the battery's full with both the LEDs and the Windows Power Options, but that when the AC cord is removed the computer shuts down immediately.


elwoodblues
Elwood Blues
Premium
join:2006-08-30
Somewhere in
kudos:2
Being full and being able to hold that capacity are two different things.

How old is the laptop? If it's used ALOT and is more then 2-3yrs old, toss it(the battery) and get a new one.


koam
Pink Pecker
Premium
join:2000-08-16
East Puddle
Reviews:
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Thanks. I was wondering about the battery because she didn't report deterioration of the battery performance...just the sudden failure of it. My experience with batteries is that they fade with shorter and shorter life, rather than instant collapse.

I do think it's about 4 years old and may need to be replaced. I'm wondering if the mobo may have issues or if battery drivers may have been corrupted with the sketchy software that was inadvertently installed. I noted that several things started to fail all at the same time (see how network adapter settings won't save from session to session).
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psafux
Premium,VIP
join:2005-11-10
kudos:2

1 edit
reply to koam
There are several components in the charging system of a laptop. A good battery does not necessarily mean the system will run from it and a bad battery does not necessarily mean the system won't.

The extent of normal troubleshooting involves checking whether the system will operate with and without the battery installed, with & without the AC power cord installed. If you have the ability to isolate the system by testing the battery in another (similar) system that would be about the most that normal techs could do. If the battery has a self-health / self-check option you can use that but there isn't really a reliable way to test batteries aside from in their normal environment (plugged into the system).

The fact that it only charges to 97% and no further does indicate something askew with either the battery or the charging system on the laptop (motherboard).

Based on your description I would be comfortable saying the motherboard battery is shot without second-guessing myself. The charging system is embedded & non-serviceable.

edit: no clue why I said motherboard above, meant battery. Battery is likely culprit based on description.


koam
Pink Pecker
Premium
join:2000-08-16
East Puddle
Reviews:
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Thanks.

Troubleshooting steps we've done are that computer runs on AC power whether or not battery is in. Computer does not run without AC power cord.

Windows Power manager sees when the battery is in, as do the system LED battery indicators.

We don't have a 2nd battery to test in the computer and don't have a 2nd computer to test this battery in, though may find a friend who has one or the other in the next few days.
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psafux
Premium,VIP
join:2005-11-10
kudos:2
please see my edit - i mistyped earlier. i would NOT say the motherboard is bad based merely on the info provided. Could be but it wouldn't be my first choice.

Aranarth

join:2011-11-04
Stanwood, MI
reply to koam
I would say the battery is toast and time for a new one.

Should be able to find one at a decent price on amazon.com.


koam
Pink Pecker
Premium
join:2000-08-16
East Puddle
reply to psafux
Thanks


Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:2
Years ago there was a "virus" floating around, one I assume written by a punk to prank his friends. It was a vbs script that would set the registry flag for "shutdown" battery level in XP to 90-95%, causing windows to shut down almost immediately when it went to battery power.

I haven't seen it in a very long time, but it is easy enough to check. Start the laptop on AC power and enter the BIOS setup, then unplug power and see if it shuts down. That would test actual juice coming from the battery to the motherboard, rather than any sensors or meters that trigger events. It would also help you rule out any other sort of windows corruption being at fault.

But I agree with the others, I think its just a bad battery.


koam
Pink Pecker
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join:2000-08-16
East Puddle
Reviews:
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1 edit
Thanks. Interesting.

I don't have the laptop with me. The effect when I unplug the AC cord is exactly the same as if I had unplugged the AC cord with no battery in. Normally in windows if the battery reached shutdown level, it goes through a few seconds of entering Sleep or Hibernation or an orderly shutdown of windows and power down - this is different.
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MnR
Premium
join:2002-05-27
Iron Mountain, MI
kudos:3
reply to koam

Re: Laptop battery not powering computer, charged 97%

Hi,

What nobody has mentioned is that there are fuses that can blow. Especially if you pull the AC power of the laptop while it is plugged to the wall.

You could have blown 1,2 or 3 fuses on the motherboard. they are very small and sometimes hard to find. You should go to the thinkpad forum ,it is not on this site. I don't have the link for it anymore as I have sold my thinkpads.

Good luck
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