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#1 2011-01-15 12:15:05

rush_ad
Member
Registered: 2011-01-12
Posts: 8

Battery Suddenly Dies

Problem Description: Lately my laptop suddenly dies. When battery is fully charged, KDE 4.5 battery monitor tray icon says I have about 4 hours of life left. Then around at 40% level, suddenly I get message saying my battery will run out in 3 minutes.

History: Newly installed Arch about a week old, coming from Windows. It was my sisters laptop so I do not know any history of such problems.

Hardware Information: Lenovo Y430, Core 2 Duo (T6400), Intel video card. I believe it has a 6-cell battery. Laptop is about two years old.

Software Information: All latest software installed. Kernel 2.6.36-ARCH, cpufrequtils (ondemand module), using KDE 4.5 power management, no other special software to manage battery or power. All software are configured DEFAULT.

Solution Desired: I need to find out whether my battery monitor incorrectly displays battery life or it actually is a battery hardware problem. If it is the acpi module problem then how will I fix it?

Let me know if I should provide more information. Thank you all for support.

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#2 2011-01-15 17:29:02

MadTux
Member
Registered: 2009-09-20
Posts: 553

Re: Battery Suddenly Dies

Considering the age of the battery, I would say it is a battery problem. Unfortunately, the older the battery gets, the more difficult it is for software like battery meters to predict the remaining capacity. Batteries are aging much faster than other components and many are dead when they are 3 years old.
One thing you could try is to completely drain the battery and then, ideally when the laptop is powered off, fully load it. You may have to do this a couple of times.

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#3 2011-01-15 18:02:17

rush_ad
Member
Registered: 2011-01-12
Posts: 8

Re: Battery Suddenly Dies

i have already charged with (when laptop was powered off) once. i will try again and post back results.

However, any tests I can run to confirm it is actually a bad battery. Thanks.

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#4 2011-01-15 19:28:15

R00KIE
Forum Moderator
From: Between a computer and a chair
Registered: 2008-09-14
Posts: 2,964

Re: Battery Suddenly Dies

If you want to reliably test the battery without taking it out of the laptop then only if the bios has some battery calibration routine, even then it can still be a little inaccurate I guess.


R00KIE
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#5 2011-01-17 15:16:21

rush_ad
Member
Registered: 2011-01-12
Posts: 8

Re: Battery Suddenly Dies

MadTux wrote:

One thing you could try is to completely drain the battery and then, ideally when the laptop is powered off, fully load it. You may have to do this a couple of times.

I tried this suggestion and confirm that it did not provide positive results. My laptop still dies around 40% battery left.

one more thing i tried was to charge the battery for 15 mins (after it had died) and then see if the laptop works. And it worked fine. Battery meter showed around 15% life and it was working.

Any idea what is going wrong here?

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#6 2011-01-17 18:01:28

andr3as
Member
Registered: 2008-10-06
Posts: 51

Re: Battery Suddenly Dies

Have you fully charged the battery since then? Does it still turn off at 40%?

I'm sorry if it might not really help you, but a had a vaguely similar problem with a replacement battery for my last laptop, a dell 6400: When running on battery, at about 70% charge the laptop would simply turn off without any warning whatsoever. Turned out that it was a hardware problem with the battery and I got a new one from the seller.
(Which in turn died a few months later, but that's another story.)
So I would also suspect a hardware problem w/ your battery, but I'm not sure about it.

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#7 2011-01-17 19:14:11

rush_ad
Member
Registered: 2011-01-12
Posts: 8

Re: Battery Suddenly Dies

andr3as wrote:

Have you fully charged the battery since then? Does it still turn off at 40%?

I'm sorry if it might not really help you, but a had a vaguely similar problem with a replacement battery for my last laptop, a dell 6400: When running on battery, at about 70% charge the laptop would simply turn off without any warning whatsoever. Turned out that it was a hardware problem with the battery and I got a new one from the seller.
(Which in turn died a few months later, but that's another story.)
So I would also suspect a hardware problem w/ your battery, but I'm not sure about it.

yes, there is something magic abouut 38-40% where the battery suddenly dies. at this point i believe it must be a bad battery... but still exploring.

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#8 2011-01-23 22:41:06

Trisonic
Member
Registered: 2009-02-01
Posts: 6

Re: Battery Suddenly Dies

I have a old Dell 600m laptop that does the same thing around 40-50%.  It's just the battery reaching it's last legs of life, as when I plug in the laptop to charge after the battery has died it reads as charging from zero and it usually charges pretty fast, but also discharges fast.  If you know someone with a laptop that uses the same battery configuration try testing your laptop with their battery and see if the problem continues.

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#9 2011-01-23 23:13:05

brianhanna
Member
Registered: 2009-10-30
Posts: 157

Re: Battery Suddenly Dies

I had a similar problem in a 1-yr old HP laptop (just out of warranty).  A new battery fixed it and even though I bought a relatively inexpensive replacement battery, not an HP, it's lasted about 3 years now.

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