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#1 2012-12-25 00:17:19

mtrokic
Member
From: Montreal
Registered: 2009-10-24
Posts: 56
Website

UX31A BIOS 216 Problems

Hello all,

It seems I've been conditioned to live the bleeding edge lifestyle. Today (for no reason other than habit), I upgraded the bios version on my UX31A from 212 to the latest 216. Now it seems my battery does not charge beyond 91%. Here is the output from some files:

cat /sys/class/power_supply/BAT0/{energy_now,energy_full,capacity}

46168000
50616000
91

Unfortunately, I don't know how to rollback my bios to 212 since the "Easy Flash" utility in the bios does not allow it. Also, I've read some posts it can be done in windows by invoking "WinFlash.exe /nodate". Unfortunately I don't have windows installed and I heard the procedure is tricky. Also, I know there is an arch wiki on bios flashing but I am afraid of bricking the board as there are no guarantees that the methods described have been tested on my machine.

If someone can shed some light on this I'd greatly appreciate it.

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#2 2012-12-25 00:46:43

the.ridikulus.rat
Member
From: Indiana, USA
Registered: 2011-10-04
Posts: 765

Re: UX31A BIOS 216 Problems

Even my Thinkpad E430 UEFI/BIOS does something similar to this (the battery stops charging at 95% approx., but sometimes it even charges 100%, occurs randomly). I think this is implemented by the OEM/vendor to improve battery life, but I do not know the exact reason for this behaviour or how it works exactly.

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#3 2012-12-25 01:14:09

ewaller
Administrator
From: Pasadena, CA
Registered: 2009-07-13
Posts: 12,282

Re: UX31A BIOS 216 Problems

the.ridikulus.rat wrote:

I think this is implemented by the OEM/vendor to improve battery life, but I do not know the exact reason for this behaviour or how it works exactly.

No.  Lithium Ion batteries are tricky things -- it is difficult (impossible) to determine the charge state based upon battery voltage.  Most systems integrate the current (Coulombs / Second) going into or out of the battery over time in an effort to estimate the charge (in Coulombs) in the battery.  These Coulomb counters are imperfect and drift over time.  They occasionally need recalibration.  This generally happens when a battery becomes fully discharged followed by a full recharge.


Nothing is too wonderful to be true, if it be consistent with the laws of nature -- Michael Faraday
Like you, I have no idea what you are doing, but I am pretty sure it is wrong...Jasonwryan
----
How to Ask Questions the Smart Way

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#4 2012-12-25 20:05:03

mtrokic
Member
From: Montreal
Registered: 2009-10-24
Posts: 56
Website

Re: UX31A BIOS 216 Problems

Thank you both for that insight. I've tried draining my battery twice now and recharging completely and the most I was able to recover from the second recharging is to push the limit to 93%. I am now on my third drain-recharge cycle in hopes that I would be able to recalibrate the numbers. To be honest, I'm a little irritated by the discrepancies. I still think the upgrade to 216 had something to do with the change so I hope someone who has my machine can verify this claim. I'll keep everyone posted.

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#5 2012-12-28 05:14:47

Richjn
Member
From: Perth (Australia)
Registered: 2004-03-22
Posts: 32

Re: UX31A BIOS 216 Problems

Yes, I can confirm the same on my UX31A.

I too can't help myself from upgrading without thought as to why I am. In my case I have been grabbing incremental beta updates from http://nbtsd.asustreiber.de/BIOS/?C=M;O=A and the charging issues were introduced between 215 and 216.

I'm considering downgrading by installing windows on a spare SSD I happen to have but haven't found the time to do so with Christmas etc. Lets hope ASUS spot the regression soon.

Richard

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#6 2012-12-28 13:53:18

mtrokic
Member
From: Montreal
Registered: 2009-10-24
Posts: 56
Website

Re: UX31A BIOS 216 Problems

Richjn wrote:

Yes, I can confirm the same on my UX31A.

As unfortunate as the situation is it's a relief knowing that the regression is due to BIOS update. I think I'll add a warning on the UX31A wiki to warn other users of the problem. I too am hoping ASUS will rectify this error in the new year.

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#7 2013-01-10 18:07:51

cyberius
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 2008-08-30
Posts: 97

Re: UX31A BIOS 216 Problems

Seems they haven't. I will connect a HDD with Windows and boot from that medium, then downgrade to 212.

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#8 2013-03-03 13:15:27

kocsv
Member
Registered: 2011-10-10
Posts: 12

Re: UX31A BIOS 216 Problems

Are there any changes with bios 218?
I think about purchasing the UX31A but this issue is a showstopper.

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#9 2013-03-06 11:40:13

mtrokic
Member
From: Montreal
Registered: 2009-10-24
Posts: 56
Website

Re: UX31A BIOS 216 Problems

I am afraid not. I've upgraded to BIOS 218 and am running kernel 3.8 without any changes to the acpi situation. I am sincerely hoping this will be fixed with the 3.9 kernel when it gets it's acpi code revamped. Nevertheless, you shouldn't be put off from purchasing the machine. It's quite an amazing piece of hardware and I've been using mine on linux for over 6 months now. No regrets whatsoever! One thing though, if you're in the market for an ultrabook and have the patience to wait things out, you should put off from making any purchases until Q3 of 2013 so that you may catch the new Intel Haswell chips it will be pushing out.

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#10 2013-03-07 04:52:26

Arogers10
Member
Registered: 2012-06-20
Posts: 68

Re: UX31A BIOS 216 Problems

My laptop has a bios setting that won't let my battery charge to over 79% to preserve the long-term longevity of the battery. My apologies if it's been mentioned and I missed it, but does your bios have a similar setting? Possibly installed in the BIOS update and is set to active by default

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#11 2014-05-19 13:45:41

orbisvicis
Member
Registered: 2009-08-10
Posts: 23

Re: UX31A BIOS 216 Problems

I have no such problems with 219. However, whenever on AC the CPU frequency is throttled to 800MHz. Possibly a BIOS bug, haven't confirmed since the machine arrived with 219 and flashing isn't easy.

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