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  #1  
Old 08-29-2013, 12:46 PM
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Default Is this True or False about my laptop battery?

I've had a DELL Inspiron E1405 laptop computer for the last 5 years, or so...in that period of time I've had to replace the battery 3 times...usually it just gets to the point where it won't hold a charge very long, sometimes less than 10 to 15 minutes

An internet buddy I have told me that he thinks it's because I always keep it plugged into the power supply, and, I'm not supposed to do that...I just had to order another battery this week, because of the same problem, so, if that does happen to be true, i'll start unplugging it from the power source

I know very little about computers, sounds like a reasonable explanation, maybe some of you more computer savvy Calgunners can give me your opinion...the laptop itself is in excellent shape, I use it daily, other than the battery issue, it's been a very reliable laptop

Maybe 3 times in the last 5 years isn't bad, I don't know, but, for example, the battery in here right now has been doing this for over 7 to 8 months, not staying charged, its only now that I've decided to change it out...also, this happens whether its the DELL OEM battery, or, a after market battery

I would appreciate any input

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 08-29-2013, 2:02 PM
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Same happened to my Dell. I kept it plugged in and used it like a desktop. After doing that for awhile, the battery wouldn't hold a charge at all.
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  #3  
Old 08-29-2013, 2:05 PM
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Idk, I have had the same battery in my dell for about the same time as OP and I haven't changed it. Maybe it's because it's the 9 cell?

But I do keep mine plugged in if I'm not using it; it does sometime goes for days without being plugged in tho.
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  #4  
Old 08-29-2013, 2:30 PM
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Most laptops do not have decent charge controllers in them, or any way to bypass the battery while plugged in. My advice is to only install the battery when you need it, I take mine out when its plugged in unless the battery needs a charge.

Batteries only have a few thousand charge cycles on them, and *most* laptops use battery power only, making the ac power charge it up only a few percent. Essentially causing premature wear. A good option too is to just leave it plugged in long enough to charge then pull the power.

Some newer laptops have real charge controllers and AC power pass thru which alleviate these problems.
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  #5  
Old 08-29-2013, 6:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d4v0s View Post
Most laptops do not have decent charge controllers in them, or any way to bypass the battery while plugged in. My advice is to only install the battery when you need it, I take mine out when its plugged in unless the battery needs a charge.

Batteries only have a few thousand charge cycles on them, and *most* laptops use battery power only, making the ac power charge it up only a few percent. Essentially causing premature wear. A good option too is to just leave it plugged in long enough to charge then pull the power.

Some newer laptops have real charge controllers and AC power pass thru which alleviate these problems.
I would rag on the batteries but I have to agree with some of this. I am no expert but I have come to the conclusion too that when it comes down to it, change your habits and see how long the batteries last when you treat them like batteries and only plug them in to charge them up. When the charge drops to about 10% or so plug it back in to charge and see if it changes anything...

Heck, just leave the battery out and only plug the battery in when you are on the move, else if you have an outlet, use the ac adapter.
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2013, 7:50 PM
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I've run my Dell Studio for 4 years on the same battery. Unless you take it on the go, who cares if it will hold a charge. Mine recommends a battery change, but it is fine when plugged in.
I have a new battery on hand so if it craps out, I am not stuck, since it will not work without a battery even if plugged in.
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  #7  
Old 08-29-2013, 7:54 PM
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Charge cycles are one thing but LiOn batteries do not like to be heavily drained. Damaging crystals form and reduce the cells capacity. So, if you drain down your battery before recharging.. kill the battery. Charge all the time.. kill the battery. Use battery.. kill battery.

To be frank, our battery technology SUCKS.

Batteries are warrantied for ONE YEAR. Any life time after the 1 year mark is borrowed time.
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  #8  
Old 08-29-2013, 8:40 PM
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like mentioned above.. exercise the battery, dont discharge it completely, but dont leave it plugged in. even batteries with controllers end up dying too
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  #9  
Old 08-29-2013, 8:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeddyBallgame View Post
I've had a DELL Inspiron E1405 laptop computer for the last 5 years, or so...in that period of time I've had to replace the battery 3 times...usually it just gets to the point where it won't hold a charge very long, sometimes less than 10 to 15 minutes

An internet buddy I have told me that he thinks it's because I always keep it plugged into the power supply, and, I'm not supposed to do that...I just had to order another battery this week, because of the same problem, so, if that does happen to be true, i'll start unplugging it from the power source

I know very little about computers, sounds like a reasonable explanation, maybe some of you more computer savvy Calgunners can give me your opinion...the laptop itself is in excellent shape, I use it daily, other than the battery issue, it's been a very reliable laptop

Maybe 3 times in the last 5 years isn't bad, I don't know, but, for example, the battery in here right now has been doing this for over 7 to 8 months, not staying charged, its only now that I've decided to change it out...also, this happens whether its the DELL OEM battery, or, a after market battery

I would appreciate any input

Thanks
1. Your buddy is right. You need to cycle your battery.

2. If battery life is important to you, the next time you're choosing a laptop, make sure it has a good charging circuit/controller, and make sure to install the software that comes with it. You'll have to find that out for each model you're considering, as no manufacture that I know of has a whole line with good charging circuits and controllers. For example, Dell XPS 12 that I use has one, but Dell XPS 15, that I was considering, does not. Same line, different models, and very different designs.
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2013, 9:38 PM
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heat is the enemy you laptop gets hot also trickle charging always overcharges so it makes heat too
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2013, 5:29 AM
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The more you used to use your notebook on battery the quicker they would wear out (<1 year), so it would seem that you are durned if you do, AND durned if you don't.

I have some notebooks with batteries that are ALMOST as good as new, and they are like 5+ years old, and I never let them drain... I guess they don't make them like they used to.
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Old 08-30-2013, 6:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeddyBallgame View Post
I've had a DELLlaptop computer for the last 5 years, or so...in that period of time I've had to replace the battery 3 times...usually it just gets to the point where it won't hold a charge very long, sometimes less than 10 to 15 minutes

An internet buddy I have told me that he thinks it's because I always keep it plugged into the power supply, and, I'm not supposed to do that...I just had to order another battery this week, because of the same problem, so, if that does happen to be true, i'll start unplugging it from the power source

I know very little about computers, sounds like a reasonable explanation, maybe some of you more computer savvy Calgunners can give me your opinion...the laptop itself is in excellent shape, I use it daily, other than the battery issue, it's been a very reliable laptop

Maybe 3 times in the last 5 years isn't bad, I don't know, but, for example, the battery in here right now has been doing this for over 7 to 8 months, not staying charged, its only now that I've decided to change it out...also, this happens whether its the DELL OEM battery, or, a after market battery

I would appreciate any input

Thanks
This was more common with older battery tech (niCads) but if you use it 99% of the time plugged in I think it would be a good idea to test the theory by unplugging the power now and then and running the battery down (plug it back in when you get power alerts). I do this sometimes and my batteries usually last longer than your describing.

Next on the list; I checked ebay and some of the batteries for that model are not very big / don't store a lot of power. I wonder how long they'd run your laptop when brand new. Keep an eye on "capacity" in mAh next time you buy one and higher means more time on battery.

Cell phone have battery monitor software that the data can get screwed up. I'll check if laptops have something similar.
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  #13  
Old 09-02-2013, 9:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the86d View Post
I have some notebooks with batteries that are ALMOST as good as new, and they are like 5+ years old, and I never let them drain... I guess they don't make them like they used to.
There's partially dumb luck involved too. I bought two Dells in 2008, an XPS 13" and an Latitude 15". Well, the XPS has been solid aside from a busted power connector a couple years ago (thank you included 3 year in-home warranty) whereas the Latitude **** the bed at the beginning of the year.

Also, the XPS battery still holds a good charge; at least a couple hours while the Latitude battery had a failed cell two years ago. So really this is all just anecdotal evidence. Oh right, and both laptops spend/spent the majority of their lives plugged in.

What I really can't quite figure out is why the HP Elitebooks my company issues seem to have a relatively high self-discharge rate. I don't user hibernate or sleep much, 90% of the time I shut down. Yet it seems like the battery loses half its charge in the course of a few weeks.
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  #14  
Old 09-02-2013, 4:14 PM
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i've done some research and for li-ions from what i read, what kills is is the constant draining. they don't like doing that many, many times over. so i keep mine plugged all the time unless i have to. which is odd for dslr batteries since (for mine) they are li-ion don't operate being plugged in obviously.

for nimh, i read drain them and then charge fully. but supposedly, newer nimh technology do not have that memory charging problem anymore.

nicad.. hmm.. are there still uses for nicad?
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:43 PM
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NiCad has excellent high-current discharge characteristics. Their best uses are for cordless tools IMHO.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:13 AM
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Most consumer electronics still use Li-ion battery technology, which does really poorly with the typical way electronics charge, which is as soon as they dip below 100% charge, they get pumped on again by the charger. This results in constant overcharging of the battery, which breaks them down pretty quick. If there was ever an "Ideal" way to use any battery, it would be to always use it down to ~10-20% capacity, charge it up to ~90% capacity, unplug and use on battery again. If they just made smart power circuits in laptops that COMPLETELY isolate the battery once charged on a laptop that is left plugged in, until it gets to say 75% of capacity from just gradual discharge (weeks if not months) then many battery life issues could be alleviated. But most people want their devices 100% charged whenever they can.

If more companies start switching to Li-Polymer batteries, they are more tolerant of this issue, and then there is kind of the compromise of somewhere in between most lithium batteries, and Nickel based batteries, is Lithium Phosphate based batteries. They take PUNISHMENT, but they do not have quite the capacity of a LiPo or Li-ion battery. But myself and other RC users do some crazy things to these batteries and get many many cycles of use out of them. Doing some very high amp draws, VERY fast charge cycles, high heat, they are durable.
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Old 09-03-2013, 11:17 AM
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My experience is that the battery life lasts longer if you run the computer off the battery at least twice a month.
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Old 09-07-2013, 2:05 PM
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TRUE!!!

A laptop is not a desktop and should never be used as one... not just because the batt needs to be cycled though.

Also because the CPU fans in these are very inefficient and you will over time burn out fan and/or CPU due to heat.

Women who take their laptops to the bedroom to use and then lay it on their nice fluffy comforter/bed will literally suffocate the lappys, overheat it, and cry later! I've seen it a hundred times!
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Old 09-07-2013, 2:19 PM
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I have a 10 year old Inspiron and a 1 year old. You must use the battery. Letting it drain to where the light comes on is good. Letting it drain all the way is not good.
My 10 year has a 3hr battery life, the newer one 5.5.
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Old 11-11-2013, 9:37 PM
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I have a 4 yrs old netbook that i connect to my monitor and use it as a desktop. Battery still holding hours of charge because i use a timer for the charger. I set it up every 4 hours to recharge the battery. This works for me. Try using an outlet timer.
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  #21  
Old 11-11-2013, 10:03 PM
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If you have access to AC power, then remove the battery from your laptop and just plug in the laptop. The laptop will work just fine without the battery. The only caution is if you get a brownout/blackout, then you will lose whatever you're working on (just like a regular desktop PC without a UPS).

Laptops get very hot and heat kills Li-Ion batteries.
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Old 11-13-2013, 5:23 PM
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It's pretty common for a laptop battery to stop holding a charge after 1-2 years. It has a lot to do with the heat produced from being plugged in all the time in combination with the lack of an adequate battery management system (BMS) to balance the cells. Even with a good BMS, the heat eventually damages the cells.

The main reason for losing it's ability to hold a charge is the fact that laptop batteries are made up of multiple cells. Your average laptop uses a 6-cell battery. If any one of those cells goes bad, or falls below a rechargeable level, the whole "battery pack" is basically rendered useless.

You could always crack the battery open, test all the individual cells for voltage, determine which cells went bad, and replace only those cells. It's about $10 each for a good panasonic cell. A lot of times, you can recharge a single failed cell with a single cell charger and it'll work fine again. When cells become out of sync with their voltage, it can cause a cell's voltage to fall so low that your battery disables the recharging.

I find it easier to just replace the battery with a generic one off Amazon for $30-$50. I then salvage the cells from the bad battery at my leisure and save them for my flashlights. Typical OEM laptop batteries use 18650 cells (most of the time it's the good stuff, panasonic 18650's!) and they're very reliable used as singles in a flashlight.

Last edited by NoSpam; 11-13-2013 at 5:25 PM..
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  #23  
Old 11-13-2013, 5:35 PM
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Most, if not all laptop batteries are some variant of lithium ion technology. They do NOT like to be kept at full charge and the most certainly do NOT like to be on the charger all the time. The best thing you can do is charge them up fully, run them down to 60 to 70 percent or so, and shut the computer off. And don't recharge until you're down a ways close to 20%.
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Old 12-06-2013, 10:10 PM
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Interesting! Leave it in and let it run down 1/5 charge once a month or so. I do that with my gear and all the gear I have ever supported and it works for me. For whatever reason I have always noticed a few of the laptops (even if you buy 5 or 10 of the same model one or two always seem to have problems with this)
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