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Laptop Battery, replace or revive?

April 25, 2012 7 comments

My Laptop Battery does not retain a charge! My Laptop battery lasts only for 10min and it powers down! My Laptop will not power up, the power indicator blinks red 3times and goes off even with the charger connected. These and more questions are reactions from users who encounters a battery problem.

The Laptop battery like any other electronic part, will have to be replaced sooner or later. Due to wear as a result of use. The chemical reactions taking place within the battery also result in permanent wear of the batter components, charging and discharging is not also an exemption. There are various tricks though that can be used to revive your battery if you suspect it no longer retains charge. The next paragraph deals with this.

The cooling method:

This may sound strange but it works! Your freezer may just be the solution to you problem! Note, this works only for the old NiCd(nickel cadminum) and NiMH batteries. Remove the Laptop battery, let it cool to room temperature and then place it in a freeze overnight( you can permanently damage the battery if not allowed to cool to room temperature before freezing). Remove the batter and then allow to warm up to room temperature before using it. Charge the battery fully and allow to fully discharge, repeat the discharging and charging process a few times and your battery may just be revived. This method is not full prove, but there’s no harm in trying considering spending a few buck on a new battery. It is worthy of note to say that Lithium batteries will be damaged by low temperatures so this method will not work for Lithium batteries. For lithium batteries, there is a method for revival to be considered. Completely drain the battery till the computers powers down. After this drain further using a bulb( a low wattage 12 volt bulb will do just fine) or other low power means to drain the battery to a little above the discharge threshold( this depends on the voltage rating of the battery). After this put the battery into the Laptop and charge till full charge. Repeat this several time and the battery may be revived.

After trying the tips above and no improvement is notices, then its time to replace the battery.

Tips to elongate battery life.

The average battery life falls between 3-5 years when properly used. Its scarce to have a Laptop battery that will extend beyond this range. At most we can maximise the useful years. The following tips will help.

1. Recalibrate your batteries at least once in 2 months. This is done by discharging to about 40% and then full charge with the cycle restarted about 3 times.

2. Too high temperature or too cold( for Litium ion batteries) temperature should be discouraged. This reduces battery life.

3. Use appropriate power management profiles.

4. Playing videos and audio from CD/DVD drives cause more discharge rate for the battery which is not good. It is advised to play such media from the Hard Drive/ USB drives.

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