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Laptop-battery not charging

polis_928tadw59 10 7.0k United Kingdom
1 Feb 2011 1:18PM
I have a Dell 1545 laptop, about 21 months old. 99% of the time, when using it, I also have it plugged into the mains. Yesterday I noticed on the battery icon "82% charged, plugged in not charging". Later in the evening, when using it again noticed that it was 100% and charging. This morning it is showing 76%/not charging. I have found reference to when a battery is getting old, it will only charge up to about 80%. Correct or not ? This a.m have been on the Dell site and it looks as though a battery will not charge when it is warm/hot.
Anyone can confirm either of the two as correct, or are there any other suggestions ? The laptop is only used 2-3 hrs per day maximum.
Just Jas 19 26.3k 1 England
1 Feb 2011 1:29PM
The battery loses some capacity as it ages.

You could also try running the laptop on battery only, until it reaches its lower level, then recharging it. Repeat the process a few times and see if there is any improvement in battery capacity as indicated by the battery icon.
polis_928tadw59 10 7.0k United Kingdom
1 Feb 2011 1:41PM
Just Jas, Thanks for that. I have gathered similar advice from several threads on ephotozine, when I did a search on similar problems, after I had posted my topic.
Just Jas 19 26.3k 1 England
1 Feb 2011 2:11PM
Hope it works for you Smile
polis_928tadw59 10 7.0k United Kingdom
2 Feb 2011 2:49PM
Ran the battery right down, but it will not accept any further charging. Looks like it may be dead. Machine bought new May 2009, so it looks like the battery has expired. (My that is a good word.)
Next point for all you knowledgeable folks out there, where should I get my battery from ? PC World selling them at 90+. Other genuine Dell batteries about 50-00 from other dealers. Independent manufactured batteries, which are compatible with my Inspiron range from 23-00 (too cheap ?) then 29-30-40. Any thoughts, please ? Some of the independents have even a 1 year, or a 2 year guarantee.
stomp 19 203 England
2 Feb 2011 4:16PM
Do a search in Google regarding this and you will find thousands of cases like yours. Don't buy a new battery yet

In many, many cases it is a motherboard fault which is not worth repairing.

My partner had the problem with her Dell. New battery, no better. New charger, no change. Then we found the answer via Google and finally scrapped the laptop and bought a new one.

Not a Dell by the wayGrin
theorderingone 17 2.4k
3 Feb 2011 1:36AM
Or the battery needs re-calibrating. there should be an option to do that in the BIOS

Found this hidden in amongst a load of non-relavant stuff on the web:

Quote:For calibrate the Dell Inspiron 1545 battery, follow the following steps.
1. Insert the power cord
2. Restart your computer;when start screen appears, press F2 key to enter the BIOS program.
3. In the BIOS program, select Exit, then select BatteryAuto-Learning option.
4. Press Enter key, select BatteryAuto-Learning option (the symbol of √ will be in front of the selection).
5. Select Save and Exit option in the Exit menu to save your settings and exit the BIOS program.
6. The system will reboot and begin the Inspiron 1545 battery calibration automatically.

User_Removed 11 4.6k 1 Scotland
3 Feb 2011 8:49AM
The good news is that, as you use your laptop plugged into the mains 99% of the time, you may not need a battery at all.

Judging from the prices you quoted, it looks like laptops may be entering the same realm as printers (where it is cheaper to buy a new printer than replace the ink cartridges) or watches and mobile phones (where it is cheaper to buy a new one than replace the battery). A bit of a bugger with laptops, though, if you have to transfer all your programs and data.
User_Removed 11 4.6k 1 Scotland
3 Feb 2011 8:57AM
....just as an afterthought to that. I use my desktop virtually all of the time when at home but I do have a laptop that I take on holiday with me and use in my caravan. But it occurs to me that I simply never use it in situations where it is not plugged into the mains. If that is a general situation for most users, then I wonder if there is a market for battery-less portable computers? A saving of even 50 off a 250 laptop could be a good sales point for some enterprising manufacturer.
Carrera_c 11 273 3 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2011 9:12AM
A few things to check...

- Go into the BIOS and go to the battery section. Here you will see if the laptop is seeing the battery and the status of it. This screen may have a message to inform you if the battery is at it's end of life.
- Most laptop batteries will only last 1.5 / 2 years. So it is quite possible that you're is diing. But don't assume that, it could be the motherboard. Check your Dell Warranty as most of there machines are sold with a 3yr warranty. This doesn't cover the battery but if it looks like it's the motherboard then they will fix this.
ellis rowell 16 2.0k United Kingdom
3 Feb 2011 10:57AM
I read sometime ago that the biggest failure of laptop batteries is running the laptop on mains with the battery in place. It seems that the batteries only stand a certain number of charges then pack up. I now use my laptop without the battery on the mains and only put the battery in when I need to use the laptop without the mains. Like yours, my battery failed and I had to replace it at 70.
polis_928tadw59 10 7.0k United Kingdom
3 Feb 2011 11:02AM
Enlightening information, and I will try and check the battery with the info given. If the motherboard is faulty, why does it only affect the laptop when in battery useage format, yet when plugged into the mains everything is working normally and 100% ?
kaybee Plus
17 7.7k 26 Scotland
3 Feb 2011 11:51AM
Why does it seem to come as a surprise that laptop batteries die?
All batteries have a finite life - even rechargables
NickParry 15 1.0k 79 Wales
3 Feb 2011 12:21PM
I think you will find that it is a built in money grabber for Dell. Through the centre of your adapter there is a small wire; this wire is quite fragile, and when broken it will cause issues. (look down the end of your power lead; this wire has nothing to do with power, it is to do with Dell checking that you are using Dell products. It is also made weak by them, so it can break over time ensuring you will have to buy another adapter, a Dell adapter).

It may not be broken in the adapter, but this contact wire connects to a wire in the power module, and this may have broken (due to its fragility). This wire is what tells the computer that you are using a Dell adapter, and Dell battery (it has a device built into it to do so). Your adapter itself 'speaks' to your computer, and if it can't, due to it being broken somewhere along the line of connection, it won't charge your battery.

Dell know this. They will expect you to either purchase an expensive replacement adapter, or have some costly work on the broken power module.
polis_928tadw59 10 7.0k United Kingdom
3 Feb 2011 1:23PM
NickParry, and all, thanks for your suggestions. When only about 1 week old the plastic covering on the plug-in wire opened up slightly, only about 1/4". Took it back, not fearing a possible electric shock, but because it was so new. Given a new replacement.
I pay a monthly sum for back up and repairs. Do any of you consider it worthwhile continuing along this route. A friend has recommended an independent computer technician, who he uses. In 21 mos I have paid 175 for this, but only had to use them after 13 mos to have a virus removed.

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