laptop won't boot with battery installed
December 21, 2005 6:08 AM   Subscribe

My laptop won't boot with the battery in, even when it's plugged in. Is it dead?

It's an HP pavilion, about 1 year old. The batter wasn't holding a charge very long. I followed some instructions I found on the internet to re-calibrate the battery. They said to boot in BIOS, let the laptop run itself down and then charge it back up.

I did all this. Now when I turn my computer on it begins to boot but craps out during the process (shuts off completely), even with the power cord in. If I remove the battery, the computer will boot normally and work fine. Is there a way to get this thing working with the battery still in it? Is there any hope for the battery?
posted by miniape to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
Were the instructions from HP? And if not, is the thing still under warranty? Either way you might be able to get a replacement. If the instructions were from HP, get a service rep on the phone. If they were not, but the laptop is under warranty, don't tell them that you were following directions from some website, just tell 'em that it won't hold a charge and refuses to boot with the battery in.

If you got this from a chain store like Best Buy - did you opt for the extended warranty? If so you might be able to get a replacement battery at no charge. If not, well, there's always eBay...
posted by caution live frogs at 7:09 AM on December 21, 2005

Laptop batteries are generally warrantied for only a year, because they're considered a consumable. Laptop batteries are full of seriously toxic crap, and should be recycled.

Many laptop batteries have a status indicator that shows battery life. I worked on an HP Pavilion recently that did not have this feature, but it's worth a look. If the status indicator light blink, it means that some of the battery's cells are corrupt, and the battery will not work, for safety reasons.
posted by theora55 at 7:38 AM on December 21, 2005

I have an old ThinkPad that ended up doing exactly the same thing. At some point the battery was so dead the machine wouldn't boot while the battery was in it.

I'd say your battery is more toast than burnt toast.

Unless you feel that the laptop isn't "real" without the battery in it, I wouldn't worry too much about it. It's the perfect excuse to overspend on a new one! :)
posted by lowlife at 8:00 AM on December 21, 2005

Response by poster: That's too bad. I wouldn't mind it so much if the battery didn't have one of the laptop's 'feet' on it. Thanks all.
posted by miniape at 11:02 AM on December 21, 2005

I had the exact same issue with my dell Latitude D600. Laptop would power up no problem without the battery in it. The minute I put the battery in, it would shut off. Wouldn't startup with the battery in it either.

The battery was returned and I was given a new one and the problem has gone away. The tech on the phone seemed to know what the problem was immediately and mentioned it was a corrupt battery.

Same as what Theora55 said - check the blinky lights. My dell did essentially the same thing.
posted by burhan at 12:21 PM on December 21, 2005

As an ex-Dell tech, I can say this is a common symptom of a dead battery - however, on Dells at least, the problem can be the contacts on the mainboard. Battery diagnostic lights are the best way to tell the difference, if you don't have a spare battery to test with.
posted by restless_nomad at 2:44 PM on December 21, 2005

This sounds weird, but try unplugging it, removing the battery, and letting it sit for 6-8 hours, then booting up again. If that doesn't work, you probably need a motherboard replacement (at least that's what Dell said they did when they fixed this on one of my work laptops...this was after telling me to upgrade the BIOS--and good luck doing that when it requires the computer to have the battery and the power cable plugged in at the same time, heh).

I feel for you--I've had this happen three times with two different Dell models, each time after letting the battery run very low and then plugging it in to charge. It took me two times to figure out the common cause (I thought flaky current caused it the first time), and the third time was a dumb accident.
posted by jenh at 8:31 PM on December 21, 2005

Best answer: Also--it's definitely not dead. It should run for quite a long time on just power. You can probably purchase a longer-lasting externally-charging battery if it turns out to be the motherboard and you don't feel like fixing it (something like this, maybe)? My great IT guys got me one of these when I couldn't part with my laptop for repair and we didn't have any laptops available to do a hard drive swap. The only issue is that the longer-lasting externally-chargeable batteries are heavy.

On second thought, maybe the battery is defective.
posted by jenh at 8:43 PM on December 21, 2005

Response by poster: Thanks Jenh. It looks like my battery is part of that recall. You're the best. Everyone else is really great too.
posted by miniape at 3:12 PM on December 22, 2005

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