Laptop Battery Issues
June 27, 2006 3:19 PM   Subscribe

I have a Dell 6000 notebook with a 9 cell battery. It is less than one year old. Upon purchase my laptop battery could hold 5 hours + of battery. Now it barely holds and hour. What's wrong and how can I fix this?
posted by jne1813 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, with regular use batteries just lose the ability to hold their full charge. You may also want to look in to processes running in the background, having bluetooth turned on, using wireless, and adjusting your screen brightness when on battery power.

Odds are it's a combination of battery not charging as much as it used to, background processes running and tweaking your battery use power settings.
posted by iamabot at 3:33 PM on June 27, 2006

Also, I believe if you store the battery for extended periods at 0 percent charge, that depletes the overall capacity quickly. But, overall, there's really nothing you can do to put the battery capacity back where it was.
posted by ofthestrait at 3:44 PM on June 27, 2006

What's wrong and how can I fix this?

Your battery is old and you can fix it by getting a new one. They cost in the area of $150. It sucks, I know, but it's a common problem. Once you use a battery too much, it stops holding its charge.
posted by kingjoeshmoe at 3:47 PM on June 27, 2006

I find that turning off my wifi extends my battery life a lot. This isn't helpful if you're doing something that requires internet access, but means the laptop may still be useful for plane rides.
posted by clarahamster at 4:20 PM on June 27, 2006

"What's wrong..."

You overcharged it. Dells are almost as notorious as Gateways for overcharging the batteries when left on AC power for extended periods of time.

"and how can I fix this?"

Buy a new battery and remove it whenever it's at 100% charge. Don't leave it in the machine trickle charging.
posted by majick at 4:22 PM on June 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

If it's under warrenty, see if you can get Dell to replace it. I had a non-Dell battery that went rapidly in its first year of life -- I thought that it was my fault (I had over charged it or something). But after I bought a replacement, I found it wasn't me, it was the battery. The next one I had was functioning perfectly after a year of use, including lots of time on AC.
posted by jb at 4:52 PM on June 27, 2006

I purchased a 3-year Complete Care warranty with my Dell laptop, and they replaced my battery at no charge to me when it stopped working after a year. My problem was slightly different -- my battery wouldn't charge at all -- but hopefully they'll help you out anyway.

The nice part is that they send you the new battery first; you send the old battery back in the box in which the new battery was shipped.

(And if you have to send the whole laptop back for service, they'll ship you an empty box including instructions on how to get Airborne Express to come pick it up once you stuff your laptop in it. Nice service, I thought. Too bad I've switched to Macs.)
posted by cactus at 8:27 AM on June 28, 2006

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