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View Full Version : Laptop batteries- How to extend overall life?



Sick Puppy
17-06-2006, 06:53 PM
Hi everyone, I have an ASUS laptop- it basically sits on my desk at home (I purchased a laptop rather than a PC as it takes up less space).

Thing is, laptop batteries from what I have read basically last for about a year- mine is currently in the laptop, which is usually powered from the mains. Occasionally the battery charging light comes on if I haven't used it for a few days, but am I slowly killing it by leaving it in the laptop? I mean, is it being continiously charged by merit of the laptop always being plugged in the mains (which I figure is bad)?

Should I disconnect it and only charge it up say once a month, or whenever I am going to use it away from home?

Any suggestions and advice would be much appreciated. Thanks!

Hitech
17-06-2006, 07:44 PM
I have the same problem and the batteries only nine months old i used to get 3 hours out of it now i only get 1 hours use and thats after discharging it flat completely twice and charging it up again to calibrate it.

CaptinMoor
17-06-2006, 08:36 PM
I know its a bit late now but check out a AMD Turion 64 next time. The mobile technology is the most advanced family of simultaneous 32- and 64-bit Windows compatible processors made for mobility uniquely optimized to deliver AMD64 performance in thinner and lighter notebook designs with much much longer battery life, enhanced security, and compatibility with the latest wireless and graphics technologies, today and tomorrow.

Coming out in the latest compaq as well. Petty about that really.

But really try some of these tips:

Cycle you battery

If you have a laptop with either NiCD or NiMH batteries fitted, allow them to go completely flat before recharging them. If you are going to use your laptop for extended periods of time on mains power remove your battery altogether and store it in a discharged state. Li-ion batteries are usually unaffected but we have seen that if you leave your laptop on mains power without cycling them then their useful life time is reduced substantially.

Screen
Turn the brightness and contrast-control down as far as you can stand it.

Turn off and/or Remove unneeded components
Turn off internal/external modems when not in use. Leaving your PC card modem plugged in can reduce your effective battery time by up to 25%. Remove PCMCIA cards when not in use.

Turn off AutoSave
This is somewhat risky, but if you’re careful to monitor your battery’s power level, you can avoid unnecessary disk accesses.

Disable helpers, wizards & other automatic features
Software functions that automatically format text, check spelling, and recalculate your spreadsheet all draw down power.

Use a disk-caching utility
Install a utility program like Norton Utilities or SmartDrive to cut down on disk-accessing time. The cache saves the most-often used or most recently used information to a special virtual memory cache. Then, instead of battery-depleting hard-drive accesses, the computer uses the information in the cache instead.

Clean Leads
Once a month, clean the leads (silver or gold metal strips on end of battery) with rubbing alcohol to ensure that your battery is making a good clean contact with the leads in your system.

I hope this helps you get a bit longer out of your batterys

Bob_Bond
17-06-2006, 11:44 PM
I think that's weird though. I have a laptop at work that is constantly plugged into a docking station and I have never taken the battery out. The battery light doesn't come on while it is plugged in.

Even when I take the laptop out of the docking station and use it off site I still get a good 3 or 4 hours out of it before it runs out of battery.

I have heard that over charging the battery is bad for it, but then I'd expect my work laptop battery should be dead by now.

Work laptop is an IBM Thinkpad though so maybe different specs do make a considerable difference then.

Wouldn't hurt to let the battery run totally flat every now and then and then recharge as well. (I know it is bad to overcharge cellphone batteries too so maybe the same applies to laptops) :2cents:

godfather
18-06-2006, 01:43 AM
All you never needed to know is here:
http://www.batteryuniversity.com/

Modern laptops with LiOn batteries should look after the battery just fine. NiMh batteries in recent laptops would be rare.

Had 6 laptops over the years, mostly always on the mains. The LiOn battery ones have never given a problem, I never take them out or purposely cycle them.

They have a finite life anyway.

From the above site regarding LiOn:
"There is no memory and no scheduled cycling is required to prolong the battery's life"

"Aging is a concern with most lithium-ion batteries and many manufacturers remain silent about this issue. Some capacity deterioration is noticeable after one year, whether the battery is in use or not. The battery frequently fails after two or three years."

My advice is just use it as you do, it will probably have no adverse effect on the life.