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05-07-2012 07:45 AM
Hi, I have an HP G61 Laptop, Product No VR523EA#ABU. I've noticed for a long time now, that when I run only battery power only, it was only lasting about 20 mins before I had to recharge. Then it went down to about 10 and now as soon as I get a 12% left warning, the laptop immediately shuts down.
I've used Troubleshoot to check the battery and it says the battery is at 100% power but needs calibrating. So I followed the instructions but it's not completing the calibration. I keep retesting and trying to calibrate but I'm just going in circles. At the end, all it says is "Contact HP".
97% of the time I've used AC power so I can't really understand why the battery has deteriorated so quickly. I'm using Windows 7 64 bit. Laptop is only used for net surfing and emailing, maybe a few powerpoint files. Any ideas what to do?
Plus, if I do need to replace the battery, in doing so, will I lose everything on the laptop? Will it restore to factory defaults or retain its current settings and data?
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05-07-2012 09:07 AM
Replacing the battery will not affect anything else in the laptop. Your data is safe. How old is the laptop? I am going to guess around 2 years? Batteries can and do go bad in that period of time. It sounds like a very straightforward case of a battery that is worn out. When you get the new one you might want to consider storing the battery separately to extend its life. The problem is you will probably be getting a new laptop before the second battery would wear out anyway. The only other thing I can suggest is a kind of poor man's calibration. Charge the battery to 100% then let it drain to 20% then charge again. Repeat cycle maybe 3-4 times and see if it is any better.
05-07-2012 12:46 PM
Yes Huffer, it's just over 2 years old! My IT manager at work suggested the same as you.....to run it down then recharge, then run it down then recharge. She said that batteries actually have a "memory" ..bit like muscles I suppose and we have to be consistent in their treatment. Glad to hear removing the old one won't affect my data. Is there anything further I can do to make a new battery last longer? I'm not sure I would be replacing this laptop in 2 -3 yrs as it's a purely a leisure laptop and it has an extended 5 yr warranty. Are batteries covered under warranties?? Twas a Currys/PC World buy.
I assume I have to buy a specific battery replacement. Need this be from HP or can I purchase elsewhere. My work colleague suggested a website...budgetbatteries. Haven't checked them out yet. Just wondered if you'd heard of them are are the batteries new...or refurbished ...or already running down???
Many thanks for your advice...very appreciated. Celine
05-08-2012 09:31 AM - edited 05-08-2012 09:39 AM
There is no memory in modern laptop batteries. That advice was good 12 years ago, but no longer. Running the battery up and down lets the Windows battery manager sync with the smart chip inside the battery. It just makes the meter more accurate. It does not affect the health of the cells. If they are dead or dying there is not much you can do. The cells look just like AA batteries and the battery you see as a solid piece of plastic on the outside is actually a series of those cells all wired together with a smart chip (brain) controlling the battery and reporting its status to the computer. When you get the new one you may want to consider charging it to 100%, run it down to 40-50% then store it away for when you need it. You need a battery compatible with your machine and you have three choices. Buy right from HP. This is the most expensive but you are guaranteed to get a fresh strong battery. The second choice is to buy genuine HP from a reseller. EBay has dozens. This will be a little cheaper but you run the risk of getting older stock. Batteries do lose strength just laying around. If you buy from a noted battery seller on eBay with tens of thousands feedback you will not likely have that problem. Lastly, you can buy a "knock-off" Chinese (actually they are all made in the Far East) battery. Budgetbatteries.com appears to be distributing this type of batteries but it is not clear. If they were selling "geniune" product they would say so. Also their prices do not seem that good to me on the ones they have actually listed on the site. Knock-offs will be dirt cheap and can actually be very good; they use the latest battery cells, but I question how they are making the batteries (child labor?) and how good is their quality control so I tend to avoid them. Again eBay is full of them. You can tell their batteries because they will say "compatible", but not "genuine". True HP batteries say HP on the label. Lastly, HP only warrants batteries one year, even with their extended warranties. The warranties you buy at the point of sale like Best Buy often do cover the battery so if you have that kind of warranty check it out.
05-08-2012 01:57 PM
Wow Huffer...you are a mine of information. Here's what I'll do based on your advice....
Check my extended warranty out with Currys/PC World. If that doesn't cover it....
Look on Ebay for price differential between "genuine" HP batteries compared to those on HP site.
Weigh pros and cons (with your advice in mind) and probably buy a new one from HP.
Will pass the info on to my work IT manager too!
I have been manually calibrating since....but if I shutdown and start up, get the same warning message still. Hubby experienced it for first time today and was pretty scared (he's 89% technophobe) ...so I've told him, we need a new battery and I'll sort it soon. So much less stressful if I've taken experienced advice and can sort it so THANK YOU!