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Dell Notebook battery question:

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Dell Notebook battery question:

Postby Pacman » Thu Jul 13, 2006 11:38 am

Guys... I've had a Dell Inspiron 600m for about 15 months now (bought it new in April 2005). Everything about it works great, except for one thing: Over the months, the length of time I go on a full charge has dropped in half. When it was new, I'd get about 4 hours (if not longer) of normal use (surfing/working) on a full charge.

It's gotten shorter, little by little, to the point I now get less than 2 hours from fully-charged, to hybernate (battery too-low to run). It's a nuisance more than anything, as I'm usually home-based, and never too far from an outlet... but I'm just wondering if it's normal for a laptop's battery to become less effective over a year-and-a-quarter. Would buying a new battery solve the problem? And if I did buy a new battery, would the same thing happen over time?

Thanks for any advice. This is my first laptop/notebook, so the battery thing is pretty foreign to me.
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Postby teddy ballgame » Thu Jul 13, 2006 11:47 am

I know they do decrease over time, and my sister has had one for about a year and a half too...it went from like 2.5 to less than an hour now. I'd say it's normal with yours.
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Postby Shadow of the Sun* » Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:27 pm

My Dell notebook battery did the same thing. After 4 years I could only get 10-15 minutes out of it at best. If I played a song the battery would die before the song finished since the speakers would put such a strain on the power. I bought a new battery on Ebay for about $50 and it works great. If you buy one on ebay make sure it is one from dell, as there are imitations that I have heard can somehow damage your computer.
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Postby acsguitar » Thu Jul 13, 2006 12:30 pm

Yea mine says 2 hours but really only get like 1 and a half. They lose power over time.

Sucks

Also, my screen just lost a whole vertical row of pixels. Time to send back to dell doh!
I'm too lazy to make a sig at the moment
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Postby BitterDodgerFan » Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:27 pm

remember that these li-ion rechargable batteries have limited # of charge cycles and that they will diminish their full charge capacity upon usage. however, you can keep it in optimal condition if you "calibrate" the battery once in a while and only charge when needed instead of keeping it plugged all the time. if you use 30 minutes worth of battery and then charge it to full, you are using up the charge cycles and shortening its lifespan.

you should calibrate when you first use your notebook, then do it few times a year. to calibrate your battery, unplug and let your battery drain all the way, until you get the no power warning. then full charge it, uninterrupted and its calibrated. my best advice is dont keep it plugged to the adapter all the time and eat away the battery life.
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Postby BitterDodgerFan » Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:31 pm

also to make the batteries go longer, i usually turn down my brightness down a lot and remove all cd/dvd from the drive.
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Postby acsguitar » Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:34 pm

You can run just with the power adapter and not have the battery in correct?
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Postby teddy ballgame » Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:45 pm

acsguitar wrote:You can run just with the power adapter and not have the battery in correct?

What? :-? He's saying that sometimes you should let the battery die without plugging it in before it happens. Then charge it with the adapter all the way back to 100%.
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Postby acsguitar » Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:46 pm

teddy ballgame wrote:
acsguitar wrote:You can run just with the power adapter and not have the battery in correct?

What? :-? He's saying that sometimes you should let the battery die without plugging it in before it happens. Then charge it with the adapter all the way back to 100%.


yea I understood that. but the battery doesn't need to be in for the laptop to work if you just plug it into the wall correct?
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Postby Simulacrum » Thu Jul 13, 2006 2:49 pm

BitterDodgerFan wrote:also to make the batteries go longer, i usually turn down my brightness down a lot and remove all cd/dvd from the drive.


;-D

Like BDF here said, the two biggest drains on power are the screen and spinning a CD/DVD, so turn the brightness down when running on battery power. You can also save batteries by saving your music/movies to the hard drive and running them from there. This is a useful trick for airplane flights, etc.
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