Laptop Battery
by cote

Sony Laptop Battery ? How to care for it when it has reached the end of its useful life?

You might have had an experience that after using your Sony laptop battery for several months, you noticed that your laptop battery does not last as long as a full charge as it used to. For example, at your first time using your new Sony laptop battery, it lasted for 3 hours on fully charged, but became only 1 hour or less after half a year.

There are some possible factors to cause the situation above, such as your Sony laptop battery/ AC adapter is faulty, a problem with your main power supply, the battery requires recalibration, or the battery is kept at too high temperature that makes it past its useful life. The procedure below is to help you to check out what’s wrong with your laptop or laptop battery:

1)      Check out your power supply

Use a known working AC mains lead and AC adaptor of the same type Connect the AC adaptor to a mains wall socket that you know is working instead of a RM NoteBus Switch the system on and check that the power icon at the bottom right of the system has a ‘mains plug’ symbol and that is says ‘On AC Power’ or ‘Charging’ when the pointer hovers over it

2)      Check your power scheme configuration

Look at the Control Panel, Performance and Maintenance, Power Options and check that you have not set the ‘Running On Batteries’ settings to a short time (eg 15 minutes). This would cause the system to enter standby mode after being idle for 15 minutes. Similarly, if you have a ‘System hibernates’ option, check that this is not set for a short time. This may give the appearance that the battery is not lasting very long, but in fact the system is simply switching off after a set period of idleness.

3)      Recalibrate the smart battery

Notebook and tablet PC batteries are usually the Smart Lithium-Ion type. They usually include a small micro-controller unit which can predict how long the battery is going to last. This prediction feature is necessary as without it, it would be very difficult to know when the battery is about to run out of charge.

If you consistently use the system for only an hour or so on the battery, and then connect it to the AC adaptor to recharge it, over the period of a few months the battery will ‘lose track’ of how much charge it really holds.

In this case it may report to Windows that it is about to run out of power, when in fact the battery has plenty of charge left. Windows will try to shut down if the battery reports low power and so your system may shut down prematurely, even though there is still charge remaining in the battery.

Battery calibration works by allowing the Smart battery micro-controller to re-calculate the length of time that a battery will last for. All you need to do is to ensure that the system goes from a fully charged state to a fully discharged state. This is done by simply ensuring the system stays on for as long as the battery will last.

Battery calibration does not extend the battery discharge time. This feature calibrates the battery so that it shows the remaining charge accurately.

The procedure is as the following

Check your Sony laptop is on AC power Switch off your laptop Leave your laptop overnight (eight hours) to charge Switch on your laptop and check that the system is still on AC power In Control Panel, Performance and Maintenance, Power Options, and change the Power Scheme to Always On. Then change the ‘Running on Batteries’ settings to all say ‘Never’ and click on ‘OK’ Click on the Power Meter tab, and check that the battery is at 100% Now remove the AC adaptor plug and switch off the AC adaptor power at the mains supply Time how long the system remains powered. You can use a utility to log the time to the hard disk at regular intervals After the system has switched itself off (usually by a self-controlled ‘Shutdown’), connect the AC adaptor again and switch on the power to recharge the battery Leave for eight hours to fully recharge

If step 8 above takes several hours, then the battery requires calibration, and this procedure should have fixed the problem; if step 8 still only lasts for a short time (eg 20 minutes), you may have a faulty or old battery, so go to the next test below

4)      Try another battery

If you have another Sony laptop using the same battery that seems to have good battery life, swap over the batteries. If the ‘good’ laptop now has a short battery life and the ‘bad’ laptop now has a much longer battery life, this indicates that your Sony laptop battery has a problem.

However, if the short battery life problem seems to stay with your original Sony laptop, this indicates that your Sony laptop may have an incorrect configuration.

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