General Question

Cartman's avatar

Is my battery dead?

Asked by Cartman (3049points) April 16th, 2010

I have a Thinkpad T61 and this morning, without having touched the Laptop, the computer dies when I unplug it (it wasn’t like this yesterday). The battery says: “Computer is running on AC power. Laptop battery fully charged (66.5%)” and seems stuck there. It says the same even if I remove the battery. I’m running Ubuntu 9.04 (64bit).

Does anyone know if this might be something other than the battery? If not the battery, what could it be?

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19 Answers

davidgro's avatar

That does sound like it might be the battery. Just to be sure, have you tried cleaning the contacts on both the battery and in PC?
Also try testing it when booted from a LiveCD (doesn’t need to be Ubuntu, but probably the newer the better)

njnyjobs's avatar

There has been a recall of Lenovo batteries and one of them is inlcuded in your model group. Check the Lenovo website here

Ron_C's avatar

@njnyjobs good job finding that site.

Cartman's avatar

@njnyjobs thank you for that! Unfortunately the “FRU” number of my battery was not on the list. Would have been great though.

@davidgro thank you. Yes it does seem like that battery. At least better the battery than the mother board.

Cartman's avatar

When I think about it again. That it says this even if I remove the battery; could this mean that it is NOT the battery but something else?

Ron_C's avatar

@Cartman are you saying that the operating system reports that the battery is %66 charged even when it is not in the circuit?

That sounds like an operating system error or a hardware error on the battery charging circuit. I think, first, I would run the computer on battery until it powers down because of low voltage. If the computer operates, on battery, for a reasonable 3–4 hours, I would ignore the message. If it fails in a very short time, you would have to troubleshoot at the component level and find the problem. If you have a link the the schematic of the mother board, I could help. If not, you may have to take it to someone that is familiar with the operating system and the particular computer’s hardware.

Cartman's avatar

@Ron_C thank you.

The computer dies as I unplug it, there seems to be no connection to the battery at all.

Just upgraded to 9.10 and the issue still persists. Doesn’t feel hopeful.

I don’t really know what “link the the schematic of the mother board” means. Sorry.

Ron_C's avatar

@Cartman I am suggesting that there may be a hardware problem in the charging circuit or voltage monitoring of the battery. Since the computer dies as soon as the AC is removed, the problem is one of two things:

1. The battery is bad and can no longer be recharged
2. The charging circuit if fault.

The battery can be tested by measuring the voltage it’s terminals or by replacing it with a known good battery. I think Battery Warehouse is able to test computer batteries. If there is one in your city you might give the a call.

To trouble-shoot the charging circuit you need the electrical schematic of the mother board. That is why I asked if there were any links to the schematic.

By the way I am a former Electronics Technician and electronics engineer that’s why I like to work with the schematics.

Cartman's avatar

Thanks a million! I will try to test the battery, it seems the logical first step. Circuitry will have to wait since it’s way outside my league and having a professional look at it it way outside by budget at the moment (isn’t it always though).

I really appreciate you taking your time with this.

Have an excellent Sunday!

Ron_C's avatar

@Cartman you are welcome. Good luck in getting your problems straightened out.

njnyjobs's avatar

Have you tried running battery maintenance through the power manager

When you have A/C power plugged, what indicator do you have?
Solid Green: Fully Charged
Blinking Green: Almost done charging
Solid Orange: Charging
Blinking Orange: Your battery is completly and hopelessly dead. Buy a new one.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

I have a T61p. If I had this problem I would first purchase a duplicate battery. This would tell you if it was the charging circuit and it would be nice to have another anyway.

Cartman's avatar

@njnyjobs thank you! However, I can’t find any battery maintenance in the power manger (Ubuntu 9.10).

The light is solid orange and when I unplug the computer dies instantly.

malevolentbutticklish's avatar <== new battery link.

You might also learn something from:
cd /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0 ; cat *

alarm: 3465 mWh
present: yes
design capacity: 84240 mWh
last full capacity: 68700 mWh
battery technology: rechargeable
design voltage: 10800 mV
design capacity warning: 3435 mWh
design capacity low: 200 mWh
capacity granularity 1: 1 mWh
capacity granularity 2: 1 mWh
model number: 92P1133
serial number: XXXXXXXXXX
battery type: LION
OEM info: Panasonic
present: yes
capacity state: ok
charging state: charged
present rate: 0 mW
remaining capacity: 68440 mWh
present voltage: 12432 mV

Cartman's avatar

Thank you all! Ordered a new battery and crossing my fingers.

Cartman's avatar

OK. It was the battery. New one works fine. Yay!

Ron_C's avatar

Ahhh, finally good news!

malevolentbutticklish's avatar

@Cartman: glad to hear that resolved the problem for you

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