Laptops are becoming popular as technology expands into
the future, and it seems that most households have at LEAST one laptop these days. ( Please try your hardest to forgive me if you have no laptop at all! )
Laptops are extremely convenient and handy, BUT - due to the proprietary parts that are used, and the relatively high cost of replacement parts, care must be taken in operating and maintaining these kind of computers.
One overlooked laptop accessory that can equal the difference between your computer working and your computer NOT working is: the BATTERY ! I recently experienced laptop battery failure, only 6 months after purchasing my shiny new HP laptop. Can you believe that my battery died in only SIX months while still under warranty? Exactly…..I can’t believe it either !!
If I had known then what I know now, I would have avoided the frustration of waiting nearly two months from the time I shipped my old (dead) battery to HP; to actually receive the new item ! Luckily, my computer was still under the factory warranty, or I would have spent a whopping $119.00 on a new battery! VERY BAD .
If your laptop is used for business, work or school; I am sure you cannot afford to go without your computer for suchs long periods of time, as I did. The old adage an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, holds as true as ever – so lets explore a few tips to prevent your laptop battery from dying prematurely:
1.) When at home or near a power outlet, plug in your laptop and REMOVE your battery!
Many people (including myself until last year), have the habit of plugging their laptop into the wall, and keeping the battery attached to the laptop. A laptop battery is rechargeable, and rechargeable batteries have a limit to the amount of times or hours, that they can be charged. When your battery remains in your laptop while it is plugged in, it continues to charge and thus the life of the battery is lowered significantly. Since your laptop will work with the power supply attached, without the battery; this method is the best way to extend the life of your laptops battery.
2.) Before you charge your laptop battery, make sure the battery is VERY LOW!
Rechargeable batteries have cell memory, which basically means that your laptops battery remembers how much power it had prior to the last charge or use. For example: you keep your laptop plugged in, and your battery attached and only unplug the power adaptor when you decide to take your laptop with you, outside of the home. You notice that within 8 months, your laptop battery gives you the: recharge now warning, but in half of the time that it took 8 months ago. Instead of your battery dying in an hour and a half, it dies in just 45 minutes . Three months later your battery lasts a mere 30 minutes before the battery is dead and so on.
You must allow your battery to cycle; in other words when you are using the battery in your laptop, keep the adapter unplugged UNTIL the battery power is nearly drained (your computer should have an icon or software that monitors and notifies you when your battery is low). I would recommend that you keep an eye on your battery while using your computer, save all of your important data when the battery gets very low, and allow the battery to die completely; and the PC to power itself off. Then, charge the battery.
(this method is not convenient at all, but the closer that you can get to practicing this, the longer your battery will last ! )
3.) When charging your battery, stop the charging process when the battery reaches 100% !!
I know its extremely boring monitoring your laptops battery status when it is charging and no one loves doing this; BUT, if you would like your battery to work in peak condition, you will put this method into practice. For example: I used to plug in my laptops battery and allow it to charge for hours. I started to notice within several months, that after using my computer for 30 minutes the battery extremely low shutting down now warning would pop up; when months ago, I could use my computer for an hour and a half at least, until the battery extremely low warning popped up! I decided to let the computer shut itself off every time; and one day, I decided to plug the adapter in, turn the PC back on, and when it booted successfully I removed the adapter.
I continued this procedure for a day or two, then I finally noticed that the more I continue this cycling of the battery, the longer my battery lasted until it eventually supplied me with the full 1 hour of power. (I hope I didnt confuse you on that, if so, please feel free to email me).
I had inadvertently cycled my battery, or manipulated the memory cells by forcing the cells to re-learn their maximum charge level. To avoid needing to cycle YOUR battery, it is highly recommended that you monitor your batterys charging, and stop charging it once it reaches 100%. Just as important as unplugging it at 100%, is draining your battery completely prior to charging it.
I hope that you find this information helpful, and hopefully this article will help to save you from spending unnecessary money replacing your laptop battery. A penny saved is indeed, a penny earned.
Jarvis Edwards – TekTime