View Full Version : PowerBook Battery Life

Jul 13, 2006, 02:49 PM
Alright.. so my brother has a 12" PowerBook, just like me (though the combo drive model) and he's having problems with the battery.

It appears to charge fine, but it fails when not connected to AC after a while. He says that it usually fails when the battery meter shows around 80%. Now, when I say fail, I don't mean the normal "sleep until AC power is restored", I mean good old total shutoff. It has to boot up when he plugs it back in and anything he hadn't saved would be lost.

Now, you might say that this is just the sign of an old (~1.1 year) battery and he needs to buy a new battery (overpriced), but my PowerBook has no such problem and can hold up a 2 hour charge at the least .. 3 hours+ usually.

Any ideas? He reinstalled OS X and it didn't do the trick.

Jul 13, 2006, 03:07 PM
Try charging the battery to max, unplug it, turn energy saving settings so the computer won't go to sleep or anything, play a video in quicktime looped until the battery dies, then plug the powerbook back in and recharge to full. Playing the video looped in quicktime is simply to drain the battery faster.

That might help. There's also a command that will tell you more about the battery but I don't remember it but I bet it'll be posted here shortly.

Edit: Lookie what I found! :) http://www.macfixit.com/article.php?story=20051026080758616

Jul 13, 2006, 03:12 PM
Have him DL coconut battery (http://www.coconut-flavour.com/coconutbattery/) which will give you info about your battery's capacity and so on. The battery looses capacity with charges and discharges; if he took his to school/work every single day while you left yours at home plugged in, it would explain why your battery is in better shape than his.

If coconut battery tells you that you still have a good amount of charge left on your battery, it maybe be a hardware problem or there may be a problem with the battery's connection to the res of the computer.

Jul 13, 2006, 04:04 PM
Alright.. I just looked at it and the capacity is 2038.. lower than mine which is 2882, but that is to be expected. It was saying 'fully charged' at 2019, which is normal, too.

So, I reset the PMU and went to try to drain the battery. It was working fine until a minute after the fans began kicking in. Then, it shut off. It started back up after pressing the power button - still on battery, and the battery showed 87% (Still not plugged in at this point).

So, what is making it shut off? It's not a loss of battery power apparently. Any ideas now?

Jul 13, 2006, 04:18 PM
If it wasn't shutting off at a certain percent then I would say the battery might be losing connection with the rest of the computer, but unless you are jolting the computer at around 80% then I don't think that is it. You may want to take it in if there is an apple store near you because I can't think of what it might be.

My Ipod used to shut down when it showed about 50-80% battery left for no reason, and when I turned it back on it showed 0%, then it slowly workied its way back to 50, then died again. I was never quite sure why it did that, according to apple is should have held a 3 hour charge. Anyway, I say take it in.

Jul 13, 2006, 04:20 PM
Anyway, I say take it in.
The warranty expired a couple months ago (bought it the day after Tiger came out). Will they charge to look at it?

Jul 13, 2006, 04:24 PM

Thats youre best bet im sure. I picked an extra one up for my pb when i baught it, cause all i heard about when it comes to pbs/mac laptops in general is the battery life and the overheating.