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Old Aug 3, 2003, 08:44 AM   #1
saint
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iBook battery

I think my iBook battery has just about had it. I have had it for about 2 years now, and it now lasts only about 15 to 20 minutes from a full charge.

This is not a rant, as I know that things don't last forever. What I want to know is whether it is common for a laptop battery to need replacing after that amount of time, and if I get a new battery, will I really get 5 hours from it with normal use?

Also, is it best to get a new battery from Apple, or are there other places that you can get them cheaper?

Thanks
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 09:17 AM   #2
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If your battery is in your computer when you are plugged in it will wear down a lot faster because it will recharge "all the time".

A battery needs to get fully emptied from time to time - then it will have a greater capacity.

I've got a 4 year old ibook and my battery still lasts for at least four hours - and my battery has never been in the computer while I was plugged in.
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 11:13 AM   #3
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Re: iBook battery

Quote:
Originally posted by saint
What I want to know is whether it is common for a laptop battery to need replacing after that amount of time, and if I get a new battery, will I really get 5 hours from it with normal use?

Also, is it best to get a new battery from Apple, or are there other places that you can get them cheaper?

Thanks
Regardless of whether this is a Lithium Ion or NiMH battery, this is about the normal lifespan of the battery (2-3 years is standard I believe). But as fukuhela suggested, try draining it completely and recharging it (do this several times). If it still gets terrible life, ask AppleCare to replace it (if you have AppleCare), or its time to buy a new one.
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 11:21 AM   #4
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You're halfway right, fuku. A battery that is plugged in most of the time will only die sooner if it never gets a chance to discharge completely every so often.

Every Thursday, I run my iBook until it goes to sleep on the battery. It stays in tip-top shape that way. I read on AppleCare KB that there's some kind of power manager that gets reset when you deep-discharge the battery this way (not the one you reset by holding the key combination at startup).

So that's your answer for your next battery, saint. Two years isn't uncommon for a battery to be done, but it IS a little bit on the short side.

If your computer is under AppleCare, it's not inconceivable that Apple will replace your battery.
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 11:42 AM   #5
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I don't know if this is the case woth older books, but my TiBook doesn't charge the battery unless it deops below 96%. That way the battery can stay in and the computer can be plugged in all the time.
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 01:22 PM   #6
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True dat, schiffi, but the reason the battery doesn't recharge until it's below 96% is so the battery doesn't catch fire due to overcharging.
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 01:44 PM   #7
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They don't constantly recharge as mentioned. They claim they are memory free, but taking it through a few cycles could be healthy. Try running it down in the slowest possible way. This might get more out of it, and help the process.


By slowest I mean have the computer on but do nothing. Let the hard drive spin down, etc.
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 06:56 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies.

I might try asking Apple about covering it with AppleCare.

Oh, and one more thing...
I see on the Apple Store that they have batteries and other parts for current and recent computers, but not for computers from more than 2 or 3 years ago. Do they stop supplying parts after a certain amount of time?

The battery I need is listed there at the moment, but I am just wondering about in the future.
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 07:06 PM   #9
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Actually, there is an article in the Apple KB on how to do a full reset of the battery/power manager -- something like that. It involved a succession of completely de- and re-charging and pressinng sum' button, I think. It might help you to get some more life out of your battery.

Sorry for being so vague, I just remember seeing the link here and reading it a while ago.
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 07:19 PM   #10
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so I should take the battery out when im using my ibook while plugged in?
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Old Aug 3, 2003, 11:38 PM   #11
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Just a FYI:

www.macsolutions.com has iBook batteries for $99.00 right now. Much cheaper than the Apple Store.

Regards,
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Old Aug 4, 2003, 08:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by passthejonch
so I should take the battery out when im using my ibook while plugged in?
Apparently this is not necessary with newer laptops. But it seems everyone has a different opinion when it comes to preserving battery life.
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Old Aug 4, 2003, 09:19 AM   #13
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I had my iBook for anout a year and a half when the battery failed. That seemed a little short considering that I rarely used it.
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Old Aug 5, 2003, 12:42 AM   #14
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One more question...
I see in the energy saver preference panel that there is a check box to spin down the hard disk when possible. My hard disk only ever spins down after more than an hour or so. Is this a problem or is it normal?

Surely I would save a lot more power if the hard disk could spin down after about 1 or 2 minutes of inactivity?

Also does anyone have an answer to my earlier question:
Does Apple stop supplying parts for computers that are more than a couple of years old? If so, how easy is it to get parts for older computers that are no longer supported?

thanks.
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Old Aug 5, 2003, 01:55 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by saint
Also does anyone have an answer to my earlier question:
Does Apple stop supplying parts for computers that are more than a couple of years old? If so, how easy is it to get parts for older computers that are no longer supported?

thanks.
Apple has parts for quite some time. If you have the part #, you can call Apple's service center in Memphis and pay for the part. They still have Newton parts. There are also places online that carry parts such as www.wegenermedia.com .

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Old Aug 5, 2003, 02:00 PM   #16
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Battery loading

Hello,

I tought that the battery only loads when the color is changing from green to yellow.

I have my power always plugged in and the color never changes - thats why I tought it is not loading.

Correct ?

Cheers
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Old Aug 5, 2003, 02:29 PM   #17
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Re: Battery loading

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Originally posted by CmdrLaForge
Hello,

I tought that the battery only loads when the color is changing from green to yellow.

I have my power always plugged in and the color never changes - thats why I tought it is not loading.

Correct ?

Cheers
CmdrLaForge
Yes, when the plug ring glows orange, the battery is charging. If it is green, it is not charging. You can easily tell if it is charged or not by the ring color.
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Old Aug 6, 2003, 03:19 AM   #18
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Re: Re: Battery loading

Quote:
Originally posted by MacManDan
Yes, when the plug ring glows orange, the battery is charging. If it is green, it is not charging. You can easily tell if it is charged or not by the ring color.
So - if this is true. May iBook is never charging when fully loaded. (or it does when I'm sleeping). If I use the battery I always unload it completly. Then after loading I don't unplug.

But really - my power is always connected and I never saw that the battery re-charging. In fact when I unplug the battery level are BELOW 96%. E.g. 90% or something.

Cheers
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Old Aug 6, 2003, 08:02 AM   #19
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Well, after fully draining and recharging the battery a few times, I have noticed a significant improvement in battery life. With the screen dimmed down pretty low, I have just got over 80 minutes from it (and counting).

But the weird thing is, after about 25 minutes, it said "your computer is now running on reserve power.... will go to sleep in a few minutes..." and since then, it has kept running. The battery icon in the menu bar has been on 0% for the last hour, and after the time remaining got to 0:00, it now just says "calculating..."

And it is still running off the battery, as I type this.

Weird.
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Old Aug 6, 2003, 08:06 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by saint
Well, after fully draining and recharging the battery a few times, I have noticed a significant improvement in battery life.

And it is still running off the battery, as I type this.

Weird.
That IS weird.

How have you "fully drained" the battery ?
What is the process ?

Cheers
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Old Aug 6, 2003, 08:11 AM   #21
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What I meant by fully draining is I let it run off the battery until it went to sleep, and then eventually turned off.
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Old Aug 9, 2003, 02:09 AM   #22
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Well it looks like my earlier success was just a once-off. The battery is now charging up half way, then saying it is at 100% straight away, and then when running off the battery, it gets to 70% then drops off to zero and goes to sleep.

See the X-Charge graph below (if it works). Has anyone else had these symptoms with their battery?

This seems to me like more of a battery "problem" rather than just an old, weak battery. In this case, is it likely that it would be covered by AppleCare?

cheers.
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Old Aug 9, 2003, 02:17 AM   #23
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BAM! Another crappy battery out there. IF I only had a dollar for every single complaint I've seen about dead batteries, I'd be living on my own island already.

It's dead, Jim. The Battery.... Get it replaced. Yes, if it is still under warranty apple will exchange it.

Last edited by Rezet; Aug 9, 2003 at 02:38 AM.
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