iBook battery

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by saint, Aug 3, 2003.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #1
    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
     
  2. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2001
    Location:
    Scandinavia
    #2
    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.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #3
    Re: iBook battery

    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.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Schiffi

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Location:
    Missouri
    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors 68000

    Daveman Deluxe

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    #6
    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.
     
  7. acj
    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2003
    #7
    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.
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #8
    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.
     
  9. macrumors 6502a

    crenz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai, China
    #9
    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.
     
  10. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    #10
    so I should take the battery out when im using my ibook while plugged in?
     
  11. Gus
    macrumors 65816

    Gus

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #11
    Just a FYI:

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

    Regards,
    Gus
     
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #12
    Apparently this is not necessary with newer laptops. But it seems everyone has a different opinion when it comes to preserving battery life.
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    #13
    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.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #14
    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.
     
  15. Gus
    macrumors 65816

    Gus

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #15
    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 .

    Regards,
    Gus
     
  16. macrumors 68030

    CmdrLaForge

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #16
    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
    CmdrLaForge
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2003
    #17
    Re: Battery loading

    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.
     
  18. macrumors 68030

    CmdrLaForge

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #18
    Re: Re: Battery loading

    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
    CmdrLaForge
     
  19. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #19
    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.
     
  20. macrumors 68030

    CmdrLaForge

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Location:
    around the world
    #20
    That IS weird.

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

    Cheers
    CmdrLaForge
     
  21. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #21
    What I meant by fully draining is I let it run off the battery until it went to sleep, and then eventually turned off.
     
  22. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    Sydney
    #22
    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.
     
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Rezet

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Location:
    Connecticut, United States of America
    #23
    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.
     

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