iBook does shut down instead of sleep when reserve battery used up

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by kathyo, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto
    #1
    I've always loved the power management on my ibook G4 (recently updated to OS X 10.3.9). Power outage in the building? Howls of despair from my colleagues, but my iBook doesn't care. And if I keep working by battery after they all give up and go home, eventually, hours later, the battery bar turns red, and the early warning about battery power getting low comes on. Finally, the message about running out of reserve battery power comes up, and within a minute or so the iBook reminds me it really is time to go home by peacefully going to sleep. I can leave confident that when it is plugged back into live power, it will wake up right where I left it, with all files and apps just as they were when it went to sleep.

    Until this week. Twice now, when I've run my battery to the end of it's "reserve power", instead of a graceful sleep I've gotten a crackly noise and complete shutdown. When plugged in it needs to boot from scratch. Worst of all, various settings of open apps seem to get blown! When I brought Mail up after the first unanticipated shutdown, all my mail was marked unread and the flags were all gone. It happened again today, and this time Mail was unaffected but iOrganize, the lovely listmaker/organizer which has come to record and plan all aspects of my life, was reset to blank! I have a backup from last week, but plenty of things entered since then are lost. Yikes!

    I thought I must have changed a setting in the energy saver preferences, but I don't see anything that looks remotely related to this issue. I sure hope somebody out there can tell me why this is suddenly happening, and how to make it stop!! Has something happened to my "reserve battery"? Is it related to the upgrade to 10.3.9? (I was on a different 10.3 before, I think it was 10.3.7).

    KathyO
     
  2. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto
    #2
    running on reserve battery ->shutdown

    I'm surprised nobody has had any ideas on this one. Is the "reserve battery" actually a separate battery, that may have died or become compromised? Or does that term just refer to the final bit of charge in the regular battery? I've read in other forums that an unplugged ibook survives in sleep mode for a few minutes when the battery is physically removed, so perhaps it is running off this other power source? I don't lose the clock settings, so it's not a dead clock battery.

    TIA,
    kathyO
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    maxterpiece

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    #3
    only thing i can think of is that your battery is getting old. As the batteries get old, computers have a harder time reading how much power is left. My old iBook, before i retired it, would say I had like 30 mins of battery left, then it'd put itself to sleep a minute or 2 later. Before it got to that point it would just go to sleep like 30 seconds after my little reserve power message came up. It could be that your computer is overestimating the charge left in the battery and is running it down until it is completely drained. If you are getting less than like an hour and a half of life on a full charge then your battery is getting pretty old. Also - I'm pretty sure it's not good to run your battery all the way down. It makes the battery lose its ability to hold a full charge even sooner.
     
  4. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4

    I'm not so sure about this. From what I've heard, it's good to flatten the battery and then do a full recharge afterwards every now and then.
     
  5. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2005
    Location:
    Florida
    #5
    I've done much reading on this topic and it seems that you are somewhat correct. To get the best life out of your battery, you should occasionally let it drain to about 20%. These were test results for the longest life from a single battery. I'll try to find the link to this article.
     
  6. Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6

    Something like this? :)

    kathyo, when you charge it back up, do you wait until the light is green before taking it off the wall again? I recommend doing this.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto
    #7
    Thanks, that was very interesting and informative.

    Yes, usually. Not every time, but much more often than not.

    kathyO
     
  8. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto
    #8
    A possible solution

    I tinkered around with a lot of things, and the problem seems to have gone away. I did get one sleep-with-no-warning yesterday, but haven't had any more unexpected total shutdowns. Since I was playing around with a lot of things, I can't be sure, but I *think* the key action was deleting the com.apple.PowerManagement.plist file. If this helps anyone else, please post a confirmation! Raven
     
  9. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto
    #9
    Nope, that wasn't it

    Just wanted to warn anyone following this thread, it wasn't cured after all. Had another unwarned shutdown the day after posting this. Now I've just taken to sending it to sleep whenever I get near the "red zone" of low battery. Still wish I knew what caused the change!

    A very Mac-savvy friend said he'd never gotten a warning since switching to OS X - though at least his sleeps instead of shutting down.

    -Raven

     

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