Battery help

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Peter Franks, Aug 10, 2011.

  1. Peter Franks macrumors 65816

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    #1
    Sorry to bring up old ground again, but this is so frustrating. If I'm doing very little and 20% of battery goes in less than an hour, wouldn't you say there is something very wrong with the battery? and now 30% in just an hour, Email programme open, and Safari to write this... but very little else.

    I've read all there is about the battery do's and dont's from the links you guys have given me but nothing has helped. It's now a 3 month old MPB i5. Why so lousy on battery?

    You guys that get 7 odd hours, what do you do on it? Is there a way I can check things to see if it's functioning OK?
     
  2. JediMeister macrumors 68040

    Joined:
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    #2
    Did you migrate from your old Mac, if you had one? The applications you have open according to the Dock are not the only active processes on the computer. You can check for runaway processes using Activity Monitor and after quitting the process, see if there is any improvement in the battery performance.

    The only ways to have the battery itself diagnosed are by calling AppleCare or having a local service provider or Apple Store perform a battery diagnostic. I've heard good things about Coconut Battery and iStat, but Apple won't do warranty work on the computer off of what those utilities report...
     
  3. Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Thanks for that, I really don't get how it can run down as quick as it does, because there isn't really a lot of people on these forums that moan about the battery life, a few yeh but not as many as I would think if they have the current MBP.

    No I didn't have one before, this is my first Mac, and like I say the battery life figures were a big factor of what swayed me towards the Mac, compared to the Sony laptops. So it is quite important to me, because I'm frightened to do certain things on it when i'm out and need battery life. It's always in the back of my mind knowing it will deplete in a couple of hours max. To even think about using to run itunes and listen to some music while I'm working perish the thought. What should it actually give me with normal use. Charging time is under 2 hours from about 8% so assume that's correct? It did show 4 hours to charge but that corrected itself pretty quick tonight to about 1 hour 50 odd till full
     
  4. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #4
    You can use coconut battery to check the status of your battery, it probably shouldn't be draining that fast, especially the newer ones.

    But the first thing I would do is to open up activity monitor and see what is using up the CPU. If there is anything abnormal then you can quit the process from there
     
  5. Peter Franks, Aug 10, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2011

    Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Thanks, to be honest I wouldn't know what I was looking at... the fan only goes mental when I use 'secure empty trash' and when it freezes, Is that how I'd know if CPU is working overtime or am I stuck in Windows mode and it's not fan relevant if using large amount of cpu.

    Out of interest why won't 'force quit' work for me, I always have to power off using off button to clear it. The shift, alt, cmd, esc etc never works and obviously the spinning disc prevents me from using any drop down commands.

    If I'm looking in the right place, list of CPU are all 0.something or other, Safari 0.6 and obviously activity monitor going up to 7% ish, only one which is in the 14 to 18% is Flash Player (Safari Internet Plug In) but I'm only on this site and not using Flash, Is that normal or causing a problem?
     
  6. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #6
    Well first go to activity monitor which is in applications->utilities. Afterwards make sure the processed are sorted by CPU, so just click on the bar on top of that column. Then just look at the percentages and see if anything is abnormally high (like above 50%) for an extended period of time.. If you were doing something intensive this would be normal but if it's safari and you are just web browsing that shouldn't be happening

    And you should be able to right click a stuck app on the dock and hit "force quit." This doesn't work for you? Also try going to the apple menu and opening up the force quit window and try to quit apps from there.
     
  7. Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #7
    Thanks, see my edit above with result.

    Won't let me do anything when frozen, keys won't work or cursor, just the spinning dics
     
  8. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #8
    Oh, does it freeze up like that often?

    And the flash is probably just ads or something on the website, that CPU usage is low, you should be getting better battery life if it is like that all the time.

    I'm not sure what the issue is, but if you are experiencing frequent freeze ups I would take it in to the apple store and see if there is an issue. If an application goes awry, you should just be able to quit it without the whole computer freezing.
     
  9. Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #9
    The freeze ups are usually when I've got an external drive plugged into it looking for some old stuff, more often than not. But I always read about the drop down force close and the keys to force close, and I always have to just press on/off button because nothing works for me.

    As far as battery goes... can you give me a clue as to what you should be getting with average use during a working day
     
  10. cgrendy3 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    #10
    Just as an aside Peter, I got to this thread because I'm having similar battery drain problems.... BUT, my Mac is THREE YEARS OLD!!! So, yours at only 3 months should NOT be draining so fast! I use my Mac all the time, with several programs running, Safari and Chrome browsers going simultaneously, etc... so, my low battery problem is explainable... I'm just looking for some suggestions for how to 'suck all the juice' out of my battery before I hafta get a new one.

    It seems you're having too many problems for a Mac that is so young and not used in odd ways... lol... I mean, lots of software running, third-party programs on board, major RAM eaters, etc. You may be going around in circles when the problem is not something you can fix. Unfortunately, Macs do have issues that are common with certain lots, or release dates, but it can be nearly impossible to discover that info.... Apple doesn't like to broadcast any problems! :rolleyes:

    If your Mac is only 3 months, I wouldn't even tinker around with fixes, I'd go straight to an Apple Store and talk to someone at the Genius Bar if you can (if there's one in the area, etc.). They are very helpful, and generally aware that some Macs do come off the assembly line faulty!

    Back in 2009, my hubby had a Hard Drive failure with his MBP after only a few months of very light usage! After digging deeply into research (it's kinda my thing) I found out that one HD version produced on a particular date -- and only used in the 15" MBPs -- the exact model my DH owned -- had an extremely high rate of failure! In the Automotive Industry, this would have triggered a RECALL! So, I'm sure the guys at the genius bar knew exactly what was wrong when we showed up! Hubby's HD was replaced with few questions and no charge! :p

    Apple has also had problems in the past with the MagSafe adapters (power cords/chargers) for their portables. My mom was experiencing charging problems with her MBP, and only after her MBP was stolen (!!!) and her insurance replaced it -- did I realize that Apple had started using a NEW type of MagSafe adapter for the MBPs. Here's what Apple says regarding that 'issue:' http://support.apple.com/kb/ts1713

    Don't get me wrong... I LOVE my Mac... but, as a professor I once had would say... "In the world of automobiles, when a problem is discovered they issue a free RECALL, but in the world of computers, when a problem is discovered they issue a new VERSION and charge you for it!"
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #11
    Do you have Parallels installed on your Mac?

    Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes". Then look to see what may be consuming system resources.

    Read the BATTERY LIFE FROM A CHARGE section of the following link:
    This should answer most, if not all, of your battery questions:
     
  12. Peter Franks, Aug 11, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

    Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Thanks for your input people, yes going to see a 'genius' is probably on the cards.. I do hate going into those stores though, so busy in there, but does make sense. No parallels and nothing pops out in the processes no.

    I took a reading of a charge from yesterday and a charge from today for you to see. Can you see anything telling here. The only thing that stands out to me is that the Amperage (mA) is miles apart from one charge to the other, they were both charged to full capacity yesterday and today from about 8% to 100%.

    Does that mean anything at all, what does the mA mean? Should those readings be so completely different or is anything else here relevant? And what is cycle count, that's not the amount of times I've charged is it? It's been far more than that

    Last night's charge


    Charge Remaining (mAh): 5557
    Fully Charged: Yes
    Charging: No
    Full Charge Capacity (mAh): 5557
    Health Information:
    Cycle Count: 34
    Condition: Normal
    Battery Installed: Yes
    Amperage (mA): -24
    Voltage (mV): 12470

    and then

    Today's charge


    Charge Remaining (mAh): 5480
    Fully Charged: Yes
    Charging: No
    Full Charge Capacity (mAh): 5599
    Health Information:
    Cycle Count: 35
    Condition: Normal
    Battery Installed: Yes
    Amperage (mA): -764
    Voltage (mV): 12346



    One of the battery links on the FAQ states ......Introducing the longest-lasting Mac notebook battery ever. Only on the 17-inch MacBook Pro. 8 hours only on the 17"? What are the claims on the 13"? I thought they claim that on these too. Although, don't get me wrong, I'd be happy with a 5 hour stint.
     
  13. Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Amperage

    Can anyone tell me what Amperage is, or why it shows - 764 after one charge and then -24 after the next charge one day later? What is it and does that explain this inexcusable excuse of a battery life?
     
  14. Macman45 macrumors demi-god

    Macman45

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    #14
    Just A thought

    This could be a legacy Windows power mode issue.

    If I remeber correctly, you had "High Performance" Balanced and something lower.

    You won't have those options, but that could be the cause.

    As above check for process strings running. Disable ONE at a time, and re-test. I doubt you have a bad battery.

    When I next get my laptop out.....Frankly useless to me now. I will do some windows digging:)
     
  15. Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #15
    I feel really stupid now... but, not quite sure what you mean:eek:
     
  16. -tWv- macrumors 68000

    -tWv-

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    #16
    Don't worry, I don't really know what he's talking about either.. :confused:
     
  17. Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Hah! let's hope he comes back and puts us both out of our misery then!
     
  18. Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #18
    Is there really no-one who knows what amperage is and what it means when one day it's 764 and the next 24? Which forum would know that on here?
     
  19. Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #19
    OK, you don't want to answer the Amperage question, I get it.... :confused:
    but...

    ... When I use the MBP every day and turn off at night, switching on the following morning usually loses 1 or 2 % from the reading. However, is it normal for a switch off on Friday night, to Monday morning to have lost as much as 12%? Just wondered if anyone can answer that?
     
  20. Rowf macrumors regular

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    Feb 7, 2011
    #20
    Hi Peter,

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/1327581?start=0&tstart=0

    This link might help to answer your question.
    Assuming that the info from the link is correct the amperage readings that you have given show the battery discharge rate whilst using your macbook on battery power.

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_can_you_know_the_amperage_of_a_battery

    The above is a generalised answer for the question but gives a pretty good explanation.

    Yes, I was at a loose end........:)
     
  21. Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #21
    Loose ends can be good...! Thank you, I think the fact those Amperage readings are so different from one day to the next, and I'm losing that much charge over a very short period even when it's switched off is pretty conclusive to me that I have a dud battery.. Whether I can do anything about it as I can't be without it is going to be a tough call.
     

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