iBook Battery problem, solved???

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by scornflake, May 5, 2005.

  1. scornflake macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2005
    Hey everyone...
    like so many of you, I too have been having the 'typical' battery problem that so many have reported with iBooks. if you can view the image I've attempted to attach, you'll see my xbattery curve. Click Here The first problem was it wouldn't charge at all, so I performed the open firmware (Cmd-Opt-o-f) commands reset-nvram and reset-all, and that got me charging again. it was after this that I began running the xbattery app.

    So, as you can see, it would charge from 0% to around 25%, then immediately jump to 100%, as many are experiencing. Discharging, the reverse, from 100% to around 75% in an hour or so, then jumping to sleep and 0%. multiple cycles seemed to make the problem worse, rather than better, when I wondered..."what if the battery isn't actually dead, the iBook just thinks it is, and chooses to go to sleep because of it?"

    so, with the power plugged in for a few seconds, I revived osx, and immediately unplugged it again (with the battery still at 0%). as long as i kept the mouse moving around the screen constantly, it stays awake for a while longer. if you stop the mouse movement, or try to open an app, it goes back to sleep. after repeating this again and again, it became apparent that there was still a significant charge left in the battery, even though it reported 0%.

    Next step, I removed the battery, and connected to an ohmmeter to test voltage. I was still reading 11+ volts DC from the battery, so I found a halogen licht bulb, and quick-and-dirty wired it to the left-most and right-most connectors on the battery. I have no idea which of the 6 connectors on the battery were which, so I just guessed and tried 2...it's from these I was reading the 11+ VDC.

    so, I connected up the halogen, and it lighted.

    I know this is a fairly high-drain bulb, but I have no idea what the specs are, but I connected it, and it's still lit after 2+ hours now.

    I'm wondering...if there's this much charge still left in the battery, will depleting it completely, as evidenced by the bulb eventually going out, allow me to charge "completely" from "true 0%"?

    We shall see.

    It is my hope that unlike resetting the nvram, pram, or else which has seemed to have little effect, that this may do something? it can't get much worse than where I was before I started all of this, so we'll see.

    Any thoughts?
  2. scornflake thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2005
    So Far So Good...

    So, I finished depleting the battery with the lightbulb. It took quite a while, nearly 4 hours. Anyway, once dead, I placed it back in my trusty iBook, and plugged in the power, and booted.

    the battery would not charge. LED on the powercord was green, and unchanging. Well, friends, I've been here before. Shutdown, and rebooted into open firmware, running reset-nvram, followed by reset-all.

    System booted, and is now charging.

    so, it's been 2 hours of charging now, and it's STILL charging, unlike before, where it jumped to 100% after charging to only 21% or 32%, it's still charging at 42%...so, looks like it's at least better than before. I'll check back in a few hours.
  3. scornflake thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2005

    well, that got me to a charge of 50% before jumping to 100%, which is better than I had been experiencing, but not as good as I had hoped...so, I'm going to try it again. Discharging now, we'll see how long it goes..
  4. Sutekidane macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2005
    If the ibook is under a year old or if you have a warranty, you should call apple care to have them send you a replacement battery.
  5. Koodauw macrumors 68040


    Nov 17, 2003
    I have a similiar problem with my PB battery. it charges fine, but when you get dow to 30% or below, while running on battery, itll just shut off. no warning or nothing. It really sucks. I've tried what you tired. I drained the battery completely dead, then recharged it, took forever, but I did it. Still no luck. I ended up buying a new battery. That worked for about 3 months. Now were back to the guessing game. Hope you find a solution. What is this booting into open firmware you speek of? ihave yet to try that.
  6. scornflake thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2005

    Firstly, my battery is indeed old, and no under any sort of apple care anymore. I would totally expect a reduced work timespan for this battery, considering its age, but my problem is this: After draining to 0% again, I removed the battery again, and connected back to the lightbulb. it's burning brightly once again, dispite the iBook claiming it's dead. there's clearly power here that the ibook simply won't recognize.

    What to do?

    does anyone have a working knowledge of the innards of these batteries that they can inform me about? specifically, is there some sort of "chip" inside that may be bad? I ask, 'because I wonder if getting a brand new battery would really fix things, as if the ibook is not interpreting the battery's charged state correctly (it's clearly got considerable juice left, even while the ibook says otherwise), why should I assume it'll interpret the state of a new battery correctly?

  7. scornflake thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2005
    Open Firmware for Koodauw

    Open Firmware, accessed by pressing cmd-option-O-F during, or immediately after the 'startup chime'
    a multitude of things can be performed, command line, but best not to mess with that which you do not understand.

    nvram reset, however, is 'reset-nvram' (without the single quotes)
    followed by:
    'reset-all' (again, sans quotes)

    the system will reboot, and if you have the problem of the battery not charging at all, may take care of it. I've read reports of it working sometimes, and not others...I'm sure, dependent on the root cause of the problem.

    for anyone keeping up with this thread, I'm still (after 3 or so hours) discharging via the lighted bulb...so there's CONSIDERABLE juice left in this battery, even though the ibook states 0%.

    I think I need a higher-drain bulb, this is getting tedious.

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