Is something wrong with my battery?

jsl20

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 9, 2011
13
0
I've got a late 2007 macbook (santa rosa), which I've managed to get through 697 charge cycles. It still manages to get a few hours off the mains electricity, however recently the battery-related processes seem to have gone awry.

Firstly, I no longer get "plug me in" warnings when there's 5% of charge left. Instead the macbook just shuts itself off, which can be annoying! Secondly, the light on the magsafe doesn't always work. It will be orange whilst charging, as usual, but then after a while will simply go out. The machine is still charging when the light is out. I've checked system profiler, apparently the health of the battery is still "normal," but the problems seem to suggest otherwise!

Anyone had this before? Can I get away with resetting something like the SMC or is it new battery time?

Thanks!
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
146
Batteries have a certain number of cycles in them, do you know what cycle you're on? 2007 is a long time ago. I would certainly check the cycles and perhaps look into buying another battery.
 

jsl20

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 9, 2011
13
0
batteries have a certain number of cycles in them, do you know what cycle you're on? 2007 is a long time ago. I would certainly check the cycles and perhaps look into buying another battery.
697.
 

jsl20

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 9, 2011
13
0
standard white macbook, 2.2GHz.

I'm sure apple's suggested max cycle limit is somewhat conservative! Looks like mine has over doubled their recommendations before any problems have started.

Wouldn't the health flag up in the condition part of system profiler though? Mine still says "normal."
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
146
You would think it would but more than twice the cycles suggests the battery may be shot. I needed a new PB battery after about 700 cycles. I understand their numbers are less (Apple's) but conservative or not, that would be my first guess at what the problem may be. It is worth a shot and hopefully you can find a fairly inexpensive battery on eBay.
 

jsl20

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 9, 2011
13
0
they're relatively cheap on eBay, might be the best way forward.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,427
762
they're relatively cheap on eBay, might be the best way forward.
I wouldn't trust or recommend any non-Apple battery, due to the number of problems reported with "knockoff" batteries. Also, there is no assurance that knockoff batteries have the same charging technology that Apple uses, involving the battery, the MagSafe adapter and the Mac's logic board.

Battery Replacement

The link below should answer most, if not all, of your battery/charging questions. If you haven't already done so, I highly recommend you take the time to read it.

Also, you could try resetting the SMC and calibrating your battery to see if it helps (steps for calibration are in the FAQ). Use iStat Pro (free) or iStat Menus ($16) to get accurate readings of your battery health and much more.
 

jsl20

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 9, 2011
13
0
I'm aware of things like iStat pro, according to which I have 87% health in my battery. I might just live with it for a few more months then buy a new MBP/MBA, rather than spending £90 on a battery for a 5 year old machine!
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,427
762
I'm aware of things like iStat pro, according to which I have 87% health in my battery. I might just live with it for a few more months then buy a new MBP/MBA, rather than spending £90 on a battery for a 5 year old machine!
Try calibrating your battery and see what your health shows afterward. If you haven't properly calibrated recently, that 87% could be very inaccurate.
 

jsl20

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 9, 2011
13
0
does it matter that my macbook doesn't go to sleep when its running low on charge? it just switches itself off completely. according to the apple support page you have to let it get low enough to force the computer to go to sleep during the calibration process. I've not done this in the 5 years I've had the macbook to be honest! I let it run down every month, and use it off the mains as suggested but I've never calibrated the battery.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,427
762
does it matter that my macbook doesn't go to sleep when its running low on charge? it just switches itself off completely. according to the apple support page you have to let it get low enough to force the computer to go to sleep during the calibration process. I've not done this in the 5 years I've had the macbook to be honest! I let it run down every month, and use it off the mains as suggested but I've never calibrated the battery.
No, it doesn't matter. Just drain the battery until it either sleeps or shuts down on its own, then leave it that way, unplugged, for 5 hours or longer. The steps in the CALIBRATION section of the FAQ are pretty clear.
 

jsl20

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 9, 2011
13
0
cheers. the FAQ does say to wait until it sleeps-which my macbook can't do so I wanted to check.
 

jsl20

macrumors newbie
Original poster
May 9, 2011
13
0
calibration done. istat says my battery is now at 86% at 698 charge cycles. the light on the magsafe is still intermittent. looks like its just getting old!
 

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