11-03-2010 02:18 PM
I've been a happy owner of an Ideapad Y550 for more than a year, when suddenly my battery capacity started to drop RADICALLY. When I say radically, I mean that - say - on Monday it lasted for 2,5 hours with a full recharge, by Sunday this decreased to 10 minutes, with only 1 recharge cycle in between.
Yes, I would use my laptop plugged in most of the time.
I thought this wasn't normal, so I performed a complete discharge - recharge cycle but it remained the same. Windows shuts itself down automatically after 10-20 minutes uptime (from a full charge).
Since I travel a lot, I need my laptop a lot as well. So I ordered a battery through Ebay from a 3rd party, for I decided not to trust Lenovo's batteries anymore. I've had many batteries before, but never saw a battery die that fast...
Why I opened this topic is because I suspect there is nothing wrong with the battery itself. After I placed my order on Ebay, I found out something curious: since Linux has totally different mechanisms, I thought I'd check the system uptime on it. And guess what: the system showed the battery level to reach 0% after 10 minutes, and IT KEPT RUNNING AT 0% FOR MORE THAN 30 MINUTES! (how long exactly, I don't know, I just discovered it last night and I fell asleep... lol)
So I did some research and I've found out the following:
- A lot of people have had the same experience with Ideapad machines: batteries dying on an instant, with 10 minutes uptimes, etc.
- There are some cases when it's not the battery but the ACPI which causes the troubles.
- Since ACPI is being used by all of the software including the OS installed on the PC to report the status of the battery, a faulty ACPI could cause such troubles.
- Because Windows (especially 7) is sooooo much user friendly, if there is anything wrong the ACPI or the motherboard, it remains completely hidden from the user, as no software can control a faulty HW.
So, to cut the long story short, here's the problem.
I don't know if this issue came along with the new BIOS released this year or not, but it seems to affect a lot of people, and up until now their only solution was to order a new battery - which I'm sure didn't solve this problem.
Since I'm not an engineer of motherboards, I'd love to see your ideas ladies and gents.
11-03-2010 06:47 PM
Well, here's what I know.
Windows 7 actually really does everything to ensure your active work doesn't get lost, and actually goes into a sort-of hybrid hibernation at around 2% battery.
With any other laptop, you could boot back up, and drive the battery right to empty. However, it seems Lenovo has something programmed into the BIOS that prevents it from turning on once the battery reports 0%.
The issue with notebook batteries is that the calculation for percentage is actually done within the battery on a charging circuit, rather than via software.
Due to fluctuations in manufacturing, usually these boards are self-calibrating. I've read mixed results as to whether this can be reset on Lenovo lithium-ion batteries, but I see no reason why it cannot.
The issue, of course, is the skewed results from extremely short charge/discharge cycles. Eventually, it begins to believe that your 90% is actually 0%. That, in combination with the logarithmic normal curve of battery charge capabilities causes the extremely short life.
Now, if you read about the Lenovo Thinkpads, or the legacy IBM Thinkpads, they have software that basically fully discharges that battery, then fully charges it. Obviously, the consumer end does not offer this software. However, a simple electronics circuit can fully drain the battery to 0 Amp-hours. All you would do is find a way to discharge the voltage.
Most likely, the best approach would be to find some indicator bulbs used for 24 volt industrial systems. It'd probably take a long time to drain, but it'll guarantee a full drain.
Either way, I picked up another battery from Lenovo for about $100, and I can probably rebuild the battery with OEM cells, so it's not too much of a concern for me. But still, if a battery lasts 16 months, you've done well.
11-13-2010 03:10 PM - edited 11-13-2010 03:10 PM
I guess I'm re-opening this thread...
Well the problem just started with my laptop too so I was googling... But is this really due to the hardware or due to Windows 7.... Cuz while I was Googling, I found a lot of people who have this problem are not all people who own a Lenovo, but they all have one thing in common.... Windows 7..... It also looks like Windows 7 will permanentely kill the battery, but is it for real *scared*... I just purchased my laptop a about 10 months ago.... And this happens only after I changed my OS to Windows 7...
Some more info about the Windows 7 regarding this battery issue.
11-13-2010 07:40 PM
I am having this problem as well, with an Ideapad Y530. On one flight I was able to play Civilization V for over an hour on the battery, and on the return flight it was less than 10 minutes. Since then, I have had a message that said I should replace my battery. The laptop is about 1.5 years old.
11-14-2010 03:48 AM
The hard part of my issue is that my warranty period got over last month....
I'd be very glad if there is a way to troubleshoot this issue... Buying a new battery will also eventually lead to this problem, and I can't afford another laptop either....>.<