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18 Posts

04-23-2020

United States of America

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  • Posts: 18
  • Registered: ‎04-23-2020
  • Location: United States of America
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  • Message 1 of 4

P1 battery issues: phantom AC power, disappearing battery, and unexpected hibernation

2020-04-23, 8:19 AM

Earlier this year I purchased a ThinkPad P1 20MD (i5-8400H; Nvidia Quadro P1000; Windows 10 x64 1909) and for the past few weeks I've been experiencing a lot of battery/power related issues. 

 

 

  1. When disconnecting the laptop from AC power, sometimes Windows doesn't recognize that the laptop has switched to battery power. The Windows power/battery system tray icon continues to indicate that the laptop is plugged in, the power scheme remains on AC settings, and even Vantage is convinced that an AC adapter is still connected. Plugging and unplugging the AC adapter doesn't change anything, and so far the only solution I've found is to restart Windows.
    I've attached a screenshot of Vantage and Windows system tray from last time this happened.
     
  2. The battery sometimes "disappears" from Windows. Suddenly the battery icon in the system tray becomes crossed out, hovering over it shows "255% available" (wouldn't that be nice?), and when I click on it I see a "No battery present" error message. Meanwhile the laptop continues to happily run on the allegedly non-existent battery. Restarting the computer usually fixes the problem, though once or twice I also had to go into the BIOS, temporarily disable the battery, and then re-enable it on the next boot.
     
  3. Most of the time I use the P1 as a workstation connected to a CalDigit USB-C Pro Dock (which, despite its name, is a Thunderbolt 3 dock). The dock works great, but it does have one downside - it only provides 85W of AC power, which is sufficient to charge the P1 and run CPU-intensive apps, but when high CPU activity is combined with high dGPU activity the system power usage sometimes exceeds 85W. Not by much though - usually it peaks around 90W and then quickly drops back down below 80W. 

    Anyway, when system power consumption exceeds 85W the laptop sometimes responds by suddenly going into hibernation. At first I thought it was just crashing or shutting down, but eventually I figured out the problem: at some point during high CPU+GPU load Windows gets the impression that the laptop is at critical battery level, which then triggers my power scheme's critical battery action: hibernation. (I'm pretty certain it's the DC Critical Battery Action that's being triggered and not the AC Critical Battery Action - because I have the AC one set to "do nothing".)

    I understand that using a 85W charger for a 135W-rated laptop isn't ideal, but triggering critical battery action every time it hits a stressful workload seems less than ideal for a professional workstation. At worst I would expect that in those moments the laptop either throttles its power consumption or temporarily switches to battery power. Is that not the expected behavior in those situations?

 

 

I honestly can't tell if these issues are signs of a faulty battery problem, a system/BIOS problem, or a driver problem? My system is fully up-to-date with the latest drivers and BIOS, all installed via Vantage. I haven't tried opening the laptop yet to check the battery connections, as I wasn't sure if that would void my warranty.

 

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18 Posts

04-23-2020

United States of America

31 Signins

450 Page Views

  • Posts: 18
  • Registered: ‎04-23-2020
  • Location: United States of America
  • Views: 450
  • Message 2 of 4

P1 battery issues: phantom AC power, disappearing battery, and unexpected hibernation

2020-04-25, 23:07 PM
Bringing it up to the top of the page, in hope someone has ideas to share...
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18 Posts

04-23-2020

United States of America

31 Signins

450 Page Views

  • Posts: 18
  • Registered: ‎04-23-2020
  • Location: United States of America
  • Views: 450
  • Message 3 of 4

Re:P1 battery issues: phantom AC power, disappearing battery, and unexpected hibernation

2020-05-03, 20:00 PM

Quick update: 
While the 2nd and 3rd issue I described haven't happened since my original post, I am still experiencing the 1st issue on a regular basis. I'd estimate that every 3rd or 4th time I disconnect my laptop form AC power the system continues to think it's still connected to AC. This is a problem because there's no way to force Windows to switch to a battery power scheme if the system doesn't think it's on battery power. That results in battery getting drained much faster than it should, due to the wrong power management settings being applied. 

 

Has anyone else run into this problem with their ThinkPads?

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18 Posts

04-23-2020

United States of America

31 Signins

450 Page Views

  • Posts: 18
  • Registered: ‎04-23-2020
  • Location: United States of America
  • Views: 450
  • Message 4 of 4

Re:P1 battery issues: phantom AC power, disappearing battery, and unexpected hibernation

2020-12-26, 20:09 PM

I'm still experiencing the first problem described in the original post, and I'm wondering if anyone else has encountered it or, even better yet, has found a permanent solution?

 

When disconnecting the laptop from AC power, sometimes Windows doesn't recognize that the laptop has switched to battery power. The Windows power/battery system tray icon continues to indicate that the laptop is plugged in, the power scheme remains on AC settings, and even Vantage is convinced that an AC adapter is still connected.

I'd say this happens every 3rd or 4th time I disconnect my laptop from AC power. This is a problem because there's no way to force Windows to switch to a battery power scheme if the system doesn't think it's on battery power. That results in battery getting drained much faster than it should, due to the wrong power management settings being applied. 

 

The only workarounds are to either restart the computer or wait until something (not sure what) triggers Windows to finally recognize the laptop is running on battery power. The latter can take anywhere between 15 minutes and several hours, it's entirely unpredictable, so typically a restart is the fastest way to resolve the issue.

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