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56 Posts

11-24-2007

Israel

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Broken battery charge threshold behavior on T60

2011-11-01, 12:04 PM

I've opened a thread about it on the Thinkpad forums, but no resolution was found. Decided to try here, to reach more users, and maybe someone closer to Lenovo engineering. :)

 

The issue is as follows:

From time to time, at seemingly random points, although often related to dock/undock actions, the T60 ignores its charge threshold. Keep in mind - it does not forget, it ignores: The Power Manager will display the correct thresholds (94%-98%), and the battery will still be charged all the way to 100%.

I thought maybe there is something wrong with the T60. But it happens with both of my T60s, and also with the T42.

It was suggested that perhaps the Power Manager version I use has a bug in it. I doubted it, since I have seen this broken behavior take place with the laptop being ON and running Windows, as well as with it being OFF (or hibernated or sleeping). I also believe I witnessed it at least once under Linux with tp_smapi (i.e., battery charges to 100%, even though start/stop thresholds are apparently set, and read correctly with tp_smapi).

But who knows, maybe I'm wrong. After all, a few members testified that the feature works perfectly with their T60.

So a few days ago I installed Power Manager 1.99j, the latest version for WinXP (normally I run the old pre-1.51 versions, because I don't like the new slow GUI).

Computer was docked for a few days (including sleep intervals), everything was fine.

Last night, I undocked the computer while it was running and went to work on battery. The battery discharged to about 70% before I finished my work. Set the computer to hibernate, and put it back on the dock (the Advanced Mini-Dock, to be specific).

Come back this morning, fire it on - battery is at 100%, even though the thresholds are correct.

I am pulling hairs here - is this NORMAL? Why doesn't it ever happen with my T410? Granted it's running Win7 and the new Power Manager. Is that really the culprit? Is there a bug in all XP versions, even the latest ones? 1.99j was released in August 2011, on the same day as the latest version 3.62 for Vista/7. It is still being actively updated.

Is there anyone here that has the charge thresholds working correctly for him for these machines, on Windows XP?

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2252 Posts

01-02-2011

US

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Re: Broken battery charge threshold behavior on T60

2011-11-01, 15:25 PM

This may be oversimplified, but my first guess is this.

 

When the machine is running, the charge is controlled by software (power manager), and stops at the correct threshold. When your operating system is shut down, the charger is run by it's hardware/firmware, and will charge to 100%. 

 

This should be easy to confirm/exclude as the cause.

ThinkPad W-510 i7-820QM(1.73-3.06GHz) Quad Core... ThinkPad T500, T9900, 8gb SSD...FrankNpad T-60p/61p (X9000 2.8ghz) 8gb SSD ips FlexView...ThinkPad T-61p (T9300 2.5ghz) 8gb ram...Thinkpad X-61 Tablet 8gb ram.
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56 Posts

11-24-2007

Israel

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Re: Broken battery charge threshold behavior on T60

2011-11-01, 20:13 PM

This is not the issue (at least not in the simplified version). :(

 

Most of the time, if the laptop correctly stopped at the threshold, I can turn it off or put it in sleep/hibernate, and it will not charge to 100%. Conversely, the problem can often be reproduced by undocking and redocking, sometimes working undocked but plugged into the mains, but without the laptop ever being turned off in between.

 

Obviously something in the transitional states confuses the battery embedded controller, but I haven't figured out what. And evidently, the new T410 laptop I have with Win7 and the Vista/7 Power Manager, behaves far better.

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2252 Posts

01-02-2011

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Re: Broken battery charge threshold behavior on T60

2011-11-01, 21:38 PM

The question I'm wondering is "does the charging circuit have the ability to remember the software settings even when the operating system isn't booted"?.

 

If so, does it save these settings in memory that will survive a power loss?  or will the settings be lost if power is interrupted. What I'm thinking is that it may behave properly as long as it remembers your settings, but if you were to remove the battery and ac adapter, then plug it back in without booting the software, will it then revert to 100% charge threshold?  If this does temporarily cause it to charge to 100%, then is something related to docking/undocking the unit similar to removing the power?

 

These questions pose no solutions, but if you can understand the cause, then you can predict when to expect the charge level to be ignored, and what can be done to prevent it. If removal of all power and/or docking change causes this, then you could remember that you need to start the operating system everytime you make this change if you want to avoid a 100% charge. 

 

I'm kinda curious myself as to what's causing this, I don't have a T60 to test with, but my T61 may behave the same way, so I may do some testing when I have time.

 

 

ThinkPad W-510 i7-820QM(1.73-3.06GHz) Quad Core... ThinkPad T500, T9900, 8gb SSD...FrankNpad T-60p/61p (X9000 2.8ghz) 8gb SSD ips FlexView...ThinkPad T-61p (T9300 2.5ghz) 8gb ram...Thinkpad X-61 Tablet 8gb ram.
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56 Posts

11-24-2007

Israel

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  • Message 5 of 6

Re: Broken battery charge threshold behavior on T60

2011-11-02, 7:19 AM

wrote:

The question I'm wondering is "does the charging circuit have the ability to remember the software settings even when the operating system isn't booted"?




It does.

 


wrote:

If so, does it save these settings in memory that will survive a power loss?  or will the settings be lost if power is interrupted. What I'm thinking is that it may behave properly as long as it remembers your settings, but if you were to remove the battery and ac adapter, then plug it back in without booting the software, will it then revert to 100% charge threshold?



No, it won't survive a power loss. Indeed if both battery and AC are removed (or if battery is fully drained), the thresholds are forgotten. However, I've been experiencing thresholds being ignored without any of the aforementioned scenarios.

 

You are probably right that something in the process of docking/undocking confuses the unit. I don't believe it's by design, because (a) it sounds stupid to me if it is, and (b) My T410 experiences none of it, and I dock/undock it all the time.

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7651 Posts

11-24-2007

USA

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  • Message 6 of 6

Re: Broken battery charge threshold behavior on T60

2011-11-02, 12:47 PM

You're definitely onto something here.

 

I've noticed that type of behaviour on my T43p, and I don't even have it docked. At some point in the game it just forgets the settings. However, never bothered me enough to really investigate. Might just do that now...stay tuned...

Cheers,

George




In daily use: R60F, R500F, T61, T410

Collecting dust: T60

Enjoying retirement: A31p, T42p,

Non-ThinkPads: Panasonic CF-31 & CF-52, HP 8760W




Starting Thursday, 08/14/2014 I'll be away from the forums until further notice. Please do NOT send private messages since I won't be able to read them. Thank you.
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