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07-08-2014

Ukraine

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x121e "A battery error has occurred. The battery cannot be charged. Replace the battery"

2014-07-08, 8:26 AM

My battery (FRU: 42t4957) is stuck at 2% and refuses to charge:

I kept it at 40-50% most of the time by changing battery threshold. Total cycle count was about 80 (84 now) first use date 2013-03.

On Saturday I tried to run a "discharge-charge-discharge-charge" cycle (by watching some movies) to reset the gauge of my battery. During 2nd discharge my laptop hibernated due to low charge much earlier than expected, when I turned it on it showed that the max capacity is 28 Wh and the battery is in the "poor" condition.

I tried to perform automatic gauge reset but didn't get much (29 Wh). I updated power manager and performed another automatic reset which failed too.

So I tried to make a manual reset and left my laptop paying a movie for a night. On Monday I plugged my AC adapter in but found out that the battery won't charge: "a battery error has occurred the battery cannot be charged".

I cleared residual capacitance by pushing the power button several times and reset the BIOS to defaults but got nothing.

If this problem can't be sold I would like to know the reason of it to avoid such things in the future. While googling this forum I met contradictory opinions on battery reset: ones say that it's extremely harmful because battery "doesn't like" to be discharged to 0%, others say its harmless.

2014-07-07_152616.png

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3017 Posts

03-15-2014

Bangalore

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Re: x121e "A battery error has occurred. The battery cannot be charged. Replace the battery&quo

2014-07-08, 10:35 AM

Hi Dimaz30,

 

Welcome to Lenovo Community!

 

As per your query we understood that you are facing issue with Battery not charging on ThinkPad X121e.

 

To resolve the issue you have to replace the battery, as per the screenshot which you have mentioned that there is an error in the battery and suggested to replace. And you have performed all types of troubleshooting steps for the issue.

 

I strongly suggest you to visit our authorized service center and get it replaced.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Best regards,

Hemanth Kumar



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2 Posts

07-08-2014

Ukraine

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Re: x121e "A battery error has occurred. The battery cannot be charged. Replace the battery&amp

2014-07-08, 16:05 PM

hemanth_lenovo

OK I'll replace the battery.

Should I avoid battery gauge resets in the future? I performed it around 30 times and I think it may be the causation of my problem. I heard an opinion that deep discharge that happens during battery reset is extremely harmful.

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8070 Posts

01-13-2008

US

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Re: x121e "A battery error has occurred. The battery cannot be charged. Replace the battery&amp

2014-07-08, 16:57 PM

Hi,

 

A battery reset it sometimes useful - and necessary - but...

 

There are protection circuits in the battery and if a reset is done on a battery near failure it can trip those circuits and shut down the battery permanently.

 

IMHO, don't do a reset unless it's really warranted - usable capacity is well below rated capacity.  It's probably not something to do on a regular basis, again IMHO.

 

Z.


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278 Posts

12-15-2012

US

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Re: x121e "A battery error has occurred. The battery cannot be charged. Replace the battery&quo

2014-07-11, 16:30 PM

wrote:


OK I'll replace the battery.

Should I avoid battery gauge resets in the future? I performed it around 30 times and I think it may be the causation of my problem. I heard an opinion that deep discharge that happens during battery reset is extremely harmful.


Hello in Ukraine,

 

many Christian prayers have gone up for your war-torn land. I have a friend who is a high-ranking Marine currently stationed in Ukraine / Russian border. He speaks fluent Russian and is an experienced translator/ negotiator working for peace in that region. Interesting thing- he has in his possession a custom T410 laptop I prepared for him which he is using in his work over there. He wrote me, "I was gratified to see closeness to our Savior saved on ____  [he code named the laptop after one of my online names]... I like Ezekiel [referring to the Book of Ezekiel from the Holy Bible, which discusses Russia and other nations in last days prophecy].  Hope all works out well on this project..." I think he appreciates the Bible and some Christian songs and videos I loaded onto his laptop for him :smileyhappy: I shipped the laptop to his home & he took it with him to Ukraine just as this conflict began in early March. He tells me U.S. military has many T410 and X201 laptops in their service. Anyway, I am taking no sides in this conflict just praying for everyone involved, especially the people of Ukraine, God's Peace and Healing to your nation. 

 

In your post above, you ask the question, "Should I avoid battery gauge resets in the future? I performed it around 30 times and I think it may be the causation of my problem. I heard an opinion that deep discharge that happens during battery reset is extremely harmful." I will answer your question bluntly (frankly). Let me say I do NOT speak for Lenovo, nor work for Lenovo. I also do NOT speak for anyone else on this Forum. This is my personal view. I learned a long time ago not to fear man, only fear God. And not to use diplomacy as a cloak for cowardice :smileywink: So here is my humble opinion, (based on hundreds of hours of research, studying, testing, and actually timing these lithium-ion batteries in real life use!, and yes, I have an x121e and some x121e batteries):

 

(1) Yes, you killed your battery.

(2) Yes, the battery gauge reset software in Lenovo Power Manager is a partner in crime. It assisted in killing your (already weak) battery.

(3) No, we're not going to send you to jail. You were an unwitting accomplice. Battery gauge reset (under "battery maintenance" tab in Lenovo Power Manager) is the real culprit to blame. Let us put him in prison, and throw away the key.

(4) I think your regular use of these battery charging thresholds is a mistake (I will explain why later on). This probably contributed to your battery's poor state of health:


wrote:

I kept it at 40-50% most of the time by changing battery threshold. Total cycle count was about 80 (84 now) first use date 2013-03.




BTW, battery dead after 80 cycles on a Sanyo (which produces decent quality battery cells) is not acceptable.

 

I cannot understand the logic behind this (part of the otherwise useful Lenovo Power Manager) software. I wish there was an optional version of Lenovo Power Manager with the battery gauge reset option removed. I really do! I have sold many, many Lenovo laptops, and always load Power Manager as a courtesy. But I am afraid new, uninformed laptop owners will run this (deadly) power gauge reset tool and kill their battery. It is a well-established fact that deep-discharging a lithium-ion (li-ion) battery is the worst thing you can do to it. 

 

Lenovo Power Manager battery alarm adjust.pngYou would be better off just remembering that "when my battery shows 30 minutes remaining, it is about to suddenly cut off " and just adjust battery alarms (in Lenovo Power Manager---> Global power settings ---> Alarms). Then, check the box that says "Apply these settings to all power plans." Change the  "Low battery" alarm from default 10% to a much higher percentage, and "Critical battery alarm" from default 5% to a much higher percentage. Also change "Critical low battery" "action" from "Hibernate" to "Shut down." (Just set Microsoft Word and other programs to auto-save your work every few minutes so you don't lose data by shutting down). This will help to guard your battery from accidentally over-discharging. Do a little math, use common sense, and calculate some good alarm settings based on the actual full charge capacity your battery provides in real life use. And one more thing: Don't go by the amount shown in Lenovo Power manager if  it says 56wh but you see it's cutting off with 1 hour still left, it's obviously not still at 56wh. The battery gauge is inaccurate but what to do? Deep discharge it? NO! Do you think deep discharging a battery will magically add life to it?  (Don't worry, my friend in Ukraine, I am not speaking directly to you. I am just speaking passionately right now as this is something I have much experience with and people keep giving such ignorant/ ill-informed/ poor advice on this subject). Yes, I have seen a full charge/ discharge to about 4wh or 5wh (NOT a deep-discharge) actually increase the full-charge capacity to a slightly higher level- but this was on batteries which had been sitting in storage for a while. And they were "re-calibrated" or "reset" to an accurate Full Charge capacity and run-time estimate without dangerous battery reset tool in Lenovo Power Manager.

 

But of course, this is not an acceptable solution, to let the battery gauge remain so inaccurate. So what to do? Deep discharge and risk killing/ seriously damaging the battery in Lenovo Power Manager "Battery Maintenance"? NO! Just search this very Forum and you will find many people who testify to the fact that using "battery gauge" reset killed or seriously damaged their battery. (And no, I am not referring to the battery reset merely resetting the full charge to the correct/ proper amount, even though it may be lower than they would like. That would be great if that's all that the battery reset did. But no, it is a very harmful piece of software. Just keep reading):  

-   Did a battery reset here help or help finish "killing" (an already weak battery)? http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/T400-T500-and-newer-T-series/Battery-meter-incorrect-since-upgrading-to-Power-Manager-6-36/m-p/978837#M72580

- Did a battery reset "magically" cure the batteries of the 2 posters here? http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/T400-T500-and-newer-T-series/T410-battery-issue-that-Lenovo-engineering-keeps-missing/m-p/884109/highlight/true#M68138

- Was a "battery gauge reset" necessary here or did a FULL CHARGE to 100% and discharge to about 4wh or 5wh (NOT deep-discharge!) do the trick? http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/T400-T500-and-newer-T-series/To-reset-battery-or-not-to-reset-That-is-the-question/m-p/1091133/highlight/true#M77782

Here is what the Original Poster of that thread wrote: " Curiouser and curiouser....   While I don't have a clue regarding the reason or explanation, something strange just happened.  To summarize:      The 6-month-old T530 (with original battery) has for the last few weeks been turning off (hibernating, then shutting down) earlier and earlier, initially at around 20%.  Earlier this week it was shutting down with ~50% capacity remaining.     Yesterday I set it to charge to 100% (although it stopped at 99%) instead of the usual setting to charge to 92% or 95%.  After that charge it didn't shut down until it drained down to 15%, and when plugged back in it showed 15% remaining (where previously on resumption from hibernation it showed 6% remaining.)    So a battery gauge reset was apparently not needed."

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(BTW, I do not personally bother with "charging thresholds" of any sort. I don't think it's going to make a major difference- maybe just a mild benefit on battery longevity. And actually, charging thresholds could be detrimental if you regularly prevent your battery from charging up fully to 100% and never do a full charge once every 2 months or so. (READ ME CAREFULLY and don't misquote me). So if you use charging thresholds, make sure you fully charge to 100% and discharge to 4wh or 5wh once every couple of months:


wrote:

I kept it at 40-50% most of the time by changing battery threshold. Total cycle count was about 80 (84 now) first use date 2013-03.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Did you buy the laptop and battery new? If so, I can also tell you used your laptop mostly plugged in (if you ran up only 84 cycles in over a year). I have batteries sitting in my W500 and T500 workstations which hardly get unplugged, so I do a full charge to 100% (and do not quickly unplug when it says "100%" - it might still be charging/ calibrating- so I wait until Lenovo Power Manager says "No activity"). Then, I discharge them to about 4wh or 5wh every few months and that keeps them healthy. But I have never, ever, personally used battery gauge reset on any of my (dozens of Lenovo li-ion batteries currently under my own use, or hundreds of Lenovo batteries which I have sold over the years). Here's a partial list of batteries I have dealt with off the top of my head: T60/R60/T500/W500 batteries (which use the same battery), z60t/z61T batteries, x100e/120e batteries, R40 batteries, x40 batteries, x41T batteries, x20/21/22/23/24 batteries, x31/32 batteries, 390/e/x batteries, 600/e/x batteries, T20/21/22/23 batteries, t30 batteries, t40/41/42/43/R50/r51/r52 batteries, x60/61 batteries, x60s/x61s slim battery, x60t/x61t batteries, x200/x201 batteries, x200t/x201t batteries, t400/r400/t61 14.1" widescreen batteries, t410/t420/t430/t510/t520/t530/w510/w520/w530/edge15/sl510 batteries, x220/230 batteries, various dock batteries, ultrabay batteries, etc. 4-cell/6-cell/7-cell/8-cell/9-cell I've used them all. Some are made by Sony (the worst), some by Sanyo (some poor, most good quality), some by L.G. aka LGC (good), and some by Panasonic (the best!)  

 

I have seen just about every anomaly and oddity there is to see when it comes to lithium-ion batteries. Besides my own laptops, I actually charge up batteries- hundreds of them, and test them, measure run-times, temps, record various stats., etc. since I sell a lot of Lenovo batteries. Here are a couple of my other posts with some useful information: http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/T61-and-prior-T-series-ThinkPad/Battery-Charging-vs-Overcharging/m-p/1076697#M67665

and http://forums.lenovo.com/t5/R-and-L-Series-ThinkPad-Laptops/R61-Battery-indicator-flashes-orange-won-t-charge-at-all/m-p/1048937#M21312

 

So what to do about an inaccurate battery gauge?

(1) First check the Lenovo support site for any battery firmware updates which may apply to your battery. Do this especially for new laptops with new batteries
(2) Be aware that if you have "Optimize for battery lifespan" option selected under "Battery maintenance" it will affect your Full charge capacity calculation.

(3) Use the battery! These batteries are made to be used. Even when storing extra batteries or even NEW batteries approaching 2 years manufacture date I like to charge them up fully once every 6 months (and let them sit in a cool, dry place).  Don't be afraid of increasing "cycle count." I have several batteries approaching 1000 cycles. (Of course I don't expect that with a 6-cell x121e battery- but if your battery died at 84 cycles he "died young"). Fully charge the battery to 100%  and do not quickly unplug when it says "100%" (it might still be charging/ calibrating- so I wait until Lenovo Power Manager says "No activity"). Then, disharge it to about 4wh or 5wh (I am referring to 4 watt-hours or maybe 5 watt-hours as shown in Lenovo Power manager, NOT 4% or 5%). Doing this on a regular basis will "re-calibrate", "re-condition", "reset" your battery gauge as much as it can be reset. Do NOT ever deep-discharge (completely drain) any lithium-ion battery under any circumstances for any reason. Don't let it happen by accident (set battery alarms to shut down your laptop as explained above, and be careful with sleep and hibernate settings). And do NOT let Lenovo Power Manager software help you to deep-discharge your battery. Battery gauge reset deep-discharge may very well kill your battery and does not ever "magically" restore it- you can reset your power gauge by giving it a couple full charge/ discharge (to about 4wh or 5wh) cycles. And remember, once your battery develops one or two bad cells, it may just not communicate properly with Lenovo Power Manager or supply accurate Windows run-time estimates no matter what you do-  so repeated attempts to do battery guage resets will just shorten what little life it has left, and may likely kill a battery in such a weak condition. Accept the fact that the poor old guy does not have as much energy as he did in his youth. But don't kill him with a battery gauge reset!

 

One final illustration (for those who "THINK"- remember, before you can "DO" you must "THINK" lol): Imagine you have an old guy who develops heart problems, or an irregular heart beat. He has a near-fatal collapse at his job site. He has served his company faithfully for years. So his boss sends him home and gives him a few days off. His family takes him to the doctor, a world-famous heart specialist. The doctor checks his heart, and confirms his condition. Then he says, let's do this. Let's run a stress test. Let's put the old guy on a treadmill and measure his heart rate and push his body to the limit. So they tell the old guy to start jogging, don't slow down- we need to stress your body. Instead of watching him carefully, they go home and they leave him overnight, warning him- "if you dare stop, we'll punish you!" So the poor old guy keeps jogging on the treadmill, gasping for air, trying to catch his breath, screaming for help, begging for them to stop this "stress test" (which is supposed to be so good for him). After all, the doctor (quack :smileyvery-happy: ), promised him it will  "reset" his irregular heart rhythms and soon, he will run like a champion again. His boss will be able to depend upon him once again to do a full day's work. He won't suddenly run out of energy, letting the entire team down! Next morning, the busy doctor realizes he has neglected his patient overnight. He feels sorry. So Doc Quack and the nurse run into the examination room. There they find the poor old guy dead on the treadmill.... (after an awkward moment of silence, realizing he can't blame the patient)... Doc Quack admits, "We caused a heart attack in a patient under our care."

 

Alternate (happy ending): ... Let's put the old guy on a careful, mild, exercise regimen and build up his strength and tolerance. Let's give him a full "charge" of vitamins and supplements. We will give him instructions on how to care for this heart, and take precautions. We will let him go back to work, but will monitor him carefully. We need this old guy, he's a valuable part of the team. We can't afford to hire a brand new, young guy right now. Let's take care of the old fellow, let him do whatever work he can do, without pressuring him or stressing him too much. Maybe he can't work for 3 hours straight like he used to. Now he only gives us 1 solid hour before he needs a nap. As long as he's doing his best- let us be grateful. We'll make his last days comfortable. Whenever his energy levels drop to about 4 watt hours, let him take a nap at his desk. It's OK. We'll manage somehow. I know, we'll have to find a replacement for the old guy soon. Until then, let's just make the best of it...  The End.

_________________________________________________________
Have a great day. (I do not work for Lenovo)
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