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By doing laptop battery tests you can determine if the battery needs replacement.

Doing laptop Battery Tests will "stress" the battery, then you will know if it needs to be replaced, otherwise you are just guessing!

Is it new or old?

How do you go about stressing it to figure out how long it will last when you need to depend on the battery?

Note: Lately I have been asked about a electrical storage tester/charger for notebook batteries. There are some "generic" tester/chargers on the market but personally I would not waste my money (they are not cheap!). Those "All-In-One" type of devices very rarely work properly. You all ready have the best tester/charger for it - Your Notebook!

You can run Battery Tests on your battery with out any software such as the one I am going to do a review of shortly.

Note: This test will take some time, up to six hours (assuming you have a newer laptop or netbook that has a battery that will last at least 3 hours).

Laptop Battery Tests Manual stress test steps:

  1. To do Notebook Battery Tests on your laptop battery you need to setup your laptop power options to maximum drain on the battery, once drained you then recharge the battery to 100%.
  2. Next set your laptop to hibernate (this will be when the battery reaches 3% or so of charge).
  3. Set the Power Options for maximum battery.
  4. Insert a CD/DVD (a movie would be best).
  5. Start the defragment program and begin a defragment of the hard drive.
  6. Start the movie.
  7. Set the screen brightness to where it is comfortable to view your movie.
  8. Write down the time you stated your test.
  9. Disconnect the AC adapter.
  10. Set back and wait for the laptop to go in to hibernation.
  11. Once the computer goes in to hibernation check your time, leave the computer in hibernation for at least 10 minutes. Then power up the computer, it should start, then shut it down properly. If it does not start then the battery has been drained down to the minimum potential of the battery.
  12. You now have a good idea of how long your battery will last under stress.

Note: When charging a discharged battery remember that the power supply does a trickle charge for the battery, that is why it takes some time to recharge once it has reached it lowest potential.

Or you could use a software program to do the Battery Tests. The software I am using is called Battery Care. This software is shareware.

Shareware software has a few options turned on but the main options are locked until you purchase the software and register the program.

For Laptop Battery Tests try Battery Care is a capable program you can use to find out the maximum potential of your battery or batteries if you have more than one. (This program is one of the best available, however with a search of the internet you may find a suitable program or use the steps below).

Battery Tests - I have three batteries ranging from the original, a one year old battery, and a new battery. The laptop is a seven year old IBM T-30. (At the end of the tests I will tell you how to make your battery last longer than the Battery Care will show you).

I ran tests on all three laptop battery tests with the Battery Care program with these results:

Note: Each time the test was run the diagnostics ran first so there is a 8 to 11 minute lag before the test starts, this takes in to account the percentage of Current Battery Charge being less than 100%, which it was when the diagnostics started.

Laptop Battery Tests:

Laptop Battery Tests for Original battery (7 years old) -

Options turned on or installed:

  1. WiFi (Disabled)
  2. Bluetooth (not installed)
  3. Infrared (Disabled)
  4. Screen Brightness (not installed)
  5. DVD/CD Usage (Disabled)
  6. External Peripherals - USB Wired Mouse
  7. System processes and programs - Five system programs + 2 applications.

Stress test will run for 10 minutes

  • Before optimization results:
  • Current Battery Charge: 83.77%
  • Battery Health: 48.11%With computers you can also use the smaller condensed "Check list" to accomplish a single repair task.
  • Time Left at Current Charge: 52 Minutes
  • Potential Battery Life:  1 Hours 1 Minutes
  • Potential Gain Battery in Battery Life: 8 Minutes

Actual time the battery kept the laptop running:  1 hour 4 Minutes

Laptop Battery Tests for One year old battery -

  1. WiFi (Disabled)
  2. Bluetooth (not installed)
  3. Infrared (Disabled)
  4. Screen Brightness (not installed)
  5. DVD/CD Usage (Disabled)
  6. External Peripherals - USB Wired Mouse
  7. System processes and programs - Five system programs + 2 applications.

Stress test will run for 10 minutes

  • Before optimization results:
  • Current Battery Charge: 95.04%
  • Battery Health: 87.67%
  • Time Left at Current Charge:1 Hour 54 Minutes
  • Potential Battery Life: 2 Hours 11 Minutes
  • Potential Gain Battery in Battery Life: 16 Minutes

Actual time the battery kept the laptop running: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

Laptop Battery Tests for Brand new battery -

  1. WiFi (Disabled)
  2. Bluetooth (not installed)
  3. Infrared (Disabled)
  4. Screen Brightness (not installed)
  5. DVD/CD Usage (Disabled)
  6. External Peripherals - USB Wired Mouse
  7. System processes and programs - Five system programs + 2 applications.

Stress test will run for 10 minutes.

  • Before optimization results:
  • Current Battery Charge: 90.26%
  • Battery Health: 96.32%
  • Time Left at Current Charge: 2 Hour  11 Minutes
  • Potential Battery Life:  2 Hours  11 Minutes
  • Potential Gain Battery in Battery Life: 0 Minutes

After optimization results:

Actual time the battery kept the laptop running: 2 Hours 32 Minutes

Elapsed time to complete the laptop battery tests on three batteries? 2 days!

Here are some tips on extending the life of your battery while traveling:

  1. If you have a second hard drive in the computer you may want to remove it while you are traveling, normally the second drive is for backup and restore purposes and unless you are using it for data storage that you need while traveling I would suggest you remove it (store in an anti-static bag or carrying case), if not removed the hard drive will be running all the time the computer is powered up.
  2. If you are not using the cd/dvd drive while working on battery use the Remove Hardware option in the tray to stop it, then remove it from the slot. (I pull mine out and leave it in the slot then lock it in place when I shut the computer down, this way if I need it all I have to do is lock it in place, most newer cd/dvd drives are what is called 'hot swappable' that is you can shut it down and remove it or lock it in place while the computer is running).
  3. Under your power settings set the power usage for maximum battery.
  4. If you have any external peripherals that you use all the time try to use them then disconnect them when not in use.
  5. Set the screen brightness to where you can see the screen comfortably, don't set it so low that you strain your eyes, in an aircraft at night it is better for those traveling with you if you lower the brightness.
  6. While traveling and in fight if there isn't any WiFi on the aircraft use the Device Manager to disable the WiFi, you will have to remember to re-enable it to use it in an area where WiFi is available.

Considerations -

This laptop has been upgraded with:

  1. 2.5 GHz processor
  2. 2 Gig of ram
  3. SSD for storage
  • The processor will consume more power than the original 1.8 GHz.
  • The 2 Gig of memory will consume more power than the original 512 Meg of memory.
  • The SSD will consume less power than the original Hard Drive.
  • The upgrade of the processor and memory offset the SSD upgrade by about 50%. So if you install a SSD for your storage you will gain more battery life by removing the mechanical drive from the computer. However if you install a more powerful processor or more memory that savings will be offset somewhat.

Now how much longer will your battery last? Unknown, you will have to run the above battery tests to determine the maximum battery life.

Analyzing of the manual vs. program to optimize your battery performance for maximum battery power:

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You can do all the things that the Battery Care program will do manually.

However the program will give you insight to the health of the battery, that is how much it has degraded since first charge.

In my tests my seven year old battery is 48% where as the year old battery is at 87% (not a good indication that the year old battery is the high quality I paid for!) and the new (two months old) battery is at 96%.

Is the program worth the money?

At $20 I think so because it told me to not buy another battery from one vendor because the quality is low. It also tells me that the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacture) battery is of high quality, how many seven year old batteries still charge and hold it? (And if I can find any new OEM batteries I will buy a couple!)

Note:

I have had some readers tell me that you can fully discharge a battery by shorting the polls. This is a very dangerous practice.

Why? Because if the battery has sufficient charge left when the polls are shorted it will discharge very fast. If it discharges too fast it will overheat. With the potential for a fire or even an explosion!

DO NOT SHORT THE BATTERY TERMINALS!

 



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