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End of battery life! or something else wrong with my PBG4 15"?

Message #1 - Posted 2007/10/25 - Chris Ridd

On 2007-10-24 23:21:56 +0100, deano said:

On 24 Oct, 23:09, David Kennedy wrote:

This is rubbish they sent me a new one last week - there is still a current battery recall program with this model - have you checked to see if yours qualifies ?

What's rubbish? My post or the replacement battery you were sent?

Apple's claim not to sell batteries for that model Powerbook is rubbish. OK, some retail stores might not have them, but the online store does. If I search the UK store for "battery" the top hit is for the right model. The Apple Store part number for the battery is M9756, which you could search for instead.

I do remember the battery recall program and I'm surprised it's still going. I would have thought that there'd be a honeymoon period for returns and, in any case, could it really be possible that my old machine would qualify? What a wonderful turn-up for the books that would be!

While I go look for myself, do you know where I can go to check if my machine qualifies?

<https://support.apple.com/ibook_powerbook/batteryexchange/?> It shows you where to find your battery's model number and serial number.

Coconut battery [or something like that, try version tracker]

Is that a brand name or just your term for a non-apple product? :)

It is the name of a program that shows you more details about your battery. Get it direct from the author at:

<http://coconut-flavour.com/coconutbattery/>

Cheers,

Chris

Message #2 - Posted 2007/10/25 - Richard Tobin

Previously, Phil Taylor wrote:

According to Apple, you will get the maximum battery life if you leave it charging most of the time, but unplug the mains lead and let the battery run completely flat once a month.

Unfortunately this doesn't give maximum power connector life: I've had two power supplies that gradually became looser in the socket and less reliable in connection, apparently from the frequent small stresses inevitable when using it with the cable connected.

-- Richard

"Consideration shall be given to the need for as many as 32 characters in some alphabets" - X3.4, 1963.

Message #3 - Posted 2007/10/25 - Phil Taylor

Previously, deano wrote:

I have read that constant charging is not recommended and can reduce the lifespan... only just read that though :) Maybe that's been my ultimate error all along!

According to Apple, you will get the maximum battery life if you leave it charging most of the time, but unplug the mains lead and let the battery run completely flat once a month.

Phil Taylor

Message #4 - Posted 2007/10/27 - deano

I Agree with you on that issue. I'm also on my 2nd AC lead which I got about 8 months ago and its already demanding fine tuning to stay in electrical contact, with the mains port.

Luckily, I got it free from my sister-in-law, but, as an Apple product, I expected it to be more robust and last a lot longer than it has. I wonder if the 3rd party alternatives are any better?

Can anyone comment on this?

d.

On 25 Oct, 17:29, Richard Tobin wrote:

Unfortunately this doesn't give maximum power connector life: I've had two power supplies that gradually became looser in the socket and less reliable in connection, apparently from the frequent small stresses inevitable when using it with the cable connected.

Message #5 - Posted 2007/10/27 - deano

Okay. That's not too unlike my use of it since purchase and most other users I would suppose.

I never made a schedule for a monthly drain-flat, but this probably occured naturally, on average,
over a year.

Good to know that recommended usage is akin to practical usage, rather than...
"For best battery performance, only use your laptop's battery power between the
hours of 0200 and 0800, Tuesdays!"

d:)

On 25 Oct, 17:38, Phil Taylor wrote:

According to Apple, you will get the maximum battery life if you leave it charging most of the time, but unplug the mains lead and let the battery run completely flat once a month.

Phil Taylor

Message #6 - Posted 2007/11/02 - deano

As a follow-up to my OP (a 'snip' of which appears below), my PBG4 again just died on me, 5-10mins after disconnecting the AC mains/ charger lead, following a period of some 12 hrs constant mains connection.
A reboot was not possible until I, again, reconnected the AC lead between the PB and the mains electrical supply.
Having done that, the PB booted, as normal, with no evident problems. However, it had to boot from a cold start and not from a soft boot to wake it from a sleep or energy saver state, as is normally the case when the unit has been running on reserve battery power for a period of time, before going into stasis!

Oddly though, having rebooted, with the mains lead connected, I was informed by the 'menu bar', battery-status-indicator that I had 52%, battery-powered reserve available! Also, I was warned that my PBG4's Date and Time settings had been lost and were currently set to a time- stamp value, of a date, that passed by, many years ago in history and, if left uncorrected, could cause a number of further, software related problems, involving various system (and 3rd party) applications!

As I had set my PB to obtain the current time and date automatically, via a 'Network Time Server", I am unsure if this is causing the loss of my time/date settings, when the PB is re-booted after one of these 'sudden death' events.

OR, could the loss of these settings be due to a failing/failed PCB/ motherboard battery?, which has happened to me in the past and I have had to replace, on a few legacy macs. Been a while since I last did that though and, not having looked, I assume recent and current machine still require a battery such as this.

Having done a fair bit of online research regarding PBG4 battery packs, since my OP, I have learned a great deal about them and, as a result, I'm fairly sure that an under-performing, malfunctioning battery is at the root of my problem but, before I buy a replacement, I want to rule out, or confirm, my suspicions about the motherboard battery being either, a likely alternative culprit, or a contributing factor, that may also need replacing.

Your opinions please and is there any way I can test the motherboard battery (if it exists) on my PB.

many tnks.
deano:)

On 24 Oct, 21:44, deano wrote:

snip/

Recently, however, I have begun to notice some power problems, which I at first blamed myself for, convinced I hadn't left it on charge properly. I soon ruled this out as it spends most of its time plugged into the AC mains.

/snip

Message #7 - Posted 2007/11/03 - Peter Ceresole

deano wrote:

As a follow-up to my OP (a 'snip' of which appears below), my PBG4 again just died on me, 5-10mins after disconnecting the AC mains/ charger lead, following a period of some 12 hrs constant mains connection.
A reboot was not possible until I, again, reconnected the AC lead between the PB and the mains electrical supply.

That sounds like a profoundly tired battery, verging on dead. My TiBook is a bit like that, and only has 20 minutes' life in it after disconnecting from mains. But it's more than 6 years old, so I can't really complain.

The loss of time setting further suggests that your PRAM battery is dead or dying- which hasn't yet happened on my TiBook. I'm not sure where they are on PBG4s.

Peter

Message #8 - Posted 2007/11/03 - David Kennedy

On 2/11/07 23:13, deano wrote:

Having done a fair bit of online research regarding PBG4 battery packs, since my OP, I have learned a great deal about them and, as a result, I'm fairly sure that an under-performing, malfunctioning battery is at the root of my problem but, before I buy a replacement, I want to rule out, or confirm, my suspicions about the motherboard battery being either, a likely alternative culprit, or a contributing factor, that may also need replacing.

Your opinions please and is there any way I can test the motherboard battery (if it exists) on my PB.

What does Coconut Battery have to say ?

Message #9 - Posted 2007/11/05 - Jon B

Peter Ceresole wrote:

deano wrote:

As a follow-up to my OP (a 'snip' of which appears below), my PBG4 again just died on me, 5-10mins after disconnecting the AC mains/ charger lead, following a period of some 12 hrs constant mains connection.
A reboot was not possible until I, again, reconnected the AC lead between the PB and the mains electrical supply.

That sounds like a profoundly tired battery, verging on dead. My TiBook is a bit like that, and only has 20 minutes' life in it after disconnecting from mains. But it's more than 6 years old, so I can't really complain.

The loss of time setting further suggests that your PRAM battery is dead or dying- which hasn't yet happened on my TiBook. I'm not sure where they are on PBG4s.

On the later ones they are on top of the superdrive, top case off job, on the earlier ones, they are under the optical drive, case off and HD & optical drives out job.

Jon B
Above email address IS valid.
<http://www.bramley-computers.co.uk/> Apple Laptop Repairs.

Message #10 - Posted 2007/11/05 - deano

Now I know what u mean by Coconut Battery!
I downloaded it and indeed, it says my battery is only running at 15% (699mAh) of the original capacity (4400mAh). But what about my PRAM battery, how do I test that for failure?

On 3 Nov, 07:38, David Kennedy wrote:

What does Coconut Battery have to say ?

--
David Kennedy

http://www.anindianinexile.com

Message #11 - Posted 2007/11/05 - Peter Ceresole

deano wrote:

But what about my PRAM
battery, how do I test that for failure?

The best test is to see if the date survives a shut down. As yours doesn't, it does sound likely that it's shafted.

Peter

Message #12 - Posted 2007/11/05 - Peter Ceresole

Jon B wrote:

On the later ones they are on top of the superdrive, top case off job, on the earlier ones, they are under the optical drive, case off and HD & optical drives out job.

Shit. I hope the one in my six year old TiBook holds out... --
Peter

Message #13 - Posted 2007/11/05 - deano

Not quite the case Peter.
I just did a few field tests...
Manual shutdowns and reboots using the following:
With AC lead connected / time and date set using an automated time server, via my wireless broadband network.
AC lead DISconnected / time and date set using an automated time server, via my wireless broadband network.
With AC lead connected / time and date set manually.
AC lead DISconnected / time and date set manually.

Time and Date settings survived all four of the above parameters and therefore it is only when the PB uses a time server and dies unexpectedly, after AC lead removal, through battery power failure, that the time and date are lost and reset to 1940-something!

I know I can always buy and install a PRAM battery later, if required but, should I suspect this is faulty under the current circumstances?

cheers for the input.

d.

On 5 Nov, 18:41, Peter Ceresole wrote:

deano wrote:

But what about my PRAM
battery, how do I test that for failure?

The best test is to see if the date survives a shut down. As yours doesn't, it does sound likely that it's shafted.
--
Peter

Message #14 - Posted 2007/11/05 - Peter Ceresole

deano wrote:

Time and Date settings survived all four of the above parameters and therefore it is only when the PB uses a time server and dies unexpectedly, after AC lead removal, through battery power failure, that the time and date are lost and reset to 1940-something!

Still sounds like PRAM battery failure to me.

When I had a PRAM battery die on a beige G3, the date and time setting wouldn't disappear instantly; it would usually take a few minutes with power off, sometimes a few hours. Not the same computer of course, but losing date and time settings with the power off is very much a symptom of PRAM battery failure. I can't think of anything else that would cause it, either.

Peter

Message #15 - Posted 2007/11/06 - Jon B

deano wrote:

Not quite the case Peter.
I just did a few field tests...
Manual shutdowns and reboots using the following:
With AC lead connected / time and date set using an automated time server, via my wireless broadband network.
AC lead DISconnected / time and date set using an automated time server, via my wireless broadband network.
With AC lead connected / time and date set manually.
AC lead DISconnected / time and date set manually.

Time and Date settings survived all four of the above parameters and therefore it is only when the PB uses a time server and dies unexpectedly, after AC lead removal, through battery power failure, that the time and date are lost and reset to 1940-something!

I know I can always buy and install a PRAM battery later, if required but, should I suspect this is faulty under the current circumstances?

cheers for the input.

I think the pram sounds ok, not unusual for a machine to lose the time/date on an unexpected shut down, but if you shut it down normally, pull the main battery, and then it loses the time/date, then the PRAM battery has had it.

As the jobs are unrelated to each other, I'd get the main battery, and if you've still got problems with the time & date, replace the pram battery, it isn't like either job is, oh while I'm here I'll replace this while I'm at it, so it saves the messing around of stripping it all down again next week.

Jon B
Above email address IS valid.
<http://www.bramley-computers.co.uk/> Apple Laptop Repairs.

Message #16 - Posted 2007/11/06 - Jon B

Peter Ceresole wrote:

Jon B wrote:

On the later ones they are on top of the superdrive, top case off job, on the earlier ones, they are under the optical drive, case off and HD & optical drives out job.

Shit. I hope the one in my six year old TiBook holds out...

If it went, bring it along to the next meet, can be done while you wait. The biggest hit is the price of the battery really.

Jon B
Above email address IS valid.
<http://www.bramley-computers.co.uk/> Apple Laptop Repairs.

Message #17 - Posted 2007/11/06 - deano

Thanks Jon, that sounds perfectly logical. I was keen to establish if both needed replacing, so that I could perhaps order them from the same supplier, at the same time, and at least save on the shipping costs, which always seem disproportionate to the value of the goods.

I will however, try pulling the battery, after shutdown, to test if that has any effect on the time and date.

On 6 Nov, 10:35, Jon B wrote:

I think the pram sounds ok, not unusual for a machine to lose the time/date on an unexpected shut down, but if you shut it down normally, pull the main battery, and then it loses the time/date, then the PRAM battery has had it.

As the jobs are unrelated to each other, I'd get the main battery, and if you've still got problems with the time & date, replace the pram battery, it isn't like either job is, oh while I'm here I'll replace this while I'm at it, so it saves the messing around of stripping it all down again next week.

Message #18 - Posted 2007/11/07 - Jon B

deano wrote:

Thanks Jon, that sounds perfectly logical. I was keen to establish if both needed replacing, so that I could perhaps order them from the same supplier, at the same time, and at least save on the shipping costs, which always seem disproportionate to the value of the goods.

I will however, try pulling the battery, after shutdown, to test if that has any effect on the time and date.

If it was a £3 1/2 AA like in an iMac, I'd agree, but they are closer £80 for the pram battery, so not something to order unless you are sure you want one.

Jon B
Above email address IS valid.
<http://www.bramley-computers.co.uk/> Apple Laptop Repairs.

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