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iBook: battery dead at 5%

Message #1 - Posted 2004/01/15 - Harald

Hi all,
I have a G3 iBook, white, dual USB, Combo, 640 MB, Panther, around 2,5 years.

Since upgrading to Panther, the battery only had a capacity of about 20 minutes. I checked all groups, installed the battery update, zapped the PRAM, started in Open firmware to reset-nvram, reset-all, set-defaults and resettet the PMU.

result: did not improve at all, it does not charge at all any more. It.s stuck at 5%, and when I unplug it, rhe iBook directly shuts off, i.e. jno capacity at all.

I read somewhere that batteries have some security circuit that prevents charging once the battery has been below a certain level!

is that true, and is there a way to revitalize the battery?

and: does AppleCare cover such a problem?

thx a lot,

Harald

Message #2 - Posted 2004/01/16 - John Johnson

Previously, Harald wrote:

Hi all,
I have a G3 iBook, white, dual USB, Combo, 640 MB, Panther, around 2,5 years.

Since upgrading to Panther, the battery only had a capacity of about 20 minutes.

So what was your battery life before the upgrade? I'm assuming that you mean that on the day before you installed Panther, your machine lasted significantly (e.g. 60-90 min.), and that the next day it only lasted 20 minutes.

[tried a bunch of stuff, no dice-snipped]

I read somewhere that batteries have some security circuit that prevents charging once the battery has been below a certain level!

I've never heard this. Do you remember anything about where you read it (e.g. magazine, website, newsgroup)? I've got an older machine (Pismo), and run the batteries flat on many occasions. Recharging always just worked.

is that true, and is there a way to revitalize the battery?

and: does AppleCare cover such a problem?

If you've got AppleCare, the call is free. The only question now is what your time on the phone with them is worth, compared to the cost of a new battery (which appears to be the other obvious option). You might turn up something here, but unless your earlier attempts to revive the battery were done incorrectly, I don't know what else there is to try. Of course, I learn new stuff here all the time. :-)

HTH

Message #3 - Posted 2004/01/16 - Chong Woo Paig

Harald a Ècrit :

Hi all,
I have a G3 iBook, white, dual USB, Combo, 640 MB, Panther, around 2,5 years.

Since upgrading to Panther, the battery only had a capacity of about 20 minutes. I checked all groups, installed the battery update, zapped the PRAM, started in Open firmware to reset-nvram, reset-all, set-defaults and resettet the PMU.

result: did not improve at all, it does not charge at all any more. It.s stuck at 5%, and when I unplug it, rhe iBook directly shuts off, i.e. jno capacity at all.

I read somewhere that batteries have some security circuit that prevents charging once the battery has been below a certain level!

is that true, and is there a way to revitalize the battery?

and: does AppleCare cover such a problem?

I did call AppleCare for two iBooks with battery problems: one with "only" 2,5 hour autonomy after one year, and another which battery was completely dead (liquid flowing inside). They replaced both batteries, no charge. They send you a new battery, you send back the old one, that's it. You still have to give your credit card number, in case you try a fool move in not returning your defective battery. :)

Message #4 - Posted 2004/01/16 - Harald

I read somewhere that batteries have some security circuit that prevents charging once the battery has been below a certain level!

is that true, and is there a way to revitalize the battery?

and: does AppleCare cover such a problem?

I did call AppleCare for two iBooks with battery problems: one with "only" 2,5 hour autonomy after one year, and another which battery was completely dead (liquid flowing inside). They replaced both batteries, no charge. They send you a new battery, you send back the old one, that's it. You still have to give your credit card number, in case you try a fool move in not returning your defective battery. :)

I called Apple Germany today, and the guy said that that AppleCare only covers battery within the first year??? Does it make a difference if it just has low capacity or is completely dead?

Message #5 - Posted 2004/01/16 - Harald

John Johnson <null@invalid.com> wrote in message news:<null-B420F3.22250915012004@newssvr28.news.prodigy.com>...

Previously, Harald wrote:

Hi all,
I have a G3 iBook, white, dual USB, Combo, 640 MB, Panther, around 2,5 years.

Since upgrading to Panther, the battery only had a capacity of about 20 minutes.

So what was your battery life before the upgrade? I'm assuming that you mean that on the day before you installed Panther, your machine lasted significantly (e.g. 60-90 min.), and that the next day it only lasted 20 minutes.

correct

[tried a bunch of stuff, no dice-snipped]

I read somewhere that batteries have some security circuit that prevents charging once the battery has been below a certain level!

I've never heard this. Do you remember anything about where you read it (e.g. magazine, website, newsgroup)? I've got an older machine (Pismo), and run the batteries flat on many occasions. Recharging always just worked.

I am not 100% sure where I saw that information. I will look for it.

two other sources for the same/similar idea:
http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/archives/000186.html "Anyway, after reading through several hundred mind-numbing posts, I finally found one which offered a glimmer of hope. One guy with a similar problem had found that the solution was to reset the PMU, not of the iBook, but the one onboard the battery. The technique, apparently, is to briefly short-out the two outermost terminals of the battery. This did not sound like a great idea ó I was a kid the last time I deliberately stuck a wire between the two terminal of a battery to watch the sparks fly ó but since I had nothing to lose and about $180 to gain, I did as he suggested, reinserted the battery and lo and behold! it began to charge."

http://www3.macintouch.com/laptopbatt.html "Date: Thu, 10 Jul 2003 10:49:58 -0600
From: Swift
Subject: Powerbook G4 Battery Resuscitation

I too had a battery that my Titanium Powerbook G4 failed to acknowledge even tho the level lights showed a fully charged battery. Resetting the PMU did nothing- went to the Genius bar and they swapped it into their Powerbook but it still failed to be recognized. I was told I needed a new battery (after less than 100 recharge cycles). I decided instead to fully discharge the battery to reset its internal power management chip but since no Powerbook would recognize it, I removed it and carefully wired in a 12 volt car tail light bulb. Ran it overnight- then placed into my powerbook and it has worked flawlessly for the past 2 months. (I also found that you cannot hook it to a "power hungry" 12 volt appliance because the internal power manager will not let it be drained too quickly.)"

is that true, and is there a way to revitalize the battery?

and: does AppleCare cover such a problem?

If you've got AppleCare, the call is free. The only question now is what your time on the phone with them is worth, compared to the cost of a new battery (which appears to be the other obvious option). You might turn up something here, but unless your earlier attempts to revive the battery were done incorrectly, I don't know what else there is to try. Of course, I learn new stuff here all the time. :-)

HTH

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