Battery Problems

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Hardware' started by 1badninja, Feb 4, 2016.

  1. 1badninja

    1badninja New Member

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    I've been having some issues with my battery. I have a Sager X8100 gaming laptop. Specs are i7 Q840, dual Nvidia 285m in SLI, 8gbs RAM, windows 7 64 bit. Its a fairly old rig.. 2009 or 2010 not sure which. I bought it used in 2012. Had a 1 year warranty. I noticed the battery wouldn't keep it running for more than 10 minutes if it was unplugged. I took it back and had them order a battery. They said the battery was dead on arrival. And that they were having to order off of ebay due to the manufacturer not offering them anymore. There werent any more available at the time. They told me they would keep an eye out and call me when they got one ordered. They never called lol.. I honestly wasn't worried about it at the time as this is an 18" laptop that weighs a ton.. Its not something I'd be going to chill at Starbucks with. I knew I'd never care to use it without it plugged in. And Didn't have any plans of ever reselling it. And I didn't know the battery could cause issues with it plugged in at the time. Anyways long story short I'm starting to have some pretty serious issues due to my battery issue. I play a lot of games. When playing something graphically intensive it will randomly and immediately shut down without warning. I don't think anything is overheating.. Gpu temps stay around 50c. Also just recently its gotten to where it will not run off the battery at all. If I unplug the charger it will immediately shutdown without warning. I have a warning in the system tray that always says the same thing... "91% available (plugged in, charging) consider replacing your battery." It never goes above or below 91%.

    I googled it and found that some people have had similar issues and it turned out to be a problem or wrong power setting within windows rather than an actual piece of hardware. One thing I found said to put the computer on a portable/laptop power scheme.. I can't find it. All I see is Balanced, High Performance, and Power Saver. The cost of a battery for this thing runs around $150 to $200... I'd rather put that money towards a new pc if the battery is actually bad. But I was wondering if its not the battery since the other one that was ordered turned out to be "DOA". I've recently done a lot of stuff to my computer trying to get SP1 installed that could have something to do with the issues I'm having now. As I don't think it was this bad before hand. One of the things that could have done it was I recently went through and uninstalled every windows update that it would let me uninstall. I've reinstalled all updates that windows has came up with through a "check for updates" or multiple checks. I had 198 updates now I only have 108. And If it matters, no I still haven't got friggin SP1 to install and I'm at wits end with it.

    Some things that may or may not matter: I never run both GPU's. I noticed when I first bought this laptop that it gets significantly hotter while running both cards in SLI. So I've kept it disabled to try to prolong the life of it. I've tried every power plan and get the same results. I run MSI afterburner while gaming to UNDERclock my gpu just a little bit to keep it from overheating and to keep from getting other error messages and blue screens I've gotten in the past. It will shutdown with or without MSI afterburner running.

    Since the charge level always stays at 91%, I'm wondering if my computer is completely ignoring that it has a battery at all and only shows its charge level. Doesn't charge it.. And doesn't use it.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated as I dont have money for a new battery much less a new computer atm.

    Sorry for the long winded post.. Just trying to be thorough.

    Thanks.

    Sent from my LG-H343 using WindowsForum mobile app
     
  2. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Your GPU temps are fine, what about your CPU temps?

    Does it run (and stay running) when on charger only (with battery removed)? Bad batteries often develop shorts internally that no only cause them to rapidly discharge (or never fully charge) those shorts can also drain power from the charger that the notebook itself needs. Most notebooks allow you to run with the battery removed.
     
  3. BIGBEARJEDI

    BIGBEARJEDI Honorable Member
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    Hi ninja,

    Following on what Digerati said, you can indeed run your laptop on AC power only, with battery removed indefinitely. If you got a battery that was poor quality, or just is faulty (you said you already got one DOA one), you could try another battery for it. But, the real issue here is two-fold:

    #1: Your Motherboard could have a faulty charging circuit, and the only way to know that is to use a Multimeter to check the output voltage on your AC adaper as well as your battery. If you know how to do this, fine. If not, you can take to your local repair shop and they can check that out for you for about $35-$75 U.S. If the tech at the repair shop finds that both the AC adapter and the battery are outputting correct voltages, you can pretty much bet the bank that your Mobo is fried.:waah:

    #2: Get off that laptop and get yourself a good performance PC desktop, and use that laptop for watching movies or reading e-mail. Gaming laptops, NONE OF THEM, are suited for Gaming, especially online gaming in a multi-player configuration. This is one of the biggest marketing scams in our industry that laptops have "Gaming" in their name, and people run out and spend thousands to buy them, and then the burn up in a year or 2!:furious: People expect "Gaming Laptops" to last just as long as PC desktops like 5-10 years life expectancy. Not going to happen anytime soon.:noway: There are no Laptops on the planet that will handle online Gaming that I've seen, and I've owned several. Not only that, the PC industry keeps selling them with the intention of fooling people into believing they will fulfill that purpose.:liar: As a computer engineer I've been designing computers for 40 years +, and have yet to be able to design a laptop that properly works for that purpose.:wah: A custom-rig is usually the best way to go, and building it yourself lets you do a better job at self-maintenance. You can build solid gaming PC desktops for $500-$2,000 U.S. And if you're interested in recommended build-specs and prices, here's a link to help you out:
    TSF Hardware Team's Recommended Builds - 2016 - Tech Support Forum

    Hope that proves helpful.
    Good Luck!
    <<<BIGBEARJEDI>>>
     
  4. William B

    William B Active Member

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    I agree with the two above. Gaming laptops - because of the heat generated and recycled within such a small enclosure will eventually cause what I call CPU/GPU "cake up". In as little as a year or two you may need to have the CPU reseated with new thermal grease because it has started to cake up and dry. Same for a gaming laptops GPU/ This is why you often see someone selling a high end gaming laptop in forums or on Craig's list, or ebay, not long after buying it. The issues are also exacerbated with an SLI or Crossfire gaming model unfortunately. This is why when I get a laptop for myself (I use an HP EliteBook currently) I usually get one with Intel I-GPU that is well built and made to last. After reseating about 15 CPU's in the past on gaming laptops, and the GPU as well, I literally gave up working on them for the most part. I also have some background in motherboard design implementation as well as with a gaming OEM company, and I can attest as the two gentlemen above noted that for the most part the gaming laptops are indeed a marketing sham. I don't think they mean it this way but it's the customer demand for the product that drives it. However, the laptop enclosure housing/compartment and power handling characteristics are not conducive for longevity when put under stress.
     
  5. Neemobeer

    Neemobeer Windows Forum Team
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    If the computer runs with the battery out then the power adapter is probably fine. Batteries will have varying life on them and can even be bad from the get go. I think it's already apparent the battery is bad but if you want to get a energy and battery report you can.
    • Open an elevated command prompt and type
    • powercfg /ENERGY /OUTPUT "%USERPROFILE%\Desktop\energy.html"
    • powercfg /BATTERYREPORT /OUTPUT "%USERPROFILE%\Desktop\battery.html"
     
    holdum333 likes this.
  6. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Nah! Not true. That's an old myth that never had any basis in truth. Unless the cured bond is broken, you NEVER have to replace TIM (thermal interface material). TIM easily lasts 10 or 15 years or longer. And since most users replace their computers before 15 years have passed, you will not have to replace the TIM just because the years passed by.

    It is also a myth it needs to be replaced because it dries. Total hogwash. What is the purpose of TIM? It is to fill the microscopic pits and valleys in the mating surfaces pushing out any insulating air. The best transfer of heat occurs with direct metal to metal contact of the mating surfaces so any excess is in the way. This is why the layer of TIM should be as thin as possible.

    So if the liquid solvents - which are there ONLY to make the TIM spreadable during application - dry out, the solids that remain are still occupying those microscopic pits and valleys, keeping the insulating air out.

    IF TIM needed regular replacing, the TIM makers would say so in order to sell more - but NOT one TIM maker recommends it. IF TIM needed regular replacing, the aftermarket cooler makers would say so to keep their buyers happy. IF TIM needed regular replacing, AMD and Intel would say so to keep their CPU buyers happy. IF TIM needed regular replacing, computer makers, tech journals, and tech schools would be telling all their readers and students to do it. But there is NO document anywhere - except from forum posters - saying it must be done.

    The Heatsink Guide,
    So when do you replace TIM? Only when the cured bond is broken. So if you remove your heatsink for some reason, you must thoroughly clean the mating surfaces and apply a fresh new layer of TIM.

    William B is right that notebooks are more prone to heat problems because their small enclosures don't support good cooling and that dust and dirt will eventually get caked into heatsinks and blanket other sensitive components. So of course, you must keep the computer's vents and internals clean of heat trapping dust and make sure the fans are still spinning properly. But unless the cured bond of the TIM is broken or the heatsink was never properly secured in the first place, pulling the heatsink to replace the TIM just risks damaging the CPU due to ESD or physical abuse.
     
    #6 Digerati, May 21, 2016
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
  7. holdum333

    holdum333 Banned

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    Wow! Thanks for that! I learned a lot! I have a Toshiba lap top going on 5 years. It has never ran hot. I'm expecting it to cause me problems soon, but until it does, I'll just keep chugging along. I had never heard all this before and I'm amazed.
    Thank you!
    I have never seen it run hotter then this.
     

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  8. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Yeah, those are great temps for a notebook and very acceptable for a PC. I don't start to worry about temps until they sit above 60°C for more than a couple seconds. When that happens, that tells me it is time to clean out the dust.

    The problem with notebooks is they use proprietary designs and are never designed to allow the user easy access for proper cleaning. You cannot just remove the side panel like you can with a PC. So keeping the case interior clean of heat trapping dust can be a challenge. You should regularly remove the battery and open every access panel and blast out as much dust as possible. And continue monitoring your temps like you are doing. :thumbs_up:
     
  9. holdum333

    holdum333 Banned

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    Hi @Digerati Here the way I clean my vents. I know your not supposed to use a vac because of static electricity, but I don't see how that would happen here. What's your opinion my friend? I hate the idea of taking my lap top apart. I'm not good at those things.;):(
     
  10. William B

    William B Active Member

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    Digerati. It can happen even with desktops TIM can last 5-10 years under the best environment and with a processor that is both efficient, and also housed in a good casing. Bond broken. Improper seating of the CPU. Too much grease. Too little grease. Too much heat. Etc. Ad-hominem. Here is a lesson for you. Get our your big chief pad degerati and write this one down. In each ane every case I replaced the TIM and of course I also cleaned out the laptops but in most cases not much dust, the temperatures went down significantly. 4-5-6-10c idle and load. Ran better each and every time. I have seen maybe 50? GPU's with caked syndrome. I relaced the TIM with each one. Again. Every single time solved the issue. Now that could be because I really know what I am looking at, and regarding GPU's too much or too little TIM is more popular than you think. This applies to motherboard mosfet heatsinks too.
     
  11. Neemobeer

    Neemobeer Windows Forum Team
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    There a special vacuums you can buy they won't hurt electronics
     
  12. William B

    William B Active Member

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    Indeed I have a few of those too that come in very handy. Don't get me wrong here in 90% of the cases where I worked on laptops for those reasons simple a good cleaning solved the issue. I am merely talking about the specific issues where temps were way out of order 65c+ sustained or more (75-80c) for some time causing shutdowns and or bluescreening. This goes true for dektops, laptops as well.
     
  13. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    @holdum333 - Yeah, I am not a fan of vacuums because of static. This is why professional repair facilities use compressed air instead. I agree there are "anti-static" vacuums designed for ESD sensitive electronics, but they are either too expensive or not powerful enough, IMO.

    You can use cans of compressed dusting gas, but I don't like them because contrary to their common name, it is not compressed "air" in those cans but hazardous gases like difluoroethane which is actually a refrigerant and is highly dangerous if inhaled. In fact, in some jurisdictions, the purchase of these products is controlled like model glue and spray paint because addicts are "huffing" the stuff to get high! :eek: :(

    And if you don't hold the cans level when spraying, they can spew extremely cold liquids - not good on fingers or hot electronics. That said, they are handy to quickly blast cookie crumbs out of a keyboard or a dog hair from in front of the light emitter in an optical/laser mouse.

    If doing regular cleaning of electronics, I highly recommend "investing" in a decent air compressor. Just make sure you use an inline moisture and particulate filter to avoid spewing nasty, rusty, oily, contaminated water that has condensed and pooled in the tank. Note this compressor and filter cost considerably less than that vacuum and you can use the air compressor for all sorts of other things, like building a fence or painting your house. And the very first time you can pump up a flat tire so you can ease on down to the repair shop instead of having to swap in a spare, you will qualm any doubts you may have had for buying the air compressor in the first place. ;)

    Also, be sure to use a wooden Popsicle/glue stick to hold any fans stationary while blasting. This will allow for better cleaning, but also prevent overspinning the fan bearings.

    When it is raining and I cannot lug a dirty system outside for blasting, I may use a vacuum. I just make sure I wrap my hand around the nozzle extending my index finger out first, then I plant that finger on bare metal of the case interior, then use a soft, natural fiber brush to stir up and direct the dust to the vacuum. Planting my finger first on the case metal discharges any static in my body and the nozzle and prevents the build up of any more static.

    *****

    @William B - you can follow the link in my sig to see if I am the one in need of a lesson.

    First, you are now trying to justify the myth by changing your story. You initially claimed the TIM may need to be replaced simply because it was a year or two old and has caked and dried out. I specifically said you don't have to replace TIM just because years passed by and I provided a link to support my claim.

    I ask,

    Where does Intel say TIM needs regular replacing?
    Where does AMD say TIM needs regular replacing?
    Where does NVIDIA say TIM needs regular replacing?
    Where does ANY notebook or PC maker say TIM needs regular replacing?
    Where does ANY TIM maker say TIM needs regular replacing?
    Where does ANY aftermarket cooler maker say TIM needs regular replacing?​

    The answer to all those questions is, "no where!"

    OF COURSE good transfer of heat requires the TIM was properly applied in the first place. So your comment about too much or too little is just obfuscation. If the CPU was not properly seated, it would not work so that is just more obfuscation. And yes, there are other scenarios that can occur that may require TIM be replaced. Extreme temperatures and/or high humidity may contribute to "pump-out" problems - and of course abuse (twisting the heatsink, or rough handling) may break the bond. But my reply was in response to your claim TIM may dry out in as little as a year or two and need replacing because it has caked up and dried out.

    There is a common misconception among enthusiasts who are not formally trained in electronics that because the "exposed" edges of TIM turns hard or becomes "crusty" that the product between the mating surfaces has somehow become ineffective. THAT IS NOT TRUE! Remember, the most efficient transfer of heat occurs with direct metal-to-metal contact of the mating surfaces. So "caked" and dried TIM around the edges is not a problem. It is between the mating surfaces that matters. And as I said, as long as that bond is not broken, you don't need to risk destroying the processor through ESD/mishandling.

    As for seeing a drop in temps after replacing the TIM, a few degrees can be expected when replacing OEM or generic TIM with a high-end TIM. But if you need those few degrees to prevent an unstable or throttling down situation, you have other problems - like inadequate case cooling and/or excessive dust build-up.

    And typically when a person takes the time to disassemble or open up a computer to replace the TIM, they do more than simply replace the TIM. They also clean out the dust.

    So off the high horse attitude with condescending "big chief" and "lesson giving" personal commentary and show us where ANY manufacturer of processors, TIM or computers claim that TIM needs regular replacing because it is a couple years old. If you can't, then there's YOUR lesson.

    And just be clear - did I say TIM never needs replacing? NO! I said it does not need replacing just because it is a "year or two" old and dried out.
     
    #13 Digerati, May 22, 2016
    Last edited: May 23, 2016
  14. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    Hi Bill!
    great to see you! :) I tend to use your last method with the paint brush and vacuum nozzle to remove dust. In fact I only did the machine on Saturday just gone so dust free at the moment.
     
  15. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Hey Ross! Great to see you too. :) It's been awhile!

    Yeah, when I worked in radio shops for the Air Force, we always had compressed air piped in. This was especially nice when stationed in Arizona and New Mexico which can be pretty dusty environments. But when I started my own shop in my home, for years I used a shop vac, taking care to avoid any static discharges as described above. But I always missed the ease, convenience and most importantly, the effectiveness when using an air compressor - especially for enclosed spaces like inside a PSU or a notebook. I never recommend or suggest users open a PSU so being able to effectively blast out a PSU is really nice. Vacuums (even those you can reverse and turn into blowers) just don't produce the PSI.

    So when I decided to put a wood slat fence around my property, I jumped at the chance to buy an air compressor and nail gun - easily justifying the cost with the better half by showing how much we would save over having a fencing company put it up.

    Having it in the shop for cleaning out electronics has been great. And with a gun nozzle like this, it is very easy to control where you want to blast and with how much force.
     
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  16. William B

    William B Active Member

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    Thanks for the clarification Bill, and your experience.
     
  17. Digerati

    Digerati Fantastic Member
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    Thanks. I think it is important for everyone; enthusiasts, hobbyist, professionals, and novices alike to remember and understand that Intel and AMD don't want their CPUs suffering from heat problems. And NVIDIA and AMD don't want their GPUs suffering from heat problems either. All of the aftermarket cooler makers (the reputable ones anyway) want their coolers to be effective for many years to come. So they all provide good quality TIM with their products. Even those OEM thermal pads that come on OEM coolers are good stuff - expected to last for the life of the computer! And it will, if the bond is not broken.

    So does that mean we don't need aftermarket TIM? No. Anytime you pull the cooler for any reason after the curing process has started (generally at the first power up/warming cycle after application), you need to replace the TIM. If you plan on doing extreme overclocking, you may want to replace the OEM TIM with a good aftermarket TIM (but you don't need to regularly replace it after that).

    So how does the bond get broken? Sadly, I have seen where it happens by the user twisting the heatsink to see if still tightly secured. So they end up breaking the bond (allowing insulating air in) while checking to see if the bond is still unbroken! :rolleyes:

    The other major cause is from bouncing the computer during transport. This is particularly true for heavy and tall aftermarket coolers that "hang off" the side of the motherboard in tower setups. Those coolers should always be removed before transporting, then properly remounted with a properly layer of TIM after reaching the final destination. Only if you are transporting the computer yourself AND only you will be handling it AND you can always lay the tower on its side so the heatsink is sitting on the board and not hanging off it, then you might be okay to leave the cooler mounted.

    BTW, typically the cooler just comes loose from its mounting mechanism after being bounced off the floor, but I have seen a case where a big, heavy cooler ended up breaking the CPU socket. New motherboard time! Not a happy client.

    Finally, users need to remember it is the case's responsibility to provide an adequate supply of cool air flowing through the case. The CPU cooler need only toss the CPU's heat into that flow. If you have a proper application of TIM, the cooler is properly mounted and clean of heat trapping dust, the CPU fan works properly and your CPU temps are still too high, you need to address case cooling by adding more or larger fans, or replacing the tired out fans.

    Okay, I'm on a roll so NOW finally ;) - also note that even tower PC cases are challenged to provide an adequate flow of cool air through the case. And PC cases typically support several large (wide and thick) fans. So it is no wonder notebooks are prone to heat related issues. For this reason, I say there is no such thing as a good "gaming notebook" or a "desktop replacement" notebook. Those are strictly "marketing" terms. Yes, the makers can pack in the power of a PC, but they cannot pack in the cooling.
     
    holdum333 and kemical like this.
  18. William B

    William B Active Member

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    Yes I know about the "bouncing" of the tall air coolers. I shipped maybe 250'ish higher end PC's in the past 14 years on my own. Not counting a gaming OEM I worked for. Really tall ones like the Hyper 212 can definitely get off kilter and skew/sag and cause issues with shipping. Add to that the packing material I used which is very similar to what Cyberpower uses that would also at times skew the heat sink depending on how the shipping was handled. It was a gamble for sure and I did my thing going over my warranty and replacing parts if needed and/or dealing with the shutdowns because of the heat. It didn't happen often just at times. Shipping back and forth for a single builder like me got old so I started selling mostly locally in a huge metropolitan area. These type issues rarely if ever happened with local only builds because the PC was solid. local, and not traveled. Sagging could still happen but not usually with a proper mount.
     
    #18 William B, May 24, 2016
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
  19. XAOS

    XAOS Member

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    I dislike tall 212 coolers with a passion for the obvious reasons given.
    I think anyone building a high end Rig should consider sealed water cooling.
    If they can afford a build like this a few extra bucks air cooling versus water cooling shouldn't be an issue.
    You have seen some of my builds,Will.

    Dougie.
     
  20. William B

    William B Active Member

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    I agree. I started to implement water more often and now the AIO coolers nowadays are pretty tight. I like the fact that you can easily move around the mobo with your hands too when working in the system, as well as better load temperatures for gaming.
     
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