laptop cuts out on battery power, battery good

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Chumble

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Hi, my girlfriend in Beijing has an Acer Aspire S3 latop. She bought a new battery for it a while back and told me it was no good. I was in Beijing recently messing around with it and found that actually the battery is fine (lasts for >4 hours) but when unplugged and running on battery power, the laptop often just cuts out suddenly (loss of power). I took the battery out and had a look and cleaned all the connections but they seem fine.

The next part is the strange part and which I hope might give someone a clue as to what's going on...

When it cuts out, it will never restart again unless the mains power cable is plugged back into the laptop. As soon as that's done and the power button is pressed, it starts up again and the cable can be taken out immediately (I mean immediately - you can plug the cable in, push the "power on" button and pull the cable back out in less than a second) and it will start up and run fine on battery again... until the next time it suddenly cuts out without warning.

Because any unsaved data is lost and because the laptop cannot restart without the power adaptor, this very portable and light laptop is now reduced to having to be kept at home all the time and plugged in, which is exactly the opposite of what she bought it for.

Anybody have any idea what the problem could be or suggest some tests that could be done to find out? She took it to a local computer shop but the guys there had no idea.

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

metallica5456

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Andrew
Well it could be several things....have you considered returning it to the place of purchase?
 

Chumble

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Well it could be several things....have you considered returning it to the place of purchase?
I suppose if no one has any suggestion about what it could be then that would be an option, though the laptop is over a year old and outside warranty. The battery is new and perfectly good. I thought the part about it running on battery but only powering up on mains power might have made the cause of the problem obvious (to someone with greater hardware knowledge than mine).
 

DaveBurnett

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That sounds like a faulty charging circuit - which I have found to be the most likely part to fail on laptops that are used regularly on battery.
Unfortunately that will require a new Motherboard or (if it separate on those) a new charging daughterboard. Both need expert fitting.
 

Chumble

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Hi, thanks very much for your reply, I really appreciate it.

If it was a faulty charging circuit, wouldn't that mean the battery is not charging or the charging is unreliable? Whereas in fact when the laptop cuts out on battery power, the battery has a perfectly good charge and might last up to 4 hours once the laptop is restarted.
 

DaveBurnett

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The same circuit indicates the battery capacity/charge level (along with circuitry in the battery) so if it is in the process of failing it will likely be intermittent, temperature dependent and lots of things. It is responsible for switching the power source and may well work fine if there is only one, but gets confused if there is more.
The charging on my laptop is very strange and shows my battery as flat if the temperature rises above 80 degrees. Since it only ever gets that high running on the mains and when the battery is fully charged, it is not a problem.
 
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