Solved: Laptop only charges to 84%?

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chris660

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Feb 26, 2010
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Hi everyone.

My laptop is giving me issues. About 3 days ago it started to only charge to 84% while plugged in. So last night I went to sleep and left it plugged in while the laptop was off. I woke up and it is still only charged to 84%.

It's a gateway and it's only 6 months old. The last laptop I had was an Acer and it never did this once in 3 years. Is the battery defective or could this be something else?

Any help is appreciated. thanks
 

calvin-c

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May 17, 2006
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There are several possibilities. Try running BatteryCare (free) to get more details on what's happening. So-called 'intelligent' batteries have firmware that reports what their capacity should be. In some cases (from BatteryCare FAQ) this firmware reports an incorrect capacity. The charger, OTOH, monitors the resistance to determine when the battery is fully charged so even if the firmware is reporting a higher capacity the charger won't overcharge it. This, of course, can lead to the charger stopping before the battery reaches the stated capacity.

That's just one scenario, and probably not the correct one since a problem such as this would have been present from the beginning. But it's an example of why it's virtually impossible to identify, from the details given, what the problem really is.

And regardless of what the problem really is, if the laptop is only 6 months old then it should still be under warranty so this really shouldn't be *your* problem. Have you contacted Gateway about this? It's even possible that this is a known problem. Sometimes rather than notifying everybody about a problem that only affects some they wait for those who are affected to complain, then offer them the 'fix'. So your first stop, on a computer that's under warranty, should be the manufacturer-even if you don't think they can (or will) help.
 

chris660

Thread Starter
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Feb 26, 2010
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32
Hi Calvin. Thank you for your reply. I contacted Gateway today, and they told me that I should calibrate the battery. They said I have to charge it while shut off until the battery indicator light indicates a full charge. Then to start it in safe mode and let the battery drain until the comp shuts off and this will calibrate it. When I told them I left it on all night and the full light never came on, they said to try it anyway, so I will try now.

Thanks for your help.
 
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Aug 1, 2003
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Yes, calibration is what you should try next. You didn't drain the battery before you charged it. They are thinking that 84% really means 100% and your meter has lost its zero point.

After you do this, if the battery charges to 100%, that may not be the end of the problems. You will have to try it out to see if the battery lasts as long as it did before. If not, it may be close to needing replacement. Batteries last variable lengths of time, but not very long if not cared for diligently.
 
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