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Author Topic: Laptop Battery Memory Effect  (Read 4524 times)
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« on: April 24, 2003, 12:24:33 PM »

If you are experiencing shorter battery life cycles, say 10 to 15 minutes, it may not yet be time to order that new battery. Try what is suggested in this article and if the problem persists, replace the battery.

Battery memory (Voltage Depression) is when rechargeable batteries are not fully discharged between charge cycles and they remember the shortened cycle and are thus reduced in capacity (length of use per charge). In other words, where the battery becomes conditioned to run for less time than it is designed to run. Say for example, you run your computer on battery for an hour and then you plug it back in to let it recharge. The battery will become conditioned to run only an hour before it runs out of juice.

To correct Battery Memory problems, you must completely drain the battery and recharge it. To completely drain your battery, you must go into your Windows Control Panel and select Power. Then you must turn Power Management Off. Next, you must go into your BIOS and make sure that if there is a power management setting there, that you turn it off as well. Locate the item 'Hibernation at Critical Battery', or something similar, and turn it off.

Once you have completed turning off the power management in both the BIOS and the Operating System, you must unplug the computer, turn the computer on, boot to an MS-DOS Prompt and let it run until it completely runs out of electricity. Then you should charge the battery for 12 hours. At the end of the charging cycle, then run the computer again until the battery is dead, and then charge the battery for 12 more hours. You should repeat this process four times, before returning the computer to its original power management settings.

As far as battery usage goes, it is recommended that you should use the battery once every two weeks, and keep the battery in the system so that the AC adapter can keep the battery charged at all times. It is also recommended that if you don't use the battery for more than two weeks, you should completely discharge the battery and store it at room temperature.

A Few Facts:
  • Voltage Depression occurs primarily in NiCad batteries. NiMH batteries are almost never affected and Li-Ion batteries are NEVER affected.

  • NiMH batteries on average last 1.5 to 2.5 hours depending on usage.

  • LiION batteries on average last 2.0 to 3.0 hours depending on usage.

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Sylvain Amyot
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