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  #1  
Old 22nd April 2012, 04:05 AM
BBQdave Offline
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Question New battery completely discharged

I just purchased a new Toshiba Satellite notebook. Through testing F16 Xfce (live cd) and then install, and then updating and playing around with my new system, the battery sat at 0% charge.

At about an hour in, I checked the battery (removed) and checked the charge point. All seemed good (nothing over heating and clean connections).

After one and half hours, the battery started taking a charge. I am relieved and happy at this, but wondering if I am doomed to a battery with a short life (in need of replacement soon). To my understanding, device batteries are supposed to be shipped with a 50% charge (best way to store a battery not in use). Approaching 4 hours and the battery is almost charged.

Is a new battery that is completely discharged OK? Is that the standard to do a full charge from 0% with a new device?
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  #2  
Old 22nd April 2012, 04:26 AM
Dan Offline
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Re: New battery completely discharged

I'd contact Toshiba service and have them drop a new one in the mail.
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Old 22nd April 2012, 05:59 AM
stevea Offline
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Re: New battery completely discharged

Calling service isn't a bad idea but FYI ....

laptop batteries these days all have a little power controller chip (some w/ clever little 4 bit micro-controller) and these manage the charging/rate/temp of the battery.
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...dern_batteries
When a laptop battery is truly zero'ed then there is no power for the micro-controller and then the battery can't be recharged without special techniques. Most often a nearly discharged batter can produce nearly full voltage tho' at only very low power levels - still enough to keep the micro-controller running - that's probably what happened here.

There are a lot of tricks to keeping a LiIon laptop battery healthy for a long life. DON'T fully discharge it, don't fully charge it (as you mention) and watch the battery temperatures. About the worst way to treat a LiIon is to keep it 100% charged while hot (like the typical working laptop plugged into the wall outlet).

Great web resource
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...ased_batteries


Incidentally auto LiIon batteries have the same issue so the controller stops charging below full capacity and stops regular draws before they hit 0%.
========

My opinion is your laptop battery must have a problem to be zeroed on delivery - unless it was a demo unit and someone ran it down accidentally - or unless it sat in a warehouse for huge lengths of time.

The same website states .....
http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...oltage_cut_off
Quote:
Do not boot lithium-based batteries back to life that have dwelled below 1.5V/cell for a week or longer. Copper shunts may have formed inside the cells that can lead to a partial or total electrical short. When recharging, such a cell might become unstable, causing excessive heat or showing other anomalies. The “boost” function by Cadex halts the charge if the voltage does not rise normally.
...
A study done by Cadex to examine failed batteries reveals that three out of ten batteries are removed from service due to over-discharge.
So my issue is - can your battery be charged to full capacity or is the capacity reduced by the discharged storage ? You can poke through the battery stat tools, but I'd want to test it by charging to full or near-full capacity and observing the runtime.

I'd also charge to a known level and let the battery sit outside the laptop for a couple days, then re-insert and test to see if internal shorts are draining the idle battery. A new LiIon shouldn't lose any charge over a few days idle.

If the capacity report after that is say 97% and it's not self-discharging I'd be inclined to keep it; otherwise I'd squawk for a replacement.
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Old 22nd April 2012, 11:43 AM
BBQdave Offline
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Re: New battery completely discharged

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevea View Post
I'd want to test it by charging to full or near-full capacity and observing the runtime.

I'd also charge to a known level and let the battery sit outside the laptop for a couple days, then re-insert and test to see if internal shorts are draining the idle battery. A new LiIon shouldn't lose any charge over a few days idle.

If the capacity report after that is say 97% and it's not self-discharging I'd be inclined to keep it; otherwise I'd squawk for a replacement.
I appreciate the feedback Dan and stevea.

I am monitoring and testing as you suggested. And I thought the same, if it discharges normally through use, than probably no problem. I was just concerned at the battery (apparently) arriving completely discharged. It took just over 4 hours to gain a full charge (which seems normal), and my monitoring was taking place through a fresh install and update, so perhaps not completely accurate readings of the battery.

The box containing the notebook was factory sealed, so not a display model. Perhaps the battery was at the end of normal (at rest-storage) discharge, I hope. Which could be the case, because this notebook was a special buy (low price), by the store - most likely to move older inventory.

I am still going to contact the store and let them know my concerns. Hey maybe they will offer me a new battery
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Old 22nd April 2012, 12:16 PM
Dan Offline
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Re: New battery completely discharged

Morning.

Whereas I completely agree with what Steve has posted, my response is essentially a pragmatic one. The bottom line to me is, the battery should not have been in that state, and regardless of whether it eventually turns out to have significantly shortened the life of the battery, this is a new purchase. It's covered by warranty. Now is the time to replace it, instead of a year from now when the warranty runs out, and the battery has cycled through most of it's useful remaining lifespan due to early abuse/damage.

You're a lot less likely to get a load of back-talk and argument now than you will be a year from now.

That being said, if you do get any argument from the service department, I strongly recommend immediately (in a friendly way, but firmly) requesting an escalation to a second tier representative. And if they balk at all, escalate immediately to a case manager. I've chased those rabbits around the mulberry bush often enough to realize that continued negotiations with their lower tier personnel is not only fruitless, but genuinely silly. They would certainly have you believe otherwise, but the reality is that you are the customer, and doing business with them is your choice, not something you are forced to do. The low-end personnel sometimes have a tough time remembering that, and an even tougher time respecting it. So rather than wasting your time trying to teach the pig to sing ... escalate up the chain until you hit a critter with the capacity to carry a tune.
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Old 22nd April 2012, 12:39 PM
bob Online
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Re: New battery completely discharged

Quote:
I am still going to contact the store and let them know my concerns.
That's probably worth a call, but I'd also register the problem directly with Toshiba and record the date and reference number that's assigned to it. Even if things seem normal now, you could be faced with abnormally shortened life on that battery and a reference to a recorded problem could get you a free one even after the warranty date's up.
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Old 22nd April 2012, 10:06 PM
BBQdave Offline
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Re: New battery completely discharged

Thanks everybody for your help. I will definitely contact Toshiba and registered the battery concern. And you have me motivated to push for a new battery from the store.

Thanks again for your advice.
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  #8  
Old 24th April 2012, 05:50 AM
goodfella Offline
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Re: New battery completely discharged

I think you worry too much. Take a few measurements on how long you can run
your laptop from 100% down to whatever low charge warning level you set, like 10%.
Compare to what the spec says. You know that your laptop had a burn in session
at the factory and has been through quite a bit before they put it in a box. It's good
to ask a Toshiba service tech about this. They will probably talk you out of worrying
about this.
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Old 24th April 2012, 05:59 AM
stevea Offline
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Re: New battery completely discharged

Quote:
Originally Posted by BBQdave View Post
I appreciate the feedback Dan and stevea.

I am monitoring and testing as you suggested. And I thought the same, if it discharges normally through use, than probably no problem. I was just concerned at the battery (apparently) arriving completely discharged. It took just over 4 hours to gain a full charge (which seems normal), and my monitoring was taking place through a fresh install and update, so perhaps not completely accurate readings of the battery.

The box containing the notebook was factory sealed, so not a display model. Perhaps the battery was at the end of normal (at rest-storage) discharge, I hope. Which could be the case, because this notebook was a special buy (low price), by the store - most likely to move older inventory.

I am still going to contact the store and let them know my concerns. Hey maybe they will offer me a new battery
Just to clarify and re-iterate.
You want to test the battery under load (use) to see that it has near full capacity. Probably you can read the re-calculated capcity from the battery info display.

More important you want to let is sit a while under zero-load (removed from the laptop for a few days for example) and verify it is not self-discharging through shorts or a controller error. This is the more likely problem.
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