Heal A Sick Laptop Battery
Myth: You can rejuvenate a worn-out battery.
This isn't, strictly speaking, the case. You can't make old lithium hold more electrons than it can currently manage.
But if the battery is running out unexpectedly fast, or if your laptop is having trouble figuring out how much power it has left, you might be able to fix the battery's "gas gauge," so it at least gives a more accurate reading.
If you suspect the battery can't tell if it's charged or not, run it through a couple of cycles. Drain it of all its power (yes, this is the exception to the "don't drain the battery" rule mentioned above), recharge it to 100 percent, and then repeat.
But how do you drain the battery when Windows won't let you do just that? Don't bother with the settings described above. They're not safe (you might forget to change them back), they may not be getting an accurate reading, and they quite possibly won't let you set the critical battery level to 0 percent. (If they did, it would crash Windows.)
Instead, unplug your AC power and keep your laptop running (you can work on it if you like) until it automatically hibernates. Then reboot your PC back and go directly to the system setup program.
I can't tell you exactly how to get there; each computer is different. Turn on your PC and look for an onscreen message (one of the first you'll see) that says something like "Press the X key for setup." Immediately press the designated key.
It may take a couple of times to get the timing right. If there isn't enough power to let it boot, plug in AC until you're at the setup program, then unplug it.
Leave the notebook on until it shuts off. This can take some time (45 minutes on my laptop); setup uses a lot less power than Windows.
Once the PC is off, plug in the AC power, then wait a few hours before rebooting to Windows and making sure you've got a full recharge.
Repeat the process once or twice.
With luck and proper care, your battery will still be useful when you're looking for a new laptop.
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