Question about Sharp Actius AL27 Notebook
Hi and my problem is with the battery not holding a charge. We haven't used the laptop that much and even less with just the battery. I guess I'll have to buy a new battery but my concern is: I read that the problem is in the BIOS and if one doesn't update the BIOS the new battery will suffer the same fate as the original did.Have you heard of this? And how does one update a BIOS?
Thanks in advance for any and all help.
Laptop batteries are notorious for having short life spans if not 'babied' correctly. Similar to car batteries, discharging and recharging can only last for so long, until they, without notice, stop holding a charge. This is for batteries acroos the board, whether Acer, IBM, Black or White, they just don't last very long. They are made as a consumable. The BIOS trick may be true for some, but not for all issues. To update the BIOS, one has to visit their respected Notebook manufacturer's website, usually under 'Support' or 'Downloads' section and check to see whether you have the most current version. If one does not have the most current, download either the floppy version (if floppy disk drive available), or the executable one to your PC. The floppy type will automatically (usually) format and created the BIOS or 'firmware' update disk of your choosing. Full instructions are usually on the support site.
Posted on Jan 11, 2008
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The likely cause of the original battery fault and the key to what to look out for in future is a very common mistake in the way laptops are used. A laptop battery, working at optimum efficiency, whether of the older Nickel Cadmium and Nickel Metal Hydride or newer Lithium Ion types, is meant to charge under power and then discharge under use, if it is to have a long and useful life.
This means that it should be used in a similar way to a cellphone's battery - connected to mains electricity and charged up when low or flat and then disconnected from the power and used on battery power alone until the power level means the cycle needs repeating. Many people, however, unwittingly use their laptops like desktop PCs and leave the mains electricity connected to it even after the battery is fully charged. The common reason that people cite for doing this is 'convenience'.This, however, is a mistake.
Laptops have more flexibility than cellphones in that, if they are mainly used in one place rather than as mobile devices, then it is possible to charge the battery to full capacity, disconnect from the mains, then remove and keep the battery until the next time the laptop's mobility function is required (periodically recharge the stored battery if not in use for long periods of time because the charge slowly dissipates when not in use), reconnect the mains to the battery-less laptop and use it like that, ad infinitum. It is this method of powering the laptop that you have recently discovered.
When a laptop battery is fully charged, what it really wants to do is discharge. However, maintaining the mains connection, prevents it from doing so. The Power Management system on the motherboard is designed to cope with long periods of either battery powered or battery-less, direct mains powered use (as you are currently doing), but not long periods of simultaneous battery + mains powered use. A fully charged battery, still connected to mains electricity has no means of discharging and various power sensitive components such as the Power Inverter, Cold Cathode Backlight, LCD Panel and Graphics Chip can become damaged by the power bottleneck created.
Using the battery in this wrong way also gradually depletes the charging capacity of the cells (as seems to have happened to you), until eventually, the cells can carry no charge, meaning a dead battery. A dead battery, where the cells are depleted, left in the laptop with the mains connected, is even worse for the Power Management System, because the flow of power to the motherboard, via the dead battery cells, is inefficient and intermittent, creating battery overheating, low CPU Cooling Fan speed, inferior cooling and consequentinternal overheating hazards in addition to potential electrical damage to several components (and even burn damage to users' laps).
Loose DC jacks, leading to intermittent power drops and surges, are typically caused by theDC Jack being allowed to take the weight of the heavy transformer box on the laptop's power cable. The solution is to ensure that the laptop is never held, carried or used with the transformer hanging unsupported. This is a very real danger wparticularly when the laptop is moved while being used in a battery-less condition. If the laptop is in use, the transformer should be disconnected, carried, placed on a desk or table near the laptop (if the cord is short) or laid completely full-weight-flat on the floor (if the cord is long enough). If a battery-less laptop is being moved, to be completely safe, it should really be powered down beforehand. Another hazard of battery-less laptop use is the accidental pulling out of the power cable while the laptop is in use, which can cause serious damage to the Hard Drive, CPU, RAM, Cooling Fan Motor, Graphics Chip, LCD Panel, Cold Cathode Backlight and LCD Panel Power Inverter.
Also, always use a Surge Supressor/Surge Protector between the mains power socket and all Computer equipment, never connect the laptop's power cable directly to the mains.
When battery cells are dead, a replacement battery is required for mobile computing and should be bought and installed as soon as possible. In the meantime, the old, dead battery should be removed and disposed of in an ecologically sound manner and the laptop can be used (battery-less) on mains power alone. Manage any new battery you buy and the AC/DC Adapter in the way described above and you should hopefully avoid problems in future.
I hope this helps. If this answer does help you, please take the time to rate it. This helps answerers like me better understand the needs and the point of view of the asker and guides us in exploring the best ways to provide useful, high quality answers. If you need further help, please feel free to post another question or add a comment to this question.
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