Last week a customer came in for a laptop battery replacement. Her laptop ran fine from the charger but her existing battery wasn’t holding a charge. The old battery was most likely the original one, as it generally only went to 7% charge even though it was always plugged in. So a new battery was ordered.

Two days later the battery comes in, she picks up the battery and states she’ll install it herself. About a week later I receive a call stating the laptop won’t hold a charge, the system is found by her to only have a little bit of a charge left. I tell the customer to bring it in, I’ll take a look at it. Although this is outside of my scope of the original repair, I told her what was going on.

It seems Windows (Windows 7) was set on high performance mode under control panel, and was set to never power off. I changed the power options to balanced and also adjusted the advanced options so it would power down when the power button was pressed, hibernate when the lid is closed and adjusted the screen to be a little brighter for her when on battery. Then I told her that she should set the computer to high performance as a test, and see for how long the system runs just on battery power, just to make sure the battery is good. If it doesn’t perform well, I’d take it back for a refund.

The customer was not sold a cheap laptop battery, but too often consumers purchase cheap batteries thinking they’ll perform just as well. They do not. Initially the battery may perform well, but the actual life may be only one to three months. Also, people may NOT need a new battery. It’s possible that the power options in Windows are set so that the system never actually turns off. Double check that first, before you even look at buying a new battery.