Karl`s PC Help Forums

How To Test A Laptop's Battery Before It Needs To Be Recharged
JackInCT - 9-10-2013 at 17:05

I have a 6-7 yr old Acer laptop. I would like to find out just how long (approximately would be good enough) the battery will last (in continuous use) before it would peter out when it would be used without being plugged in.

While I could simply turn it on, set all the power options to "Never" (when it would go into sleep, hibernate, etc., mode, as well as when its display would turn off), and time that out, I would like to run a more 'real world' test; and of course that would be having the hard drive in constant use.

A Google search turned up a program called "Battery Eater" (http://www.batteryeater.com/news.html), and one of its test modes is to continuously run; this test does the following: "Load Text button towards the bottom in the window and choose a text file. The Readerís Test, once activated, will open the writing file and automatically scroll in the file time and time again until your laptopís battery gives out"; and when the battery is recharged, it will have a log file of the results.

While such an 'endurance' test would give me an 'extreme' time frame as to battery life (typically my HD would not be in constant use), it would give me a worst case scenario as to what I could expect.

I'm wondering if anyone on this forum has used this program, and would like to share their perspective as how accurate it is, OR knows of some other utility type piece of software that is better suited to what I'm trying to accomplish.


LSemmens - 10-10-2013 at 11:20

Sorry, Jack, looks like you are fresh out of luck. My lappy has just reported to me that my battery may need replacing soon. Not that I use it on batteries much, anyway, so, as long as it allows me an orderly shutdown, I'm not worrying about this.


JackInCT - 10-10-2013 at 15:24

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
Sorry, Jack, looks like you are fresh out of luck. My lappy has just reported to me that my battery may need replacing soon. Not that I use it on batteries much, anyway, so, as long as it allows me an orderly shutdown, I'm not worrying about this.


Acer wants a small fortune for a replacement battery (lithium ion); and it would not come as any great surprise that their replacement has been hanging around a warehouse for years (not that they would ever own up to that). The exorbitant cost of replacement makes buying a new machine appear as a better option, even if the outlay is much greater than the cost of the replacement. And Acer doesn't have any competition to speak of for a battery for a machine this old.

Like yourself I seldom use it--BUT when I do need it without having access to a power source, I need it (lacking an alternative).

However if it's now at the point where the battery only power is, say, 15 minutes of use, it's time to retire it to my digital equipment museum (tours given daily, HA HA), and buy a new 'laptop' [there's a bewildering array of portable devices with all kind of 'labels' (netbooks,notebooks, ultrabooks, chromebooks, on & on) that would take quite some time to sort out on a price point versus 'capability' [system specs] scale. & Yes, the various OSs 'power saving settings/power plan(s)' for portables do give you ample warning re running out of the battery charge, allowing for a controlled (no loss of data) shut down; but if battery life is so limited that it runs out soon after you turn it on, then IMO the machine no longer serves any useful purpose.


dr john - 22-10-2013 at 18:09

Go to ebay, and search on the battery's part number. You will find other manufacturers produce batteries at a fraction of the cost. Ditto battery chargers if that every dies as well.

PS Why worry about battery life, just run it from the charger all the time, unless you are planning to use it in a location where there is no mains electricity. I've ran my laptops that way for a few decades now (different models at different times of course), with no problems.


Quaver - 22-10-2013 at 19:55

I got a compatible Sony laptop battery for about £30 instead of £140 Sony wanted;)