February 7th, 2012, 16:50 PM
Gateway laptop battery has taken over my machine.
Well, I've read a lot of battery issue posts and found nothing to figure out this situation. The title is the best way to describe this. My laptop battery completely body blocks my AC adapter.
I took out my older laptop, a Gateway NX570. It's a few years old and was running great up to last March when I bought my new one. I want to use it as a small server to upload weather station info so I dusted it off and started playing with it.
In a couple of days, the battery appeared to stop charging. I was using it with the AC adapter and the battery discharged to nearly nothing. The computer wouldn't even turn on with the adapter plugged in, so I figured the adapter had given up. Easy fix: I bought a new adapter. The computer fired right up and the battery registered a mysterious 25% charge.
Now I'm noticing that the "charging" indicator light on the front isn't working and the battery is discharging as the computer is running with the AC adapter in plugged in. Soon it powers down as the battery discharged completely. Hmm. Bad battery? But wait:
I removed the battery and mashed the power button. The computer turned on and ran normally. The power icon looks like a little AC plug, indicating that I'm running with the adapter plugged in with a fully charged battery. Now. I put the battery back in as the computer was still running and the icon changed to a little battery, and discharging at that.
Power management drivers, right? No worries, says I. I should do a clean install of Windows XP anyway since I'm putting this computer back into service. I started Windows fresh and the problem is still here. I did all of the little tricks in the device manager that I've been reading about to no avail. I decided to sleep on it and decide if buying another battery was worth a shot. I left the laptop plugged in with the battery in place.
This morning I walked up to a laptop with no charging indicator light but a full battery, nonetheless. So now I'm going to save my money and hold off on the battery purchase. The only new detail to report is that I know the charging indicator lamp will still work because I just saw it on briefly as I was playing with power scheme settings. I haven't been able to recreate that.
So finally? My question. Is there a way to use different drivers to manage the battery charging and power use of this laptop or should I just get a cheap UPS until I replace it?
February 8th, 2012, 19:37 PM
Is the new AC adapter you bought a genuine Gateway one or generic?
I have seen similar instances where a generic adapter was at fault due to not being compatible with the battery.
February 8th, 2012, 19:42 PM
February 9th, 2012, 20:03 PM
SP3 is installed.
There could be something to the idea of a genuine Gateway brick versus the aftermarket version. Gateway bricks may talk to the motherboard better?
I've done the buy it and try it troubleshooting before and this old machine isn't breaking the bank so far. But for the sake of patience (or lack of it), I may just go to the local shop and pick up a small UPS. This laptop is going to sit on a desk in a cold corner and send weather station data up to Wunderground. It's only going to run one program for the rest of its natural life. I'll still look for the genuine Gateway part for the simple fact that the less junk under the desk, the better.
It would be cool to solve this one. I and others around me have never seen this kind of battery behavior in many years.
February 10th, 2012, 15:15 PM
A low cost alternative to buying parts when there is no clear-cut fix. I have steered three distant family members to an off-lease computer when they had a need for a super low cost setup. They came ready for use. All worked. In fact one has been working for 3 years without me having to provide repairs. Link
If you need a monitor, call a local auction house to find out if next auction has computers. I have picked them up CRT's monitors for as little as $10 that way.
February 10th, 2012, 15:34 PM
Oh I'm with you, brother. (But not out loud in public.) If I get tired of this problem, I'll just get a refurbished web book to do this job for me.
I've been able to provide some of our working families in our community with a computer out of my own pocket by way of these. Their kids have a computer in the house and the machine runs just fine.
There's some kind of odd stigma attached to the purchase of pre-owned gear, be it computers, small appliances, or cars, so I never really mention it around the forums. Thanks for bringing it up.