Question

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  • #3949506

    Battery woes

    by matt1636653145 ·

    I have an Asus VivoBook with Windows 11 in my shop that does not charge while plugged in. Common problem, simple solution, right?

    I tried all the usual suspects: old battery (it’s less than a year old), bad charger (tests fine, dead on voltage etc.), driver update (no effect), residual power discharge (also no change). It runs happily on just the charger with the battery disconnected.

    When the battery and charger are both plugged in, it does not detect the charger. When just the charger is plugged in, it reports that the battery is at 100% and is not plugged in… at first. After a couple minutes it reports that it’s plugged in.

    I’m planning to leave it plugged in and shut down to see if that charges the battery, but that doesn’t help my client much one way or the other.

    Any ideas?

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    • #3949510

      Re: battery

      by kees_b ·

      In reply to Battery woes

      So you tried a new battery? And you tried another charger? And you booted into Linux to see if it’s a Windows issue?

      Then, if bringing the BIOS back to default settings, doesn’t make a difference either, you have to conclude it’s the motherboard.

      • #3949629

        I have not replaced anything yet.

        by matt1636653145 ·

        In reply to Re: battery

        I hadn’t thought of booting into Linux, though. Thanks for the suggestion. After doing that, there was no different behavior. I also reset the BIOS.

        I’m hesitant to replace the battery based on what I’ve already seen. It really looks like a problem between the port and the battery. That tends to indicate the MOBO… which I REALLY don’t want to be the case, for my client’s sake.

        On the other hand, I don’t think this machine was bought with Windows 11, and I’ve seen other weird issues come up after that upgrade.

        I think I’ll be forced to admit it’s the motherboard, and look into warranty coverage for this client.

    • #3949524

      Reply To: Battery woes

      by birdmantd ·

      In reply to Battery woes

      Have you checked the charging port/plug-in? I have seen some pretty wild stories that were resolved by cleaning the charging port after a certain amount of lint or hair clogging the port. Kind of like a belly button.

      You could check if the charging cable is getting enough power to the computer with a voltmeter.

      • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by birdmantd.
      • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by birdmantd.
      • #3949627

        Port status

        by matt1636653145 ·

        In reply to Reply To: Battery woes

        I had previously tightened the connection for this client. Thanks for the suggestion. I have actually had this problem with my phone recently as well… I’m planning to invest in a dedicated port cleaning tool.

    • #3949531

      Why worry?

      by rproffitt ·

      In reply to Battery woes

      At under a year old that’s a warranty situation. I would never take this one to a shop. Why pay when the fix will be free?

      • #3949631

        Re: Warranty

        by matt1636653145 ·

        In reply to Why worry?

        I don’t know how things are where you live, but around here, folks are hesitant to claim warranty repairs. For one, If it’s just a quick fix, they can get back to work right away by bringing it to me. For two, if I handle the warranty return, they’re more likely to have a positive outcome. Either way, the warranty repair often takes so much longer that it’s worth trying to get it fixed without going that route. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

        • #3949645

          Re: Warranty

          by matt1636653145 ·

          In reply to Re: Warranty

          Aww, shoot. I just checked and it expired September 2021.

        • #3949714

          Any word on use?

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to Re: Warranty

          It is possible to wear out a battery in a year if the battery is used daily. Some folk charge at night, unplug and run down the battery once or twice daily. A lesson is learned soon.

          Sometimes the laptop has been dropped and all bets are off what will fix it.

          But the usual is to get another charger then see if that helps. Next the battery. If that doesn’t fix it then it’s the motherboard which is either costly or can’t be sourced. Makers do not supply schematics so board level repair is rare as an honest politician.

        • #3950311

          Usage

          by matt1636653145 ·

          In reply to Any word on use?

          The client typically uses it on battery power, then charges it at night.

          Here is one key fact that may change the answer: It charges fine if it’s shut down. I think that pretty well confirms it’s a software issue, not a hardware issue. I’m thinking there may be some mess in the registry leftover from windows 10, or there isn’t a driver compatible with windows 11, or maybe there’s some other way to circumvent the block. I’m still open to suggestions. Win11 is still new enough that the solution might be to roll back to win 10.

        • #3950334

          or…

          by matt1636653145 ·

          In reply to Usage

          I just tested connections by pressing down with one finger across the top panel, since I noticed it flickering a connection notification while I typed on it. If I press on the spot right in the upper middle of the trackpad, it connects. That’s near the battery connection, but not on it. A visual inspection doesn’t reveal anything on either side of the mobo right there. I’m thinking a quick reflow of all the solder in that area might do it.

          Guess I was wrong about the software.

        • #3950345

          Good find.

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to or…

          That does point to hardware. However with the heavy battery use, I wouldn’t be surprised it needs a new battery.

        • #3950365

          Reply To: Battery woes

          by matt1636653145 ·

          In reply to Good find.

          I just installed a piece of dense foam on that spot to see if it would work without my finger. It does. I’m now convinced a reflow is the way to go. I bet the owner sets it on their lap and it’s starting to warp ever so slightly.

          I have a heat gun, but my shop isn’t really set up to use it like that. Have you ever tried the oven method?

        • #3950389

          Never. Here’s why.

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to Reply To: Battery woes

          Because the shop must warranty its work, the oven method is never used. Besides, who wants to contaminate the over they bake their food in?

          Look up r/spicypillows on reddit because something sounds suspect about your finding.

          Have you inspected the battery to be sure it’s not a spicy pillow?

        • #3950509

          Spicy Pillow

          by matt1636653145 ·

          In reply to Never. Here’s why.

          I am 100% certain it is not a spicy pillow. It’s as flat as a factory fresh one.

          My hypothesis is that it gets used on a lap and very slightly flexed in the middle, which caused a microfracture in a solder connection. A reflow plus advise to use it only on a flat surface should produce long term stability. Especially if said flat surface encourages them to leave it plugged in.

          There’s a phone shop in town that might be able to do it for me. They’ve done other board level repairs for me after I’ve diagnosed it.

        • #3950336

          Unless the maker has suggestions.

          by rproffitt ·

          In reply to Usage

          We do a clean install of the OS then drivers and see what happens.

          HOWEVER if folk run on battery always and charge at night they can wear out a battery in a year. When makers did state how many charge cycles the battery warranty was for, it was 300 cycles.

          Now you will encounter techs and clients that won’t swap in a new battery to find out and talk themselves into “it’s a software issue.” If it is, a clean install and drivers will fix it. Having seen so many dead batteries that techs and clients thought it was something else, I don’t spend much time on these. Batteries are cheap compare to tech+bench time. After batteries you try another charger because you don’t want it to be the motherboard which has always been the end of that laptop because cost if out of warranty.

          Sounds like a clean install of the OS is next. Finally, some skip the BIOS updates. We do that prior to the OS install because it’s free and once in a while corrects some issue.

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