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Can a laptop battery, coming to the end of its life, interfere with the AC power when the computer is plugged in to the wall?

By apocalypse53 ·
I've been having irritating problems with my laptop lately. I've sent it off to be repaired at least 3 times now for the same problem, and this last time I got it back, the repair tech told me the problem is likely due to my battery coming to the end of its life. His reasoning was that "some laptops require the battery to be in for the computer to recieve AC power, because it's routed from the power supply, through the battery, and then on into the computer. If the battery starts to die, the computer may start to act weird until the battery is replaced." His logic sounds reasonable, but he couldn't explain to me why, when I pulled the battery from the computer, I was able to boot up, load Windows, and mess around for a few hours before I lost power. Is it likely my battery is dying (and telekenetically crashed the laptop when I tested it with the battery pulled out), or is it more likely something more serious that the retail store doesn't want my attention to be called to?

The laptop is a Toshiba Sattellite 2435 S255, which after I started having problems, I found out has motherboard problems.

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by hawgfan In reply to Can a laptop battery, com ...

Sounds like your problem has nothing to do with the battery if you can run the laptop for a few minutes without it. Sounds like a possible power supply or mobo. BTW, don't overlook power saving settings in Windows.

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by apocalypse53 In reply to Can a laptop battery, com ...

The repair center checked the powersupply and it checked out ok. And it can't be a Windows problem because I run into the same problem in Linux (FC2). The first time I took it in, I was told it was likely the motherboard and now I can't get anyone to repeat that quote.

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by TheChas In reply to Can a laptop battery, com ...

The brief answer is YES, a dying battery can stop you from booting your computer.

What happens, is that if the battery develops a low enough internal resistance, or a few cells short out and drop the voltage, the battery will overload the power supply and force the DC voltages down to a level where the laptop will think it has a low battery and will not boot.

I would definitely get or borrow a new battery and see if that cures the problem.

Some laptops use the battery to filter (stabilize) the DC power from the power supply. On such a laptop, running without the battery can damage the motherboard.

Chas

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by apocalypse53 In reply to Can a laptop battery, com ...

For answer #2 (don't know how do put comments directly under answers...):

original question:
"but ... explain to me why, when I pulled the battery from the computer, I was able to boot up, load Windows, and mess around for a few hours before I lost power."

Are you saying any laptop will boot without a battery, but some need the battery as a "safety net," of sorts? I have no real problem booting, and I have no problem with the computer incorrectly detecting the charge of the battery; however, after the computer's been turned on for a while (I've had it on for days, other times I can't even load Windows) it either switches to battery power and slowly dies, or tries to switch to battery power and blanks off (in the cases where I've removed the battery). I did indeed order a new battery today so it'll be a while before I can test if this is the case.

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by lamvidao In reply to Can a laptop battery, com ...

Replace the motherboard. Dell has similar problems.

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