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Ubuntu laptop can't run off battery

By Jay Garmon Contributor ·
I have a Compaq Armada M300 laptop running Ubuntu Linux 5.10, and I can't get it to run off the battery. The battery indicator always reads full, but I can't boot without the AC cord plugged in, and if I remove the cord while the laptop is running, the machine dies.

Wait, it gets weirder. The first time I plugged in my Cisco Wireless PCMCIA card--before I set up any of its configuration or drivers--the battery indicator reset to zero, and slowly recharged over the next 90 minutes. The system still couldn't run off the battery, but it clued me in that perhaps something rather serious was wrong.

I had a troubled install of Ubuntu on this machine--video driver issues that had me doing parts of it without benefit of the screen--so I really don't know if I screwed something up in the software, or if my hardware has gone bad. It could be I've knotted up the APCI somehow, or that my battery is just plain toast.

How do narrow down the cause of my woes as hardware vs. software, and if it is software, how do I solve the issue?

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by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to Ubuntu laptop can't run o ...

--- Keep up with the Trivia Geek's ongoing Wacky Linux Adventures with the wackylinux tag.
http://techrepublic.com.com/5261-1-0.html?query=wackylinux

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by jdclyde In reply to Ubuntu laptop can't run o ...

My guess would be the battery is toast. It isn't holding the charge. Do you know anyone with a similar system so you can swap batteries for a few minutes to test that?

Did it work fine before the Ubuntu install? (the battery)
What was on it before the Ubuntu?


If it is hardware, this will tell you right off. If Software, it is out of my realm.

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by jdclyde In reply to

If a battery is left uncharged for any length of time, that will kill it real quick.

You had the rest phase out and didn't grab them for spare parts? We have had several of our old Ax Thinkpads die, and I snag them up ASAP! So if my A20m does have issues, I have the parts to get it going again. woo woo!

If you take it to a battery place, I bet they could test it and tell you right off! (not tell you off, tell you if the battery is bad!)

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by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to

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by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to Ubuntu laptop can't run o ...

I don't know if the battery worked before Ubuntu. I know it was dead under WinXP, and that I left it plugged in for days while I fiddled with the install. I didn't notice the problem until I was past the install process.

Also, this is the last of this model in the building, so I don't have a handy swap-out. Still, my gut says hardware problem.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Ubuntu laptop can't run o ...

The first thing that I noticed when I installed Ubuntu last week was that there was no option for NB's so Jay this probably isn't the ideal Distro for a NB to start off with.

According to the Debian Discussion site Ubuntu isn't supported for NB installation and lacks quite a few of the extras that are useful for a NB like the ability to control the System Fans and the like.

But in this case with your description I would be looking at the first as a possible cause for this problem. The giveaway here is when you plugged in a PCMCIA card that the Battery power dropped to 0% and then recharged over a period of time would tend to point to a less than perfect battery.

Col

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

I tried Ubuntu on my NB earlier today and while it installed OK and picked up most of the installed Items it did have a problem with the Wireless network connection, but it did run perfectly otherwise.

I would be looking at the Battery Pack as the possible problem here as if the Battery is OK it should run off the Battery without needing a mains connection this is something that is hardware related and not Software Related.

Col

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by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to

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by samthetrue In reply to Ubuntu laptop can't run o ...

i dont know much about linux but what i was told when it doesnt work was:
make sure that it is pluged in all the way
reinstall driver
check if there is a manger for that device and if so check if it says error... if not check if there is suposto be one
check if there is a update for the product from the website (if any)

i dont suspect any of these will work if you havent seen anything telling you to do any of this but thats my 2 cents worth

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by Jay Garmon Contributor In reply to

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