Brand-new laptop battery doesn’t work!

I just received a brand-new laptop battery for my old-beater MPC Micron Transport T1200 machine.

Out of the box, I immediately installed the battery into the laptop, plugged in the power adapter, and booted up.

To my surprise, the OS read that the battery was at a 100% full charge. My initial thought was kudos to Skyline Engineering (the company that sold me the battery) – Very nice of them to go out of their way and send me a fully charged battery! Unfortunately, this was not the case.

After about 5 hours of the laptop being plugged in and turned on, I unplugged the power cable to test how much battery life I would get from this supposed 100% charged battery. As soon as I unplugged the power cable, the computer went dead – no power at all.

My sweet thoughts that I had toward Skyline quickly turned sour. I’m now thinking they sold me a defective battery which means I’ll have to go through the dreaded RMA process and what not. Ugh!

Wanting to avoid the RMA process, I first wanted to try a few things to see if I can get my battery to work. And, so I did!

In a flukey sorta way, I unplugged the power cable from the laptop, removed the battery, and held the power button down for about 30 seconds. Next, I installed the battery, then held down the laptop’s power button. With the power button still held down, I plugged in the power cable.

Immediately, the battery-charge indicator LED started blinking its amber message (denoting that the low-charged battery is charging). Strange, indeed! Prior to the flukey procedure, the LED was a solid green (indicating that the battery is fully charged). The fact that the LED was indicating that the battery was being charged, gave me hope that I won’t have to RMA that battery after all.

I continued on with booting up the machine and, sure enough, XP was reporting a 1% charge for the battery. I continued to let the battery charge up and noticed that it was steadily increasing in its charge.

It appears that the root of the problem (recall that the problem was was Brand-new laptop battery doesn’t work!) that the battery was, in fact, NOT charged at all. However, for some reason Windows XP was detecting a 100% charge which led me down the path of assuming Skyline sold me a defective battery – Not so! They simply sent me a battery with little to no battery charge.

By the way, not only was XP giving me a false report on the battery charge, it was also NOT charging the battery. Note that I had the laptop plugged in for at least 5 hours before I noticed that the battery was at a 1% charge, so I was certain that I wasn’t simply dealing with a scenario where I had to give the battery some time to charge up – After 5 hours, the battery should certainly have more than a 1% charge!

That was the long story to what could have been reduced to, simply: If you are having problems with a charge in your laptop battery, try the following procedure:

  1. Remove laptop battery
  2. Remove power cable from laptop
  3. Hold down laptop power button for 30 seconds
  4. Install laptop battery
  5. Hold down power button
  6. With power button still held down, plug in the power cable
  7. Let go of power button
  8. At this point, the Battery-Charge-Indicator light should be blinking amber (or red)
  9. Boot up computer and/or let the battery receive its full charge (i.e. Battery-Charge-Indicator should be a solid green or blue)
  10. Done!
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