HP/Compaq laptop battery and/or charger problem

My 8-year-old HP/Compaq nx9005 laptop has got a completely flat battery - or, rather, *two* completely flat batteries, because I bought a new one a few years ago and they are now both the same.
The power arrangements for this laptop are as follows:
The battery is lithium-ion, 14.8v, 4400mAH (type F4809). It has a row of LEDs on the side to indicate the state of charge.
The mains power supply delivers 18.5vDC through a cylindrical connector, which powers the laptop when on mains, and charges the battery via circuitry built into the laptop. There is a light on the front of the laptop which is amber when the battery is charging, and turns green when it is fully charged.
Well, that's what's *supposed* to happen. What *actually* happens is this:
If I 'charge' the battery for (say) 24 hours, the lamp is amber for the whole time and never turns green. If I remove the battery immediately after 'charging', it is stone cold and none of the charge indicator LEDs light when the test button is pressed.
Even after a long charging period, the battery won't start the laptop if mains power is not present. If when the laptop is running, mains power is removed, it stops dead.
If I run the laptop without a battery present, the charge lamp flashes amber (but is solid amber if a battery is present).
I have tried putting one of the batteries in the freezer for 2 days, and then thawing it and attempting to charge it - all to no avail.
Sorry for the long pre-amble! My question is this:
How can I tell whether the problem lies with the battery or with the internal charger? Are there any clues in what I have written above? I don't mind buying another new battery but, if the charger is duff, I will have wasted my money.
I usually run it on mains anyway, so it's not a total disaster if I can't make the battery work - but one does tend to expect a laptop to have its own built-in UPS!
TIA.
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Cheers,
Roger
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Roger Mills wrote:

I'm 99% certain that the batteries have died due to old age. The behaviour of the charging LED suggests that the charging circuitry is okay. Most Lithium based batteries I've had in laptops have died after no more than four years. I killed one in a few months by just leaving the laptop plugged in permanently.
Two simple ways to make certain, test the battery in another machine,and try a working battery in yours. Of course, this does have the disadvantage of needing access to a machine that is known to be good.
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Tciao for Now!

John.

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John Williamson wrote:

A recently purchased IdeaPad has an option to keep the battery charged to 50% rather than 100%. This is intended in cases where the laptop is usually left connected to the charger, which hurts the battery longevity, you can untick the setting when you know you will want the full 5+ hours battery capacity ...
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On 14/08/2011 22:06, John Williamson wrote:

Thanks. What would the charging LED do if the charger was duff?

Not an option, unfortunately. I don't have access to another machine which uses the same type of battery - and the only way of getting a working battery is to *buy* one - which is what I'm seeking to avoid until I'm sure that the charger is ok!
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Roger
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Roger Mills wrote:

Stay off, IME. Which model of laptop is it?
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On 15/08/2011 07:23, John Williamson wrote:

As per my original post, it's an HP/Compaq nx9005 with an F4809 battery.
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Roger
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Roger Mills wrote:

I should have re-read the original post, but I'm stuck on a netbook with a tiny screen and it's *way* up there^.
Unfortunately, I don't have one, or one which uses the same battery,so I can't offer a spare unit type check.
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After eight years the batteries are well beyond their design life. Indeed the machine is as well. You might consider cutting your losses and buy a new machine.
Regards from Peter Crosland
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On 15/08/2011 07:38, Peter Crosland wrote:

The two batteries have been used serially - so that's only 4 years each, but even that may be beyond their expected life!
The laptop has already been pretty much retired, and is mainly only used as a standby machine. It had to be pressed into service recently when my wife's computer picked up a virus - and she was able to use the laptop whilst I sorted her main computer.
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Roger
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In Peter Crosland wrote:

I don't know... I don't think the same way about older laptops as you do about them. For example I have 10 laptops from 2006 alone.
3 Gateway MX6124 6 Gateway M465 1 Alienware M9700 with two Nvidia 7900 GPU connected in SLI mode
And I have no interest whatsoever in any newer machines, except my four netbooks from 2008. And my fascination with 2006 models is that they are at the crossroads between XP, Vista, and Windows 7. And anything newer it is hard to find XP drivers if they exist at all. And newer machines don't have Cardbus slots anymore.
The Gateway M465 laptops are very versatile as well. They support docking stations, 2 hard drives, 2 batteries, floppy drive and a wide range of CPUs work in these things. Thus they can run either 32 bit or 64 bit OS. And because of the docking station, you don't have to worry whether the DC jack works or not. And they came out with either matte or glossy, wide or non-wide screens.
I see 2006 as a great year for computers including laptops. And IMHO newer machines just are not as versatile. Heck does any newer laptops even support docking stations anymore? Or are they gone too?
So how long can I use these 2006 laptops? I am not sure. Frankly I am surprised they can still keep up with the latest software. Back in 2006, I thought 2011 was when I had to give them up and to move on. But 2011 is here and I might still be using them in 2016. ;-)
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Bill
Gateway M465e ('06 era) - OE-QuoteFix v1.19.2
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It should be perfectly able to manage 10 years and more, what usually makes old machines unusable is people putting ill suited OSes and apps on them. Linux Antix or Puppy should run very well on such machines.
NT
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On 8/19/2011 5:33 PM, NT wrote:

Much thanks NT. ;-)
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Bill
Gateway M465e ('06 era) - Thunderbird v3.0
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Well, if this situation has been going on for a while, the batteries will almost certainly be dead now in any case. They prefer to be left in a semi charged state, or they then fail to charge at all when you try to charge them after a long period. So, it really depends on whether the machine is worth getting fixed if the charger is dodgy. You would need a new battery in any case I'd think.
Brian
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On Sun, 14 Aug 2011 21:49:59 +0100

I have a similar situation to you. My laptop is an nx9010, and I bought a new replacement battery just over a year and a half ago. Now it behaves exactly as you describe, in every detail, and I also have wondered whether it's the battery or the charging system. I shall be interested in the conclusion, if any, although I have bought a new laptop, which far outstrips the abilities of the Compaq.
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Davey.

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Davey wrote:

Something I have noticed on my Armada is that aftermarket batteries are very variable in quality. I bought a pair, so I could put one in the CD drive slot, and one in the normal slot, one lasted a year or two, the other failed totally within weeks.
The both gave symptoms as described when they failed, with the bonus that one generated a BIOS error message saying the battery was faulty.
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John.

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On Mon, 15 Aug 2011 16:21:45 +0100

All I got was the information that it was almost fully charged, but it wasn't. The fact that the LED is alight does tend to indicate that the charging system is functioning, rather than the battery. But is could also be that the system is overcharging the battery, leading to its early demise.
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Davey.

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Can you still get a genuine OEM battery? I would be wary of a cheap "replacement".
If regularly used on mains, take the battery out, as they don't like the heat.
MBQ
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On Mon, 15 Aug 2011 08:36:29 -0700 (PDT), "Man at B&Q"

One of the problems with the modern Lithium based batteries is that they start deteriorating the minute they're manufactured and continue to do so throughout their lifetime whether they are used or not.
So when replacing the battery on an old laptop the problem is to find a new battery that was not manufactured 2 years ago (or longer) and has been sitting on the shelf ever since waiting to be sold. This battery can be sold as new, and comes in a new unopened package, but electrically it won't be new.
For that reason IMO you are better off to go to a high volume battery store and get a remanufactured battery with *fresh cells*...
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In wrote:

That is all true of course. But I get 10 years out of mine by sitting on the shelf. While Barry Watzman got 12 years out of his. You should check them every year or two and charge them if the voltage has dropped too low. As once they hit something like 3.4 volts per cell, the safety circuit might refuse to charge them anymore. As once the cells hit 2.8 volts per cell, they like to burst into flames if you try to charge them.
So the way I look at it... say a battery was manufactured four to five years ago. Anything older probably lost too much of its charge and the safety circuits will refuse to charge it. And even being this old and treated right, it should last about another 5 to 7 years.
So I don't know about you, But freshly manufactured laptop Li-Ion batteries usually cost like 200 bucks. While Li-Ion batteries which are older can be had for about 40 bucks. Remember the sellers are trying to get rid of them before they will refuse to charge. As once they get to this state, they can't even give them away. So spend 200 bucks and get about 10 to 12 years out of it. Or spend about 40 bucks and get 5 to 7 years out of those. I dunno, I rather go for the older Li-Ion batteries if you ask me. ;-)
--
Bill
Gateway M465e ('06 era) - OE-QuoteFix v1.19.2
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Yes I do remember those 'who has the oldest battery' campfire stories from times past here. Kinda like the mine is bigger than yours? 8-O

Just checked several sites and found batteries for my 4 year old Acer laptop (4315) ranging from about US$50 to $100.

Cheap is not always better in batteries (though it could be). Problem is how do you tell? I would likely go with a branded dealer like Duracell.com and pay the price.

Other than bragging rights why would you need a 12 year old battery?
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