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Free laptop diagnostic


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#1
jaimejd007

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I've gone to Best Buy, Firedog and this place in Winter Park called Laptops Plus. They all charge me between $50-$100 just to check my laptop and tell me what's wrong with it. Do you guys know of any place that checks them and gives me an estimate for free? Or am I asking for too much here?

Thanks in advance,
-jaimejd007

Edited by jaimejd007, 14 August 2008 - 09:45 AM.

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#2
The Admiral

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We're free here. :)
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#3
shard92

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yeah if you want a free diagnostic your best bet would either be something like explaining your problem here or calling around to small computer shops in your area.... Almost any chain is going to charge you but a mom and pop might give you a break to get your business...
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#4
jaimejd007

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Sorry, I forgot to mention it was a hardware problem I was having. You think if I describe it well enough you guys will be able to help me out? :-D

-jaimejd007
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#5
The Admiral

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We'd be happy to! :)
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#6
jaimejd007

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Alright cool.

Well, I'm having a power problem. About a year ago, my laptop stopped working with the battery. Now at the time, I thought it was the battery since you know, batteries go bad and I had had that one for over a year at that point. I called LENOVO to let them know about the problem, turns out my 1-yr warranty had just lapsed the month before. The guy I talked to was nice enough to let me describe my problem though, and after I was done he said it was either the battery or the connection from the computer's mobo to the battery.

Now I still think it's the battery, but I want to be 100% sure it's the battery before I go out and buy a new battery.

Sorry for the long-winded back story. Here's the problem:
When the laptop is plugged into the wall, it works fine no problem. When I unplug it from the wall though (with the battery inserted into the laptop), the laptop turns off immediately. While the computer is plugged into the wall though, Windows says the battery is at 89% and is not charging. So is Windows just reporting that wrong? Is the battery dead? Or could it maybe be the connection from the battery to the computer?

Also another thing that happens when you plug in the battery to the laptop is that the laptop's battery indicator turns on and flashes for a second or two and then it turns off.

I tried to explain that the best I could at 1:40AM. If you need me to try and explain it again, let me know. I'd be glad to.

Thanks in advance,
-jaimejd007
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#7
The Admiral

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I'm not sure about Lenovo's BIOS (I'll have to look at it when I get home), but is there a screen that shows you battery charge? Seeing if the AC Adapter and battery are properly detected is a step in the right direction.

Also look for a BIOS update, just to be sure you have the latest, as well as correcting a possibly corrupt BIOS.

Is there a charge button on the battery itself, or just when you get into the computer? If so, check the button and see if any lights come on.

What color does the battery indicator flash for a couple of seconds when you plug it in?

Can you turn on the laptop with just the AC adapter, and no battery?
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#8
shard92

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Also I don't know if you have the equivalent near you but we have a Batteries Plus store here and they will sometimes test the battery for you... Also what type of battery is it... NIMH? LION? etc...
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#9
The Skeptic

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There is a good chance that the battery is dead. The fact that a battery is indicated as charged doesn't mean much. A battery must be tested under load to tell you if it's good. The fact that voltage looks normal when connected to a charger doesn't mean that the battery can supply the required current. If you know someone with a Lenovo computer try to swap batteries and see what happens.
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#10
jaimejd007

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Sorry for not posting in a while people, I gave my laptop to a friend to see if he could check it but he couldn't do much.


Also I don't know if you have the equivalent near you but we have a Batteries Plus store here and they will sometimes test the battery for you... Also what type of battery is it... NIMH? LION? etc...


There is a Batteries Plus store here in Orlando as well, but IIRC, they wouldn't check it for me at the store. I think they lacked the equipment and had to send it somewhere or something like that. It's been a while, so I don't remember. I'll go there again today to see if they can check it.

Anyways, the battery is a Li-ion, according to the label on the battery itself.

I'm not sure about Lenovo's BIOS (I'll have to look at it when I get home), but is there a screen that shows you battery charge? Seeing if the AC Adapter and battery are properly detected is a step in the right direction.

Also look for a BIOS update, just to be sure you have the latest, as well as correcting a possibly corrupt BIOS.

Is there a charge button on the battery itself, or just when you get into the computer? If so, check the button and see if any lights come on.

What color does the battery indicator flash for a couple of seconds when you plug it in?

Can you turn on the laptop with just the AC adapter, and no battery?


-I'm not sure what you mean by "a charge button on the battery itself, or just when you get into the computer."
I think you mean if there's some kind of light that comes on somewhere on the computer instead of just inside Windows. Yes, there is a light. Is in the front panel of the laptop. Picture:
http://www.pcsos.com..._Notebook_1.jpg

Picture of battery:
http://www.made-in-c...100-Series.html

-The battery indicator flashes green and also red/orange.

-Yes, I can turn on the laptop with just the AC adapter and no battery. That's what I do most of the time, actually. Battery adds weight to the laptop, so I leave it at home most of the time.

Also, recently, I've left the battery on the laptop (I don't know why) and the computer turns off after a couple of minutes of being on. This problem doesn't happen when the battery is not on the computer. Weird, huh? This never happened before.

There is a good chance that the battery is dead. The fact that a battery is indicated as charged doesn't mean much. A battery must be tested under load to tell you if it's good. The fact that voltage looks normal when connected to a charger doesn't mean that the battery can supply the required current. If you know someone with a Lenovo computer try to swap batteries and see what happens.


Ever since I first had this battery charge problem over a year ago I've been trying to see if someone I know has a LENOVO laptop. I've even gone to computer repair shops to see if they have one. No luck. Thanks for the tip, though. :-)

-jaimejd007
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#11
shard92

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well from what you've said ( leaving the battery at home and it's Li-ion ) it's possible the battery got too low so it won't charge anymore... How old is it? Li-Ion I believe only last 3-5 years depending on conditions and use..... Also as I recall Li-Ion can't be reconditioned as some of the older ones ( well maybe with special equipment ) can be.... While it is possible that it's the charging circuit that is the problem I would say it is probably the battery.... Also what was meant above.... some batteries have a button and/or a meter on them to look at the charge... Many do not however.... I don't know what kind of luck you'll have at batteries plus but here it depends on who is working as to whether they will test stuff....

Good luck
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#12
jaimejd007

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Yeah, I went to Batteries Plus and they said that the only kind of batteries they can't test are laptop batteries. Some BS about voiding the warranty or something. Whatever. -_-

But one of the things the guy said was the same thing you did, that it's possibly too low on a charge right now and it won't work anymore. I guess if it wasn't the battery that was causing the problem a year ago, it sure is causing the problem now, lol.

I guess I'll buy a new one. I asked the guy how much a 6-cell and a 9-cell were just to compare prices, and they are about the same as online. The only difference is that Batteries Plus charges a 20% restocking fee on it. I guess I'll buy it online then, just in case the problem was something else in the first place and not the battery.

The laptop is two years old. I bought it in late summer '06 right before I started college. The battery died about a year ago though, so I didn't think it was the battery (since I didn't use it too much in the first place).

Thanks for all the help though, really appreciate it. I'll wait for a reply from you guys before I go off and buy the battery online though, just in case you have anything else to add.

-jaimejd007
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#13
shard92

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well I don't have anything to add that would stop you from buying a new one necessarily but li-ion batteries don't have to be used to go bad... in fact if they are not to be used for a long time they should be stored at half charge or so and in a moderate temperature.... They don't like having a too high a charge for long periods or too low a charge for long periods.... They also don't like temperature extremes... this is all information I got from a place online ( google search ) that specialized in different batteries....
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