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laptop battery

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I have a quick question. I have a hp dv2000t laptop that I bought in the summer of 2006. I've used it everyday.

It is a 12-cell battery. In the past few months, the battery went from 7+ hours to 20minutes. I noticed gradual detoriation starting fall of 2007.

Should I complain or is that how it should be? The reason I ask is the drop was noticeable. Just a few weeks ago it would last 40minutes and it is currently half that.
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    motto - Just get-er-done

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How you run your battery to keep it from losing its full capacity? What i do with both my laptops is once a month run them on battery power until they are down to around than 5 % to 10% power, then recharge them back to full. If i get a chance to do this weekly i will do this, otherwise i will run them with the charger hooked up all the time. Once in a while i can run the battery's down when doing presentations on the road. I do this every chance i get.

If you are using a laptop with a Lithium-ion battery (most newer laptops), it should give you between 300-500 charge/discharge cycles.

The typical life span should be somewhere between 2 to 3 years.

(nickel cadmium and nickel metal hydride) Unlike the lithium based battery, this battery likes being discharged and then fully charged. If a Nickel-based battery is always partially discharged before recharging, the usable capacity of the battery will be reduced. This battery has a voltage capacity 3 times less than the Lithium battery (1.2 V -vs- 3.6).

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