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dell vostro 1520 saying battery is dead when it is not


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#1
mikeloeven

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this is an odd issue i have a year old dell vostro 1520. at the moment i am experiancing a odd issue. the battery is chemically sound and lasts for about 2- 2 1/2 hours on a charge. the issue is that the computer power meter will go from 100% to 0% critical within about 10 minutes. if i turn off the automatic shutdown function in windows the computer will continue to run at 0% battery for the full 2 - 2 1\2 hours before finally dying.

my question is is the mis calculation of battery capacity software based in the os. hard ware based on the mother board. is the battery developing memory (unlikley with lion but i have heard of it rarley) ???

Edited by mikeloeven, 06 November 2010 - 10:40 AM.

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#2
Log2

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Hey, I used to work for dell, the first thing you want to do is make sure all your drivers are up to date, go to support.dell.com and choose your model and make sure you download the BIOS update and anything that is out of date.

Here's a link to Vostro:
http://support.dell....n&catid=&impid=

If that doesn't work, I'm sure someone else could help you

Edited by Log2, 07 February 2011 - 02:50 PM.

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#3
mikeloeven

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actually the entire computer was givin a fresh install a few weeks ago for unrelated reasons the drivers are all the most current dell downloads execpt the video card which i manually downloaded from intel because they are usually at least 5 versions ahead of dell.
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#4
Log2

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and you updated the BIOS driver? it's not a necessary install.

Also a second question, did you install the drivers according to dell?

1. Desktop System Software (DSS) or Notebook System Software (NSS) - A vital utility that provides critical updates and patches for the operating system. If you are reinstalling the operating system or updating all the computer’s drivers, it is imperative that this software be installed first. Currently, the DSS and NSS are not required for systems with Windows Vista installed. This is located under the System and Configuration Utilities Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
2. Chipset - Helps Windows control system board components and controllers. This is located under the Chipset Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
3. Video Adapter - Enhances video performance. This is located under the Video Adapter Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
4. Network Interface Card (NIC) - Enhances the network controller for Internet or network access. This is located under the Network Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
5. Audio Adapter - Enables and enhances the audio controller. This is located under the Audio Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
6. Modem - Allows dialup capability. This is located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
7. Wireless Network Card - Enables and enhances the wireless network controller. This is located under the Network Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
8. Touchpad, Pointer, Trackstick, Mice, and Keyboards - Enhances the pointing device features. This is located under the Mouse & Keyboards Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
9. Other Devices
* Bluetooth® Module
This is located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
* Dell Wireless Mobile Broadband Cards
This is located under the Communication Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.
* PCMCIA/Smartcard controller
This is located under the Security Category on the Drivers and Downloads page.


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#5
mikeloeven

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i have not updated the bios yet and to be honest i am not sure i want to risk that just to fix the battery meter.
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#6
Log2

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There is no risk involved, as long as you have your power cable connected and nothing interferes with the installation there is nothing that can go wrong.

The only thing you have to make sure, as it has caused a problem in the past, is that if your BIOS version is A02 and you update to the newest A08, it might not be able to handle it. So the suggested way to do it is to upgrade each BIOS at a time. For example, if you have A02, update to A03, then to A04 and so on.

Here is a link to the Older Versions of the BIOS for your computer: http://support.dell....eckFormat=false

That way you can download them, and make sure you click Save As, rather than Run.

Now it is a good idea to update the BIOS as it can improve system performance and battery life as well. It also addresses any known issues in the BIOS which can cause problems down the road, therefor it is a highly suggested download.


EDIT: To find out your current BIOS version, you can spot it when you restart your computer, it should say in one of the corners A05 or A07 or whatever. A08 is the newest version out

Edited by Log2, 08 February 2011 - 01:27 PM.

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#7
mikeloeven

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dell is hiding their older versions:P on their site they only have the a08 download


also when i boot up the computer there is a line that says system bios Shadowed?

does this mean that my computer has a second bios that can be used to restore the system in the event of a failed flash?

Edited by mikeloeven, 09 February 2011 - 10:35 AM.

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#8
Log2

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I believe what that means is just that the bios is showing a shadowed, or smaller version of it's boot up process, however, no one has ever really pointed that out before, so I'm not 100% on that. Also if you click on the link in my last reply, it should lead you to the previous versions of the bios, they are a little hidden, lol

http://support.dell....eckFormat=false

If, you can't find the BIOS version, you should be able to restart the computer, press [Del] repeatedly till the bios comes up, and it should say the bios version on the information tab, or a similar tab (each bios is different)
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#9
mikeloeven

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i got to bios version a05 and somthing a bit odd is happening but i have no idea whether it is a driver issue or somthing funky in the bios.

normally the network drivers are loaded prior to logon and the network is connected as well.

now the computer has no network capabilities when it first boots up and it is not until about 1 minute after logon completes and all run on logon programs are up and running that the network drivers are loaded and the internet starts working.


also rpcnetp.exe (computrace's persistance module) is back on my operating system after i had already had them disable the bios module.

the computrace bois module still says that it is inactive and disabled. so i have no idea how this came back i am seriously considering threatening absolute software with a lawsuite if they dont tell me how to completely erase it.

Edited by mikeloeven, 09 February 2011 - 02:43 PM.

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#10
Log2

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keep updating till you reach A08, if there are any problems after that, we can resolve them when it's fully up to date!

edit: Flashing the bios will make it so that it restores to factory defaults, so you will have to disable computrace again when you're at the newest BIOS

Edited by Log2, 09 February 2011 - 03:45 PM.

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#11
mikeloeven

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you dont understand in the bios computrace says disabled and is still greyed out.
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#12
Log2

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sorry I must have skipped that part with my eyes, lol I just finished writing a tutorial, anyway, it looks like the only way to completely remove it, legally, is found on this site: http://prowiki.isc.u...ving_CompuTrace but it seems like a bit of work
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#13
mikeloeven

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thats what i did the first time and the persistance module is still active on my system. also since it is clasified as possible unwanted software any removel proceedure is legal as long as you own the hardware. and since the software was installed without my consent their eula doesent apply in terms of removing software.


i am up to a08 with no problems now i need to unplug the computer and see if the battery gague is reset ill tell you how long it lasts


also i figured out how to disable the module i just made a new user account created 2 empty text files and renamed them after invading software. i encrypted both files and deleted the user account. after that i set both files to +s +h +r

so even if it tries to put them back ntfs simply wont allow it :D

oh and i also explicitly denied everyone the right to full control.

in otherwords i used the same tactic you use to cripple malware in a pre boot environment :D

Edited by mikeloeven, 10 February 2011 - 10:40 AM.

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#14
mikeloeven

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battery meter still went from 100% to 0 in under 5 minutes.

battery still has full charge.

i have also tried hard cycling the battery several times running from 100% till the mainboard turns off and recharging. this doesent seem to reset the meter at all

Edited by mikeloeven, 10 February 2011 - 11:03 AM.

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#15
The Admiral

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Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on what you are doing.

Charge your battery all the way, let it run down for like 45 minutes (so it is around 60%).
On the battery itself, there is a battery gauge: press the battery button and between 1 and 5 lights will light up.
Then, in the BIOS, there should be a battery gauge as well under battery status. We want it to show around 60%.

Please post back if the battery/BIOS correctly register charge. If the BIOS or battery shows that the battery is less than 10% when it is actually 60%, it is a faulty battery. The Vostro 1520 is almost 2 years old and it is due for a battery replacement.
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