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Laptop battery

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Hey, I have a few questions about the battery on my laptop.
(Dell Inspiron 8200...Windows XP Home Edition)

Does keeping your laptop plugged in, or keeping the battery in your laptop while its plugged in, eventually damage the battery over time? These are the reasons for me asking this:

Back when I first got my laptop, I could keep it running on it's battery alone for a few good hours before I even had to think about finding an outlet. Now, it can only go for about 50 minutes before I only have 5% of my battery power left.

I heard from a friend that keeping a battery charging, while it is already fully charged, can damage the battery in some way.

Is this true, and if so, is there any way I can save my battery now? (For instance, would taking the battery out while my laptop is plugged in be any better for the battery's life span, and would the battery life span eventually go back to normal?)

Thanks in advance :tazz:
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    Retired Staff

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While true -- sort of-- on older machines, today's batteries are much more resilient.

Rule of thumb
When you first get your laptop, charge the battery completely before using the first time.

New battery pack needs to be fully charged and discharged (cycled) a few times before it can condition to full capacity.

Rechargeable batteries undergo self-discharging when left unused so always store a battery pack in a fully charged staged for storage.

Fully drain and fully recharged your battery pack every few months. I do mine at least once a month by running the battery down, the rebooting with a dos boot disk until it is completely empty.

That said, batteries do not last forever....after a year or so of use, they lose some potency.
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