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HP Notebook PCs - HP Battery Check Frequently Asked Questions for Notebooks Running Vista or Windows 7

This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows Vista and Windows 7.

This document provides information about the Lithium-Ion battery testing utility supplied with HP and Compaq notebook PC computers.

Which HP and Compaq notebook PCs does HP Battery Check support?

HP Battery Check supports all HP Vista and Windows 7 consumer and commercial notebook PCs.

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What is HP Battery Check?

HP Battery Check is a component of HP Support Assistant and provides information about the status of the batteries that are installed in the notebook PC. It reports on the condition of both the primary and secondary battery, if the individual notebook is equipped with a secondary battery. The HP Battery Check has been proven to be over 99% accurate.

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Where do I get HP Battery Check?

You can download the latest version of the HP Battery Check for Windows XP as a single program. Or you can do one of the following download and install it as part of the HP Support Assistant for Vista or Windows 7 for your model; or see HP Support Assistant (English Only) .

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Do I have to connect the AC power adapter?

To run Battery Check, the AC adapter must be connected to the computer. Also, the battery must have at least a partial charge. If the battery being tested has a charge of 3% or less , then HP Battery check reports the test as "invalid”. Be sure that the AC adapter is plugged in, and allow the battery to charge with the computer turned off for a minimum of 30 minutes before testing to ensure that the test results are valid.

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How do I use HP Battery Check?

Battery Check is part of the HP Support Assistant that is installed on HP computers shipped with Vista and Windows 7.

To use HP Battery Check, follow the steps below.

  1. Click Start and select HP Support Assistant .

  2. On the HP Support Assistant window, select Troubleshoot , and then select Power, Thermal, and Mechanical .

  3. Click Battery Check to examine your battery and display the results of your battery status check.

The current state of the battery (charging or discharging) is displayed.

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What do the different battery test results mean?

The HP Battery Check displays the status of the battery. If additional action is needed, a message displays. For instance, you may be prompted to connect the AC power adapter to perform the test.

Status
Test Results or Other Actions Needed
OK
Indicates the battery is functioning correctly.
AC adapter is not attached. Attach the AC adapter, and complete the test.
Computer has two batteries installed. Remove one of the batteries and complete the test. After the results are determined, remove the tested battery and insert the other battery.
Battery is functioning correctly, but it is operating at a high temperature and is not charging. Check the battery again after 30 minutes or when the battery has returned to a normal operating temperature.
Due to the normal aging of the battery, the battery life between charges is now significantly shorter than when the battery was new. You may want to consider purchasing a new battery to optimize your computing experience.
Calibrate
The battery is functioning correctly, but it needs to be calibrated. You will experience shorter battery life between charges if the battery is not calibrated.
Replace
Based on the charge capacity of your battery it has reached the end of its useful life. You should replace the battery at your earliest convenience.
* In Warranty - The battery is reporting a failure and needs to be replaced as soon as possible. You battery may be covered by your HP Warranty. Please contact HP.
* Out of Warranty - The battery is reporting a failure and needs to be replaced as soon as possible. Based on the age of your PC and battery, it appears it is no longer covered by your HP Warranty.
No Battery
Primary battery - A battery was not detected. If a battery is installed, please re-insert the battery and AC adapter to retest the battery.
Secondary battery - A battery was not detected, but your system supports second battery. You may want to purchase a second battery to extend your battery life between charges.
Error
An error was encountered trying to access the battery. Please re-insert the battery and the AC Adapter to retest the battery.

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How do I know when to replace the battery?

HP Battery Check will recommend replacing the battery when an internal cell is not charging properly, or when the storage capacity of the battery reaches a weakened state. The performance of all batteries decreases with use over time. A message indicates where to purchase a replacement battery. If the battery is covered by an HP warranty, the instructions include a Warranty ID and Product ID. HP recommends purchasing a second battery to ensure constant access to battery power.

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Battery Check indicates the battery should be replaced. Is it covered under warranty?

The maximum capacity of any battery decreases with time and use. Loss of battery capacity varies depending on the configuration and usage of the notebook PC. Model and features, types of applications running, and power management settings all effect battery life. The battery warranty does not cover natural deterioration of battery capacity.

If HP Battery Check indicates that the battery should be replaced and a 24-character Warranty ID is provided in the instructions, then the battery replacement may be covered under warranty. The Warranty ID is displayed based on battery age only, and is only generated if the battery is less than 1 year in age.

Figure 1: HP Battery Check, showing "Status: Replace" with Under Warranty Failure ID for the battery

NOTE: If there is a discrepancy regarding warranty coverage, HP requires proof of purchase of either the notebook PC or the battery to validate the warranty start date.

If the battery is older than 1 year and was warranted for 1 year, the Warranty ID REOOW is displayed below the status explanation. Therefore the battery is out-of-warranty. A replacement battery may be purchased by clicking Click here to purchase a replacement battery through www.hp.com , or from a HP Authorized Service Provider.

Figure 2: HP Battery Check, showing "Status: Replace" with Out-of-Warranty Failure ID for the battery

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How can I maximize the life of my battery?

Battery life will depend on the features you are using while on battery power. For example, reading a web page, editing a file, or answering an email on a wired network connection is much less battery-intensive than playing a DVD and defragmenting a hard drive, while connected to a wireless network. Please note that maximum discharge time varies and shortens with use as the storage capacity naturally degrades.

Tips for maximizing discharge time:

  • Lower the brightness on the display.

  • Check the Power saver setting in Power Options.

  • Remove the battery from the notebook PC when it is not in use for a long period of time.

  • Purchase another battery to extend the amount of time that you can use the notebook on battery power by simply switching to the second battery when the first battery completely discharges.

  • Store Li-Ion batteries between 20°C and 25°C (68°F and 77°F) with 30% to 50% charge.

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Will battery performance degrade over time?

The storage capacity of the battery degrades over time. This is normal for all rechargeable batteries and is not specific to notebook PCs or HP products. If the notebook PC is operated on battery power frequently, the battery degrades faster and requires replacement sooner than a battery that is only used occasionally. Temperature and humidity also impact battery storage capacity.

Under normal operating conditions, a battery performs well for the battery's full warranty period. HP Battery Check displays a "Replace" status if the battery is not functioning properly.

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Where can I get more information about my notebook PC battery?

You can get more information about your battery from product specifications or the HP System Information tool. The battery that is included with the notebook PC is a Lithium Ion battery. For more information, refer to the See also section of this document.

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Why does the notebook PC need to be charging to check the status of the battery?

In order to accurately determine if all battery cells are charging properly, the AC adapter must be actively charging the battery.

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I have two batteries in my notebook PC. How do I check them both?

Use HP Battery Check to test each battery individually. Remove one of the batteries and connect the AC adapter to the notebook PC. After Battery Check displays the status of the first battery, switch batteries and then repeat the test.

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Why did my battery not last 12 months?

Each time a battery is discharged and recharged, its useful life is shortened. To maximize battery life, charge it fully, and then remove it from the notebook while using AC power. Only use the battery when AC power is not available, and store the battery in a cool, dry place between uses.

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Why does the battery need to be calibrated?

When a battery is only partially charged or discharged, it can lose track of its true charge level. A false status is then reported to Windows, shortening the amount of time your battery will power your notebook PC. This condition is temporary and can be corrected by calibrating the battery.

Calibration means finding the lowest power setting, that is the level when the battery cannot longer power the computer, and then finding the highest power setting when the battery has been fully charged (99%-100%). When the battery is calibrated, Windows can monitor the battery's performance to balance performance and power usage.

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When and how do I calibrate the battery?

HP recommends calibrating the battery every 1 to 2 months. If the HP Battery Check recognizes a possible calibration problem it displays a notification to calibrate the battery.

As an overview on how to calibrate the battery, disconnect the AC adapter and run a power intensive activity, such as playing a music CD, until the battery charge is so low that the computer turns itself off. Then, fully charge a battery by turning off the computer and the connecting the AC power adapter for 2.5 - 3 hours or more.

  • Programmatic Calibration - When running the Battery Check, select the Calibrate button and the battery calibration will occur during your next scheduled tune-up in HP Support Assistant.

  • Manual Calibration - To review detailed instructions when running the Battery Check, select the How To link to open a window . See, HP Notebook PCs - Calibrating the Notebook PC Battery .

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