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[W500] Batteries Won't Charge

W500/510/520 and W700/710 series specific matters only
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ThinkTwinki
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Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Providence, RI
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[W500] Batteries Won't Charge

#1 Post by ThinkTwinki » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:38 pm

I've owned two separate W500s, with two separate batteries (6 and 9 cell), and have had no luck (ever) in getting the batteries to charge with a stock 20V 90W power brick.

Current guesses:
- Faulty power brick: Any way to test this -- multimeter? Leaving the machine powered-off and plugged in doesn't charge either battery
- Faulty batteries: Both cells being dead is possible, considering they're second-hand and were included when I purchased both machines
- Faulty charging circuits: Very unlikely that both machines are unable to charge the batteries, but a possibility

I've done the regular power button spam to reset the machine with no luck. Replacing the power supply will likely be the first thing I try, but I'd like to be more certain of the cause before I go down the rabbit hole of purchasing more equipment.

wujstefan
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Re: [W500] Batteries Won't Charge

#2 Post by wujstefan » Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:45 am

ThinkTwinki wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:38 pm
- Faulty power brick: Any way to test this -- multimeter? Leaving the machine powered-off and plugged in doesn't charge either battery
- Faulty batteries: Both cells being dead is possible, considering they're second-hand and were included when I purchased both machines
- Faulty charging circuits: Very unlikely that both machines are unable to charge the batteries, but a possibility
The middle option is the only likely to me. Did you check the battery condition in thinkvantage / power management / hwinfo options?
Too many thinkpads not enough time!
(stable under reduction)

ThinkTwinki
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Providence, RI
Contact:

Re: [W500] Batteries Won't Charge

#3 Post by ThinkTwinki » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:08 am

wujstefan wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:45 am
ThinkTwinki wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:38 pm
- Faulty power brick: Any way to test this -- multimeter? Leaving the machine powered-off and plugged in doesn't charge either battery
- Faulty batteries: Both cells being dead is possible, considering they're second-hand and were included when I purchased both machines
- Faulty charging circuits: Very unlikely that both machines are unable to charge the batteries, but a possibility
The middle option is the only likely to me. Did you check the battery condition in thinkvantage / power management / hwinfo options?
On Linux ATM, but I'll boot up Windows and give it a go.

ThinkTwinki
Posts: 33
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 1:45 pm
Location: Providence, RI
Contact:

Re: [W500] Batteries Won't Charge

#4 Post by ThinkTwinki » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:50 pm

wujstefan wrote:
Thu Jan 23, 2020 2:45 am
ThinkTwinki wrote:
Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:38 pm
- Faulty power brick: Any way to test this -- multimeter? Leaving the machine powered-off and plugged in doesn't charge either battery
- Faulty batteries: Both cells being dead is possible, considering they're second-hand and were included when I purchased both machines
- Faulty charging circuits: Very unlikely that both machines are unable to charge the batteries, but a possibility
The middle option is the only likely to me. Did you check the battery condition in thinkvantage / power management / hwinfo options?
Alright, hwinfo (6 cell):

Designed Capacity: 47520 mWh
Full Charged Capacity: 36780 mWh
Wear Level: 22.6%
Power Status : Critical On AC Power
Current Capacity: 20 mWh (0.1%)
Current Voltage: 8.103 v

Lenovo Diagnostic:
Battery Health Test: Passed. Zero errors. Total battery charge: 0%
Battery Charge Test: Failed. Battery is not charging properly.

Just remembered reading about cells refusing to charge if they're left discharged too long. Could this be a possible case and is there a way to jumpstart them?

EDIT: Yes, it seems like that's the case. Over-discharge protection circuit trips at 2-3 volts per cell. At 8 volts for 6 cells, that's around 2 volts per cell so that's likely the case. Going to look into charging them manually, but I don't yet understand how to disassemble the battery casing properly

EDIT 2: Apparently freezing laptop batteries is popular to "revive" old cells. Going to try that out.

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