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X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

X230 and later series specific matters only
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ai69
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X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

#1 Post by ai69 » Sat May 19, 2018 11:58 am

I'm considering ordering a replacement battery for my X230 from AliExpress, but since I've heard this platform could be flaky at times, I want to make sure I make the correct order. In that regard, what metrics of a battery should I be looking at, to make sure I don't make an erroneous order?
The battery I'm currently running on has the following metrics (as read from its back side, from left to right):

FRU P/N 45N1031
ASM P/N 45N1030

PSE 10.8V 4.76Ah

(under a long barcode): 11S445N1030Z1ZKFV2AY8WV KC 2012.10

EU min. 4760mAh

Li-ion 00

30+

Along the bottom edge:
SANYO Electric Co., Ltd. NOM 10.8V 5.2Ah 57Wh Cell origin Japan/Further processed in China

Again, to reiterate the question: what are the most important metrics I should know in order to make a correct order - either for an original or a compatible/working replica?

Thanks a lot!

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Re: X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

#2 Post by GomJabbar » Sat May 19, 2018 12:47 pm

The FRU is the number you want to check. Sometimes suppliers will list a Lenovo FRU and make you think you are getting an OEM battery, when in reality it is an aftermarket battery. Aftermarket batteries are not necessarily bad, but you have to do your due diligence.

A couple of years ago I bought an aftermarket battery that was sold as compatible with a T42, but when I received it, it definitely was not for a T42. The supplier gave me a merchant credit back on my card, however did not even want the battery back!

EDIT: Here is a link to a file that has all the batteries compatible with the X230.
https://download.lenovo.com/parts/Think ... 130128.pdf
DKB

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Re: X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

#3 Post by dr_st » Sat May 19, 2018 1:29 pm

Lenovo had made it easier to find the right battery, ever since they added a numeric, double-digit battery type for each kind, rather than forcing everyone to go by part number / FRU.

For X230 you want a Battery 44+ (6-cell) or 44++ (9-cell). There is also 44 (4-cell), but its capacity is very low.

You can get a lot of them on eBay/AliExpress that will say "Genuine", but will in fact be counterfeit. Chinese fake battery manufacturers have learned to make very authentic-looking forgeries (but the serial number + battery IDs flashed in the firmware always give them away).
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Re: X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat May 19, 2018 1:43 pm

And with the EC-mod you can also use the X220 batteries!

See Installing classic keyboard into X230 with EC firmware mod
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

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Re: X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

#5 Post by dr_st » Sat May 19, 2018 3:12 pm

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Sat May 19, 2018 1:43 pm
And with the EC-mod you can also use the X220 batteries!

See Installing classic keyboard into X230 with EC firmware mod
Yep, but I would not advise hunting for them in either case. They are no longer manufactured, and anything you find would be years old. If you can get a NOS very cheap, then sure.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG, X61 7673-V2V
T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

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X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

#6 Post by packardbell » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:56 pm

spelling mistakes, dodgy glued labels and cheap price is a dead giveaway

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Re: X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

#7 Post by penartur » Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:33 pm

packardbell wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:56 pm
spelling mistakes, dodgy glued labels and cheap price is a dead giveaway
I have ordered a 9-cell X230 battery from aliexpress for $40.

It looks genuine from the first glance. Labels are glued carefully, there are no spelling mistakes. After performing battery reset, I'm getting 98+Wh full charge capacity reported (the design capacity of these batteries is 93Wh). I haven't used it much, and at the moment I only have X220; it could well be that it will stop working after a week, or that it won't charge in X230, but given how it holds the charge, I don't think there will be problems. I've ordered other "OEM" chinese X220 batteries some years ago, and for these, full charge capacity was around 50%-60% of the original design capacity, so this one seems to be much better; also, other people reported that it works in their X230s.

However, when I started to dig deeper, I realized that this one is definitely counterfeit.
  1. Black label states that it is 44++ battery, and ASM P/N is 45N1026, which corresponds to the genuine 9-cell X230 battery.
  2. ThinkVantage reports that battery FRU is 45N1023, which corresponds to the genuine 6-cell X230 battery.
  3. ThinkVantage reports that battery design capacity is 93.24Wh, which corresponds to the genuine 9-cell X220/X230 battery.
  4. ThinkVantage reports that full charge capacity is 98.41Wh, which is all fine, but a bit too good to be expected of the genuine battery.
  5. ThinkVantage reports that manufacture date is 3rd April 2018, that it was first used in July (by me), and that it has 2 cycles (by me). Again, too good to be true for genuine batteries, even NOS.
  6. ThinkVantage reports that bar code number is 1ZKFR274BC7.
  7. Bar code on the white label is 11S42T4655Z1ZJRK1847GT. As I understand, it means that battery FRU is 42T4655 (which I believe corresponds to the 9-cell W700 battery), and barcode number is 1ZJRK1847GT. Totally different from what is reported by ThinkVantage. There are different barcodes on the photos posted by other buyers.
So either it is a total fake (with a fresh barcode for every new battery), or it is counterfeit in some complex way. I'd guess that casing is genuine from old 9-cell X230 battery, barcode label is genuine from old W700 9-cell battery (if it was fake, they would slap the same sticker with the same barcode on every battery), battery controller is probably genuine from old X230 6-cell battery (reprogrammed to report 9-cell full charge capacity, newer manufacture date, and zero cycles), and cells are just some good quality 18650 new ones. But while I understand why they recelled the battery, I don't understand why it is such a Frankenstein with casing, barcode label and controller sourced from different batteries.

If my guess is correct, the controller is indeed genuine, and the cells are indeed new and of good quality, then this battery should work just fine, better than any genuine NOS which sat on the shelf for 4 years.

UPDATE: I compared this battery with genuine 6-cell X230 one, and there are a few other suspicious significant differences between their black stickers (and a lot of smaller ones).
Genuine battery has "Manufactured for Lenovo" on the large sticker; "TOCAD ENERGY ELECTRONICS (SHENZHEN) CO., LTD", "Lenovo Korea LLC", "Cell origin Japan / Further processed in China" on the smaller one below that, and "Lenovo (Thailand) Limited" on the edge. One from aliexpress only has "Manufactured for Lenovo" on the large sticker and "Rechargeable Li-ion battery pack processed in china[sic]".
Seems that these stickers are not that genuine after all, or not from retail batteries. But you have to be really attentive to notice all these signs.
Lifebook P1032 (1024*600 8.9") => Averatec AV1000 (WXGA 10.6") => Kohjinsha SH6 (1024*600 7.2") => Sharp M4000 (WXGA 13.3") => X200-AFFS, dead => X200s-AFFS, later -PVA => X220 4290RV5 + Intel 310 80GB, T420s 4173KSU + FHD IPS + Sandisk Z400s 128GB

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Re: X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

#8 Post by dr_st » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:11 am

It's far simpler and has been known for a while. These are completely "fake" batteries in the sense that they are not manufactured in any way affiliated with Lenovo. With today's printing and 3D Printing technology it's not hard to manufacture battery case, and labels.

So they produce a label that looks like Lenovo's and stick it on all the batteries. Then they program the embedded controller with some random serial numbers that look like they would come from a genuine Lenovo battery, but obviously don't match.

Performance can be good, full charge capacity can be good (98Wh for a new battery with 93Wh design capacity is not unheard of, for genuine or not). They obviously work. Cells are probably off-the-shelf cells from the same manufacturers (Panasonic, Sanyo, LG, Sony).

Whether you trust some random Chinese shop more or less than you trust whoever assembles the batteries for Lenovo is your choice. When I got one of these fake genuine-looking batteries for my T430s, I ended up sending it back, because fit-n-finish was not as good (it was a bit hard to get in and out of the machine). On my fake battery the rubber foot was noticeably different than on the genuine T430s battery, which was a dead giveaway, but this may not be the case with X230 batteries.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG, X61 7673-V2V
T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

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Re: X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

#9 Post by penartur » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:22 am

It seems that a lot has changed in the past years. In my previous experience, it was like that: genuine battery capacity 63Wh, advertised ebay battery capacity 63Wh, all stickers are obviously fake, reported design battery capacity 45Wh, full charge capacity 30Wh, power manager reports it as non-genuine IIRC, and the battery can die at any moment (well, I don't know yet if this one from aliexpress will die on me).

If these newer counterfeits do their job, I don't see any problem with ordering these instead of the genuines.

But still I wonder why did they went through that hassle with printing different barcode labels for batteries from the same batch.
Lifebook P1032 (1024*600 8.9") => Averatec AV1000 (WXGA 10.6") => Kohjinsha SH6 (1024*600 7.2") => Sharp M4000 (WXGA 13.3") => X200-AFFS, dead => X200s-AFFS, later -PVA => X220 4290RV5 + Intel 310 80GB, T420s 4173KSU + FHD IPS + Sandisk Z400s 128GB

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Re: X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

#10 Post by wojtekS » Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:56 pm

Never never trust chinese sellers. They achieved to copy the battery controller as well as they managed to create the software to manipulate on the battery data including capacity, production date, cycle count etc - whatever you want.

I have bought the smallest battery for the X230 so the 4 cell called 45N1019 advertised as new on aliexpress. At the moment they are unable to produce the flat cells used on this type of battery. So what they do ? They are getting the old ones then they reset the battery controller to look as nes state.

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Ciboper ... 85421.html (this is a new auction as there was too many bad comments, the guy just creates a new one when needed to avoid bad reviews).

It is a 2012 used battery with the controller reset to new state. After a few cycles (but after 14 days that you can request an aliexpress refund) the battery dies. And you are outside of the aliexpress protection.

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Re: X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

#11 Post by penartur » Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:14 pm

wojtekS wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:56 pm
I have bought the smallest battery for the X230 so the 4 cell called 45N1019 advertised as new on aliexpress.

It is a 2012 used battery with the controller reset to new state. After a few cycles (but after 14 days that you can request an aliexpress refund) the battery dies. And you are outside of the aliexpress protection.
I don't see how one could get a decent remaining capacity with dead cells, reprogrammed controller or not.

Did you perform battery reset with that battery? What remaining capacity did it report after that?

I also had an experience you've described, but as I have said above, that battery capacity was around half of genuine battery capacity, which might mean dead cells from original battery or just cheap low-quality cells.
At the moment they are unable to produce the flat cells used on this type of battery.
Battery pack manufacturers don't need to produce cells, they can purchase cells from well-known manufacturers such as Panasonic, Sony or Sanyo. IIRC 6-cell and 9-cell X230 batteries contain standard 18650 cells. I'm not sure if 4-cell batteries use some standard cells too, but I'd guess so (if these were the custom cells, why would they make it as a 4-cell battery and not a 3-cell one?)

On the other hand, Chinese manufacturers have no problem making flat cells of any form and capacity. Every Chinese smartphone proves that.
Lifebook P1032 (1024*600 8.9") => Averatec AV1000 (WXGA 10.6") => Kohjinsha SH6 (1024*600 7.2") => Sharp M4000 (WXGA 13.3") => X200-AFFS, dead => X200s-AFFS, later -PVA => X220 4290RV5 + Intel 310 80GB, T420s 4173KSU + FHD IPS + Sandisk Z400s 128GB

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Re: X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

#12 Post by wojtekS » Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:14 am

I have no idea how - probably Lenovo Vantage overestimates the battery wear level.
The battery was working for ~40 minutes (a new one is something like 1h40 min on this type) so was in my opinion used up at least in 50%. THe controller was reset to new condition showing full capacity near design capacity, cycle count was something like 2.

After battery gauge reset Lenovo Vantage marked the battey as "Poor" with something like 2% of design capacity so it was enough to power on the laptop during 2-3 minutes. But it was already after the aliexpress protection coverage.

Concerning the cells they are a niche product - so maybe 2 or 3 companies make them. These are so called prismatic cells: https://www.diytrade.com/china/pd/11957 ... Sanyo.html

As they are quite rarely used I just never heard about some chinese copies. The 40N1019 battery used 4 of them.

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Re: X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

#13 Post by penartur » Sun Jul 22, 2018 7:20 am

wojtekS wrote:
Sun Jul 22, 2018 6:14 am
After battery gauge reset Lenovo Vantage marked the battey as "Poor" with something like 2% of design capacity so it was enough to power on the laptop during 2-3 minutes.
So that's where our stories start to differ. My battery from aliexpress also reported 93Wh full charge capacity when I've got it. But the first thing I did to this battery was to perform battery gauge reset, and after that, Lenovo Vantage reported it holding 98Wh charge. While in your case it was more like 1Wh.

It seems that the advice for buyers should be to perform battery gauge reset immediately, so that they'll be able to use aliexpress protection if it won't get the advertised capacity.

(By the way, I've performed another battery reset last night just to be sure. Now it is at 3 cycles and with remaining capacity of 98.33Wh).
Concerning the cells they are a niche product - so maybe 2 or 3 companies make them. These are so called prismatic cells: https://www.diytrade.com/china/pd/11957 ... Sanyo.html
It seems that this format is called 103450 (I'd guess that it's because battery dimensions are 10x34x50mm). And although it is less common than 18650, these are still sold on the market.

For example, one of the first links in my google is that one (in Russian). It documents an experience of person who has purchased 103450 cells made by Panasonic from some chinese store (which sells these for $500 per 200) this June, and how these cells performed well under testing; at low discharge rates (around 1.5W per cell / 6W per battery pack) they produce 8630mWh of energy (34.5Wh per battery pack, much better than genuine Lenovo batteries). Even at insanely high discharge rates (16W per cell / 64W per battery pack; no X230 would ever consume that much power) they produce 6415mWh of energy (25.5Wh per battery pack).

I don't see what would prevent any chinese battery pack manufacturer from using these, unless they wanted to scam people instead of doing long-term honest business. Of course it is cheaper to take an old dead battery, slip on some new stickers on it and reprogram the controller than to build a whole new battery using $10 worth of new Panasonic cells. As with everything else on aliexpress, you should choose your seller carefully.
Lifebook P1032 (1024*600 8.9") => Averatec AV1000 (WXGA 10.6") => Kohjinsha SH6 (1024*600 7.2") => Sharp M4000 (WXGA 13.3") => X200-AFFS, dead => X200s-AFFS, later -PVA => X220 4290RV5 + Intel 310 80GB, T420s 4173KSU + FHD IPS + Sandisk Z400s 128GB

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Re: X230 battery replacement - how to make sure I have the correct battery?

#14 Post by X230Rocks » Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:48 am

I buy every month all kind of stuff from AliExpress. Use common sense and read the reviews ... 90% of what I get is excellent and unbeatable price/quality. Your Iphone is also MADE IN CHINA !

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