Battery Problems & Indicator Lights

  TimDH 12:59 22 Nov 2011

Am having problems relating to a replacement battery for my Dell Inspiron 1300, which I'll outline below.

This laptop is a cheap yet very decent 2nd laptop, which I use when away from home to pick up emails and surf the web. I recently got a message in Windows XP, saying that the battery (the original) is reaching the end of its life. It charges fully (icon eventually shows as 'on AC power' with laptop on) and when you switch the AC supply off the battery lasts an hour with no activity and less than an hour when in normal use. The battery indicator lights work as normal with this original battery - solid green when charging, flashing green when nearly charged, no light when fully charged with laptop off/ on AC/ on battery with laptop on, flashing orange/red when low, solid orange/red when very low.

I ordered a new replacement battery from an online retailer, that being the same Dell HD438 14.8V battery as the original. The battery charged up to 93% but not 100%. I fully discharged it and recharged it a few times, to see if it was a meter issue which would recalibrate, but it never went past 93% no matter how long you left it charging. The lights followed the normal sequence as outlined above, except that the flashing green light when nearly charged never went off with the laptop switched on, as the charge stuck at 93%, and with the laptop off the flashing green light eventually went to a flashing orange/red. On switching the laptop on from this position, the light switched to flashing green, and the icon showed a charge of 93%.

Given that this sequence is supposed to indicate a battery fault I returned the battery, but the replacement they sent me does the same. Obviously I can return the second battery, get a refund, and buy a battery elsewhere, but the obvious question before doing so is whether there is anything anyone can think of that could be to do with the laptop and software, given what I've said.

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