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Microsoft: Windows 7 battery alert feature works fine, check your batteries

By Matthew
Feb 9, 2010
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  1. Microsoft has concluded that Windows 7's battery alert feature is functioning properly, despite numerous user claims to the contrary. Redmond performed a series of tests to determine if its latest operating system was erroneously warning users of a battery issue, and in each of those scenarios the notification only showed if the battery was actually performing below certain standards.

    Read the whole story
  2. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,285   +232

    Yah, I'm sure it's not their fault. Just because the battery life on 3 different laptops in our company dropped by roughly 30% overnight when we switched them over to Windows 7 from Vista, that doesn't mean it couldn't be sudden spontaneous battery degradation, right?

    Fact is, from an experience standpoint here, Windows 7 runs the laptops down faster. Period. The only change that was made was upgrading to Win7, and we lost roughly an hour off operating time for each unit. Pretty weird, makes me wonder what they did to the power management modes internally to Win7. Switching our desktops over is a no-brainer, but after we test-upgraded those 3 laptops, we're rethinking a company-wide move... For now. Which sucks, because I have found I really do like Win7.
  3. Hi
    I don't think that the statement from microsoft is satisfying

    In my case, notebook + battery roughly 18 month old, the message popped up last year in November and did disappear in mid January.
    Is my battery now good or bad, and why did the message pop-up anyway, do i own a self-repairing battery?
    My guess is that they have fixed this bug already by an update.
  4. r3claimer

    r3claimer TS Member Posts: 86

    @Vrmithrax: Brilliant deduction after reading the articles. If you'll note, you got the message in Windows 7, not in Vista. Hmm, might that be because "the message is new to Windows 7, so folks upgrading from XP or Vista may be taken by surprise when they are told their battery is a paperweight?"

    As for your reasoning that 7 is more power hungry, then I think you just need to run some more tests, because a quick search on the web will quickly tell you that Vista is more power hungry. Now if you were comparing to XP I'd agree. XP doesn't require as much power, but out of the three (XP, Vista, and 7) Vista draws the most power. Look it up. (I'm not saying you're lying. In your case, maybe your computers are running down faster on 7. But in general, 7 is a less power hungry OS than Vista.)
  5. psycholexx

    psycholexx TS Rookie Posts: 24

    I had the same issue on a Toshiba L20 about 4-5 years old when i've changed from XP to 7 Starter edition... I knew that the battery was old, but it was able to go about 1,5 hours on it's own in XP (it should go up to 4 hours on a charge). When i've changed to 7 the error message appeared and the battery wasn't able to pass 20 mins without plugging in. Maybe 7 is some kind of over-protective with the battery... Anyway, i've buyed a Chinese made oem battery and the old notebook is able to whitstand almost 5 hours of internet browsing with the wireless on ;). The cheap chinese battery is charging over 64Wh specifications without even getting warm, reaching 72Wh and the battery error message didn't appear again...
  6. Archean

    Archean TechSpot Paladin Posts: 6,049   +75

    Win7 is running on 3 different notebooks (pavilion series + 6700 series) and going from vista to 7; battery life remained constant; give or take couple of minutes here or there.
  7. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,928

    From Wikipedia...

    At a 100% charge level, a typical Li-ion laptop battery that is full most of the time at 25 °C or 77 °F will irreversibly lose approximately 20% capacity per year.

    However, a battery in a poorly ventilated laptop may be subject to a prolonged exposure to much higher temperatures, which will significantly shorten its life.

    Different storage temperatures produce different loss results:
    6% loss at 0 °C (32 °F),
    20% at 25 °C (77 °F),
    and 35% at 40 °C (104 °F).

    When stored at 40%–60% charge level, the capacity loss is reduced to 2%, 4%, 15% at 0, 25 and 40 degrees Celsius respectively.
  8. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,285   +232

    Well, way to actually read what I wrote... We upgraded 3 laptops from Vista to Win7, and they lost an hour or more of operational battery life IN EACH CASE immediately. Why was my "paperweight" battery (as you put it) doing fine in Vista and suddenly inferior with Win7?

    Soooooo, to recap... Vista = 3ish hours of operation, upgrade to Win 7, suddenly 2ish hours of operation. Nothing else changed. So yah, I'd say my deduction was spot on.
  9. IvanAwfulitch

    IvanAwfulitch TS Enthusiast Posts: 239   +11

    Were all three laptops the same model with the same kind of battery? Could you be more specific? It may just be down to brand quality or a laptop that requires a specific amount of power which may have resulted in your loss of battery life through the upgrade.

    What I'm getting at here is that you're being a little bit biased about Windows 7 based on just 3 small tests. I can understand taking issue with a bug. But when it comes to accounting for all kinds of environmental and hardware factors in why you got the results you did, you are very quick to judge. Isn't it typical that in a business setting you do research and try to eliminate bias in order to see which factor was the determiner and base your decision on those results? I'd like to request you research things a little bit further before you draw a conclusion here. It's obvious that there are conflicting reports on the subject of battery life and Win7. Some say it works just the same as Vista, some say they get an improvement, and some say there was a degradation. Why not do us a service and narrow down why you got your specific results instead of just complaining? Or at least tell us what you used so we can try to figure it out? And that goes for anyone else that takes issue with this. Working constructively will help other people that see a degradation to find a solution to the problem. Perhaps MS might even patch Win7 to improve power efficiency. But it's not going to fix itself with an angry post.
  10. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,285   +232

    @IvanAwfulitch - Oh, not angry, more frustrated - I really want Win7 to be adopted here, and get rid of Vista.

    As for the hardware, we specifically chose 3 similar laptops of different brands: Dell, HP, and ASUS (all 3 are on the road now, don't have the model numbers in front of me). They are all mid-range laptops with discrete GPUs that do some CAD and processor-intensive work, which is why they got only in the 3ish range of hours for battery life. The HP and ASUS units were 12 months old, the Dell 9 months.

    Benchmarks for battery life in Vista were made using highest power saving mode, which is what we always run those units in. After upgrading, power management settings were set to the same highest power savings mode, and timed - average was about an hour shorter charge in Win7 (54 minutes for the HP, 61 minutes for the Dell, 70 minutes for the ASUS). The 3 guinea pigs using these laptops in the field have already requested we go back to Vista... Poor suckers, actually REQUESTING Vista!

    We have a new battery for the Dell, will test it out when that unit returns to the shop here, but seriously it is only 9 months old - I have a hard time with Microsoft blaming battery degradation in this case. Perhaps it's a power management issue related to units with discrete GPUs (all nVidia, by the way)... Hard to say, at this point.

    In any event, have no fear, this entire experience has been reported in detail to Microsoft (along with specs, software used, etc). I know full well that blowing steam here won't help, when I have an issue I report it to the people that will be able to fix it :)
  11. r3claimer

    r3claimer TS Member Posts: 86

    I'm just quoting the article. and I have no doubt that in each case, you got less work time from the computers. Windows 7 has power saving functions however and is going to warn you and shut off your computer earlier and so forth to try to maximize you Lithium Ion battery's life.

    However it is puzzling that it is taking a full hour off of battery life. I'll go to a few other websites and try to spot some other instances of this happening, and maybe some fixes are available. If you can find out the specific models of the laptops, that would greatly help. d(^_^)b
     
  12. I have a Toshiba Satelite running XP & still on original battery down to maybe 70%. I now have a Dell D630 which came with Vista & was still running at least 85% battery when I changed to Windows 7 in Jan 2010. Within a week, always connected to power, it was telling me the battery was low & a week later it was dead. I have a new battery but not game to install it.
  13. Hi,
    I have the same problem on my Dell laptop - my battery is 2 years old, but was still able to maintain a 2 hour charge with Vista. Switching to W7 saw my battery life degrade rapidly over the course of a couple of months to now where W7 refuses to recognize that I have a battery.
    So, I was wondering if you could post Microsoft's response to your problem when they address it?

    Thank you,
    P
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