Tuesday, 27 April 2021

resetting Dell laptop batteries

 I have an old Dell E6320 that I bought second hand for using with Linux.

I hadn't used it for a few months so when I booted it up a few days ago it complained that the battery was almost out of power.

Naturally I plugged it in to the wall socket, but nothing doing - the battery refused to charge

It looked like the battery might have died but it all happened so quickly I suspected that it was only playing dead - which it was - so I did some googling and found some instructions on how to fix the problem on windows machines. 

Good news - it meant the problem was generic to Dell hardware and not some Linux driver weirdness. 

So I did what it suggested - basically power off the laptop, take the battery out, power up the laptop without the battery present, power it down, reinsert the battery, and power the device back up again.

The device should now begin charging, as you've (hopefully) fooled the battery sensor into thinking it has a new battery.

I was pretty happy about this - an aftermarket battery is about fifty bucks and a quarter of what the device cost me - and I posted a couple of tweets about it

One oddity was that the Xcfe power manager turned out not to update dynamically, which was a tad confusing, but some good people in the Xubuntu community picked up on this and posted a bug fix request

While confusing, the Dell comes with a couple of lights to show you the battery's charging, and if these are lit, you're good to go.

All in all this turned out to be a pretty good experience and the fix turned out to be astoundingly simple when you know ...

(If you are interested the thread is available at https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1386533404544430083.html and the original help note at https://www.ncconsumer.org/news-articles-eg/resetting-a-dell-laptop-battery-in-five-quick-steps.html)

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