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iBook battery - down for the count?

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iBook battery - down for the count?
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2005-04-26, 14:23

Hi everyone. I saw a question about Powerbook/iBook batteries on this forum, and decided to register so I can see if anyone knows what might be up with my iBook G4 battery.

The iBook is a little over a year old - I bought it in January '04. For the first several months of its life I unplugged it only a handful of times, and never for any significant length of time. The first time I completely discharged the battery was June or July. I don't usually discharge the battery all the way, and I leave it plugged in as much as humanly possible.

I used to get tons of life from my battery - I could watch a full 2-hour DVD on a plane and have plenty of time left before I had to recharge. Obviously, I know that batteries lose charge over time. It doesn't seem like mine should have lost quite this much juice, though.

To complicate February I got an iPod, and a few weeks after I got it, I accidentally plugged it into my iBook when the iBook wasn't plugged into the wall. The battery on the iBook drained almost instantly (took maybe 10 seconds, tops) and it went to sleep. Ever since then, my battery has been on a steady decline.

Where I used to get a few hours (definitely 2+) of use, I now get 40-50 minutes as soon as I unplug the iBook. This isn't for heavy use - with no programs but the Finder open, I can get barely any life out of the battery before I have to recharge. In addition, there have been several times when the battery indicator appears to be about 20 percent full, but without warning the iBook goes to sleep like I've drained the battery, and I have to plug it into the wall again.

I've read many tips for extending battery life, some of which I've tried - recalibrating the batter per Apple's tips, checking to make sure the copper doo-dads weren't dusty - and some I haven't - zapping the PRAM, resetting the Power Manager. My question, though, besides the obvious "What can I do to fix this without breaking my meager bank on a new battery?" is, could plugging the iPod into an unplugged iBook have caused this? I can basically trace these problems back to that point. And if my iPod is still under warranty, is there a chance (however remote) that I might be able to fib, flirt and finagle Apple into giving me a new battery?

This is a critical moment, because I am going on a 20-hour car trip in a few weeks, and I need my battery to run for at least a few hours so I can write a paper on the road (while someone else drives, of course). I haven't had a lot of luck finding something to plug into my cigarette lighter, either.

I'm just a poor college girl, trying to make my iBook love me again. Can anyone help me? Sorry for the lengthy post, and please excuse me if there's any important info I've left out - just ask.
I shot the sherrif.
Join Date: May 2004
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2005-04-26, 15:05

First thing to try would be this command in the terminal

/usr/sbin/ioreg -p IODeviceTree -n battery -w 0 | grep yI
and see how much battery life it thinks you have at 100%.

also, i would try the PMU reset.

1. If the computer is on, turn it off.
2. Reset the power manager by simultaneously pressing and then releasing Shift-Control-Option-Power on the keyboard. Do not press the fn (Function) key while using this combination of keystrokes.
3. Wait 5 seconds.
4. Press the Power button to restart the iBook computer.
let us know if that makes any difference. I assume you already did the full discharge/recharge cycle with no luck.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
2005-04-26, 16:23

Originally Posted by alcimedes
let us know if that makes any difference. I assume you already did the full discharge/recharge cycle with no luck.
Yup, I did that a few times (that's Apple's "recalibration" technique). I will try your other suggestions when I get home. I really appreciate your quick response, and I'll let you know how it works!
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