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Charge indicator light on PowerBook stuck on orange


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Charge indicator light on PowerBook stuck on orange
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2008-02-16, 12:16



Since last night, the little ring around the power jack on my PowerBook has been orange, instead of the usual green. However, the little battery menu icon says "Battery is charged". When I removed the power and plugged it back in an hour or so ago, the ring went to green for about 20-30 seconds, but then back to orange...where it's been ever since (so I know it's capable of showing green, and that's not the problem).

The PowerBook isn't running hot, there's no weird fan activity and it's working/behaving just fine (no odd performance glitches, crashes, etc.). It's a first-gen 15" aluminum PowerBook (1.25GHz, from autumn 2003), and I'm running Leopard 10.5.2 (with all other updates from the past few weeks) and I have 1.25GB RAM. This is a replacement, third-party battery from Newer Tech, but I've had it since September and it's worked just fine (gives me a good 45 minutes or more than the stock, worn-down battery that originally came with the PowerBook).

I wonder if it's 10.5.2-related in some way (although I just noticed this last night, around 10:30 or so, onward). I did shut the entire thing down for the night when I went to bed, thinking maybe that might do something. It remained orange after the PowerBook was completely shut down, and when I got up this morning, it was still orange. Never went to green, as far as I know.



BTW, I've not monkeyed with my Energy Saver settings either. I've not touched that in ages.

What do you think this could be? Any thoughts? I've noticed this before in the past 6-12 months, that it'll sometimes go to orange for a brief period, but always back to green. But it's been solid orange since last night, and I'm not sure what to make of it. Pics below of the light itself, and of my battery menu info to more clearly show what I'm talking about:



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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2008-02-16, 12:47

Have you tried resetting the PMU?

See here.
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chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
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2008-02-16, 13:10

I have had a weird charging issue since 10.5.2 as well, where the menu item will frequently say "Finishing Charge…" for hours and hours.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2008-02-16, 13:10

I just did. Didn't fix the orange light situation. Reset my clock and temporarily lost my AirPort, but those are fixed. But still have the orange light ring...



Oh well.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Tidewater Virginia
 
2008-02-16, 13:17

What's the condition of your battery? Is it aging? Maybe it's time to be replaced?
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Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2008-02-16, 13:21

I wonder if the battery is taking any current even though OS X reports it as full. What does System Profiler > Hardware > Power > Battery Information say, particularly "Amperage"? If it's non-zero you might have a battery problem.

First thing I'd try, regardless, is to calibrate the battery according to these instructions.

… engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams.
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pscates2.0
Mr. Farmiga
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2008-02-16, 13:29

Quote:
Originally Posted by turtle2472 View Post
What's the condition of your battery? Is it aging? Maybe it's time to be replaced?
That's just it. This is a new battery, replaced in September 2007. A higher-capacity, Newer Tech model that, so far, has been really good (longer performance, no weirdness, etc.). When I boot up (as I have a few times today), the ring will be green during much of that process. But once I'm to my desktop and the thing is ready to use, it's back to orange. And stays there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dorian Gray View Post
I wonder if the battery is taking any current even though OS X reports it as full. What does System Profiler > Hardware > Power > Battery Information say, particularly "Amperage"? If it's non-zero you might have a battery problem.

First thing I'd try, regardless, is to calibrate the battery according to these instructions.
Here's what that particular page you pointed me to says, Dorian. Taken just minutes ago. Looks like the amperage is at "0", so I assume that's a good sign? I just don't understand so much of that stuff.



Says it's not charging, battery is present, connected, etc.

I'll try that calibration thing right now. Thanks for the info.

EDIT: thing is, those instructions tell me to charge it up until the "light changes from amber to green", to indicate a full charge. That's the whole crux of the problem here...I can't get a green light. Is it safe to continue with that calibration procedure without the green showing? The system considers the PowerBook "charged"...there's just no agreement from the indicator light color.



Very odd.

I'm going to poke around Apple's support forums and see if others are experiencing this. I have to say that I've had some weird, random little things take place since the 10.5.2 update earlier this week. Nothing major, but things like emptying the trash, ejecting a disk, a Safari freeze-up or two, etc. Nothing catastrophic, but certainly nothing that was happening before the 10.5.2 update. I've read where others are experiencing a few little issues since then. For all the stuff it supposedly fixed from 10.5.1, did it introduce a few more things to the mix that 10.5.3 will have to work out?



I wonder.
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Dorian Gray
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Paris, France
 
2008-02-16, 13:49

Yes, zero amps is what you want as it means there's no current flowing into the battery, despite the orange light. Your cycle count is just at 1, despite the battery being several months old, so I'd certainly exercise it a bit. Will be good for the health of the battery even if it doesn't solve this particular problem, though it might do that too.

Saw your edit: yes, go ahead with the calibration as if the light were green to begin with. Your remaining charge is reported as 4798 mAh, which is full or very nearly full, regardless of the light situation. Try doing something fairly intensive for at least 10 minutes or so of the discharge, perhaps encoding a video for iPod, or smth like that (that gets the CPU up to 100% (check in Activity Monitor, etc.)). That will get the electrons really moving in the battery, which is good for it occasionally, as high currents burn away little creeping tendrils of conductive material which otherwise build up in the battery over time. These create small-scale short circuits in the battery, diminishing life.

… engrossed in such factional acts as dreaming different dreams.
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