View Full Version : New MBP - Service Battery?

11th December 2009, 07:03 AM
My 3 month old 17" MBP this morning had a little warning in the battery status saying "Service Battery", I checked system profiler for more info and it also said "Service Batter" a reboot on the way to work and the message is gone and System profiler now says:

Charge Information:
Charge remaining (mAh): 4223
Fully charged: No
Charging: No
Full charge capacity (mAh): 12406
Health Information:
Cycle count: 55
Condition: Normal
Battery Installed: Yes
Amperage (mA): -3762
Voltage (mV): 7363

Is it time to book a genius appointment (again) or was that just a random weirdo error?

While we are talking batteries, when calibrating, does it all need to be done in one hit, well the using of the power bit... In my case it was on the charger all day yesterday till I left work and I have used it off and on last night and today and am down to 32%, can I keep using till it's dead or do I have to charge it up and deplete it straight away??

11th December 2009, 09:07 AM
You are supposed to charge it fully (leave it on fully charged for about an hour) then fully deplete it (drain it completely then leave it sleep overnight) to calibrate the battery..

Suggest you try that before you take it back to a genius

11th December 2009, 12:51 PM
You are supposed to charge it fully (leave it on fully charged for about an hour) then fully deplete it (drain it completely then leave it sleep overnight) to calibrate the battery..

Suggest you try that before you take it back to a genius

It was charged 100% and left on charge for a few hours afterwards, so check to that step.

The question is do you need to drain the battery in one continuous sitting? ...or can I stop start it the discharge over the course of, say 12 hours?

Without some sort of automation the battery callibration is a total joke, especially with new machines with 7 hour + lives. OK, yes 100% load will take much less than 7 hours, but still. The reason I have a portable computer is because I take it with me to work on. I don't have lots of time I can be (or want to be) with a computer because of work (or other things I need to do).

Source: Apple Portables: Calibrating your computer's battery for best performance (http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1490)

1. Plug in the power adapter and fully charge your PowerBook's battery until the light ring or LED on the power adapter plug changes to green and the onscreen meter in the menu bar indicates that the battery is fully charged.
2. Allow the battery to rest in the fully charged state for at least two hours. You may use your computer during this time as long as the adapter is plugged in.
3. Disconnect the power adapter while the computer still on and start running the computer off battery power. You may use your computer during this time. When your battery gets low, the low battery warning dialog appears on the screen.
4. At this point, save your work. Continue to use your computer; when the battery gets very low, the computer will automatically go to sleep.
5. Turn off the computer or allow it to sleep for five hours or more.
6. Connect the power adapter and leave it connected until the battery is fully charged again.

And what's with step 5?? Do I have to wait five hours or not??

So let's time line a normal day. I tend to charge only at work (although I have a charger at home when I need it). Overnight I get down to 30 - 40% with my normal use pattern.

09:00 I get to work and start charging and working.
11:00 The MBP is fully charged.
13:00 I'm ready to run it flat.
20:00 The battery dies...

wait till morning

Charge to 100% (although I do note this step DOES NOT say you can use the computer. Even if I assume 2 -3 hours to fully charge without use I'm up to lunch time at work the next day.

Now lets point out again the whole point of a laptop is that I take it placed away from the desk when needed, maybe for an hour, maybe for a couple of hours... not so easy when I need to have it charging, and next to useless when I have to leave it on to kill the battery.

OK, so lets say I do this at home.

Finish work at 17:00, get home by 18:00 assuming a got the machine to 100% charge at work in the afternoon, I get home and lets say 30 minutes to top up and stick to 100%, so two hours later it's now 20:30, unplug and use the computer till I'm done then run up a CPU maxing application or whatever to kill it overnight. If I assume 7 hours total (for the sake of argument) it's now 03:30 in the morning, 5 hours of rest makes it's 08:30 and I'm on my way to work waiting to charge the computer. 09:00 I plug it in (but can't use it) until maybe 11:00 - 12:00??

It's easy enough to let the battery run all the way down and back up again so you get a full cycle but it's much harder to get all the charge, rest, discharge, rest, charge happening at the same time.

Either way you look at it's a major pain in the arse, if this is really such a mandatory requirement for decent performance why can't Apple build in a "battery conditioning mode" in firmware which could be run up overnight charging, discharging, then recharging your battery again in a controlled and UNATTENDED way. This was the battery gets the care it needs and I get a working computer when I get up in the morning.

11th December 2009, 01:34 PM
mine did exactly the same thing, (3mnths old) and gave the exact same message.

It turned out to be the wall socket I had my power pack plugged in to was gimped, I changed it to another a/c socket and it charged up and worked mint, has never happened again.

odd eh.

11th December 2009, 01:36 PM
regarding calibration. I usually:

drain it fully on batt until it auto-sleeps. leave it, until it auto-hibernates (no lights at all, dead)..

leave it for a further few hours.

plug in the a/c.. let it charge.

use it again as normal.

I do this weekly or fortnightly and take it on the go every day

12th December 2009, 09:24 AM
Well I did a proper calibrate last night, luckily my Wife is up very early for work on Saturday mornings so could plug it in while I was still sleeping. Mind you it takes about 3.5 hours to go from fully dead to green light even when it's not in use.

Still don't have the error message back so it might be "one of those things"