How to revive dead laptop batteries

The situation with power supply in south Asia is a nightmare. Everyday power outages, surges and instabilities kill electrical equipment mercilessly. Even though people try to protect their computers with UPS and stabilizers, nothing really helps. When I was a sysadmin in Afghanistan, I replaced more burnt hard drives, computer power supplies, and network cards during one year than I would do it during not less than ten years in a country where electricity is normal.

Laptops are usually less vulnerable than desktops because in laptops, the current first charges the battery, and then the battery feeds all the other parts. So, the first thing that suffers is the battery. It usually deteriorates quickly, much quicker than when electricity is stable.

By the time I moved to New Zealand my laptop’s battery had been dead. If I unplugged my laptop it just switched off.

Electricity in New Zealand is stable. You can just plug your computer into a wall outlet and it works fine. No need of UPS and stabilizers. Many Kiwis don’t even know what a UPS is. So even though my battery was dead I could work happily in New Zealand. I just had to keep my laptop always connected to the power point.

After I returned to the Subcontinent, this electric nightmare became my everyday reality again. Almost every power outage meant lost documents and downloads.

But a few days ago a miracle happened. After one of power surges my battery came to life again. Would you believe it? It works now! It doesn’t last long but it is enough to survive through short outages, and when the time between the outages is long, my computer hibernates and saves its memory contents to the hard drive.

So, if your laptop battery is dead, come and visit me. I am currently staying in the middle of an idyllic South Indian countryside. Thatched houses, cows, goats, women walking in sari with heavy loads on top of their heads, spicy vegetarian food, slow mobile internet, and a very-very-very unstable electricity — a perfect place to revive dead batteries.

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Published in: on 27/07/2011 at 17:47  Leave a Comment  

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