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My Sony Vaio laptop has a built-in program called "Sony Battery Care" which provides a functionality to hold battery at certain levels of charge while operating. For example, I've set it to 50% and the battery is always kept at that level while on AC power. This mode prevents battery degradation and is more effective as I usually use my laptop with AC power.

I'm looking for a similar program to use with other laptops with Windows OS; preferably a free one.

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I don't think there is much to be gained from keeping it as low as 50%. I have my ThinkPad's Power Options software to start recharging only under 80%, and to charge until 95%. I avoid the battery to get completely drained as well. This all results in batteries that keep their capacity very well over time. –  paradroid Dec 2 '10 at 9:20
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@paradroid: LiIon batteries age with time, even when not used. The aging process runs faster if the battery has more charge. See e.g. this page: batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/…. Thus all other things being equal, a LiIon will live longer if it is kept at a charge level below 100%. –  sleske Dec 2 '10 at 9:23
    
@sleske: Yes, I know. That site was part of how I researched how to keep the batteries for optimum life. –  paradroid Dec 2 '10 at 10:44
    
well perhaps that sony vaio model designed its batteries to charge only until 50% to the longer life, but using 50% of capacity is not so logic (it is equal when a car have 50 liters and you put only 25 if it would economize something - you economize some coins, but have to stop more times to "recharge") –  kokbira May 17 '11 at 23:58
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i have a Compal laptop with same feature (a software which charges battery to a preset level - 50%, 75% or 100%). I keep it on 50%, and laptop has a hardware button for "full charge" when I go somewhere and know that I need a full battery. For 5 years of usage battery life degraded from 3h15min to 2h15min. –  Goran Obradovic Feb 10 '12 at 7:27
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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

To push Sparr's comment into an answer, he's completely right. Charging circuitry is typically pretty dumb and can't be controlled via software. There may be a hardware solution that would go between the wall socket and the power adapter, but that's unlikely.

As a man who troubleshoots the power boards in old laptops for fun, I haven't seen this sort of feature (or chip to support that feature) in any brand before. There doesn't seem to be a generic solution yet. Maybe the industry will change.

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On recent Lenovo Thinkpad laptops you can use the System Management API tools to set the charging threshold and limit, in the same way that the Sony tools do.

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Thanks for the info but I need a 3rd party tool applicable for all brands. –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Dec 10 '10 at 20:03
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There cannot be a third party tool for arbitrary laptops because the charging hardware is not controllable via software. You plug in the power, the laptop starts charging. That's why charging works when the laptop is turned off. Being able to control the charging hardware from software is a very specific feature offered by only these two specific manufacturers. –  Sparr Dec 11 '10 at 0:15
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There is a command-line option to change various power options on Windows computers that might do what you want.

General info: Turn off power saving options via command line

Try powercfg /? and notice the export and import options. Try exporting your "VAIO Maximum Battery" power scheme GUID, then import it onto another Windows computer, thereby duplicating all its settings.

I only have Vista so I can't speak for XP or 7 and if you can export and import across versions of the OS. Also, it's unknown if VAIO has software or hooks it added for power capabilities, but I bet it does because I uninstalled all the VAIO add-ons once and the power scheme stopped working, and I couldn't even delete it without the powercfg command-line tool, so I'm guessing this answer won't work, but it's worth a try.

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protected by Mehper C. Palavuzlar Jul 27 '11 at 11:52

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