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I have a very ancient Sony VAIO VGN-FS690 notebook PC that I'm trying to eke a little more life out of. The battery life I'd been getting was minimal--maybe five or ten minutes; just enough to get it to hibernate. But as of last night it appears that the battery has finally given up the ghost.

I dual boot Ubuntu and Windows XP and neither of them acknowledge the existence of a battery. I've pulled it out and re-seated it, but this was just a false hope as the thing has been sitting on a desk; no one knocked it onto the floor or anything.

So, what are my options? I don't want to spend much money, if any. I can obviously still use it with AC power (I'm using it now, in fact), but I liked having that little battery that I had, even if it wasn't very much. Is it finally time to just let it go?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

I would say it's time to let it go.

There's two parts in a battery, typically. There's the actual battery cells, and then a small controller which communicates with the laptop and monitors the cells. In my experience, if the battery is connected but the laptop doesn't believe it is, then the controller has failed or all the cells have been marked as failed and will not be counted as being present. So you either have a battery which can't communicate that it's connected and will therefore trigger your OS power management even if a little power remains, or a battery which communicates it contains zero cells. I've never found a way to get a battery to lie. They can't be opened and are not serviceable at all.

Google says a new battery is only $80. I would suggest buying one of those, or setting your laptop up as a pseudo-desktop until you can get a new laptop.

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