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It seems the battery on my Cr-48 has discharged to the point where charging it no longer works. The unit still works on AC power but the battery simply won't charge. Are there any known replacements for it? Is there a way to replace the cells inside of it? Is there some way to charge the battery outside of the netbook?

Clarification:
The battery hasn't been used so much that it doesn't hold a charge very well anymore. It was working perfectly but was (apparently) discharged too far and all of the sudden won't charge at all.

Already Tried:

  • Removing and reinserting the battery
  • Switching to developer mode
  • Plugging and unplugging the adapter many times (the charging light briefly flashes but it won't charge even after doing this 50+ times)
  • Getting the battery warm
  • Trying to get the adapter half-way out such that it begins charging (the charging light will never remain lit, it always just flashes no matter how slowly it's removed)
  • Pressing the pin-hole reset button

Update
Google was kind enough to ship me a replacement battery with the condition I shipped them back the old one (in a pre-paid box, no cost to me). They never cease to amaze me, thanks Google!

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4 Answers 4

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I had this problem too. I know you said you unplugged, and plugged the cr-48 many times, but make sure you do it in 1-2 second intervals, around 20 times.

Then, right after you have done that, put the plug all the way into the laptop, and let it sit there. In a few seconds (maybe around 10), the light should come back on. The key is to wait for those seconds, because when I did it the first time, I also thought it wasn't working, but eventually the light did come on.

After that, make sure you leave the laptop plugged in for a day or two.

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I think this is the best answer even though Google solved my problem for me by sending me a replacement. I did try your method and I just couldn't get it to charge, so it's not a guaranteed fix. –  colithium Jun 16 '11 at 7:32

Laptop batteries have a limited lifetime. After this they no longer hold charge. Once they have expired there is no alternative but to replace the cells. The easiest way to do this is to buy a new battery pack. None are available for the CR-48.

Your choices are limited to

  • discard* the dead batteries and always run from the power adapter (charger)
  • discard* the dead batteries and purchase a suitable external battery pack that provides power through the external power connector.
  • break open the dead battery pack and replace the cells inside with like-for-like industrial replacement cells.
  • buy a new laptop/netbook

* take them to your nearest household waste recycling facility


Update:

Standard advice from Google is

If your battery won't charge, follow these steps:

  1. Unplug the power adapter from your Chromebook.
  2. Remove the battery from the bottom of the Chromebook. Push the slider on the bottom to the right to release the battery.
  3. Re-insert the battery.
  4. Plug the power adapter back into the notebook and a power outlet. See whether the battery is charging by checking the charge indicator light next to the power port.
  5. If it's unlit, unplug the power adapter from your notebook and plug it back in. You may need to repeat this step six to 12 times until the indicator light comes on. For best results, do this in two second intervals -- plug the power adapter into your Chromebook for two seconds, unplug it for two seconds, and repeat.
  6. Once the charge indicator light appears, leave the Chromebook charging for at least 24 hours to make sure it's completely charged.

On the support forum, one user (midnitewolfy) suggested this variation

I believe the problem has something to do with a badly made charge socket, or maybe there is some kind of wiring that works with the positive and negative connections in the charge plug that disables charging if it makes contacts badly? I'm not sure... but this is what I did:

I found that when I ran off the wall charger and shut down, i would see the smallest flash of light on the battery charge indicator when I pulled the wire out. Holding the laptop very comfortably and paying very close attention to the light, I CAREFULLY eased the plug in and out of the laptop as slow as possible to find the flash again, and when i found it, so long as my hand was steady, it remained on. From there I just pushed the plug in completely and it seemed to fix whatever the problem was.

You've already done this so the only remaining option supported by Google is presumably to report the fault

Otherwise you're probably into the realm of electronics.stackexchange.com.

I'm not familiar with the CR-48 but if it is the connector that is at fault, you may be able to replace the plug on the charging cable. Alternatively, try a replacement charger. Replacing the connector in the CR-48 is presumably possible if you are willing to open the case, are unworried about any warranty and have some basic electronics skills.

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Your answer is useful, however this isn't a case of a battery reaching the end of its natural life. It was perfectly healthy but discharged too far and the recharging circuitry of the Cr-48 is picky. Is there a way to fix this sort of issue? –  colithium Jun 3 '11 at 8:12

If you have not already checked this,
there is a Google group discussion on that.

There is a DIY article referred from there -- Refurbish your dying laptop battery
But, read all the comments at that group thread.

There is some more scattered info at the ChromeOSLounge thread,
Google not making replacement batteries for the cr-48

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Going the refurbishing route is my last-resort option. I'd rather fix or force the current battery to charge or buy one before trying that –  colithium Jun 3 '11 at 7:42

the thing is, most of the time it is possible to recover the battery by charging individual battery with a lithium ion battery charger -- you remove each of the battery out, and charge with a standard lithium ion battery charger (which is available in most electronic shops - even if there is no pre-made one there would be kits [i.e. unsoldered] available.)

Note that you need to make sure each of the cells measures ABOVE 2.4V before charging. charging a li-ion battery of cell voltage below 2.4V == disaster. In that case, buy a new one or buy cells to refurbish per @nik's suggestion.

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