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I was on the road and had my laptop plugged directly in the wall without a surge protector. A storm hit, the lights flickered and my laptop made a popping sound (scary).

Everything works fine when the laptop is plugged in, but it immediately turns off when I unplug it from the wall.

  • The power monitor on the OS (Vista) laptop shows the battery at 100%
  • The power light on the physical laptop blinks orange
  • The computer works fine while plugged in, but shuts immediately off when it is unplugged

Is the issue the battery or something on the board? I would like to have a good idea before I buy a replacement battery.

Specs:

  • Lenovo T61
  • Vista Home Basic
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6 Answers

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Most likely the battery is shot. Perhaps that popping sound was one (or more) of its cells rupturing?

I say this because, if it was the motherboard (or some other component) that got fried then it probably wouldn't work when plugged in either.

What happens to the power light when you remove the battery but keep it plugged in?

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The battery may be fine but the charging circuits in the laptop are fried. Happened to my laptop. It did the same thing, and even a new battery won't charge at all. –  Joshua Nurczyk Sep 16 '09 at 12:44
    
Even with that circuit fried, your operating system still detected the battery and could give status about it? –  Ryan Sep 16 '09 at 17:42
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The last time I needed a laptop battery I went to a batteries plus store, they let me test my laptop with the new battery before I left the store.

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sounds like an ad to me –  hasenj Sep 15 '09 at 18:26
    
Don't work for them, do own stock, just a customer. I always recognize good customer service. –  Jim C Sep 16 '09 at 12:11
    
Typo, I do NOT own stock. –  Jim C Sep 16 '09 at 12:12
    
Or it could be someone who is trying to help out... –  Joshua Nurczyk Sep 16 '09 at 12:43
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The T61 has a power manager program that can tell you the health of your battery itself. Try running that to see what condition your battery is in.

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I had the same problem with an old Sony Vaio. I replaced the battery pack in the back and now it works fine again. If everything just works fine when plugged in but immediately dies when you turn off power, it's very likely that your battery is dead. (They do tend to have a lifetime of just a couple of years.)

I did have the CPU reporting the battery was full when it was powered on. That's not the system being broken but the battery being unable to give a good report.

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From the sound of it, sounds like you might have a motherboard issue. Though most likely, it could be the battery by the status of that amber battery light. The blinking amber battery light is usualy when it is almost done charging or its an error.

  • Does it blink quickly or every couple seconds?
  • Does the battery have a test button?
  • Does the battery have any physical changes (bulging, burns, warped?)

I have seen some BIOS setups that will tell you the battery charge and state also if that is available with yours. Batteries are cheaper to replace than motherboards to.

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My guess would be a problem with the battery Control circuitry. It may be as simple as a blown fuse, or as bad as the whole circuit being fried.

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