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I just recently received a new laptop a couple of days ago and I've noticed that, whenever I'm gaming, the laptop spontaneously forgets that it's plugged in. That is, even though just a minute ago it was plugged in and charging, whenever I start to game, the laptop reports that it's on battery power, even though the adapter is still physically plugged in. To fix it, all I have to do is unplug and replug the laptop in and it thinks it's plugged in again, but usually just a few seconds later it will forget again. This doesn't happen under 'normal' usage. My thinking is that this happens because the laptop is using more power than it's taking in while gaming, and so it doesn't actually charge, and hence thinks it's not plugged in.

This presents an obvious problem, however. I have my power settings set up so as to conserve charge while on battery, but this means that games are essentially unplayable while on battery power. I don't really want to change these settings permanently (I'd like to conserve battery as much as I can whenever I don't have an outlet immediately available), but I also don't want to change the power settings every time I start and stop gaming. Is there any way to fix this problem? Perhaps I could trick it into thinking it's plugged in even if it's not charging?

Thanks in advance!

Here are my specs if relevant:

  • Lenovo Y580
  • 1366x768 Glossy LCD
  • Intel Core i7 3rd Generation 3630QM @ 2.4GHz
  • 8GB DDR3 RAM
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M
  • ADATA SX900 64GB SSD
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First, I need to ask if this is the original power adapter. Why? Because I have seen this issue happen with multiple different brands of laptops after the power adapter has been replaced with one that doesn't put out the same wattage. What I mean is, that laptop requires a 120 watt power adapter. If you were to be using it with a 90 watt adapter, then the symptoms you describe would be the same... the laptop operates normally and charges as it is supposed to in Windows, but as soon as you do anything that draws more power (IE play a game), it causes the laptop to cease drawing from the adapter. I haven't seen this damage the power adapter itself. So, that's the first thing I would check. Is your power adapter a 120 watt adapter? It should output 19.5 volts at 6.15 amps.

Now... if THAT isn't the issue... then you should start reading the threads at Lenovo forums. You do not appear to be alone in having power issues with the Y500 series, and specifically the Y580. There are other threads you can also read that are linked within posts in that thread. To summarize though, the symptoms that they describe are different (not much tho) from yours. No concrete solution is supplied, and temporary solutions are convoluted.

You said you just received the laptop. As in, you bought it new from a store? Because the implication in the threads from the Lenovo forums is that changing the Operating System from the one it shipped with would alter the power management software, and have an effect on how the laptop handled power. If you purchased the laptop new, then it is unlikely that the OS is not the one it was shipped with. If you purchased the laptop USED however, or got it given to you by someone else, then you can look into using the recovery software to return it to a factory state... IE the same version of Windows it was shipped with, along with all the drivers and software it was shipped with. This would reinstall the power management software and chipset drivers to the state they were in when it left the factory, and thus it should work. Again... this is implied by the solutions suggested in the Lenovo Forum.

The most unfortunate thing about all of this, seems to be that the best solution (the one that worked the best for those who posted their problems) is getting rid of the laptop.

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I bought it used on ebay. It was supposed to be refurbished by Lenovo, and there is a sticker on the bottom indicating as such. The model is CPA-A065. It is labeled as a Lenovo adapter, but I'm not sure it originally came with the Y580. A quick Google search didn't turn up anything. It lists the output voltage as 20V and the output current as 3.25A. It doesn't list the wattage per se, but this should mean an output wattage of 65W. Does that make sense? Is it then just as simple as purchasing a compatible 120W adapter? – Jonathan Gleason Jan 15 '13 at 21:57
Yes, it does mean it is as simple as purchasing the correct power adapter. Not a compatible one... the correct one... since that is indeed your issue. – Bon Gart Jan 15 '13 at 22:26

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