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So today the power went out and my laptop did a strange popping sound and turned off even though it had like 50% battery (it was plugged in at the time though). This has never happened before, it'll usually just switch to battery and move on. Now it won't start if not plugged in and as soon as I plug it out it shuts down.

$ acpi -V
Battery 0: Charging, 45%, charging at zero rate - will never fully charge.
Battery 0: design capacity 5616 mAh, last full capacity 5438 mAh = 96%
Adapter 0: on-line
Thermal 0: ok, 67.0 degrees C
Thermal 0: trip point 0 switches to mode critical at temperature 100.0 degrees C
Thermal 0: trip point 1 switches to mode passive at temperature 98.0 degrees C
Cooling 0: LCD 0 of 10
Cooling 1: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 2: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 3: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 4: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 5: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 6: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 7: Processor 0 of 10
Cooling 8: Processor 0 of 10

The battery was fine before. acpi confirms this - 5438 out of 5616 mAh is pretty healthy for a 2 year old battery if I understand this correctly. However, it says it's not charging and even though it's at 45% the laptop doesn't use it.

$ cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT1/info doesn't add any useful information, beside a cycle count of 0, which is very odd. I've definitely used the battery in the last 2 years.

So my question is this: what should I do now to pinpoint the problem? I can grab a replacement battery off ebay, but I'm not sure whether it's the battery or the laptop that's faulty.

laptop is lenovo ideapad y560 with ubuntu 12.04

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Sounds like the power outage popped a cap in your... laptop. – SLaG Aug 13 '13 at 21:48
Power spike got through the brick and burnt the charger circuitry. Surge Protectors help prevent this. – Fiasco Labs Aug 13 '13 at 22:21
up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you are comfortable opening up the laptop, you can look at the PCB near the power plug and look for any thing that looks burnt. You might be able to see something with a flashlight and looking close in the plug but I'd take it apart carefully.

It's possible the AC adapter may have been damaged by the power surge. No way to test except A) attach AC adapter to a known working laptop of same make and model, B) use a voltimeter when it's plugged in if you know what you are doing (I don't), or C) swap in a known working AC adapter.

It's possible the battery may have been damaged by the power surge. No way to test outside of the laptop except A) put it in a different, known working laptop, B) use a battery tester, C) swap in a known working battery.

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thanks, I've opened it before to clean it, etc. so I'm going to try that. Probably tomorrow at work though, so at least I have another computer with an internet connection nearby in case I need to check something. So basically, you're saying I need to take it somewhere to be tasted, since unfortunately I have neither the necessary tools, nor the knowledge to use them. I don't have any spare laptops either. Oh well, I was hoping I can easily find out where the problem is, but it seems I'm out of luck. Thanks a lot anyway though! – Georgi Stoyanov Aug 13 '13 at 22:10
Look for smells and burns. Somewhere between where the power jack and battery plugs in. If you're lucky, there's an on-board fuse. If its a polyfuse, it should have reset, but is dead. – Fiasco Labs Aug 13 '13 at 22:23
ok, thanks everyone, I disassembled the laptop today, everything looks clean, no smells or anything, so I'm getting a new battery. – Georgi Stoyanov Aug 14 '13 at 19:41

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