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Yesterday my battery was working fine (for an old computer). It could sustain a normal usage for three hours at least. Today I have the following symptomas:

  • I noticed that it didn't charge, even though it is written "plugged, charging". The level stays at 61%.
  • If I unplug the laptop, it shutdowns immediately and brutally, just as if there was no battery at all in it.

Just before I noticed the problem, I changed the power plan from balanced to powerful, then to balanced again.

I believe the battery is not the problem, or at least it is not the normal old battery die-out because it is so sudden. Not a slow death. Do you think it could be some settings that I changed wrongly?

The computer is a Sony Vaio VPCSA from 2012. The battery is the original.

Edit

I did the test proposed by @Joe Taylor and got the following results: enter image description here

Can I conclude anything from it? Is another part of it important?

I also checked the VAIO control center for battery health, and got all green:

enter image description here

Edit 2

Based on @DrMoishe Pippik answer, I followed the Vaio troubleshooting checklist. What solved the problem was to remove and replug the battery. I don’t know if this reset some parameters, or if it had moved or if there was some dust, but now it’s working again. Long life to my old Vaio!

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    While it is odd for the battery to fade so drastically, so quickly, the battery is definitely past its use-by date. – music2myear Mar 19 '18 at 15:35
  • @music2myear yet it is working again! – Legisey Mar 20 '18 at 7:46
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    That's good to hear. You should still know the prices and availability of replacement batteries at this point in the life of the system. Batteries function on chemical processes that lose their potency over time and eventually fade to non-existence. With most computer batteries this expected life span is 2-3 years. – music2myear Mar 20 '18 at 15:22
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Try resetting the battery charging before buying a new one. If Sony's advice does not work, the following procedure may help.

  • In Device Manager, uninstall the battery control driver.

Uninstalling battery control

  • Shut down fully (not hibernate, sleep or fast startup), e.g. shutdown /s /t 0.
  • Remove the battery and unplug the external power supply.
  • Press and hold the power button for 30 seconds.
  • Reinsert the battery, plug in the supply and reboot.
  • Open Device Manager and check that Windows has automatically reinstalled the battery control driver; if not, manually look for drivers on the PC or Internet. (My experience is that manual repair is not needed.)

This procedure may need to be repeated once more to reset the battery charge cycle.

Having written all this, my experience also is that a lithium cell, if fully discharged, may not recover.

  • I followed the Sony checklist, and removing - replugging the battery solved the problem. – Legisey Mar 20 '18 at 7:47
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I'd suggest it probably is the battery. If you have access to a known working one I'd try that.

See this article for a way to check your battery using inbuilt windows tools

The basic steps are:

  1. Hit Windows Button + X and select Command Prompt (Admin). This is the quickest way to open the Command Prompt as an administrator.

  2. Type in and enter: powercfg /batteryreport This command will create a battery report under C:\WINDOWS\system32\battery-report.html or, in Windows versions older than Windows 10, under C:\Users[Username]

  3. Open the Battery report HTML file to view it.

The report will give you more information about the batteries in your system, as well as how they've been used over time.

  • I did the test you propose and edited my question with the test you proposed. It tells my battery is not too bad I believe. – Legisey Mar 19 '18 at 18:29

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