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I have an eld Thinkpad x230 running linux/windows dual boot as a kitchen computer and it has been working fine for a good while. Sometimes I take it with me as a small computer and battery would hold at least 3 to 4 hours. However the power thing right now baffles me completely.

  1. When laptop is on battery - it shows battery is not charging (therefore it is slowly discharging - which I can see on Gui and with tlp-stat -b)
  2. If I shut down, take the battery out, connect to power cord only - laptop is booting and running just fine. It just shows that battery is not attached (which is correct)
  3. If I boot it with battery in and power cord attached (as battery still has about 65% charge) - it runs off battery, despite the charging cable attached. If I disconnect the battery then, laptop just goes out - as if the charging cable was not connected.

The same thing happens with several different charge adapters and also with x230 docking station (i.e. power cable attached to dock).

How to explain this behaviour? And would it be right to get a new battery?

Vantage status without battery enter image description here

OK, I got a new battery and the same behaviour occurs:

  • When battery is in - power adapter not recognised and battery discharging.
  • When battery taken out - computer runs from power adapter.

It is as if battery does not allow to recognise power input. What could the problem be? I understand that it is some problem internal to the laptop, but can anyone explain it properly?

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  • I see you mentioned it runs both Windows and Linux. Does it exhibit this behavior on both OSes?
    – Asinine
    Jun 25, 2021 at 20:40
  • Yes, same behaviour on both.
    – r0berts
    Jun 26, 2021 at 6:11
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    Have you tried a power discharge (while off, disconnect battery+power cord, hold power button 10-20sec)? It's fixed some weird things in my day. While IN the BIOS does battery charge and does it shut off when its removed (while power cord connected)? Maybe try resetting BIOS and/or upgrading it
    – gregg
    Jun 28, 2021 at 18:58

3 Answers 3

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+50

I'd check power chord electrical specs:

  • wattage
  • DC voltage
  • DC amperage

Then check laptop electrical specs, they must be the same.

In your case seems the power chord is good to run computer but to run computer and charge at same time.

At work happend to me the same with a Dell that asks 60W DC with attached power chord outputting 45W max.

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First, I have a ThinkPad X230 here beside me.

Second (per above) you have already removed the battery. That can do a small reset of the battery.

Now, load and run Lenovo Vantage in Windows

In Vantage, in the Power Section, scroll down to the Battery Section and run the Battery Gauge Reset. This may take several hours so make sure you do not need the machine.

I will assume now the battery reset completed properly.

Check to see in the battery is now working properly: your point 3 in the question. I assume (different chargers) that the charging circuit is working.

If not, it is more that likely time to replace the battery. You would need to look at the third party battery vendors.

It is possible there is a problem with the circuit inside the computer (computer circuit plus a circuit in the battery), but battery seems most likely.

If the problem is internal to the computer, you need to get the laptop serviced.

If it is working, in the Lenovo Vantage, Power, Battery section, set the Battery Threshold level to 80% . This is a good value for leaving the unit plugged in for long periods.

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  • Thanks, I will reboot in windows and give it a go. What I cannot understand though is how the power supply seems to be ignored when battery is present; presence of the battery seems to inhibit computer seeing the power input. When battery is not present computer feeds happily from the power supply.
    – r0berts
    Jun 21, 2021 at 5:49
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    If, after the steps above, the battery is still acting up as you say, then it may need to be replaced. There could be an error in the circuit inside the computer, but it seems the battery would be first choice as the problem.
    – John
    Jun 21, 2021 at 9:56
  • Yeah, unfortunately even after vantage installation on windows (I mainly use linux on this laptop) there is situation - when battery is in, power adapter is not recognised. When battery is taken out, the charger is plugged in and computer boots without problems; recognises charger (but there is no battery to charge). What could the problem be?
    – r0berts
    Jun 25, 2021 at 19:55
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    You need to make sure the replacement battery is OEM certified (so the battery circuit can work) and then get the machine serviced
    – John
    Jun 25, 2021 at 20:19
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    Power supply might play a role in addition to what @John already said (making this even more complicated). The power supply needs to supply enough power to run the laptop AND charge the battery. It is possible that with the battery in, the system uses it exclusively to power the machine and expects the power supply to keep the battery supplied (through the battery circuit). Jun 26, 2021 at 20:46
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As you say the computer is working as the kitchen computer, this is not a healthy environment and may cause the accumulation of dirt that is not only dust (that is the problem for most office computers).

In case the problem is dirt, such as fatty deposits, on some contacts, I would recommend a very thorough cleanup of the computer.

Try using isopropyl alcohol on all the contacts and reseat them, especially anything that is related to electricity.

If that doesn't work for you, a repair-shop will be able to handle the more difficult contacts.

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