Recently my laptop battery will get extremely hot (definitely hotter than it should get) when I charge it. After that I usually end up removing it once it's fully charged to let it cool down, which takes a couple hours...

Question is, is my battery dead? My last battery I had that died just ended up lasting 2 - 3 minutes on battery, no weird heat issues.

And is there any way to possibly fix this? Probably not but I won't be able to get a replacement anytime soon.

A few days ago when this happened and it cooled down, assuming it was fully charged, I ran my laptop on battery, and the battery life lasted about 10 minutes and then the laptop shutdown. I then plugged it in later and charged it back up, and for a while I had a orange light blinking on my laptop - which I assumed meant the battery was dead, especially since I got 10 minutes battery life.

Then today, I turned my laptop on and was surprised to see that the battery was at 20% and charging (it's been plugged in since the incident above, so it should have been fully charged when I shut it off)
I let it charge up, and as usual it got pretty hot around the time it was fully charged. So I turned my laptop off and pulled the battery out to let it cool down

Now the thing is, just now I tried running it on battery, and it's been going for an hour now... so maybe its not dead? (also the orange light is no longer blinking...)

Thanks in advance if anyone knows whats going on, and how to fix it, if its fixable =]

Some info if it helps... my laptop is about 2 years ago, and it's an Asus K50ID. I know laptop batteries usually don't last more than a year but I'm trying to keep this one going for as long as I can.

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    > Recently my laptop battery will get extremely hot Zebra: is my battery dead? Horse: recently it’s summer. – Synetech Jul 1 '12 at 23:43
  • @Synetech by hot I mean too hot to touch, and definitely hotter then it ever has been. – Josh Jul 2 '12 at 2:54
  • My cordless mouse charges the batteries when I put it in its cradle. The contacts get too hot to touch (much hotter than when I first bought it), but it still works. Sometimes when I put NiMH AA or AAA batteries in their charger, they get super hot, sometimes not. I honestly think that ambient temperature plays a big role when it comes to electronic temperature. How long in total did it take to fully charge? If it took much longer than before, it may indicate that the battery’s capacity is slowly diminishing (they have a limited number of recharge cycles; remember the first batch of iPods?) – Synetech Jul 2 '12 at 3:14
  • Well if it worked, I wouldn't mind it getting hot. But with the orange light blinking constantly, and getting about 10 minutes of battery life, then it suddenly starting to act normal again, I think somethings up. And it takes about as long as it used to, to charge up fully. – Josh Jul 2 '12 at 3:31
  • Hmm, maybe it’s a bad connection. My wireless mouse behaves all sorts of erratically depending on where the contact problem is (e.g., between the cradle and the mouse, the batteries and the mouse, etc.) I find that after eight years, I have to scrape all six contacts pretty much every day to get it to charge correctly. – Synetech Jul 2 '12 at 17:59

If you want to check the capacity remaining in your battery download osiris battery bar from http://osirisdevelopment.com/BatteryBar/. Nice malware-free little app that provides a far better battery meter than windows' built in one, it also has a metric for battery wear which should help you in this situation.

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It sounds like it's getting overcharged. Does it get to a point where the computer says it's fully charged? It may be that the circuit in the batter that tells the computer when it's charged has gone bad. Does the computer show the battery as being fully charged when it's finished?

Do you ever let it get to the point where the computer has to shut down due to low battery? This is a good thing to do with Lithium batteries occasionally, as it lets the computer learn to judge how much time is left on the charge. I don't know if it would help your situation, though.

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  • I've read many places that you shouldn't discharge a Lithium Ion battery to the point where the laptop shuts off because they do not suffer from the memory effects Nickel Dime batteries had, and discharging them that much ends up ruining them. – Josh Jul 2 '12 at 2:50
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    @Josh, laptop batteries (at least modern ones) are not actually drained when the laptop is forced to shut down. Instead, the battery circuitry, laptop hardware, and operating systems are designed to shut down once they reach a minimum threshold, specifically to prevent the problem you mentioned. – Synetech Jul 2 '12 at 3:09
  • @Synetech, yes, that's what I've read, too. They shouldn't be drained completely, but the PC doesn't allow that to happen. For more information, this article says you should recalibrate periodically, as I suggested. Battery University has lots of information about LiON batteries, if anyones really interested. – Marty Fried Jul 2 '12 at 3:56
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    @MartyFried, the Notebook Review article is from 2005 and batteries were fairly different back then. You don’t need to calibrate modern batteries (nor do they have fuel gauges anymore). The Battery University article is from a couple of years ago and looks like a good read (for tomorrow). – Synetech Jul 2 '12 at 4:01
  • Sorry about the Notebook Review article - I actually came across it while looking for the Battery University article, which I read a while back, and it looked like it addressed the issue I had read about, which was not to calibrate the battery, but actually to calibrate the computer to the battery characteristics. – Marty Fried Jul 2 '12 at 4:16

If it is really getting extremely hot, your laptop battery is most probably damaged and needs to be replaced. It is possible that one or more lithium cells inside the battery are damaged. It is very dangerous for your laptop if the battery explodes.

See: http://computer.howstuffworks.com/dell-battery-fire.htm

NiMH batteries are completely different to Li-ion. Please don't confuse the two. Li-ion batteries do not need to be fully discharged as they have no memory effects and usually fully discharging such a battery will actually damage it. The internal circuit in the battery will usually prevent you from discharging the battery completely anyway and also overcharging it.

Your computer uses readings from the battery circuit to approximately tell you how much capacity/time is left. If the battery is damaged however, the readings can no longer be relied upon and may no longer reflect the true capacity of your battery.

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  • NiMH (Nickel-Metal Hydride) batteries also have NO memory effect. So fully discharging them simply reduces their life. NiCAD (Nickel-Cadmium) batteries did have memory effects, and you could revive them by fully discharging. The great news is that the NiMH batteries last virtually forever. Unfortunately, you'll still find many power tools sold with NiCads today--Avoid them unless they are almost free. LiONs simply carry ~x2 the power of NiMH, and so are preferred. – DaaBoss Jun 27 '15 at 15:02

I ran into this problem with a Dell Latitude D830 laptop with a Lithium Ion battery. Here is what happened and how I resolved it.

The laptop is several years old with the original battery. I normally keep it unplugged from wall power when not in use (no power brick nor docking station). My typical use is checking e-mail each morning with some light programming. I will normally just close the lid after use, causing the laptop to go into sleep mode and unplug it so that it maintains state on battery then plug it back in before opening the lid to resume.

Events leading up to the hot battery during charging

Recently I thought I had shut the laptop down and put it away for a week however what appears to have happened was it was instead in sleep mode on battery until the battery exhausted.

When I started the laptop up, plugged into the wall with an adapter, while on a trip, I saw the Windows not shutdown correctly message and realized what I had done. I saw the battery begin to charge.

After about 45 minutes of use, I realized that there was a red charging indicator in the Windows 7 taskbar as well as a red charging indicator displayed on the laptop state icons built into an area beneath the screen. Then I realized that the edge of the keyboard area above where the battery is inserted was uncomfortably warm. I shut down the laptop and removed the battery pack which was abnormally warm, almost hot.

The red charging icon in the Windows 7 taskbar showed a mouse over message of the battery being some percentage charged but that it was no longer charging. I think it was around 95% charged at that point.

I let the battery cool down, re-inserted it into the laptop, started up the laptop to continue. The green charging indicator showed followed shortly by the red charging indicator. The battery was once again uncomfortably warm.

I shutdown the laptop, removed the battery to let it cool, and continued my work using the power adapter with the battery removed.

Procedure that appears to have corrected the issue

What I did to correct the problem was with the laptop turned off and disconnected from the power adapter, I re-inserted the battery and turned on the laptop. I then did some reading on various news web sites while keeping an eye on the battery charge. After a bit the battery charge dropped from around 90% to around 30%. During this time the battery temperature seemed quite normal.

I then shutdown the laptop, reconnected the power adapter, and saw the green charging indicator in the laptop state indicators beneath the screen. I turned on the laptop and started up Windows. I then let it sit for a few minutes monitoring the battery indicator in the Windows 7 taskbar and checking the battery temperature with my hand. The battery temperature appeared normal, slightly warm from charging, and the charging indicators in the Windows 7 taskbar and the laptop state indicators both showed green indicating charging normally.

I let the battery continue to charge up to 100% at which point the charging indicators in both the Windows 7 taskbar and the laptop state indicators turned off.

Since doing this I have not seen the problem with the hot battery and red charging indicators.

My theory

What I think happened is that the laptop battery was almost totally discharged during the week it was in sleep mode with no alternative power source other than the battery. The battery was discharged more than would normally be allowed because the laptop was in sleep mode.

When I started the laptop up with the almost totally discharged battery, the charging circuitry and software did not properly handle the battery charging process resulting in the battery becoming overheated. When the battery became overheated, it stopped charging however the charging circuitry and software continued to try charging the battery.

When I used the laptop on battery only, the battery charging circuity and software was reset or recalibrated and the battery charge level was such that once the laptop was reconnected to line power the battery charging was within normal parameters and the charging circuitry and software performed correctly.

I have not seen this abnormal charging behavior with the hot battery over the last few days. The Windows 7 taskbar charging indicator shows battery at 100%. Disconnecting line power I see that the charging indicator immediately shows 98% and then shows a slow but steady drop as I surf the web. My impression is that the battery is good for about 30 minutes or so which is about what it has been before the abnormal charging behavior. Over the course of several years the battery capacity at full charge has slowly dropped from the original 2 hours or so.

I am of the impression that my laptop battery was not damaged to any great extent by the abnormal charging with battery becoming uncomfortably warm. As far as I can tell the battery capacity was not affected as it has been steadily dropping over the course of years from age anyway.

Another Dell laptop purchased at the same time used by a different person at home spending most of its time in a docking station has a useless battery. It can not be used on battery for more than about 5 minutes so it seems to me that removing line power when not in use is a good procedure to follow.

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