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      11-06-2007, 02:19 PM   #1
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Mac Powerbook G4 (before intel) Battery Life SUCKS... normal?

So, my powerbook G4 is about 3 years old... Up until just a couple weeks ago, the battery (at 100% charge) would last approximately 1.5hours with brightness set at max...

Now, at brightness near the very bottom (1 bar brightness), my computer would be drained in approximately 1 hour... Is this deterioration of battery life normal?
If i keep the brightness at max, i'll maybe have about 30-45min max before the battery is completely drained...

Strangely enough, this just started happening 2-3 weeks ago... wtf?

I think it's worth noting that i never really turn the laptop off, i close it from time to time (sleep mode), but i never really leave the computer shut off...
any insight?
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      11-06-2007, 02:25 PM   #2
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that's about right. i think they had a recall on your battery a while ago. it's a little better but not GREAT
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      11-06-2007, 02:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpecC View Post
that's about right. i think they had a recall on your battery a while ago. it's a little better but not GREAT
i know about the recall... fortunately, my comp wasn't affected by it... and i think it was more because the battery got TOO hot rather than the life itself.

Do you know how much a replacement battery costs? i'm assumign it's over 100$
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      11-06-2007, 02:46 PM   #4
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It sounds like your battery is worn out. You can find out the cycle count using these instructions http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305405

Mine started to crap out somewhere between 250 and 300 cycles. When it happens, it goes downhill very quickly - I was getting about 2 hours and then suddenly it fell to less than 45 mins and got progressively worse over a few days.

I am on my third battery since 2003, although the second was recalled because of exploding risk. It's annoying that they aren't even covered under Applecare, unless they fail prematurely.
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      11-06-2007, 02:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gripster View Post
It sounds like your battery is worn out. You can find out the cycle count using these instructions http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305405

Mine started to crap out somewhere between 250 and 300 cycles. When it happens, it goes downhill very quickly - I was getting about 2 hours and then suddenly it fell to less than 45 mins and got progressively worse over a few days.

I am on my third battery since 2003, although the second was recalled because of exploding risk. It's annoying that they aren't even covered under Applecare, unless they fail prematurely.
just checked the info...
my cycle count is 136 -- less than 1/2 of what you stated... wtf?!
just out of curiosity, how much did your replacements cost?
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      11-06-2007, 03:06 PM   #6
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Are you still under apple care warranty? I had a similar issue and got a free battery replacement for my powerbook G4.. Now I am lasting several hours+. New batts cost about $90ish just call them up and they ship them out in a few days.


Go to the apple in the left top, click about this mac then click more info go to the power tab and battery.

Battery Information:

Charge Information:
Charge remaining (mAh): 1135= about 40 mins of battery power under current consumption. (I have the 1.67ghz, 128mb card and 100 gig HD, so I use more power than most powerbooks, I have energy level set at normal battery is about a year old now.)
Charging: No
Full charge capacity (mAh): 4278=2.5 hours of battery


Check out the full charge capacity.. Should be a tad higher than mine for a new battery. Now let your laptop run dead while playing a DVD it will go to sleep, then charge it full without using it, it will increase your full charge capacity since this re calibrates the battery measure by the computer.
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      11-06-2007, 03:18 PM   #7
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Full charge capacity (mAh): 3551
Amperage (mA): 381
Voltage (mV): 12572
Cycle Count: 132

Thanks for the info battery price...
my specs are: 1.5GHz
Memory: 512MB (256 x 2)
80GB HD

Idk.. it just seems that since the battery started fading (fast), my performance is diminishing too...

All in all, thanks for the info... i'll be looking for a new battery just in case.
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      11-06-2007, 03:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SE3P_to_E90 View Post
just checked the info...
my cycle count is 136 -- less than 1/2 of what you stated... wtf?!
just out of curiosity, how much did your replacements cost?
dam, your battery is 3 years old and cycle count is 136!?!? My macbook pro is a little over a year old and is at 296 I guess im screwed.
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      11-06-2007, 03:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l4wr3nc3 View Post
dam, your battery is 3 years old and cycle count is 136!?!? My macbook pro is a little over a year old and is at 296 I guess im screwed.
well, it's because i rarely take my notebook to lectures etc. It just sits on my desk charging ALL the time...
and still, at battery count 132 (not 136 like i stated in the earlier posts), my battery life is less than an hour at MINIMUM (1bar) brightness...
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      11-06-2007, 03:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SE3P_to_E90 View Post
well, it's because i rarely take my notebook to lectures etc. It just sits on my desk charging ALL the time...
and still, at battery count 132 (not 136 like i stated in the earlier posts), my battery life is less than an hour at MINIMUM (1bar) brightness...
Hmm, thats interesting. I rarely take my mbp off the charger as well. Only to 1 lecture that is 2 days out of the week for about 2 1/2 hours. Like i said, im at cycle 296 and fully charged, i can get ALMOST 3 hours, more like 2hours 50mins with the brightness at 5..6 bars.
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      11-06-2007, 03:39 PM   #11
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http://coconut-flavour.com/coconutbattery/

Run that app, and tell me how many mAh your battery has left.
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      11-06-2007, 07:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greeney View Post
http://coconut-flavour.com/coconutbattery/

Run that app, and tell me how many mAh your battery has left.
Going into the about my mac will tell you this.. They just didnt copy the entire thing under power> battery.
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      11-06-2007, 07:20 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by l4wr3nc3 View Post
Hmm, thats interesting. I rarely take my mbp off the charger as well. Only to 1 lecture that is 2 days out of the week for about 2 1/2 hours. Like i said, im at cycle 296 and fully charged, i can get ALMOST 3 hours, more like 2hours 50mins with the brightness at 5..6 bars.
in that case, since i'm only on battery cycle 132, you wanna trade?
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      11-07-2007, 11:29 PM   #14
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iStat Pro will also tell you this by actually telling you your Battery Health % (great widget to have), but in any event, if you're under 3500 for full charge capacity, your battery won't hold for too long.
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      11-13-2007, 02:35 PM   #15
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ok, so my PowerbookG4 is tripping balls.
I took it to class yesterday, and w/ brightness at 1bar (lowest), with microsoft word and safari applications open, it went from 99% full charge to 70% full charge in 1.5 hours...
Before, it could barely last an hour... WTF is going on?!?
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      11-13-2007, 03:36 PM   #16
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Go to the battery icon and tell it better power saving, I have the same computer a faster processor and I was able to hi 3 1/2 hours yesterday during a study group.

you probably have your computer on "better performance" setting.
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      11-13-2007, 04:54 PM   #17
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A three year battery life is very impressive. From my exprerience, when an apple laptop battery starts to go bad it goes downhill quickly.

A new battery costs $129 plus tax. "Refreshed" batteries cost ~$69 plus tax; you can sometimes find these at apple retail stores. I bought a refreshed one, and it has treated me very well.
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      11-13-2007, 06:20 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewAZ View Post
Go to the battery icon and tell it better power saving, I have the same computer a faster processor and I was able to hi 3 1/2 hours yesterday during a study group.

you probably have your computer on "better performance" setting.
it's actually on "custom" because i never put the computer to sleep~ since i continuously have AIM running...
I put it to BetterEnergySaving, and it puts the computer to sleep in 15min... i can't deal with that because a lot of my research requires me to keep WORD open, and type as i find necessary.

If the computer goes to sleep, will it close the AIM application, etc?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_Light View Post
A three year battery life is very impressive. From my exprerience, when an apple laptop battery starts to go bad it goes downhill quickly.

A new battery costs $129 plus tax. "Refreshed" batteries cost ~$69 plus tax; you can sometimes find these at apple retail stores. I bought a refreshed one, and it has treated me very well.
thanks for the info!
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      11-13-2007, 06:30 PM   #19
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i have an extra, brand new - never used, battery for a 15" PB G4. let me know if you're interested. i'll definitely sell it to you for a lot less than what Apple charges.

i got a Macbook Pro about a year ago and the person who i sold my previous Powerbook to didn't want the extra battery with it.
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      11-13-2007, 08:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SE3P_to_E90 View Post
it's actually on "custom" because i never put the computer to sleep~ since i continuously have AIM running...
I put it to BetterEnergySaving, and it puts the computer to sleep in 15min... i can't deal with that because a lot of my research requires me to keep WORD open, and type as i find necessary.

If the computer goes to sleep, will it close the AIM application, etc?



thanks for the info!
Go to energy saver under sys pref.. Then tab to battery power then select custom. Tell it to never sleep. Then click options then go to processor performance and set it to reduced.

But if your aways from the power source you should be sleeping when not in use. Wi-fi kills battery life. But even then I am still able to get 3+ hours, but I keep it on better battery life and use it constantly so its never going to sleep.
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