Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux? - Hardware

This is a discussion on Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux? - Hardware ; I have a Dell Inspirion whose battery died on me. I bought a OEM replacement but now my Laptop refuses to recognize it. Says "incompatible battery" I tried solving this problem from my existing Win XP OS but no luck. ...

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Thread: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

  1. Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    I have a Dell Inspirion whose battery died on me. I bought a OEM
    replacement but now my Laptop refuses to recognize it. Says
    "incompatible battery" I tried solving this problem from my existing
    Win XP OS but no luck.

    I had this idea that if I installed Linux on it I might have a better
    chance troubleshooting this or even fixing it? Win XP is so inane that I
    don't even know at what level (BIOS / OS / App) these battery checks
    happen.

    Any suggestions? Have people had similar problems on Laptops running a
    Linux OS? If Dell is playing its sneaky tactics via the BIOS I guess
    even Linux cannot help. But is these are OS level issues maybe I'm in
    luck? My Laptop is out of its warranty anyways, so I don't have to care
    about Dell voiding anything...

    --
    Rahul

  2. Re: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    I would try booting from a live Ubuntu CD, without installing. Try to
    see if Linux sees the battery (you may need to add the battery monitor
    applet to your GNOME panel). I am a little skeptical but booting from
    a live CD costs you nothing.

    i

    On 2008-04-03, Rahul wrote:
    > I have a Dell Inspirion whose battery died on me. I bought a OEM
    > replacement but now my Laptop refuses to recognize it. Says
    > "incompatible battery" I tried solving this problem from my existing
    > Win XP OS but no luck.
    >
    > I had this idea that if I installed Linux on it I might have a better
    > chance troubleshooting this or even fixing it? Win XP is so inane that I
    > don't even know at what level (BIOS / OS / App) these battery checks
    > happen.
    >
    > Any suggestions? Have people had similar problems on Laptops running a
    > Linux OS? If Dell is playing its sneaky tactics via the BIOS I guess
    > even Linux cannot help. But is these are OS level issues maybe I'm in
    > luck? My Laptop is out of its warranty anyways, so I don't have to care
    > about Dell voiding anything...
    >


  3. Re: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    On Thu, 03 Apr 2008 23:59:20 +0000, Rahul propped his eyelids open with
    toothpicks and wrote:

    > I have a Dell Inspirion whose battery died on me. I bought a OEM
    > replacement but now my Laptop refuses to recognize it. Says
    > "incompatible battery" I tried solving this problem from my existing Win
    > XP OS but no luck.
    >
    > I had this idea that if I installed Linux on it I might have a better
    > chance troubleshooting this or even fixing it? Win XP is so inane that I
    > don't even know at what level (BIOS / OS / App) these battery checks
    > happen.
    >
    > Any suggestions? Have people had similar problems on Laptops running a
    > Linux OS? If Dell is playing its sneaky tactics via the BIOS I guess
    > even Linux cannot help. But is these are OS level issues maybe I'm in
    > luck? My Laptop is out of its warranty anyways, so I don't have to care
    > about Dell voiding anything...


    Have you tried asking this in a Windows ng? I doubt you are the only one
    to have this problem.

    Be that as it may, it's been a while since I've looked at a Dell laptop or
    pc, but IIRC Dell install a set of utilities, Dell Tools or some-such.
    Some tool in there may be monitoring hardware, but that's a stab in the
    dark. If you can boot into XP while plugged into the mains and un-install
    those tools, you may have better luck.

    If you can't boot up, use something like Knoppix live cd, or UBCD (http://
    www.ultimatebootcd.com/), then mount the XP partition and try deleting
    those tools. Could be dangerous, but if you have backups and you aren't
    worried about blowing your XP installation, it could be worth a try. If
    worse comes to worst, with a live cd you should be able to extract and
    save any files you don't have backed up.

    Oddly enough, I re-installed XP onto my brother's desktop yesterday, and
    partway through the installation process a warning popped up about having
    an unknown battery, with choices to quit or continue anyway. The reason
    why that popped up on a desktop escapes me, but as you said, XP is inane,
    to put it mildly.

    --
    Rob - Linux user number 467898 Ubuntu User number 17166
    Linux 2.6.22-14-generic - E2160 1.8Ghz running at 3.0Ghz
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    665.9238429876 - Number of the Pentium Beast
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

  4. Re: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    Rob Simpson wrote in news:47f59be5$1@clear.net.nz:

    > Have you tried asking this in a Windows ng? I doubt you are the only
    > one to have this problem.


    Actually, no. I will do that.

    > Be that as it may, it's been a while since I've looked at a Dell
    > laptop or pc, but IIRC Dell install a set of utilities, Dell Tools or
    > some-such. Some tool in there may be monitoring hardware, but that's a
    > stab in the dark. If you can boot into XP while plugged into the mains
    > and un-install those tools, you may have better luck.


    Tried that. Its not listed in my AddRemovePrograms at least. Maybe its
    hiding somewhere. Actually, I did remove most of the "Dell crapware" I
    could find right after I bought the Laptop. At least all that was lain
    visible.

    > If you can't boot up, use something like Knoppix live cd, or UBCD
    > (http:// www.ultimatebootcd.com/), then mount the XP partition and try
    > deleting those tools. Could be dangerous, but if you have backups and
    > you aren't worried about blowing your XP installation, it could be
    > worth a try. If worse comes to worst, with a live cd you should be
    > able to extract and save any files you don't have backed up.


    I can boot the Laptop. As long as it can drink juice from its AC adapter
    the thingy runs.

    > Oddly enough, I re-installed XP onto my brother's desktop yesterday,
    > and partway through the installation process a warning popped up about
    > having an unknown battery, with choices to quit or continue anyway.
    > The reason why that popped up on a desktop escapes me, but as you
    > said, XP is inane, to put it mildly.



    That's what I would like to know more about. What are the protocols for
    battery communication. Must be documented somewhere...My WInXP figures
    out the name of the manufacturer etc. If so, then there must be a way to
    spoof and pretend its a Dell original. I just hope I won't need a BIOS
    Flash. That scares me to death since if it goes wrong I've been told I
    end up with an expensive doorstop! (true?)



    --
    Rahul

  5. Re: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    Ignoramus18496 wrote in
    news:HdadnQGoL6G65mjanZ2dnUVZ_rbinZ2d@giganews.com :

    > I would try booting from a live Ubuntu CD, without installing. Try to
    > see if Linux sees the battery (you may need to add the battery monitor
    > applet to your GNOME panel). I am a little skeptical but booting from
    > a live CD costs you nothing.


    Thanks! Great idea. I will try that and see.



    --
    Rahul

  6. Re: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    In message , Rahul wrote:

    > I have a Dell Inspirion whose battery died on me. I bought a OEM
    > replacement but now my Laptop refuses to recognize it. Says
    > "incompatible battery" I tried solving this problem from my existing
    > Win XP OS but no luck.
    >
    > I had this idea that if I installed Linux on it I might have a better
    > chance troubleshooting this or even fixing it? Win XP is so inane that I
    > don't even know at what level (BIOS / OS / App) these battery checks
    > happen.
    >
    > Any suggestions? Have people had similar problems on Laptops running a
    > Linux OS? If Dell is playing its sneaky tactics via the BIOS I guess
    > even Linux cannot help. But is these are OS level issues maybe I'm in
    > luck? My Laptop is out of its warranty anyways, so I don't have to care
    > about Dell voiding anything...
    >

    Some batteries have electronic serial numbers built in. It's possible that
    Dell do that and insist on it being a valid number from their range in the
    BIOS. (I assume by OEM you mean it wasn't a Dell battery?) Your battery
    might not even have a serial number chip in it.
    --
    Dave
    mail da ve@llondel.org (without the space)
    http://www.llondel.org
    So many gadgets, so little time

  7. Re: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    On Thu, 3 Apr 2008 23:59:20 UTC in comp.os.linux.hardware, Rahul
    wrote:

    > I have a Dell Inspirion whose battery died on me. I bought a OEM
    > replacement but now my Laptop refuses to recognize it. Says
    > "incompatible battery"


    An important question: *what* says it's incompatible? Is the BIOS at boot time
    complaining about it? Or some piece of monitoring software running on Windows?

    You don't say if the laptop actually works with the battery - i.e. charges it up
    when it's installed and then runs off it once it's charged.

    --
    Trevor Hemsley, Brighton, UK
    Trevor dot Hemsley at ntlworld dot com

  8. Re: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    "Dave {Reply Address in.Sig}" wrote in
    news:2085172.7T8JabGKW3@robinton.llondel.org:


    >>

    > Some batteries have electronic serial numbers built in. It's possible
    > that Dell do that and insist on it being a valid number from their
    > range in the BIOS. (I assume by OEM you mean it wasn't a Dell
    > battery?) Your battery might not even have a serial number chip in it.


    Exactly. That's what I suspect. And want to get around. If its checking
    ; its probably software. If so I should be able to hack the check.

    Yes, its not a Dell. Its from Kahlon. They are also the ones that
    recommended the BIOS flash.

    --
    Rahul

  9. Re: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    "Trevor Hemsley" wrote in
    news:Mcdz3E0vkFvCtSNLGkt5TDOLvrP0L@trevor2.dsl.pip ex.com:


    > An important question: *what* says it's incompatible? Is the BIOS at
    > boot time complaining about it? Or some piece of monitoring software
    > running on Windows?


    Both. First at bootup it beeps, stops, and then there's a message saying
    "You have a battery that couldn't be recognized" It allows me to ignore
    and go ahead with a F1 keypress. After WinXP loads if I double click on
    the power adapter in the status bar it says Charge % always 0.

    Needless, if I have the AC adapter plugged in (with or without battery)
    all works fine.

    > You don't say if the laptop actually works with the battery - i.e.
    > charges it up when it's installed and then runs off it once it's
    > charged.
    >



    That's the funny thing. The first time around when I charged the battery
    it complained but then ran for almost a full four hours solely off the
    battery. After that it absolutely refuses to agree the battery is
    charged. The moment I pull off the power plug it will issue a warning
    (but still run for 2 to 3 min before it shuts down)

    On the other hand the battery itself has these LEDs to indicate charge
    status on pressing a tab. They show a almost full battery.

    So that's the mysterious but detailed symptom history.


    --
    Rahul

  10. Re: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    On Fri, 4 Apr 2008 17:32:46 UTC in comp.os.linux.hardware, Rahul
    wrote:

    > I just hope I won't need a BIOS
    > Flash. That scares me to death since if it goes wrong I've been told I
    > end up with an expensive doorstop! (true?)


    Given your other information about the BIOS beeping at boot and complaining that
    the battery can't be recognised, I think that will be your only hope. It's that
    or you return the battery to the vendor and explain that they sent you the wrong
    one and need to refund you or replace it. BIOS flash *might* help but I give it
    about a 1% chance of fixing it. But it'll be quicker and less expensive than
    returning the battery :-)

    I've flashed about a hundred BIOSes in my time and I've only had one of those go
    wrong and that was several years ago - and I think the reliability of flash and
    flashing programs has improved a lot since then. The usual cause of problems is
    power failure during the flash so if your supply is reasonably reliable then you
    should be OK. Not having a battery that works does make that slightly more risky
    as, if the power does fail mid-flash, you have no battery backup :-(

    What model of Inspiron is it?

    --
    Trevor Hemsley, Brighton, UK
    Trevor dot Hemsley at ntlworld dot com


  11. Re: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    On Fri, 4 Apr 2008 23:31:28 UTC in comp.os.linux.hardware, Harold Stevens
    wrote:

    > I wonder what is Dell's "justification" for this policy, and why Dell is
    > not more clear about replacement battery policy from gitgo (AFAICT).


    I haven't seen enough information to tell me that it _is_ Dell's policy and not
    just an incorrect battery.

    --
    Trevor Hemsley, Brighton, UK
    Trevor dot Hemsley at ntlworld dot com

  12. Re: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    In Trevor Hemsley:

    > policy and not just an incorrect battery


    True, and IMO a good reason to get the replacement vendor involved ASAP.

    --
    Regards, Weird (Harold Stevens) * IMPORTANT EMAIL INFO FOLLOWS *
    Pardon any bogus email addresses (wookie) in place for spambots.
    Really, it's (wyrd) at airmail, dotted with net. DO NOT SPAM IT.
    Kids jumping ship? Looking to hire an old-school type? Email me.

  13. Re: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    "Trevor Hemsley" wrote in
    news:X0eKid1K8Rdh4E5W7e4ONHH6Sctol@trevor2.dsl.pip ex.com:

    >
    > I haven't seen enough information to tell me that it _is_ Dell's
    > policy and not just an incorrect battery.
    >


    Thanks Trevor! It's hard to provide conclusive evidence but here's an
    attempt:

    1. How does one define an "incorrect battery"? I think Dell claims each
    battery except the one I buy from them is "incorrect". Is there any
    other "standardized" parameter I can look at. e.g. for RAM theres the
    DIMM size, RAM speed, ECC, and one of a few more parameters. If they
    match the RAM is compatible (I think) irrespective of what vendor I
    bought it from.

    2. Kahlon explicitly certifies this battery for the Inspirion E1505. The
    battery is physically compatible and even has a sticker saying that. But
    to be fair I only have Kahlon's word for it.

    3. The Laptop *did* actually run off this battery for 4 hours after the
    first charge. Again, not conclusive but very suspicious.


    Again, I might be totally wrong about this; in which case I'd appreciate
    any more details or tests people could suggest.


    --
    Rahul

  14. Re: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    "Trevor Hemsley" wrote in
    news:jFbTK8zdVNT1GUtlkL0KYowYI90gu@trevor2.dsl.pip ex.com:

    >
    > Given your other information about the BIOS beeping at boot and
    > complaining that the battery can't be recognised, I think that will be
    > your only hope. It's that or you return the battery to the vendor and
    > explain that they sent you the wrong one and need to refund you or
    > replace it. BIOS flash *might* help but I give it about a 1% chance of
    > fixing it. But it'll be quicker and less expensive than returning the
    > battery :-)



    Thanks again Trevor. That economic reasoning is why I might actually give
    the BIOS flash a try!

    > I've flashed about a hundred BIOSes in my time and I've only had one
    > of those go wrong and that was several years ago - and I think the
    > reliability of flash and flashing programs has improved a lot since
    > then. The usual cause of problems is power failure during the flash so
    > if your supply is reasonably reliable then you should be OK. Not
    > having a battery that works does make that slightly more risky as, if
    > the power does fail mid-flash, you have no battery backup :-(
    >
    > What model of Inspiron is it?
    >


    Its an Inspirion E-1505.


    --
    Rahul

  15. Re: Could I solve my Dell battery problems by switching to Linux?

    Rahul writes:

    >I have a Dell Inspirion whose battery died on me. I bought a OEM
    >replacement but now my Laptop refuses to recognize it. Says
    >"incompatible battery" I tried solving this problem from my existing
    >Win XP OS but no luck.



    Dell is noted for crap like this. They flipped pins on ATX power
    connectors so you could not swap in a non-Dell power supply. Then they
    designed laptops so non-Dell power supplies won't work.


    --
    A host is a host from coast to coast.................wb8foz@nrk.com
    & no one will talk to a host that's close........[v].(301) 56-LINUX
    Unless the host (that isn't close).........................pob 1433
    is busy, hung or dead....................................20915-1433

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