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Sony VAIO Battery Draining too soon?

by wgrayson / November 27, 2003 12:46 AM PST

We purchased a VAIO GRV600 Series this summer (P4 2.6Ghz, 512MB RAM, 16" display, DVD Burner). Additionally, I've slapped in a Linksys 802.11g wireless card to hook it up to the house network.

Now, I've intentionally disabled most of the power saving features except hibernate, and I am using almost the fullest screen brightness. But still, the battery is completely spent after about 1 hour and 20 minutes. For the most part, I'm only web surfing.
Additionally, whenever I boot up the notebook and check the battery setting, it always shows "88%" charged.
A few questions:
1.Is the wireless card contributing to the battery drain?
2.Shouldn't the battery show 100% when I boot up (It usually charges overnight).
3.Is there any diagnostic software than can check battery integrity?
4. (Most important). Or is this performance typical of a 16" notebook running desktop P4 CPU as opposed to Pentium Centrino or Pentium mobile flavors?

Thanks,
W!

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Re:Sony VAIO Battery Draining too soon? I'll write no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 27, 2003 1:11 AM PST

With all the power saver's disabled and the screen at full brightness, that's a very respectable 80 minutes. Many laptops will not give you one hour at full tilt. You'll have to find and read reviews about that.

As to the 88% mark after leaving it to charge overnight. It's time to call Sony and see if they'll repair this under warranty. Unlike desktops, there is little that we can adjust or replace.

Short answers:

1.Is the wireless card contributing to the battery drain?

Yes.

2.Shouldn't the battery show 100% when I boot up (It usually charges overnight).

All mine do. Your laptop or battery is broken in some way. Call Sony now before you get to pay for the repair.

3.Is there any diagnostic software than can check battery integrity?

Not that is available to you. A real problem is that a proper battery tester cost us about 4 thousand dollars for the lab. Service shops will not expend this amount and you won't pay for the battery to be tested. Economics comes into play in that the replacement batteries tend to cost under 200.

4. (Most important). Or is this performance typical of a 16" notebook running desktop P4 CPU as opposed to Pentium Centrino or Pentium mobile flavors?

I'll write yes (considering your disabling of features), but will not supply web-links to such reviews. Just use my year to year experience as a basis for my reply. I hope this is ok by you.

Bob

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Re:Re:Sony VAIO Battery Draining too soon? I'll write no.
by wgrayson / November 27, 2003 3:17 AM PST

Thanks. This notebook is one of the few computer purchases I did NOT do online or direct. We got it from a major retailer and purchased the major retailer's extended warranty.

I'm going to discharge the battery as much as possible, give it a full charge, and see if I'm still getting an 88% read. If so, I've got a brand new battery coming my way!

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Dropping a bigger hint.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 27, 2003 4:00 AM PST

I wrote "call Sony" and I need to repeat this. Tjere are some laptops that need a newer BIOS, a driver or "other" to correct this issue. You may be passing up an easy fix. Since I can't own each unit, and we only see a small percentage of the population of units, my advice is to call them and ask if they have a fix.

Reading the top 10 articles at http://www.google.com/search?&q=laptop+battery+show+full+charge will show you are not alone on this issue.

Bob

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Re:Dropping a bigger hint.
by wgrayson / November 27, 2003 12:27 PM PST

I'll take your advice, but I've just done a battery drain and recharge. The battery meter now reads 95%, and I'm going to actually time the battery drain. Right now I'm doing an actual timing of the baterry to see when it actually shuts down.

I'll call Sony, but to be honest, I've gotten better assistance from this forum than I have from technical support lines.

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Sounds like progress.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 28, 2003 12:30 AM PST

No need to reply to this one. Just noting I did read it and tossing out that:

1. Latest BIOS and drivers from Sony for that make/model and OS are what I always take a shot at. Or rather .. install.

2. Sorry to hear the Sony support story. I have a similar tale of woe, but with a dozen units at the office. It was not a happy experience.

Bob

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Re:Sounds like progress.
by wgrayson / November 28, 2003 2:01 AM PST
In reply to: Sounds like progress.

I thought I would reply to this one. Using your link as a jumping off point, I did find more in-depth evaluations on the Sony VAIO GRV600 Series we own. Poor battery performance, unfortunately, is a common problem with this computer.

Note I used the word "computer". Possibly the mistake we made in purchasing it is that this VAIO is considered more of a DESKTOP REPLACEMENT as opposed to a mobile notebook. Battery performance was a low priority.

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SOLVED
by kamikazim / January 14, 2011 1:20 PM PST

Go to Control Panel > Power Options and then go to the Advanced Settings of each option (Performance, Balance and Power Saver) and from the "Sleep" drop-down menu, turn off the "Wake Timers" for all modes. I still have a hard time believing that I managed to solve it!

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It's amazing this P4 laptop is still working after 7+ years.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 14, 2011 1:33 PM PST
In reply to: SOLVED

Gotta give them credit for that!

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