Sunday, November 7, 2010

Flashing Light

My Dell laptop's battery status light is repeatedly flashing red-red-red-red-green.

It's supposed to flash only orange when the charge is low, and be a solid orange when critically low. I've never seen it orange before, only green since I don't use the battery much.

The green light is on when I'm working off of the battery. It flashes when the battery is recharging. The light is off when I'm working off the AC and the battery's charged.

However, I'm on AC and have been for several weeks. The Power Meter says the battery is charged 100%.

Also, the light on the power brick is green, so I know the AC is coming from the electrical outlet just fine. Thus, the puzzlement and concern of my previous post.

With the help of my good friend, Google, I learned where to click and finally found a message on my laptop that says:

"Your battery is able to charge normally. However, you may begin to notice reduced operating time because your long-term battery life is reducing."

After that, there's a button to order a new battery online. Evidently, my battery's health is diminished so while it can still be charged, I won't be able to run my laptop off the battery for as long as I did when it was new. No big deal. As much as I use my battery, I can afford to wait and get a new one sometime next year.

[Updated 5/27/11 - The message started popping up, so I finally ordered a new battery.]

It surely would have been easier, and less alarming, if the combination of flashing lights I'm seeing was described in the User's Guide.

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