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M11x R1 Battery Issue

Discussion in 'Alienware M11x' started by Mucchan, Sep 17, 2010.

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  1. Mucchan

    Mucchan Notebook Geek

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    Hi All,

    I've had my M11x R1 for about 2 months now. Lately I've had a problem where the Windows battery icon would occasionally says no battery detected and the battery information would also disappear from HWiNFO32.

    Most of the time this issue corrects itself when I unplug my charger and plug it back in although sometimes it will still say no battery detected afterward. The battery works just fine when I do switch to battery power even when it says no battery detected, although there's one time where Windows went to hibernate saying battery is low when this occurred (battery was still 80% full at that time) and it does mess with my power plan from time to time such as dimming the screen even though it's on AC power.

    Would this be a software issue or a hardware issue? Would Dell give me a replacement battery for this kind of issue?
     
  2. Mucchan

    Mucchan Notebook Geek

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    Update on this issue:

    After more observation I'm pretty sure that whenever this happens the power plan settings would switch to battery mode even though the laptop is still plugged in on ac power as evident by the screen dimming, lowered max cpu state, etc. Windows will pick up the battery again if I unplug my laptop's power and plug it back in again or restart Windows.

    I've opened the back panel and made sure that the battery was properly connected, installed the latest Command Center, disabled Alien Fusion service, and reinstalled ACPI driver but the problem persists.

    Called Dell and they said they'll send a technician to have my battery replaced. This issue surprised me since I've only had this laptop for 2 months and I've been using it while plugged in most of the time and I haven't found any battery related problem with the M11x while searching online (apart from the Fn + F2 issue if you can call it that)
     
  3. slickie88

    slickie88 Master of Puppets

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    Keep us posted on how the battery replacement works out.
     
  4. Mucchan

    Mucchan Notebook Geek

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    Battery was replaced by Dell technician earlier today. Not long after he left, when the new battery hasn't even fully charged yet the problem re-occurred.

    Called Dell support again and told them that the issue hasn't been resolved after a battery replacement. The support consultant thought it might be a software issue and requested to dial in remotely to my laptop.

    He then proceeds to check the BIOS version (A05) and OSD version. (0.0.0.15C A03). He tried reinstalling the OSD which didn't fix the problem as the battery isn't getting picked up again 5 mins after the laptop was rebooted.

    Finally he tried to reinstall the chipset driver, and as I'm writing this post, it has been an hour since my last reboot and the laptop is running on battery with the battery still being detected by Windows. I still can't tell for sure whether reinstalling the chipset driver fixed the issue though, since sometimes it can take a couple hours or more for the issue to appear.

    Another thing is that my laptop has hibernated due to critical battery twice in the last hour. Once when the battery is at ~85% and then again when the Battery was at ~80% (probably 10-15 mins apart between the first and the second).

    EDIT: Reinstalling chipset driver didn't work. Called Dell support again and now they want me to try and restore the laptop to factory default / reinstall Windows.
     
  5. slickie88

    slickie88 Master of Puppets

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    If a restore doesn't do it then push for a full system replacement.
     
  6. Mucchan

    Mucchan Notebook Geek

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    Restoring to factory default still didn't fix the problem. I called Dell again and they said they'll replace the motherboard and if a motherboard change doesn't fix it they'll replace the laptop.

    The most annoying thing is the fact that I can't really rule out this being a software issue, since it only occurred after I finished installed the bulk of the software I normally use. However, with that being said I don't see most of them having any connection with the power settings / battery issue at all.
     
  7. Mucchan

    Mucchan Notebook Geek

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    Update:
    Motherboard has been replaced but the problem still hasn't been resolved yet.

    Symptoms now include:
    1. Laptop switching to battery power for several seconds before switching back to ac power even though the ac adapter is plugged in.
    2. Battery becomes not detected in Windows. Battery will get picked up again in Windows after unplugging the charger and plugging it back in or a reboot.

    Considering both the board and the battery have been replaced and that the laptop does switch to battery (although it seems to hibernate at random when it's on battery power) when the ac adapter is unplugged, despite Windows not detecting the battery make it seems like this is more of a software issue rather than a hardware issue. The fact that this issue happens intermittently doesn't help me in pinpointing which software could have caused this to happen (if any)

    I'm really out of ideas as to what might have caused this issue now.
     
  8. ACHlLLES

    ACHlLLES Notebook Virtuoso

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    Have you tried fresh installing?

    I know you shouldn't have to waste your time on this, but give it a try.

    Or, insist replacing most parts like battery, mobo, and power brick, or even system replacement (they will tell you system replacement will take few more repair attemps, and probably a refurbished system).

    Good luck.
     
  9. Tedster59

    Tedster59 Notebook Consultant

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    Why don't you have them check your AC adapter?
     
  10. Mucchan

    Mucchan Notebook Geek

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    I didn't do a clean install of Windows, however I did do a factory restore which is pretty close to that.

    As I mentioned on my previous posts, I've placed 2 service calls with Dell before. The first time they replaced my battery and the second time they replaced my motherboard. I called in again earlier today and they asked me to let a technician come to bring me a new ac adapter. If that still doesn't fix it, they want me to send my system in.

    EDIT: I'm doubtful that it's the AC adapter though, since the battery charges properly when the AC adapter is plugged in and a faulty AC adapter doesn't really explain why Windows would stop detecting my battery after a random amount of time.

    I suppose I can't really rule out anything though. I just hope I don't end up having to send my laptop and being without a laptop for 1 week ++
     
  11. BatBoy

    BatBoy NBR Community Moderator

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    So the battery and motherboard have both been replaced and you are still seeing this issue. Hmmmm... PSU should have been replaced prior to the MB. Still something to look at.

    Mucchan, please see this thread - sounds very close to the same behavior. One of the AW reps is posting in that thread, you might want to contact her for suggestions - she can probably help or point you in the right direction.

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienware-m11x/521905-battery-problems.html
     
  12. Mucchan

    Mucchan Notebook Geek

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    I think my problem is significantly different from what's mentioned in the other thread. It's almost the opposite of what's mentioned in the other thread.

    For example: at this very moment I'm running my M11x on battery but Windows is saying no battery is detected. It's running just fine apart from the fact that I can't see any info such as how much charge I have left, etc. Other applications that monitor or display information about the battery such as BatteryBar and HWiNFO are unable to detect the battery as well.

    If I try to disable and then re-enable "Microsoft ACPI Compliant Control Method Battery" in Device Manager, Windows will then detect my battery again. It will also detect my battery again if I plug my AC adapter back in.

    I'll try contacting the AW rep.
     
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