Problem with a lower cost battery

Discussion in 'VAIO / Sony' started by renoguy, Jul 12, 2005.

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  1. renoguy

    renoguy Notebook Geek

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    This is in regards to my Sony S460, but I think the problem I found might apply to most of Sony's current notebooks.

    I wanted to get a spare battery for my S460, and decided to get a high capacity version (7200mAh VGP-BPL2). The problem was that Sony sells them for a very high $299. So instead, I ordered an OEM replacement for $119 from here. I also found a $99 version here, but while the spec was correct, the photo wasn't (that's the std batt), and the batteries are LG (Korean) vs Japan (not sure it really matters anymore) for the $119 version.

    So anyway, the battery was quickly delivered to me. It had a sticker warning the battery wouldn't work unless it was first fully charged, so I first charged it up. By the way, the fit and finish of this battery looked excellent and it's a perfect match for the S460. It even fits better than the standard Sony battery and doesn't rattle nealy as much.

    It did seems to charge fine in my notebook, and showed it was 100% charged when I booted up under AC power with the battery installed. But about a minute after booting up, a big problem occured. I got an error message saying the battery either wasn't properly inserted or wasn't a genuine Sony, and that the notebook would go into hibernation and the battery must be removed. It gave me no choice, but to let the notebook hibernate, even though I was running on AC power. And it would not accept the battery as shown by a rapidly flashing battery indicator on the notebook.

    I removed the battery and put it back in (stopping the rapid flashing), and rebooted. Again, after about a minute, I got the hibernation message, whether I booted up on AC or battery power. I even tried disabling hibernation in the power profile, but I still got the message and instead of hibernating, the notebook went into standby. This was a major pain, and I thought the battery was not compatible.

    But then I thought about it, and figured that message must be from some Sony software running in the background, because it's certainly something I've ever seen in Windows. So I looked in my Starup files, and found there are several files running from Program Files/Sony/... I tried eliminating a couple of suspects, and finally found which program is causing the problem. It's called "ISBMgr.exe" and is in Program Files/Sony/ISB Utility/.

    After removing that file from my startup, my new battery is now working fine. I haven't by any means fully tested it yet, but it does seem to give at least 50% more run time than the standard Sony battery, as it should. All other features on my notebook seem to still be working as before.

    So far as I can tell, that ISBMgr file had just 3 purposes; to use up system memory, to make your notebook run slower, and to force you to buy expensive Sony batteries. I've found no other purpose for it.

    I'm pretty pissed that Sony would stoop to this. Anyway I just want to let you know how to get a generic OEM low cost battery to work on your Sony notebook. And even if you don't get an OEM spare battery, I'd suggest removing the ISBMgr file anyway. I also removed two other Sony files from my startup; "surveysa" (either it's spyware, or it's for registering, but I already registered and it's still there), and "VAIOUpdt" (for checking for new drivers, but you could go there on your own an save memory).
     
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  2. seiferseph

    seiferseph Notebook Enthusiast

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    wow that sucks, i'm planning on doing a complete format when i get my sony laptop, so i will only install the essential programs after
     
  3. LucM

    LucM Notebook Guru

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    Thanks renoguy! This is just what I needed.
    I had purchased an extended battery via ebay thinking that if the partnumber is the same it should work. When I got it I had the same stuff going on with the computer refusing the work and going into hibernate.
    I decided to return the battery, luckily the seller had a very generous return policy.
    Just before going to UPS to drop of the battery for return I decided to run one more google for sony s460 battery cheap.
    Your post popped up...
    I immediately removed the isbmgr via msconfig, opened the carefully packed battery, restarted with the aftermarket battery and held my breath for 1 minute, 2 minutes, 3 minutes...
    gasped for air, waited a little longer and wow, 3 hours later it is still working... :D
    Shame on Sony for doing this :mad:
    But I am a happy camper now :D
    Thanks for your tip!
     
  4. renoguy

    renoguy Notebook Geek

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    Glad I could help! And my generic extra capacity battery has been working great. Getting at least 4 1/2 hours for general stuff and web surfing, about 4 hours for watching a DVD (I'm running Centrino Hardware Control too, for lower voltage, less heat, and about 1/2 hour longer battery life).

    Like I said I paid $119 for my battery, vs. Sony charging $299 (I see it for about $250 at some places). I did see one generic for $99, but the description was so bad, I wasn't sure what they were selling.

    If you got a better deal with eBay, let us know! Maybe I'll get another one!
     
  5. Ritam2001

    Ritam2001 Newbie

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    RENOGUY--an excellent post.

    How in the world did you figure out that the culprit was ISMgr.exe? Great sleuthing.

    I just bought an s270 model, and got the exact same error message as yourself. However, I dont own an aftermarket battery, I've just been using the regular Sony battery that was packaged with the unit.

    I unchecked ISBMgr.exe and so far the error has not come back.

    If it does I will post.

    Thanks again guys.
     
  6. pitbull119

    pitbull119 Newbie

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    Battery loose

    Got a s460p today ...love it.

    Ordered the battery replacement in the post.

    The loose battery problem is easily solved.

    Add three 1/4 inch strips of duct tape to the inside face of the battery. One on top of the other on both sides of the plug in.

    It will bridge the gap and make it fit like a glove. No more rattle nice and tight!

    Hard to believe you have to use duct tape for a such and expensive unit.

    I have not heat issue though! Thank God. I ws concerned with all the posted problems.

    Cheers Pitbull119
     
  7. finaldreamerx

    finaldreamerx Newbie

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    Wow...kudos on the discovery. My battery issue at this point has just come down to a dead battery, but your post got rid of the message, which at this point has resulted in a 90% happier me.

    Sony really needs to review their programs for deficiencies and/or annoyances...

    Again, thanks.
     
  8. bluebottle

    bluebottle Newbie

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    Hi everyone

    I am new to this forum so please bear with me if I get things wrong. I have a sony Vaio notebook VGN-T1XP on which the battery died, son was a bit rough replacing battery and bent two pins. When they were straightened and battery replaced the system went into hirbernation while connected to the mains. If I start the notebook via the mains and then click in the battery, the battery light flashes contunially and the power meter shows the battery at 100% charging, unhook the mains and the laptop goes dead. So I though it was a dead battery possibly shorted by the bending of the pins and purchased a replacement - non O E M. My problem is still the same. I though I had found the answer when I saw this reply re disabling ISBmgr exe- which was an excellent bit of work. I carried out the necessary to disable it but still have the same problem. I was wondering if anyone has any other ideas as to where I go next to resolve this.
    Thanks in advance
     
  9. thelinns

    thelinns Newbie

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    Hi, everyone. I too have had the "not a sony battery" screen, found the above posts, and using msconfig.exe, disabled isbMgr.exe. Sure enough, that did fix the nag screen, and the laptop appears to work fine. But, as no one has definitively studied what else that executable does, I started paying closer attention. One strange thing (unfortunately a showstopper), is that the standard windows clock has strange discontinuities. When the laptop is running normally, the clock runs normally. Sometimes, if not all the time, when the laptop goes into standby or hibernate (it actually doesn't matter if running off of AC or battery), the clock will not have advanced.

    Based on a few trials (still running more to determine exact relationship), when I reboot the PC, strangely enough the clock reverts to a way previous setting - hours if not days. When I reenable ISBMgr (with a real sony battery), the symptoms go away.

    Can anyone else confirm or find a counterexample? Or have any other ideas? Also, any comment on a rumor that this same executable may be responsible for fan speed control? If so, someone needs to do a more surgical hack....

    Thanks,
    Chuck
     
  10. thelinns

    thelinns Newbie

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    After more diagnosis, I think that, coincidentally or not, the real time clock has stopped working. As evidence, the same symptoms now happen regardless of battery type or if isbmgr.exe is enabled or not. Also, the bios time does not advance - only Windows time when windows is running.

    It seems unlikely that the non-OEM battery could have scrogged the clock, but then again, it is a mighty coincidence as well.

    Oh - the laptop model is an SZ-120.
    -Chuck
     
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