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Gateway W340UA/MX3412 drains battery in 2 weeks - when turned off

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Dave Martindale, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. I have a Gateway laptop purchased last summer. There are two different
    model numbers on the back: "W340UA" seems to be the most important one,
    while "MX3412" probably refers to a particular package sold in Canada.

    In most respects, it runs fine. But if it is turned off (either fully
    off, or hibernate mode) and a fully-charged battery is left installed,
    the battery will be dead in about 2 weeks. The near-dead state is
    confirmed by the power gauge on the battery itself, the power widget in
    the taskbar, and the fact that it won't run the laptop for any
    significant amount of time.

    But the battery itself is OK. If I charge and then remove the battery
    before storing the laptop, the battery will still be at essentially
    full charge 2 weeks later. So it seems clear that something is
    draining the battery when the battery is in the laptop. It isn't doing
    anything useful - the laptop still has the correct date and time when
    it's stored without a main battery.

    I have tried powering the laptop with a bench power supply set to 19
    V. When the laptop is fully powered off, it still draws about 15 mA
    continuously from the bench supply. So the laptop doesn't fully shut
    off; there is still some circuitry consuming power. This isn't just
    the power needed by the soft power button, which should be in the
    microamp range. It's most likely a DC-DC converter or some other part
    of the laptop power supply circuitry that continues to run.

    Now, if I assume that the same circuitry draws power from the battery
    as well as the external power input, that explains the 2-week discharge
    time. 15 mA for 2 weeks (14 days) is 5040 mAh, and the battery
    capacity is rated to be 4800 mAh.

    So, finally, my real question: Do all of this model of laptop have this
    battery-draining trait, or is it my unit alone? Is it just bad design
    on Gateway's part, or do I have a defective internal power supply? In
    the one case, I can live with the problem, though taking the battery
    out before storage is a pain. But if it's broken, I want to get
    Gateway to fix it.

    I've exchanged several rounds of email with Gateway tech support, but
    they do not seem to see why the problem has to be in the laptop, not
    the battery. They had me recalibrate the battery capacity then fully
    charge the battery and see if the problem recurs - of course it did.
    They they said they'd send me a new battery, but it's been several
    weeks not and nothing has showed up. So far, there's no recognition
    that all of the symptoms point away from the battery.

    Dave
     
    Dave Martindale, Feb 27, 2007
    #1
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  2. Dave Martindale

    Phil Sherman Guest

    I'm not surprised to see this. Most current laptops have a "wake on lan"
    function that keeps the ethernet port powered even when the system is
    shut off.

    Go into your BIOS setup and look for the function, turn it off, then
    retest your power-off power consumption.

    Phil Sherman
     
    Phil Sherman, Feb 28, 2007
    #2
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  3. That's an excellent suggestion. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to
    affect power consumption.

    The BIOS is by Phoenix, and it doesn't have a "wake on lan" setting
    anywhere I could see. From Windows, Device Manager shows the LAN port
    and the Advanced tab of Properties does have a "Wake on LAN from power
    off" setting, and I did try changing that from Enabled to Disable.
    I also disabled a couple of other "Wake on xxxx" settings. But none of
    these eliminated the standby/off power consuption.

    I also tried turning off the wireless networking manually (FCN-F2) with
    no effect. There is an "RF power control" option in the BIOS which
    seems to control whether the laptop powers up with the wireless radio
    enabled or not, but it didn't have any effect on off-state power
    consumption. It's still about 20 mA (not the 15 I wrote about before).

    I can't figure out what else might still be turned on deliberately. The
    wireless network configuration doesn't include any "Wake on xxx"
    settings.

    Dave
     
    Dave Martindale, Mar 1, 2007
    #3
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