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Re: The battery cannot be identified.

I already ordered a new battery, but out of curiosity I executed those commands you told me to (find /proc/acpi/battery, cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/state, cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/info) and this is what I found:

cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/info

present:                 yes

design capacity:         4400 mAh

last full capacity:      3334 mAh

battery technology:      rechargeable

design voltage:          14800 mV

design capacity warning: 440 mAh

design capacity low:     133 mAh

capacity granularity 1:  44 mAh

capacity granularity 2:  44 mAh

model number:            DELL53LSN

serial number:           678

battery type:            LION

OEM info:                Sanyo

cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/state
present:                 yes

capacity state:          ok

charging state:          charged

present rate:            1 mA

remaining capacity:      4400 mAh

present voltage:         16748 mV

Does this mean anything to you?  And just to be clear this is the old, presumably non-functioning, battery.


On Sat, Apr 2, 2011 at 3:37 PM, Bob Proulx <bob@proulx.com> wrote:
Peter Rapisarda wrote:
> to complement my studying I decided to resurrect an old laptop which is a
> Dell Inspiron 2200 with a Intel Celeron M processor.  The hard drive had
> gone bad so I replaced it

Should be fine.  My main laptop is of similar vintage.  I have
replaced the battery however.

> and purched a verison of debian off of OSDisc.com and used that to
> install debian on my "new" system.  Everything works great except
> when I start up the computer i get a message that says:
> Time-of-day not set - please run SETUP program
> WARNING: The battery cannot be identified.
> This system will be unable to charge this battery...

That message would not come from Debian.  I believe (not 100% so
beware) that that type of message would come from the BIOS at boot
time when it runs its POST (power on self check).  It wouldn't have
started to load the OS yet.

Old machines sometimes have problems with the hardware clock because
the backup battery on the clock will have died over the years.  This
can often be fixed easily by replacing the battery which is usually a
very common CR2032 battery.  For a desktop with an always available
internet connection this is usually a don't-care because the OS can
set the clock at boot time from an internet time source.  For a laptop
this is somewhat more important because if you boot away from any
network connection then it will probably think the time is 1970 at the
zero integer time of the Unix epoch since the clock usually returns 0.
Depending upon how you use your laptop this may or may not annoy you
or others.  You can probably ignore it if you understand it.

Old laptops sometimes have problems with failed batteries, both main
batteries and clock batteries.  Different manufacturers do different
things with the main battery information.  Some will report 100% even
if the battery can't hold a charge.  It isn't unusual to need to
replace the battery on old laptops.

> Is this a problem with the battery itself, or did I install something
> incorrectly maybe?  If I leave the laptop plugged in it works like a charm,
> but the second I take the plug out of the wall (even with the battery
> inserted into the laptop) it shuts off.  As you can imagine this is
> extremely annooying and I have no idea what to do.  I don't want to go out
> and purchase a new battery until I'm sure that's the issue.  Any help would
> be greatly appreciated.

I think your problem is mostly likely a worn out battery that is no
longer servicable.  To know for sure you will need to look at the data
for the battery.

Run this command and see what information is available:

 find /proc/acpi/battery

Then print the contents of any "state" or "info" files that are shown
there.  On my machine I have BAT0 and the following files.  The names
of the directories may vary somewhat depending upon what BIOS and ACPI
subsystem exists on your machine.  Vendors will show different units.
Pretty much every vendor will have somewhat unique data here.  You
need to look at it and then deal with the result.

 $ cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/state
 present:                 yes
 capacity state:          ok
 charging state:          charged
 present rate:            0 mW
 remaining capacity:      70010 mWh
 present voltage:         12393 mV

 $ cat /proc/acpi/battery/BAT0/info
 present:                 yes
 design capacity:         77760 mWh
 last full capacity:      70090 mWh
 battery technology:      rechargeable
 design voltage:          10800 mV
 design capacity warning: 3504 mWh
 design capacity low:     200 mWh
 capacity granularity 1:  1 mWh
 capacity granularity 2:  1 mWh
 model number:            IBM-08K8193
 serial number:             107
 battery type:            LION
 OEM info:                FLT

This tells us that my battery is designed for 77 watt-hours but is
currently only holding 70 watt-hours.  It is plugged into power at the
moment so so the discharge rate is zero.  This shows a degradation
from new condition to 90% of design.  It is a relatively new battery
and so this looks pretty good.  But an old and worn out battery may
only show a last full capacity of 10 watt-hours or worse!

If you post your information about your battery then folks on this
list can help diagnose it.


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