Laptop battery doesn't last anywhere near as long as it used to? Here's a possible explanation for that and some relevant tests to carry out
Most laptop batteries have a life expectancy of about two years or 400 to 450 charge and discharge cycles. As the battery ages with use it'll lose its ability to charge or to hold as much charge as it did when it was new. Unfortunately when this happens it's most likely the battery needs replacement. However a little time invested in carrying out a few simple tests can help confirm you won't be wasting money buying a replacement battery. The tests are as follows...
Check Power Adapter
1. Turn the laptop off and remove the power lead from where it connects to the laptop.
2. Separate the battery from the the laptop. There's normally a slide locking mechanism on the underside of the laptop to unlock the battery. Slide the battery out of the battery compartment.
3. Ensure the laptop's power adapter is connected to an electrical socket and switched on at the socket. Reattach the 'laptop end' of the power adapter to the laptop.
4. Power on the laptop. If the laptop powers on and starts up it tells us the power adapter is working properly and can be ticked off the list. If, however, the laptop does not start up normally it confirms the power adapter is not working correctly. Consequently the battery can not charge. In which case check the wall socket is giving out power, replace the fuse in the plug and if the adapter is still not supplying power to the laptop replace the power adapter.
Clean Battery Contacts
5. Turn the laptop off and remove the power lead from where it connects to the laptop.
6. Separate the battery from the the laptop. There's normally a slide locking mechanism on the underside of the laptop to unlock the battery. Slide the battery out of the battery compartment.
7. Dust and possibly other substances can accumulate on the battery's electrical contacts preventing them from making a 'good' electrical connection and, therefore, hindering normal operation and charging. If they look as though they're in need of a clean use a cotton swab or an old toothbrush dipped in isopropyl alcohol. Rub the dampened swab or toothbrush gently on the contacts on the battery itself and on the contacts inside the battery compartment.
8. Slide the battery back into the battery compartment and test for any improvement.
Charge and Test Battery
9. Plug the power adapter into the laptop.
10. Charge the battery for six hours.
11. Remove the power adapter.
12. Turn the laptop on. If the laptop turns on and stays on for at least 30 minutes this confirms the battery is capable of charging and holding a charge. However dependant upon how long the battery is able to power the laptop for a judgement call needs to be made as to whether replacement of the battery is needed immediately. If the laptop doesn't turn on or the battery doesn't power the laptop for at least 30 minutes, the battery it confirms the battery is exhausted and unless it's possible to have the laptop connected to the mains at all times when in use the battery needs to be replaced.