Laptop battery health from ~98% to 84% in less than 2 weeks (Lenovo Ideapad 710S)

foyenas

Prominent
Sep 26, 2017
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I got a laptop second-hand a week ago. After calibrating the battery, all seemed well. Health and capacity were good. And now, having decided to check the battery after regular use, I see this horrid thing:



I don't understand what happened. I've never left it plugged in after 100% charge for more than an hour at most, which I've heard causes the most harm to the battery. Is what I am seeing normal? Can it be an adapter issue? The charger I am using is the original one, but I've to use an american-eu adapter to use it. The couple days there was no decay were when I used an unoriginal adapter, but one that had a eu plug.
How can the decay be slowed down, or can nothing be done? I need this laptop to be portable, meaning having a good battery, and cannot afford a new one.
Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.
 

xSimply1337x

Honorable
Jan 16, 2014
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It's normal for a laptop battery to go bad fairly quickly. But not necessarily that quickly. Granted you don't know how much use and overcharge has been put onto it before hand since you bought it second hand. If someone says it's like new and hardly ever used and blah blah blah how can you be sure that this is true? How old is this laptop? The oldest you have to assume it is requires you to go by it's launch date.

But you can try a battery reset like with smart phones and tablets.
Completely drain the battery to zero then plug it in and let it charge WITHOUT using it and while it is of course off. Don't turn it on until the charging light turns off. Then use it and drain it's battery again this time getting to about 10-20% and then plugging it in. You may use it while it is plugged in but I recommend you make the usage light and stop charging at around 90-95% and repeat this a couple of times then do another complete drain and charge while it is off again.

Depending on your life schedule and how many hours in a day you can spend paying attention to your laptop this process could take you a couple of days.

Once you've done the battery reset you may continue to use as you like for a week however long to see new numbers in your chart making sure not to completely hit dead and not to charge to 100% all the time (you can on occasion but I recommend to stick to the 90-95% range) If you are ever going to leave it plugged in to charge unattended you need to shut it down so that when it reaches full charge it stops charging. With it being on it will stop charging but it will start and then stop and then start and then stop and so on and so forth.
 

carlbyronthompson

Estimable
Apr 18, 2015
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4,510
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Some things, like batteries going bad, can't be changed but, use the computer until it turns off from a dead batt, do this 1 or 2 more times. Then charge it to 100% and monitor it again and see if improves. Nothing can stop a batt from death but this could help for a bit.
 

What do you mean by second-hand? Is it possible the previous owner abused it? It's possible to recondition Li-ion batteries so they briefly appear to be fine, but quickly revert to their degraded state.

I don't understand what happened. I've never left it plugged in after 100% charge for more than an hour at most, which I've heard causes the most harm to the battery. Is what I am seeing normal?
It's not leaving it plugged in after 100% which damages it. It's charging it up to 100% which damages it. The poorly designed laptops would charge it to 100%, and after it dropped to 99% in a few minutes they would immediately charge it back to 100% again. This is why it used to be recommended to unplug it after charging. Most laptop vendors have gotten smarter and now won't top off until it drops to at least 95%. And some just avoid 100% entirely by misreporting a lower capacity (say 85%) as 100%.

Discharging the battery completely will also accelerate its wear. Basically you should try avoid both charging extremes. If the laptop has software to stop it from charging past like 80% or 90%, use it (the Thinkpads have this, dunno about regular Lenovos). And avoid draining the battery completely. If the battery is blow 50% and you have the opportunity to give it a little more charge (but not past 80%), then do it. These partial charges are much less damaging than a full charge.

Can it be an adapter issue? The charger I am using is the original one, but I've to use an american-eu adapter to use it. The couple days there was no decay were when I used an unoriginal adapter, but one that had a eu plug.
I assume you made sure the charger is rated for 110-240 Volts?

The difference in decay was probably due to how deeply you discharged the battery. But if you suspect one adapter is better, go ahead and experiment with it. Use the laptop with one charger for a few days, always taking it off the charger the moment it hits 100% (or a lower percentage if you want), and always recharging it at the same low %. Then switch to the other charger and treat it the same way for a couple days. And see if there's a difference in decay.

Maintenance is trickier when you use the laptop on AC power a lot. Charging it once to 100% and using it on AC for a couple days may actually cause less wear on the battery than constantly cycling it between 25%-75% for those couple days. But if you're always using it on battery, then just take care not to discharge it completely, and try not to charge it completely if you don't need to.

Battery temperature also makes a difference, although most laptops are usually pretty consistent in their temperature (gaming laptops being an exception).

http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/how_to_prolong_lithium_based_batteries
 

foyenas

Prominent
Sep 26, 2017
3
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510
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Thank you for the in-depth reply. I've the means to experiment some with both chargers - but regardless whether one is better than the other, I've to exchange the one which didn't seem to harm the battery health any for another one (the one I have heats up so much it hurts to touch it). I want to use the original adapter and the power adapter connected to it as little as possible, though.

By saying I got this laptop second-hand, I mean exactly that. I got it off e-bay and while it is possible that the previous owner abused it, it is in perfect consmetic condition, and the seller was very forthcoming and polite. Call me naive, but I don't think the harm came from the previous owner.

The laptop has a charger limit software, but it stops it from charging at 60% which is a bit too little for me to comfortably use it in university. However, I will monitor its charge when charging and make sure it doesn't charge all the way to 100%. I haven't discharged it fully after calibrating the battery after recieving the laptop (had some issues with the percentage displayed). I don't use it on AC power a lot, in fact, I usually have it running on battery. Hopefully, it's just the vendor misreporting the capacity to have it safe (though I've next to no hope for that... It now says the full charged capacity is 38,930 mWh, 700 lower than yesterday... it's so ridiculous and horrid).

This whole situation is extremely stressful to me and you've given me some sort of the clarity I needed. Thank you again.
 
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