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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Service Battery! ... Or not?


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oboefreak

 
Member Since: May 31, 2011
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Over the past couple of days, I have noticed some odd things going on with my power. I mean, my Macbook is working fine, but the service battery notification keeps turning on and off. I have coconutBattery installed and this is what it has said at different points in the night:


[After watching some youtube videos, service battery notification on]


[After resetting SMC, service battery notification on]


[After browsing some websites that don't utilize flash or java, service battery notification off]

So uh do I need to go to a mac store to get this checked out? Or should I just wait it out until the situation gets worse? It's not really impacting the use of my computer but it's a little annoying seeing the service battery notification keep on turning on and off... and I'd rather not go to a mac store if I don't have to, as I live in a rural area and the closest store is about an hour away.

I run Snow Leopard 10.6.8. If you need any more info I'll provide in subsequent posts.
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bobtomay

 
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I believe the service battery notification automatically turns on when the current capacity falls below 70% of original capacity. You'll notice in both the first 2 pics it is below that level, in the 3rd it is not.

I'd recommend you calibrate the battery specifically as outlined in Apple's kb article. Site is down now so can't link you to it. But, to do that:
Use your Mac on battery until it shuts itself off.
Then set it aside for a minimum of 5 hours - do not plug it in yet.
After that 5 hours is up, then plug it in and give it a full charge. You can use it during this time.

Maybe do this a couple of times a week apart - I'm "assuming" you've not been doing this once a month - then start up a once a month calibration schedule. Replace the battery when it no longer provides enough up time for you.

(You play the oboe? Think that along with the bassoon and cello are my 3 favorite sounding instruments. I was a horn player.)

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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oboefreak

 
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.... Yeah, I had no idea you should do that. >_> I just put my battery back in now and coconutbattery is telling me the capacity is at 66% and the service battery notification is on. I just find it odd that it's "service battery" and not "replace soon" or something. I guess it does make sense because these are the different definitions as provided by Apple when I click "service battery":

Quote:
Normal: The battery is functioning normally.
Replace Soon: The battery is functioning normally but holds less charge than it did when it was new.
Replace Now: The battery is functioning normally but holds significantly less charge than it did when it was new. You can continue to use the battery until you replace it without harming your computer.
Service Battery: The battery isn’t functioning normally, and you may or may not notice a change in its behavior or the amount of charge it holds. Have your computer checked by an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP). You can continue to use your battery before it’s checked without harming your computer.
...because I don't think a battery's health can change from 69% to 65% to 80% to 63% within an hour normally, in that order, haha. That's what it did last night as I was typing up this post and directly after I posted.

So I should try this again next week before deciding if I need a replacement or if I should go to the store? Is that what you're telling me? Just wanna make sure

And yeah I do play the oboe... or I used to. It's been a few years but I loved it a lot when I did play.

Edit: Yeah 12 hours after I posted this, the health jumped from 64% to 79% within 10 minutes, so it appears as if the issue isn't fixed completely yet.

Edit again: Haha now it's back up to 85% what
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theOneKrishna

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
I believe the service battery notification automatically turns on when the current capacity falls below 70% of original capacity. You'll notice in both the first 2 pics it is below that level, in the 3rd it is not.

I'd recommend you calibrate the battery specifically as outlined in Apple's kb article. Site is down now so can't link you to it. But, to do that:
Use your Mac on battery until it shuts itself off.
Then set it aside for a minimum of 5 hours - do not plug it in yet.
After that 5 hours is up, then plug it in and give it a full charge. You can use it during this time.

Maybe do this a couple of times a week apart - I'm "assuming" you've not been doing this once a month - then start up a once a month calibration schedule. Replace the battery when it no longer provides enough up time for you.

(You play the oboe? Think that along with the bassoon and cello are my 3 favorite sounding instruments. I was a horn player.)
wow that's succintly put.
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oboefreak

 
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Another update:

For most of today, the battery capacity was at 85% to 80%. It just suddenly dropped to 65% and the notification changed to "replace soon".

:/ What is going on with my battery? Should I wait a week and retry draining the battery again or just make an appointment for next week now? [That's the soonest I can get to a store.]

I don't really care too much about replacing the battery, it's just the erraticness of this worries me. I'd just like things to be stable one way or the other.
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bobtomay

 
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I would recommend either:

a) quit worrying about it and quit looking at it - e.g., get rid of coconut battery if you're going to be popping it up and looking at it every 5-10 minutes

if you're OCD and just insist on opening Coconut battery every 5 minutes to "see where it is now"

b) get yourself a new battery

I've used 1 battery for over 6 months after that notification started while waiting for the manufacturer of the battery I wanted to get next to update their line.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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bobtomay

 
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I would recommend either:

a) quit worrying about it and quit looking at it - e.g., get rid of coconut battery if you're going to be popping it up and looking at it every 5-10 minutes

if you're OCD and just insist on opening Coconut battery every 5 minutes to "see where it is now"

b) get yourself a new battery

I've used 1 battery for over 6 months after that notification started while waiting for the manufacturer of the battery I wanted to get next to update their line.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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oboefreak

 
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Okay, thanks for your input. Sorry if I was annoying... I had to replace my battery and logic board last year so I'm a little paranoid about this. I'll just wait it out until the situation gets worse. Just wanted to see if there was something else I could do to perhaps fix the problem.
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bobtomay

 
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Don't get me wrong - I'm not annoyed. Just don't like to see folks "worry" about stuff they shouldn't be.

If you have not already done a calibration - do that. You can also try a SMC reset.

And since you just replaced both of those last year - I'd take it back to Apple and let them at least check it out.

I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.
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