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Windows 7: How often should I do a power drain?

22 Sep 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 
How often should I do a power drain?

I just recently discovered power drains, and it even brought a headphone jack back to life. What I'm wondering is, should I do it regularly, or just when something starts to act up?
Like Maguscreed said on my compressed gas question, I am a bit hesitant when it comes to my laptop, but only because it's my key to getting my degree, and I don't want to screw it up.

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23 Sep 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

What in the world is a "power drain"? If you mean, fully charging the the battery and letting it run down....then I would say why not simply do it as often as you can?? Does it really help...probably not. Does it hurt....probably not.

On my laptop, which is for work, I am plugged into a dock at work all day long. And I take it home and run it on battery each night and usually it's close to dead by morning. My original battery lasted 3 years in this laptop and finally dropped from about 6 hours of run time to about 2.5. Work replaced the battery for about $130 and it's back up to 6+ hours of run time.
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23 Sep 2011   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
What in the world is a "power drain"? If you mean, fully charging the the battery and letting it run down....then I would say why not simply do it as often as you can?? Does it really help...probably not. Does it hurt....probably not.

On my laptop, which is for work, I am plugged into a dock at work all day long. And I take it home and run it on battery each night and usually it's close to dead by morning. My original battery lasted 3 years in this laptop and finally dropped from about 6 hours of run time to about 2.5. Work replaced the battery for about $130 and it's back up to 6+ hours of run time.
Laptop batteries (which most if not all, are Lithium Ion) have a certain shelf life since the batteries start degrading as soon as they are manufactured.
Fully draining them regularly will also shorten their life.

Also, I have no idea what the OP is talking about.
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23 Sep 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Zepher View Post
Fully draining them regularly will also shorten their life.
Alas that does seem to be the case with a little research. I just use the laptop and try not to endlessly worry about it. A new battery every 3-4 years seems reasonable to me. Some would even suggest a new laptop every 3-4 years.

At home, I want the portability of the laptop...so I don't always want it plugged in.

I do however have my Dell laptop set to NOT use quick charge to help reduce heat during charge...which is also hard on the batteries. I figure that once I plug in, it's plugged in for hours..so a quick charge isn't necessary.
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23 Sep 2011   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

A power drain is where you unplug the AC adapter and the battery, then hold down the power button to get rid of excess power that's built up in the hardware.
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23 Sep 2011   #6

 
 

Normally, with or without the AC adapter/battery, if you hold the power button down for any length of time, it will just cause the system to shut down. In what way, if you know, is this different from what you are describing?

And in the case of 'power drains,' how long are you supposed to hold the power button down. A few seconds, or longer?
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23 Sep 2011   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-Bit
 
 

It would appear that if a laptop is connected to mains power for an excessive time, an excess of power is stored in the circuitry that can cause slow startup times or hardware malfunction.

A "power drain" simply releases to ground the excess power that has been built up and is done thus:

Shut down the laptop and unplug the mains cord then remove the battery. Press and hold down the power switch for 30 seconds then put the battery back before connecting the power cord and booting up.

As for how often it should be done, how long is a piece of string? If the laptop's performance degrades or you experience occurrences when the fan runs excessively or the touchpad is sluggish, then carrying out a power drain may help.
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23 Sep 2011   #8

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by seavixen32 View Post
It would appear that if a laptop is connected to mains power for an excessive time, an excess of power is stored in the circuitry that can cause slow startup times or hardware malfunction.

A "power drain" simply releases to ground the excess power that has been built up and is done thus:

Shut down the laptop and unplug the mains cord then remove the battery. Press and hold down the power switch for 30 seconds then put the battery back before connecting the power cord and booting up.
Incorrect. Li-ion batteries have builtin overcharge protection.

Also, Li-ion batteries have no memory effect so theres no need to discharge them completely. However, laptops may sometimes show incorrect remaining battery power because the battery meter guage goes out of sync with actual charge held (due to frequent short charges and discharges). Recalibration is suggested for this which involves draining the battery to dead, then recharging.

I completely agree with pparks1, I've run through a dozen laptops and all their batteries lasted optimally for 3 years and more or less pooped out by 5 years.
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23 Sep 2011   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP 1
 
 

So use it as a repair, not as a maintenance.
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23 Sep 2011   #10

 
 

But wait. . . seavixen32 is talking about an excess of electric power whereas Bill2 is talking about battery overcharging. This sounds like two separate issues.
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 How often should I do a power drain?





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