JennyL867

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This is kind of an off-topic question, but I'm sure a lot of you have laptops. I just got a Toshiba Satellite for med school this fall, and it's the first one I've ever had. I was just wondering what precautions I should take with the battery and such. Will leaving my laptop plugged into an outlet all the time shorten my battery life? I don't plan on taking my laptop to class with me every day, so when I'm at home, I don't see the point of using my battery. I know batteries have a limited number of cycles so won't using it at home just wear it out faster? However, I've read you should at least unplug the laptop at night when it is shut down, and that you should fully discharge your battery a few times a month or so. Would it be a good idea to take my battery out when it's plugged in at home?...but I've also heard that if I take the battery out, I should have the laptop plugged into a UPS since it no longer has a battery back-up. Is this necessary? My last question is when to use standby and hibernate modes. Is a certain amount of time too long to leave it in standby? Or is it better just to shut it down if I won't be using it while I'm at class? Sorry about all the questions...I just don't want to unknowingly be damaging anything...or maybe I'm being too anal about this...

Thanks in advance!
 
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saradoor

JennyL867 said:
Will leaving my laptop plugged into an outlet all the time shorten my battery life?
Definitely.

JennyL867 said:
I don't plan on taking my laptop to class with me every day, so when I'm at home, I don't see the point of using my battery. I know batteries have a limited number of cycles so won't using it at home just wear it out faster?
Yes but if you use it properly you won't have to replace the battery until you are done with school. By then you will probably want a new laptop anyway.

JennyL867 said:
However, I've read you should at least unplug the laptop at night when it is shut down,
No, this is not a good idea unless your battery is below 15%.

JennyL867 said:
and that you should fully discharge your battery a few times a month or so.
Not a bad idea (most new batteries can be recharged 1000+ times and it will lose its ability to hold the charge over time. So if you recharge it only when it goes down to below 15%, it will be a few years before you have to replace the battery.)

JennyL867 said:
Would it be a good idea to take my battery out when it's plugged in at home?
Just use your battery until it goes down to about 10-15% before recharge. This way you will not have to worry about crashing your hard disk when you lose power.

JennyL867 said:
...but I've also heard that if I take the battery out, I should have the laptop plugged into a UPS since it no longer has a battery back-up. Is this necessary?
Yes. Unless you are ready to lose all your work and even have a crashed hard disk. The best way is to just use your battery until it reaches below 10-15% and recharge.

JennyL867 said:
My last question is when to use standby and hibernate modes. Is a certain amount of time too long to leave it in standby? Or is it better just to shut it down if I won't be using it while I'm at class?
Standby consumes power. Hibernate consumes disk space. Both should not be used for an extended period of time without a full restart once in a while (otherwise you will notice how long it will take for your laptop to wake up.) If you don't need to use it for a few hours, it is best to just shut it down.
 
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JennyL867

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Thanks a lot for answering my questions. So basically, you are saying that I should just be using my laptop on battery until it gets to 10-15% and then plug it in. Therefore, I should never have my laptop plugged in unless it is charging. Also, it is better to just shut down and power on my laptop several times a day if I won't be using it for a few hours at a time than using the standby or hibernate functions?
 
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saradoor

JennyL867 said:
So basically, you are saying that I should just be using my laptop on battery until it gets to 10-15% and then plug it in. Therefore, I should never have my laptop plugged in unless it is charging.
Yes unless you think you will need to take your laptop with you elsewhere at a moment's notice and want to have a fully charged battery.

JennyL867 said:
Also, it is better to just shut down and power on my laptop several times a day if I won't be using it for a few hours at a time than using the standby or hibernate functions?
Yes. It will not cause any damage if you don't recycle power every hour or so.

The problem with standby is all your work is kept in memory and it draws power from your battery (so your session will be lost if your battery runs out.)

The problem with hibernate is all your work is kept on the hard disk and it takes time to reload it every time when you come out of hibernate (the more stuff you have in memory when you hibernate the longer it will take for it to come back.) Hibernate is most useful if you have a lot of programs opened and don't want to lose them when you return a few hours later.

Have fun with your laptop. :)
 

Sol Rosenberg

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Sorry, but a lot of saradoor's information is flat-out wrong.

1. Keeping your laptop plugged in will NOT shorten your battery life. Laptops have smart chargers that switch to trickle-charge mode when the battery is charged more than a certain amount.

2. There is a misunderstanding about what constitutes a "charge cycle." A charge cycle refers to a COMPLETE discharging and subsequent recharging of the battery. The average number of recharges refers to the number of charge cycles that the battery is good for. Therefore, letting your battery discharge to 10 - 15% before recharging has NO BENEFIT over recharging it when it gets down to 95%. Recharging from 95% is only 5% of a charge cycle, whereas recharging from 10% is 90% of a charge cycle.

3. While what you say about hiberneting is true with regard to having to save your workspace, it is often much faster than having to do a complete shut-down/restart, even ignoring having to quit all your applications, etc.

If there are still any questions, read my response to the OP's same post in Pre-Allo (before it turned into another PC vs. Mac. debate.)
 

lord_jeebus

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jota_jota said:
Sorry, but a lot of saradoor's information is flat-out wrong.

1. Keeping your laptop plugged in will NOT shorten your battery life. Laptops have smart chargers that switch to trickle-charge mode when the battery is charged more than a certain amount.

2. There is a misunderstanding about what constitutes a "charge cycle." A charge cycle refers to a COMPLETE discharging and subsequent recharging of the battery. The average number of recharges refers to the number of charge cycles that the battery is good for. Therefore, letting your battery discharge to 10 - 15% before recharging has NO BENEFIT over recharging it when it gets down to 95%. Recharging from 95% is only 5% of a charge cycle, whereas recharging from 10% is 90% of a charge cycle.

3. While what you say about hiberneting is true with regard to having to save your workspace, it is often much faster than having to do a complete shut-down/restart, even ignoring having to quit all your applications, etc.

If there are still any questions, read my response to the OP's same post in Pre-Allo (before it turned into another PC vs. Mac. debate.)
Yes, this is correct.
 
S

saradoor

jota_jota said:
Sorry, but a lot of saradoor's information is flat-out wrong.

1. Keeping your laptop plugged in will NOT shorten your battery life. Laptops have smart chargers that switch to trickle-charge mode when the battery is charged more than a certain amount.
FYI, this is not universally true for all laptops and certainly not the low end ones. I worked at Dell and I know this for a fact. So without knowing what type of battery and laptop the OP has, it will be a disservice to advise someone to just leave it plugged in all the time.

jota_jota said:
2. There is a misunderstanding about what constitutes a "charge cycle." A charge cycle refers to a COMPLETE discharging and subsequent recharging of the battery. The average number of recharges refers to the number of charge cycles that the battery is good for. Therefore, letting your battery discharge to 10 - 15% before recharging has NO BENEFIT over recharging it when it gets down to 95%. Recharging from 95% is only 5% of a charge cycle, whereas recharging from 10% is 90% of a charge cycle.
Have you heard of the battery memory problem? Most vendors would like you to believe that the problem is gone with the latest lithium based batteries but people who work at Dell support will tell you otherwise if they are honest. It is almost impossible to tell anyone to completely discharge their laptop batteries (unless they want to risk crashing their hard disks) so it is a compromise to start recharging at 10-15% instead of 60-70%.

jota_jota said:
3. While what you say about hiberneting is true with regard to having to save your workspace, it is often much faster than having to do a complete shut-down/restart, even ignoring having to quit all your applications, etc.

If there are still any questions, read my response to the OP's same post in Pre-Allo (before it turned into another PC vs. Mac. debate.)
This all depends on how many times have you hibernated before a complete restart and how many apps you have opened. I think people who have to answer this type of questions and have an entire lab of machines at Dell to experiment with know the answer to this better than you think.
 

hanjoko

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JennyL867 said:
This is kind of an off-topic question, but I'm sure a lot of you have laptops. I just got a Toshiba Satellite for med school this fall, and it's the first one I've ever had.
This might not answer your question but I think you might want to know because my laptop is also Toshiba Satellite and I have a very very very very annoying battery problem... :mad: I hope yours is going to be fine but if not, then definitely take it back before your warranty expires...

Refer to the following website:

http://www.ef-honda.com/ben/m35xfix.php

Basically, you have to follow each step in this website and take the whole laptop apart to fix the battery problem... :cool:
 
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