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Battery/Power Problem After BIOS Update

Posted on 2005-03-01
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I am desperate for possible answers to my problem as IBM support is not helping.  Back in August I upgraded the BIOS on my IBM T22 laptop.  Immediately after I upgraded the battery icon went from green to a flashing yellow.  The battery icon disappeared from the taskbar and was replaced by the AC icon.  Normally when plugged in, I see a battery icon with a power cord on top of it.  If I unplug the AC power, the system immediately goes into standy as the machine can no longer see the battery strength.  If I power back up I can continure to use the computer as usual on the battery even though the laptop shows it with an unknown power level.  IBM seems to think it is something with the operating system however even when the machine is off the battery light is flashing.  Normally it would be solid green or solid orange.  The final strange symptom is that the lights on my Linksys wireless card are no longer lit even though the card is working.  Well in August no one could figure out what happened and I sent it back to IBM.  They originally told me it was a bad battery and sent it back.  I bought a brand new battery and same problems.  I sent it back again and IBM changed out several parts and flashed the bios back to the previous release.  The computer worked fine again until yesterday when I got a message from IBM telling me there was a mandatory bios upgrade for my machine.  I upgraded again thinking everything would be fine this time.  BIG MISTAKE.  All the orignal symptoms have returned and are identical!!  My laptop is now no longer under warranty and IBM is being no help.  Based on the above symptoms does anyone have a suggestion?  Thanks.
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Question by:mestopal
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Expert Comment

by:surya_prabhakar
ID: 13431297
If you say that IBM has asked you to upgrade the BIOS - you have to hold their neck , because their are responsible for this problem . No matter it is out of warranty these symptons are caused after the upgrade of their  Bios .


surya.
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by:rid
ID: 13431491
BIOS upgrades are not a fix-all, as you have discovered....

Perhaps the BIOS now includes a calibration function (as it does on some machines) that require you to discharge and re-charge the battery under controlled circumstances before the machine can determine the battery status in a meaningful way. Is there ay kind of info on the new BIOS functions available from IBM?
/RID
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Author Comment

by:mestopal
ID: 13432435
I have looked for info on the new BIOS and I cant find where it list anything other than how the ROM is handled.
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by:rid
ID: 13432963
Normally I don't advocate BIOS flashes, because there is always a risk involved and you may end up with a laptop-shaped paperweight if something goes wrong. They are of course required sometimes, if there is a specific problem, and the new BIOS fixes this problem. However, if you feel up to it, you could of course try to reload the older BIOS, which obviously worked OK. In this case a "downgrade" might be the resolution to your specific power problem. Unless you can get IBM to accept responsibility for this bad upgrade. How do they mean "mandatory", BTW?
/RID
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Author Comment

by:mestopal
ID: 13433336
The Thinkpad came with an auto update program preinstalled that connects directly to IBM for updates.  This particular update had "mandatory" or "required" or some word telling me it had to be done beside the update.  I forgot to put in my original request that I am unable to flash the bios back to the previous version because once inside the bios update program, it ends telling me my power management system is disabled.  
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by:surya_prabhakar
ID: 13434281
Please contact IBM - make as much noice as possible . This is their update which messed your laptop. They are bound to be responsible.

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by:
ChrisSchumann earned 2000 total points
ID: 13458737
Recent IBM BIOS patches have made third party batteries not work in their machines. (According to recent court rulings, that may be illegal, but anyway...)

Is your brand new battery made by IBM, or is it another brand?
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Author Comment

by:mestopal
ID: 13464930
No it is a third party brand and this makes complete sense!  I wondered if that could possibly be the problem but I couldnt imagine them actually doing that.  I have an excalated case with them right now but they of course have not mentioned this at all.  I will keep you posted but not that you have confirmed what I suspected in the back of my mind, I bet you will be correct.  
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Author Comment

by:mestopal
ID: 13465609
One more question.  Is this referenced anywhere on the web?  In case I need to bring this up to IBM I would like to mention where the info came from.
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by:ChrisSchumann
ID: 13472731
Check out forum.thinkpads.com and ask around there. There are a few ThinkPad resellers on there and will either back me up or shoot me down.
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by:mysticaldan
ID: 13524145
Start your cmputer and enter the BIOS and switch OFF any feature related t Power saving like ACPI etc and then see. Also try and disable features related to measuring the battery if any. Wake On LAn etc.

Then go to windows and remove ACPI and power management devices from ur SYSTEM MANAGER and the reboot and let windows redetct anything that comes up. See if that helps u sort the problem.
Are there any further upodates available??

Dan
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Author Comment

by:mestopal
ID: 13531513
I'll try that.  Still no response from IBM.
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Author Comment

by:mestopal
ID: 13619482
Since IBM was being ZERO help I decided to take the advice of ChrisSchumann above and purchase a genuine IBM battery for my machine.  Guess what, no more problem.  So for any of those of you that heard this happened, I can confirm it happened to me TWICE.  This occurs with the most recent BIOS update that references improving battery performance.  I knew if IBM ever did come around all they would do is flash the BIOS back to the previous version and give zero explanation like they did the first time.  Thanks for everyone's help!!!  
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