Dell Latitude D620, Intel Core 2 Duo T7600 2.33GHz, 4GB RAM, 250GB Seagate Momentus 5400.4 HDD, 64MB Nvidia Quadro NVS 110M, Intel PRO/Wireless 3945 ABG, DVD±RW, Windows Vista Ultimate w/ SP1
Not really. Dead batteries are typically detected by erratic behaviors such as this, or because it's unable to hold charge.
There's no way to "fix" a dead battery...it's dead...
Batteries carry a charge and the charging device regulates the battery very well to prevent over charging (overcharging = expanding/exploding). What laptop users don't understand is that batteries wear down when they are at full charge the fastest. A battery delivers an electric charge by the acidic exchange within the unit and the more electricity it generates the more the acid is working. Batteries wear down at different rates for different reasons. If you use AC power for your laptop, don't plug in your battery because the charger will keep it at %100 causing it to wear down faster. You can't store batteries without a charge because the acid will become inert so the only way to keep a battery going is to constantly use it.
Laptop battery lifespan is just over a year. If you get more use out of this than your doing good. If you get less then the battery is most likely bad.
Bypass vista by performing all the tests through the BIOS, watch the battery charge indicator and bench test it without allowing it to boot to Vista. This of course would be through minimum HDD spinup so it wouldn't be an accurate test but a test to eliminate the OS as the cause. I do not think it is an issue with vista as it is reading the information the motherboard is giving it.
Your points about the software are not new. I wondered about things like this myself, it seems that no motherboard manufacture has developed hardware that would allow one to use software to manipulate the battery charge like this before.
I didn't realize this model had a foot on the battery, this is a true design flaw and something that I really get irked about with various laptop manufactures and is a small point that will make me not buy the unit.
The only unfortunate thing about checking the output voltage is that the battery isn't a combined output. It is a (sometimes a combination of 4) different positive and negative ports, and you can find out which one is the negative terminal by looking at the motherboard. Because of the multitude of positive outputs you won't get a voltage reading equaling the labeled output, its the combined output of all positive and negative terminals that determines this, you only check the battery voltage to see if it is constant. You can do this with any combination of the 6 terminals as long as you get a voltage reading.
Modern battery design's use literal 'nanotechnology' in their designs. Microscopic permeable plates and other teeny tiny components give a more uniform and reliable charge for electrical components and when they go, they go fast. Its like a blind down hill race and it hits the bottom at a random point in time. Never doubt battery failure, its why Dell had a massive recall in recent history.
I will try that. The BIOS idea is one thing I hadn't thought of. I will try it. Ya if it won't charge in BIOS then I know the battery is faulty correct?
Ya I figured someone would have thought of that. They probably don't because of cost and battery voltage is something most consumers wouldn't know how to manage.
Ya it does have the foot on the battery and it is a poor design that shouldn't be there. I bought the unit for its sturdy construction and the fact it can run engineering applications well.
That is interesting. I never knew that.
I appreciate your help and knowledge. I will check the charge through BIOS and I thought I might completely discharge the battery and see how it charges.