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Battery power remaining unknown

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I am working on a Dell Inspiron 1501 laptop.  At first the laptop displayed a message when first turned on "Warning:  the battery cannot be identified  This system will be unable to charge this battery.  Press any key to continue."  I googled this warning and some recommended that the BIOS be upgraded.  After the BIOS was upgraded the warning message did indeed go away.  But Windows XP still does not recognize this battery, and shows the laptop to be running on AC power even when the power adapter is not plugged in.

I tried turning the laptop off and removing the battery.  Pressed the battery status button...all 5 green lights lit up.  As I write this message I am still running on battery power alone, but I have no idea how much power is left.  Please advise as to a cause/solution to this problem.  TIA


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  • I read the following concerning  the status lights on the Dell laptop battery FAQs.

    "To check battery charge, press the button and the number of lights that appear will tell you charge status. If all lights appear, you have a fully charged battery. Each light that appears accounts for approximately 20% charge.

    To check the battery health, press and hold the status button on the battery charge gauge for at least 3 seconds. If no lights appear, the battery is in good condition and approximately more than 80 percent of its original charge capacity remains. Each light represents incremental degradation. If five lights appear, approximately less than 60 percent of the charge capacity remains, and you should consider replacing the battery."


    Please help me interpret the results of my status lights.  I press the status button and all 5 LED lights light--I interpret that as I have a fully charged battery.  Am I correct?


    I hold the status button in....all 5 LED lights light up....after 4 seconds all lights flash off....then back on again...after 7 seconds all lights go off and stay off.  How should I interpret this result?


    Thanks for your help.  Don't know whether the battery is good or bad