December 29th, 2005  |  Published in old and busted

It turns out, handwringing and general misery aside, that the iBook’s big issue was a battery that was not so much dead as aggressively lying to the rest of the computer about its status. I got it back from the store today and I’m down the cost of a new battery and a half hour’s worth of bench fees.

Some interesting things to note about iBooks with dead batteries:

  • They might tell you they have no battery.

  • They might tell you they have a battery but it’s not charging.

  • They might tell you they have a battery, but they don’t know whether it’s charging or not.

  • They might tell you they have a battery, and that it has nearly double its rated capacity but, alas, it isn’t charging.

  • They might refuse to stay asleep, choosing instead to stay spun up and awake even when you close the unit.

You might get a combination of any number of these symptoms from reboot to reboot.

Some interesting things I learned along the way:

  • coconutBattery can tell you some interesting things about your laptop battery, like its maximum charge and its original charge capacity, and it can keep dated entries of its capacity in a little sidebar log. If your battery has gone mad, however, it’s a helpless little program that spins incredible yarns the battery whispers in its ear.

  • You can reset the power management unit (PMU) if your battery is acting up and it might restore it to sanity. It didn’t mine.

  • Someone responding to my query on Ask Metafilter mentioned putting his battery in a ziploc bag then keeping it in a freezer for a few days, which fixed it.

  • Alternately, you can also reset the NVRAM, though this is also handled by zapping the PRAM, which the lore seems to indicate as often as anything for fixing mystery maladies.

So anyhow … iBook restored to function. Still a little sticky from all the goat blood.

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