Hard shutdown with full battery

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geodanny

New Member
#1
I have a Compaq Evo n600c laptop that loses power with no warning when running on battery. By losing power, I mean it doesn't go through the normal WinXP shutdown; the screen goes dead and the indicator lights turn off. This does not happen when running on AC power. I haven't found other reports through search engines of this so I'm turning to forums.

The battery is a new, Compaq brand battery. The battery takes and keeps a charge; XP says it is full, and the power indicator on the top of the battery also shows it is full.

The power losses happen at seemingly random intervals. It can happen with 100% power or 50% power. Generally it happens within the first 10 minutes after the computer has been turned on but has happened as far out as an hour. It happens while in one place on a table and on my lap while on the couch. I don't think the computer is over heating since it happens mostly while the temperatures are still all under 40C, and the fan works. Also, I can immediately press the on button and turn the computer right back on using the battery as the power source.

This is a new install of WinXP Pro. The only programs installed, that aren't installed with WinXP, are Firefox and SpeedFan. The hard drive is also new. The computer starts up and runs fine on battery and AC power (i.e. no error messages). The computer doesn't have problems while running on AC power.

I haven't opened the laptop up yet and am looking to avoid doing that. The connectors look clean and free of corrosion. There is no damage I can see to the battery compartment.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

Dan
 
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DanceMan

DanceMan

Procrastinating Member
#2
My guess would be an intermittent connection between the battery and the computer. Look at the contacts on the battery, or in the computer if they're accessible. Are they of a type that could be gently bent out to make better contact?
 
edhe62

edhe62

New Member
#3
You can also use a pencil eraser to clean up the contacts if they appear dark/black at all. Be sure to be gentle with them to avoid any damage to the contacts.
 
Justintime

Justintime

Moderator
#4
Sounds like a dodgy battery or a dud voltage regulator that the Armada M series was famous for. Got an Armada M700 with the same symptoms, had an earlier one that i replaced the regulator on and it was fine. Another little tip i know of that might help, if the battery is similar to the m700, has it got the test leds/lights? It might be the micro controller on the battery getting stuck, one way to reset is to crack open the battery so that the controller loses power and resets, another way is to let the battery discharge for a few months and lose power. This also sorted a few m700 batterys that others said were plain dead. Btw, was this laptop designed for XP? I might be stark raving mad, but i swear 3 M700 lappys i fixed had problems with power in battery mode just after installing XP for a few weeks, could be a management or ACPI problem.
 
CenturionStrategy

CenturionStrategy

Super Moderator
#5
Yup, I had the same problem with my M700 too. Try downloading the power tools off HP/Compaq's website, and there should be a program there to 'calibrate' the battery reading.

Nick
 
Leoslocks

Leoslocks

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
#7
Are you sure it is not a Suspend function? Check the Bios for Power conservation settings for Battery.

If it is rebooting after the shutdown, then it seems to be a power failure and the battery/connectors need addressing.

And Welcome to HWC.
 
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geodanny

New Member
#8
Thank you everyone. I will look into testing and getting a new voltage regulator. The battery contacts are all shiny. I have two new batteries and both have the same problem. I know someone else with the same model Evo and my battery in their computer doesn't cause it to lose power and vice versa, their working battery in this computer has the same problem. This isn't a suspend function issue; it is a power failure. I turned off all power management functions in the BIOS and OS.
 
P

P Elliott

New Member
#10
Hi,

Me too new to the forum. Glad I found the thread because I have the same laptop (N600c) and exact problem as "geodanny".

I can use the AC power no problem. But when I unplug or try to use battery power, it last about 5mins or when I "click" a function, i.e. clicking a link on a site.

Battery OK, check the charge by removing a pushing the test button. Also shows full on the software side.

The only way to get the laptop back on is to plug it in (AC) and then it will boot up - no problems...

I am assuming it's the volt. regualtor. Found a place to buy for $38

http://www.compaqmedic.com/compaq_data/241435-001-Compaq.html

Now.. Another question?? is this easy to install? I have built many desktops but have not touch a laptop. Any suggestions, tips and DO NOT's!

Thanks and I glad to find this forum... wow tons of good info!

Thanks
Peter
 
Justintime

Justintime

Moderator
#11
Never done it on tha model, might look on google for a deconstruction guide for your laptop, the actual replacement is easy though.
 
G

geodanny

New Member
#12
some links

Here are some links to bookmark:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsuppor...peId=321957&prodSeriesId=316673&lang=en&cc=us
---> Choose manuals and download the PDFs
---> Info is found on page 162 of the Maintenance and Service Guide, sectioin 5.17 DC-DC Converter Board
http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/10886_na/10886_na.html
---> Quick specs

Compaq/HP refers to this part as a DC-DC Converter Board. The N600c needs part number: 241435-001.

I've been slow to act, but I'll be ordering the part this week and installing it next week when I get some time. I'll post again to let you know if I'm successful or not.

Incidentally, my work laptop crapped out this morning with the same issue. It is an HP compaq nc6000. My hard disk was put into a new shell and the problem disappeared. Talking to other coworkers, it sounds like most HP and Compaq model lines have this problem (Armada, Evo, and NC6000). We've been using Compaq/HP computers almost exclusively over the past four or five years and it is a recurring IT headache. It is always amazing when several people share a 'me too' moment when hearing about a computer hardware problem. :(
 
DanceMan

DanceMan

Procrastinating Member
#13
My hard disk was put into a new shell and the problem disappeared.
???????
Do you mean the drive was put into a new caddy or into a different notebook?

Thanks for posting back with more info on the problem. Helps us all learn.
 
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geodanny

New Member
#14
no luck

I calibrated the batteries. That didn't work. I also replaced the DC-DC converter board. No luck there either. I'm assuming the replacement board isn't a dud. I checked the battery connections while I had it opened up and that didn't see any problems there either.

Anyone know of a good logging program that would let me log the power input based on source? Anything open source or free is preferred but I'll pay if I need to. I'd like to see if there is a gradual decrease in power or it is cut off. At this point, I'm assuming this may have something to do with heat expanding a joint or connection to a cause power disruption.

In the end, I might give up and only use this laptop with an AC source. At least it still works using AC. I'm using it right now. I can run it for hours using AC but less than 5 minutes on battery power.

By replacing the shell for my work laptop, I mean they pulled my hard drive out of the bad computer and put it in a different one. It stayed in the same caddy because the replacement laptop was the same model.

P Elliott: You'll need to get a T-7 size torx wrench to get open the computer (they sell them with screwdrivers at most tool stores like sears). I assumed that I could get by with a flat head screwdriver because the outer screws have a slot as well as torx head - I was wrong.
 
T

Tahir

New Member
#15
Same shutdown problem

I have alsoCompaq Evo n600c laptop which also loses power with out warning when running on battery.

I am using WINDOWS XP PROFESSIONAL. I have found, if i run the computer in the windows xp safe mode on the battery the laptop working fine and giving 2-3 hours backup time. Whin i run the laptop again in the normal mode of windows xp i am facing the same prolem.

geodanny please check your laptop in the safe mode.

Regards,
Tahir
 
J

Jeanne

New Member
#16
Please help! Evo N600C power

Hi --- I have an Evo N600C. It worked great, although I usually used the electric power cord. When on battery, it didn't seem to last too long before warning me that the battery is low.

Anyway, I took it to a store to sell it on consignment (money is the issue). They 'tested' it, and now will not boot up, even with the power cord plugged in. The light by the picture of a disk drum lights up. An the picture of a plug flashes. That's all I get -- no further action toward booting up.

Am I mistaken to be angry with the store for 'breaking' something? Might this be something easily fixed?

Please help!
 
D

dcwestby

New Member
#17
Similar power problem, however...

Its not a comcrap...

Its an emachines m6811

768mb ram, 80 gig hd, ati 9600mobility 64mb

I think its a athlon 3000 64bit

Anyway, when its plugged in here at home lately, specially within the last 2 months, its been shutting off without any warning. On original battery, its fine. When I go to other places and plug in there, it works fine. The frustrating thing is that it wont work fine here at home. All the other computers in the house work fine too on plugged in power. This laptrop is the only 64bit machine tho in household... and I'm wondering if the 64 bit ones need a "better quality" electrical system to be plugged into then the older machines.

I've tried using it on a heavy duty surger I have.. only seems worse...

Help or advice?
 
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dcwestby

New Member
#19
Um, not temperature wise usually...

But if you mean in an area with tons oif other electronics, then I suppose the area could be considered electrically hot or busy since I generally use it an my desktop at the same time... Might need to get a voltage regulator, not sure yet..
 
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geodanny

New Member
#20
The Culprit: USB

Well, at least I assume it is. Read on ...

Generally, I used a PS2 mouse when using this computer. But one fine October day I used the USB mouse I keep with my work computer because it was next to me. I played around on the Evo, looking through more settings and searching the web some for more info about what could be the problem. About two or three hours later, I realized I had been running on battery that whole session - I was floored.

The only difference between that session and all the previous sessions was the use of a USB mouse. To verify it was USB, I tried it again without the mouse and it promptly crashed. I plugged in a USB memory stick and it worked perfectly fine. I tried the PS2 mouse with the USB memory stick and it still worked perfectly fine.

It has been six months since I made that discovery. The Evo works perfectly fine when anything is plugged into either USB slot when running on battery. If we forget to use the USB slot, the computer loses power within five minutes when running on battery. My wife uses the computer almost every day now in cafes and other public spaces, running almost exclusively on battery power. She doesn't have any problems with the computer except for WordPerfect 12 which is a story for software central (moral of the story: you get what you pay for).

For those who might have followed this thread, sorry it has been so long. I'd been meaning to post an update but kept forgetting to. Now my USB discovery and six-month follow-up are in a single post. :cool:

Thank you everyone for your help and for the good vibes which helped me luck out and find the proverbial "needle in a haystack" to fix this bug.
 
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