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Old 24th July 2012
daemonfowl daemonfowl is offline
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Default dying battery always blinks .. is it a risk ?

Hi !

My Dell laptop's battery is dying and continues to blink red/orange .. will it be a risk if I continue using it with bettery while plugged ? or should I just remove the battery?

Thank you.
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Old 24th July 2012
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jggimi jggimi is offline
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The meaning of flashing lights vary from model to model. Have you opened your Dell manual? I'll bet you'll find the answer within.
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Old 24th July 2012
jb_daefo jb_daefo is offline
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FWIW I could not use wifi nor a usb hub reliably with it on AC power, and the battery blinking. (Did not try just without the battery.) A replacement battery fixed both issues
however. Almost cost a new wifi adapter which probably would have worked just as
unreliably without the replacement battery.
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Old 24th July 2012
ocicat ocicat is offline
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Anecdotal story.

I have one of the original Dell netbooks which has since been discontinued. Once I removed the version of Linux originally installed, & replaced it with OpenBSD, the battery light blinks continuously. Supposedly, there is a BIOS update which corrects the problem, but the version I downloaded didn't.

So would ensuring that the BIOS is updated on your system stop the blinking? I have absolutely no idea.

More research on your part is most likely required.
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Old 24th July 2012
daemonfowl daemonfowl is offline
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Thanks all ! It's my nice souvenir Dell Latitude L400 .. with OpenBSD of course :-) ocicat's post helped me learn about the cause : it's the green bios that's missing (in fact they are 3 held together in a plastic cover & couldn't find it) So I have to F2 then reboot .. but the question remains : I still use the box anyway .. should I do without the battery for safety or bear the blinking without further risk? Thank you !
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Old 25th July 2012
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Step One is to find out what the blinking lights mean. They are a code, produced by the battery's on-board electronics. The blinking lights are Dell's way of telling you something.

Over the years, many many batteries have been produced for many many Dell laptops.

How do you find out what the blinking lights are, and what they mean?

See the top link:

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=dell+l400+batteries
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Old 25th July 2012
daemonfowl daemonfowl is offline
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Thank you Teacher !!
On this page :
http://support.dell.com/support/edoc...ug/battery.htm
Quote:
NOTES: A charge indicator that blinks rapidly indicates a temporary failure or a potentially recoverable failure such as overheating. Allow the battery to cool for several minutes before checking the charge level again.

If the battery has permanently failed or completely discharged, no charge indicators will light when you press the battery test button. If you install a failed or completely discharged battery in the computer and the battery status indicator turns red, the battery has failed. If the battery status indicator turns red, allow the battery to charge overnight and check it the next day. If the battery is fully discharged, it takes a much longer time than usual to recharge it.
I recall the problem starts when the green cmos broke .. but again this coincided with me forsaking the laptop for a long time -with battery on, my mistake- .. whether the battery failed because discharged or because of cmos I'll try leaving laptop plugged for a night as indicated and see .. eventhough I fear fires : same page says :
Quote:
A battery problem may prevent the battery from being charged to its full potential and can lead to unpredictable operation
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Old 25th July 2012
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Quote:
Thank you Teacher !!
No. Please don't thank me. I've been trying to teach you how to fish, rather than serving you a fish that I have caught, cleaned, cooked, and plated, in a nice teriyaki glaze with a side dish of rice and vegetables.

I have not been successful. I don't know why, since I am not there with you, looking over your shoulder as you work, nor speaking in conversation with you at the time you are formulating your questions. Perhaps there are other ways than the written word which are easier for you to use to learn?

----

You might find additional information about your blinky lights if you examined the battery for a Dell model number, and use that in a future Google search. Google already told me that the L400 can use many different Dell batteries. If the battery is not Dell brand, then the manufacturer's make and model number could also be searched the same way.
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Old 25th July 2012
daemonfowl daemonfowl is offline
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Who dare say you've not been successful ?????
I never studied computer science nor have the guts to do Maths nor belong to a country where IT culture thrives (a country where anti-piracy policy is hot wind and so all anthropoi are using pirated windows .. why bother CLI while Windows is 0$ .. sadly) .. the least thing that would be said about Sir @jggimi : you helped me (& newbies following) install the OS I came to like + running current + reporting + getting used to many utilities/facilities .. I know I'm toooooooooo slower a snail than the rest of snails .. but determined .. step by step until I totally divorse Mrs Spoon .. :-) .. if you still see failure .. it's only me who must ake the blame but again I lack enough brains .. hehe .. an Art student using OpenBSD for pleasure & fun .. then .. .. ..

Last edited by daemonfowl; 25th July 2012 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 25th July 2012
daemonfowl daemonfowl is offline
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I've found that wasted cmos :
VARTA 7.2 volt 20mAh Ni-MH
6/ V20HR

Yet another more question plz :
While I can't find a replacement battery .. is it safe to continue using the laptop (any laptop) without its battery ? let's say I wanna make it a permanent firewall/router or something like that ..

Last edited by daemonfowl; 25th July 2012 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 25th July 2012
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Yes, you may operate Dell laptops without batteries.

Last edited by jggimi; 25th July 2012 at 11:59 AM. Reason: Clarity
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Old 25th July 2012
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Quote:
...an Art student using OpenBSD for pleasure & fun...
That's fine. However, knowledge of computer science or of information technology are not needed to ask yourself, "This light on this battery is blinking. I wonder what that means?" and "How can I find out?"

I have not been able to find a way to teach you how to ask yourself questions like these. And that is why I have failed as your teacher.
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