How to know if my laptop batteries are dead?
I have thinkpad x61 (from Sept 2008), which has been symptomatic for about a month - but it only dawned on me in the last week that my battery might be dying. I have an 8cell Li-ion battery. A month ago, my hairdresser unplugged my laptop to move it - and it shut itself off. I didn't see him move it so I figured that maybe he shut the power button off. Then last week I noticed that the battery charge level stayed at 85% - even though the adapter was plugged in the whole time. I unplugged it to move it - and it shut right down. It runs when the adapter is plugged in - but not when it's removed. The fact that the battery won't charge past 85% (it used to get fully charged - 98 or 99% until recently).
So I think the battery is dead. Does this sound like the symptom of a dead battery?
As I search the net, I fear I have not treated the battery as I should have. I rarely let the laptop battery discharge. I often leave it plugged in and on (does that overcharge it? or is that okay?). For future use I should know how batteries need to be handled. Should I let the battery discharge from time to time? how often? Is it okay to leave the adapter plugged in if the laptop is off?
As I started looking into battery replacements, I started wondering if my old Dell Latitude 600 (which died a few months ago) might also just need a new battery. It was kicking along just fine (used in my office during the week and turned off on weekends). Then one Monday it wouldn't start. I hit the power button and the indicator lights would come on - but then just go off. No booting up. As old as this XP computer is, it was working just fine for light surfing and emails at the office. It would be worth investing in a well-rated generic battery - if that is the problem.
Are there steps I can take to try to test out what died in the Latitude? I tried taking the battery out and just have the adapter plugged in. Same thing. When I push the power button, the indicator lights come on - but then shut right off. Or maybe this means it's the adapter? and not the battery?