Replace your failing laptop battery and extend your device’s life

Late last year, my laptop got an update, and then things started failing. When I say things, I mostly just mean the battery. Because all the other things that didn’t work were as a result of the battery failing. As someone who uses my laptop everywhere, from the bed when indoors, to a bus when travelling, a lot of things weren’t possible anymore. I was thoroughly held back by not having long battery life, and I was stressed out imagining having to buy a new laptop.

I thought a new laptop was the solution because of a couple of things:

  1. My laptop had no issue prior to the update.
  2. The battery would sometimes charge to 100% and last pretty long. Then sometimes it would refuse to charge past 50%, or 60% or, 80%.
  3. All of a sudden simple things like updates didn’t work. I don’t know why, but I couldn’t install an update without the laptop restarting or just going off on its own.
  4. Heavy apps wouldn’t run at all. You launch Adobe Premiere Pro, the setup runs, and then fails. And the laptop restarts. It was frustrating.
  5. Over time, the laptop became a desktop. It wouldn’t power on without being connected to the wall adapter for charging.
  6. Being such a thin device, I believed getting a battery replacement was impossible. Where would I start? Who would do the replacement?

Anyway, a couple of Google searches early this year showed me that it was possible to get a replacement battery. It was also pretty easy to open my laptop up and change the battery. I wouldn’t however take that risk myself. So, I just ordered the laptop battery, and got professionals to do the job.

HP Spectre 13 2016 Battery
The old battery….

After the changing of the battery, I used HP’s calibration tool to ensure the battery was charging optimally. The first week everything seemed really good. I was getting very long hours with my “new” device. It was crazy. I was getting better battery life with the replacement battery than I was when the laptop was brand new. All the issues above seemed solved. All apps would run, Windows 10 Updates installed okay, and it was back to being the laptop I carry around without worrying myself on carrying the charger.

The third week is when something very discomforting happened. That week, my device refused to charge past 90%. It just totally refused. And I felt like I had wasted money getting a new battery. I left it overnight, 90%. Used it for the whole day while plugged in, 90%. Two days, 90%.

I decided to run the calibration tool again, but the laptop just wouldn’t charge past 90%. So I let it be. I decided to keep using the device and ignoring that issue. It didn’t matter much since every other thing worked. The 90% full charge would still last me long hours of use, so I kept using it like that. A few weeks in, I realised the device just started doing 99% on its own. It is not 100% yes, but 99% sounds good to me. And things have been okay since March.

The great thing is I am still getting very long hours of use without charging. And every other thing is working fine, I have no complaints. Being a Core i5, 6th Gen with 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD, and having it run everything I need it to pretty well without any hiccups is pretty satisfying, and cost-cutting as well since I would need to budget for something newer had it failed completely.

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