Microsoft investigating Windows 7 battery warning issues

Microsoft has confirmed it is investigating a problem causing some Windows 7 users to receive incorrect battery warnings on their laptops.

The warning is triggered when a laptops BIOS detects a battery replacement is required. Windows 7 provides the following alert: "Consider replacing your battery. There is a problem with your battery, so your computer might shut down suddenly." One user who spoke to The Register claimed their laptop battery life had decreased from two hours to half hour and others posted their experiences in a TechNet forums thread.

Microsoft officials said on Tuesday the company is looking into the issue, "we are investigating this issue in conjunction with our hardware partners, which appears to be related to system firmware," a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed.

Some commenter's in the TechNet thread are hinting at a class action lawsuit with one stating "If my battery has been permanently damaged or a fix not issued quickly, I will be forced to seek a class action lawsuit. Thank you."

Microsoft said it's working with PC manufacturers to determine the issue, "We are working with our partners to determine the root cause and will update the forum with information and guidance as it becomes available."

In recent Windows 7 news, Microsoft confirmed it had sold more than 60 million Windows 7 licenses in the second quarter making it the fastest selling operating system in history. Windows 7 also accounts for 10% of the operating system market share.

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Well I had this same problem start yesterday and I would have to admit I wasn't happy at all, but I figured why not dig in and figure out whats going on. So I started by opening a command prompt as administrator and issuing a powercfg -energy command. Once I got the log which is located at C:\Windows\System32\energy-report.html I noticed this line
Battery:Battery Information
Battery ID Hewlett-PackardPrimary
Manufacturer Hewlett-Packard
Serial Number
Chemistry LION
Long Term 1
Design Capacity 55080
Last Full Charge 12786

Which is well below 40 percent so I thought well maybe I should refresh the sensor so I went to my power options and change all the battery options to never so that the battery would run completly dead. Unplugged it for 20 minutes or so and the battery did run all the way down and now it has been charging for MUCH longer than it was before and my new reading is as so.

Battery:Battery Information
Battery ID Hewlett-PackardPrimary
Manufacturer Hewlett-Packard
Serial Number
Chemistry LION
Long Term 1
Design Capacity 55080
Last Full Charge 50918

Success the battery checks out again and the warning in the bottom of the screen is gone. Make sure you set your power plan back to something reasonable.

Looking back on the whole ordeal I think it started when I pluged in the charger during a reboot or something stupid where I plugged it up in some way I normally dont. While yes it is probably the system reading your battery wrong from your bios and then not charging it fully it can be corrected. I would suggest you fix it quickly before the memory in the battery thinks that this is the new full charge level and the battery is ruined.

I used Windows 7 since beta stage, and what I have notice is real now because other users are experience their battery problem like me. During Vista, my battery can use up to 2 hours, but since the beta stage to RTM of Windows 7 I feel my battery life is decreased its lifetime increasingly and it's gone now!

I have to plug my charger directly without battery to my laptop, Dell Inspiron 1420.

I have been used Windows 7 ultimate in my laptop Hp Compaq Cq-40 Presario for 1 month and I have that Battery issued, It been 2 weeks already. It keep drain my battery. My solution is turn back or down grade back into Vista Ultimate SP1. I don't know what the problem is. In Vista Ultimate SP1 the battery is in good condition. The laptop is almost 1 year still new. But in my PC desktop Windows 7 running so smooth. Fix it or leave it...and I think is Driver,Bios issued not fully Windows 7 still have Vista feel. Please manufacture make full own Windows 7 Driver I am asking HP.

I had the issue on my Dell laptop it would last 10 seconds and then turn off. changed battery and all ok... I'm sure it's a PC/bios issue not Windows.

I have a Dell XT2 that seems to run fine - but also have an Alienware M9750 that has had this issue throughout Beta/RC1/Release. Considering it only had 1h on battery before that, it's not a massive issue!

I love it when something goes wrong with my PC/iPhone/Internet Connection/Windows/Life
for an unknown reason and then I read about it on Neowin.

My Brother's HP HDX 9430EA did a thing where the battery would last 3 minutes without AC a month after installing Windows 7 Pro.
I just asked him about it and he says:
Hey Mike,

Well the problem seems to be when I take out the power cord, it lasts for a minute.
Since I have reinstalled it seems to be ok again. Weird.

I think it's time for a hot cross bun with butter and strawberry jam.

My battery lasted at leas two hours before installing windows 7. After the install, was told and still to this day told to "consider replacing your battery". The battery only last about 20 minutes if I unplug from the charger.

No problem whatsoever.
Been running Windows 7 as soon as it RTMd.
On a Dell M2400.

I honestly hate it when people use suing as a means to show their unhappiness and ignorance.

I have this issue with an HP TX1000. Battery was fine, and then I did not use the computer for a month. After that, the battery was toast. Note that the battery was not plugged into the charger that time, so I have no idea what happened to it.

The week after I installed windows 7 from vista I noticed my battery dying slowly to the point that I only can get 30min anymore. I thought it was a huge coincidence of a natural dying battery but now I have some doubts. My laptop is a Vaio FZ serie

This happens with my mum's laptop, it gets 2 hours with xp and Vista however in windows 7 she gets half an hour before it hibernates. If i turn it on again then it runs for another hour and a half at 0% on high performance mode. This is blatantly a problem with Windows 7!

Jack E said,
This happens with my mum's laptop, it gets 2 hours with xp and Vista however in windows 7 she gets half an hour before it hibernates. If i turn it on again then it runs for another hour and a half at 0% on high performance mode. This is blatantly a problem with Windows 7!

No, it is not a problem with Windows 7. It's communication problem between the firmware of the computer and what Windows 7 is being told. They are investigating with computer builders for a reason to see why Windows 7 is telling them that. But just because Windows 7 is telling them that, doesn't mean Windows 7 is cause of the issue, it's just doing what the firmware told it to do. BIOS updates might be issued by who built your computer.

I do not believe this is an issue with Windows 7 entirely... I do believe it has part of the blame, but I'd say 80% falls on the shoulders of the OEM's...

First off, I'm a PC technician who just got a customer's HP Pavilion dv6627ca laptop to have Windows 7 installed and upgraded to. The BIOS that was on the machine was version F.08, published in Oct. 2007. Upon reviewing the BIOS revision history (now up to version F.32!), HP has fixed NUMEROUS charging / battery life issues on just this one model!

I've also looked into other models' RMA stats from HP, and have discovered several units being returned for defective batteries, and all the affected units have received some type of BIOS updates addressing charging issues.

I believe Windows 7 is running as-designed, but because of issues with HP's crap R&D and engineering on their Pavilion series, it's taking the indicators in Win 7 for a ride, giving the false indicators.

And from the looks of things, most of the posts here for this issue are from HP/Compaq owners, how interesting...

People screaming "we'll sue" is the biggest BS I've seen in a while. When will people grow up and learn to say "HP give us better hardware for the money we pay for?" instead of "Window 7 is a piece of crap and it kills batteries, let's sue Microsoft and get free money cause I'm a lazy bum who wants free money!" :(

PS: I own a Dell Vostro 2510 (which is NOT Windows 7 compatible as stated by Dell), and have been running Win 7 on it sine Beta 1 as my production OS, and have never had a single issue of any kind!

I got that warning. The life time of old battery is just 15 minutes. Then I change to new battery now it is whooping 2-4 hrs. Not win 7 problem. I guarantee that.

I have this problem. My battery is dying, no doubt about it, but it went from being able to survive about an hour and a half to no more than 5 minutes in about a week's time. The dramatic drop started when Windows started letting me know that I should replace the battery.

What I think is happening is that the bios lets Windows know that the battery is slowly dying. Windows lets the user know. Somewhere in there there is a malfunction that is forcing Windows to shut down the system prematurely before the battery is actually ready do die. For example, if I get a full charge, then unplug my system, it will turn off in about 5 minutes. The battery indicator only gets down to about 94% or so, and when I restart it plugged in, it charges it back up from 94%, not zero, as one would suspect.

I don't think this warrants any class action suit, but it is an issue. Hopefully it is a simple software fix, be it either from MS or the bios/computer manufacturer.

I have not personally had this issue as it runs great on my Gateway laptop but someone else at work is getting false "replace" battery alerts as well. He reports that the battery still lasts past an hour and a half though.

Wait a second, is this the same issue where your system reads the mfg date off the battery, then x number of months later the battery should be "replaced"? because that can happen with some systems where the thing thinks the battery is too old even though its new if you change the system date into the future x number of months...

is it just me or does it look like an HP issue? all the people on here who've confirmed it are using HP systems. (I've not read any other article report on this yet, so it may not be only HP. This is just what I've noticed).

I have an Acer that is about 2 years old with about 5 minutes battery life.

Edited by Ned, Feb 3 2010, 5:01pm :

I had this happen with two 2-year-old 6-cell batteries last year. Initially they were fine at 80%, but suddenly soared to below the 50% mark a few months later.

Now I'm using an aftermarket 9 cell battery on my laptop and changing my charging habits (I used to frequently run down the battery to empty and bring it back up to full; now I charge whenever I can).

I have an old laptop with a known battery problem (old and thus not long life). I personally like that Windows 7 recognized the battery was bad. No peeps from Vista or XP.

I had the same problem with my HP laptop. Maybe it's a common problem with just HP laptops as most people that have reported it here have HP?

wivelden said,
I had the same problem with my HP laptop. Maybe it's a common problem with just HP laptops as most people that have reported it here have HP?

Unfortunately, it's not limited to HP. People have been having this problem with various models of HP, Acer, Sony, a few Dells etc. It seems to be very model-dependent.

I have a HP comapq nx7300 laptop bought in 2007, I have windows 7 and my battery can withstand only 30 minutes! yes it's true!

edek said,
I have a HP comapq nx7300 laptop bought in 2007, I have windows 7 and my battery can withstand only 30 minutes! yes it's true!

It's 2010, a lot of batteries don't have much juice left by that time.

edek said,
I have a HP comapq nx7300 laptop bought in 2007, I have windows 7 and my battery can withstand only 30 minutes! yes it's true!

You battery is over 2 years old...its expected that the life is quite a bit less than when you first purchased it... meaing Win7 is not to blame...I hope you don't think so!

Scout82 said,

You battery is over 2 years old...its expected that the life is quite a bit less than when you first purchased it... meaing Win7 is not to blame...I hope you don't think so!

Yes, this is true to a point except that the loss in battery life is IMMEDIATE after installing Windows 7. My laptop had 4+ hours of battery life when it was purchased in 2007, it's down to 2 hours now, but since installing Windows 7 it's about 25 minutes. Windows 7 IS the problem. And it's disappointing, because otherwise it's a great OS.

hitman05 said,

Yes, this is true to a point except that the loss in battery life is IMMEDIATE after installing Windows 7. My laptop had 4+ hours of battery life when it was purchased in 2007, it's down to 2 hours now, but since installing Windows 7 it's about 25 minutes. Windows 7 IS the problem. And it's disappointing, because otherwise it's a great OS.

i highly doubt it is the issue. I had a battery drop in life from 2 hours to 30 minutes overnight once. It sucks when it happens but it is doubtful that Windows 7 is the cause. I would suggest looking into getting a new battery before pointing fingers at the OS.

shinji257 said,

i highly doubt it is the issue. I had a battery drop in life from 2 hours to 30 minutes overnight once. It sucks when it happens but it is doubtful that Windows 7 is the cause. I would suggest looking into getting a new battery before pointing fingers at the OS.

There are literally, hundreds of people in the Technet thread that also have this exact same issue. Many HAVE purchased new batteries, and are finding the same problem within weeks.

Surprisingly, I haven't had this problem with my Acer Aspire 3050 and it's about 4 years old and I get about an hour on the battery.

scratch42069 said,
Surprisingly, I haven't had this problem with my Acer Aspire 3050 and it's about 4 years old and I get about an hour on the battery.

Some battery do hold up better than others. It is also dependent on the system use and how the battery is being charged.

The article's title is wrong. The problem isn't the BIOS telling the OS that the battery is dying, it's Windows 7 incorrectly reading the charge level in battery and deciding that it's empty before it actually is. Each time you charge the battery, Windows thinks it's full a little bit sooner than before so you get reduced battery life every time. Once Windows 7 realizes that it's charging to less than 40% of it's capacity, it pops up the "consider replacing your battery" warning, even though Windows itself is creating the problem.

I have this issue on my HP laptop. Under Vista, I had over two hours of battery life. As soon as I installed Windows 7, the battery life began dwindling very quickly. THAT is the problem most of these users are having.

hitman05 said,
The article's title is wrong. The problem isn't the BIOS telling the OS that the battery is dying, it's Windows 7 incorrectly reading the charge level in battery and deciding that it's empty before it actually is. Each time you charge the battery, Windows thinks it's full a little bit sooner than before so you get reduced battery life every time. Once Windows 7 realizes that it's charging to less than 40% of it's capacity, it pops up the "consider replacing your battery" warning, even though Windows itself is creating the problem.

I have this issue on my HP laptop. Under Vista, I had over two hours of battery life. As soon as I installed Windows 7, the battery life began dwindling very quickly. THAT is the problem most of these users are having.

Sadly, if they do any replacements of the batteries, it'll be for people who buy the system after release or within so many days of this issue being reported.

hitman05 said,
The article's title is wrong. The problem isn't the BIOS telling the OS that the battery is dying, it's Windows 7 incorrectly reading the charge level in battery and deciding that it's empty before it actually is. Each time you charge the battery, Windows thinks it's full a little bit sooner than before so you get reduced battery life every time. Once Windows 7 realizes that it's charging to less than 40% of it's capacity, it pops up the "consider replacing your battery" warning, even though Windows itself is creating the problem.

I have this issue on my HP laptop. Under Vista, I had over two hours of battery life. As soon as I installed Windows 7, the battery life began dwindling very quickly. THAT is the problem most of these users are having.

And sadly you didn't install the Windows 7 BIOS update that OEM vendors have been releasing to their customers.

Another customer blaming everyone elses except themselves for not doing what is required for a smooth upgrade.

rawr_boy81 said,

And sadly you didn't install the Windows 7 BIOS update that OEM vendors have been releasing to their customers.

Another customer blaming everyone elses except themselves for not doing what is required for a smooth upgrade.

I have the latest BIOS for my laptop, but thanks for assuming I don't.

how can windows 7 damage your battery??? arent the things which make your battery work with your computer in the first place, going to prevent something like this

Some commenter's in the TechNet thread are hinting at a class action lawsuit with one stating "If my battery has been permanently damaged or a fix not issued quickly, I will be forced to seek a class action lawsuit. Thank you."

Do these people even think before they act? I have been running Windows 7 since the beta stage and i haven't had any issues. I have Windows 7 running on my Toshiba laptop, my HP desktop and a virtual machine on my Macbook Pro. People need to understand that this issue is a combination of both hardware and software. Blamming Microsoft entirely for it is a bit stupid.

so the bios is complaining the battery is dying, windows reports this to the user and microsoft would somehow get sued for it? I must be missing something, but where ...

I ever have a similar issue with Network Status Icon. it's reported false status while I can surf but the icon still show as disconnected. It's my experience with Windows 7 Ultimate Build 7600.16365 + all patch latest
(I use nForce 500 Chipset)

kwang_kung86 said,
I ever have a similar issue with Network Status Icon. it's reported false status while I can surf but the icon still show as disconnected. It's my experience with Windows 7 Ultimate Build 7600.16365 + all patch latest
(I use nForce 500 Chipset)

I have also seen this issue. In my case it was my DSL modem's (with integrated router) inability to fulfill dns requests while I was torrenting like crazy. I simply changed my PCs DNS to the openDNS servers and have not seen the problem since.

dotf said,

I have also seen this issue. In my case it was my DSL modem's (with integrated router) inability to fulfill dns requests while I was torrenting like crazy. I simply changed my PCs DNS to the openDNS servers and have not seen the problem since.

+1

"Some commenter's in the TechNet thread are hinting at a class action lawsuit with one stating "If my battery has been permanently damaged or a fix not issued quickly, I will be forced to seek a class action lawsuit. Thank you."

Jezzzzzzz. That is the type of crap you expect nowadays when anything goes wrong, rather than saying, "Ok - something needed to be fixed and once addressed if I need to enquire about having my battery checked in case there is some permanent damage I will contact the manufacturer or seller" - people eye a chance to make themselves some $, in fact the only people getting the $ are the lawyers because all the OEMs will do will calculate it cost $2,000.000 (lets say) then we will divide that out over the next couple of years and add it to the price of all things we sell. So in fact Mr Class Action-Suit, you've not only just butt raped the OEM for some $ you've butt raped the rest off us into paying some more $.

I sometimes wonder if these people who cry for some kind of legal recourse ever wonder who ends up paying for it? Bet is never crossed there freetarding mind :-(

Oh and "on subject" I've not seen this on the three laptops we have here yet. Two HP's & one Dell.

Something to do with the ACPI, Windows API's and the firmware of the notebook probably.. 3 lappies here and no problems yet..

Ridlas said,
That screenshot is from the future.

a future where windows 7 runs on screens which are smaller than today's netbooks

carmatic said,

a future where windows 7 runs on screens which are smaller than today's netbooks

Pretty sure he meant the date.

qwexor said,

Pretty sure he meant the date.

That's funny. I just noticed that. I wonder why someone would be using a clock with the date that far out, in the future at that too.

carmatic said,

a future where windows 7 runs on screens which are smaller than today's netbooks

That laptop must have a Flux capacitor!

dogmai said,

That's funny. I just noticed that. I wonder why someone would be using a clock with the date that far out, in the future at that too.

It could be one way to trick the system into thinking the battery is old if it uses the time spend clock instead of the battery full cycle count

Ridlas said,
That screenshot is from the future.

Actually the screenshot is from a pre-beta build of 7.

Look closely, the pre-beta Start orb. (Yes, its SLIGHTLY different than build 7000), the pre-beta taskbar buttons (not rounded, different highlight.), pre-beta tray icons. (yes, build 7000 had white only tray icons), pre-beta Explorer icon.

Do I need to say more? :)

.woot! said,

Actually the screenshot is from a pre-beta build of 7.

Look closely, the pre-beta Start orb. (Yes, its SLIGHTLY different than build 7000), the pre-beta taskbar buttons (not rounded, different highlight.), pre-beta tray icons. (yes, build 7000 had white only tray icons), pre-beta Explorer icon.

Do I need to say more? :)

Just check the date o_o

Sounds like a hardware problem. Windows 7 is just reacting to what its being told. Can't blame Microsoft for that.

nub said,
Sounds like a hardware problem. Windows 7 is just reacting to what its being told. Can't blame Microsoft for that.
Yes, I don't understand the problem here? The article reads as Windows 7 is reacting to a BIOS status telling the battery need replacing, and Windows 7 properly notifying the user about that. If the problem is that the BIOS is incorrectly notifying the user, the problem is not with Windows 7.

nub said,
Sounds like a hardware problem. Windows 7 is just reacting to what its being told. Can't blame Microsoft for that.

And from what I understand it isn't an across the board issue either which means that as you said the most likely culprit is the hardware firmware. My old mans Inspiron 1318 is working without any problems.

rawr_boy81 said,

And from what I understand it isn't an across the board issue either which means that as you said the most likely culprit is the hardware firmware. My old mans Inspiron 1318 is working without any problems.

Well Dell batteries suck so that wouldn't be Windows. I end up with $40 3rd party batteries despite the risk compared to $180 batteries that last the same amount of time.