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Author Topic: Question about notebook power supplies  (Read 27 times)
Jet Cash
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April 19, 2018, 08:56:27 AM
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At heart I'm a mini-tower man, but as I'm spending most of my time travelling around, I've switched to using notebooks. I have two HP computers - an Ubuntu netbook with no fan and a small SSD, and a Windows Notebook with fan and 2Tb HDD. I run full nodes on each of them, and the netbook stores my wallet and blockchain data on an external SSD. The power converter has failed on the Notebook, and this is probably my fault for stressing the cable by folding it to fit into a pencil case. It is rated at 45 watts if I remember correctly. I can buy a compatible product tht is rated at 90 watts max. I'm assuming that the higher rating will allow it to run with less stress, and should prolong its life.

Now for the real question. I've noticed that the windows machine is taking far longer to recharge - up to 3 times as long. It seems to disconnect the battery for much of the time, Is this an indication of a failing battery? Recently I've been running the notebook on battery until it is almost flat, and then recharging completely within 24 hours. Should I reduce the number of times that I discharge the battery? There is a battery control in the HP power control panel. It has 3 settings - better battery life, more power, and a halfway compromise. I've been using the mid setting, but have recently changed to the battery saver setting. Varying the setting seems to make no difference to the computer operation, and I can't find any information about the operation of this setting.

I'm planning to dump Windows and switch to Linux, and to replace the HDD with as SSD, but as a result of some other issues I have to resolve, I've put off spending the time on this. Should I give this upgrade an increased priority to preserve the life of my notebook?

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April 19, 2018, 09:10:45 AM
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The power converter has failed on the Notebook, and this is probably my fault for stressing the cable by folding it to fit into a pencil case.
It sounds as if the power supply still works, but the cable is damaged internally. I usually MacGyver them: cut open the power supply, cut 10 cm off the cable, solder it, and glue/tape it back together. Note: only do this if you're comfortable doing this safely.

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It is rated at 45 watts if I remember correctly. I can buy a compatible product tht is rated at 90 watts max. I'm assuming that the higher rating will allow it to run with less stress, and should prolong its life.
I doubt it matters, if a mechanical failure in a cable is what broke your current power supply.

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Now for the real question. I've noticed that the windows machine is taking far longer to recharge - up to 3 times as long. It seems to disconnect the battery for much of the time, Is this an indication of a failing battery?
It could just as well charge slower by design. If the battery works, I wouldn't worry about it (yet).

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Recently I've been running the notebook on battery until it is almost flat, and then recharging completely within 24 hours. Should I reduce the number of times that I discharge the battery?
What I do, is run on grid power when possible, and battery power when needed. I never try to deep cycle any batteries, it reduces your battery life.

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I'm planning to dump Windows and switch to Linux, and to replace the HDD with as SSD, but as a result of some other issues I have to resolve, I've put off spending the time on this. Should I give this upgrade an increased priority to preserve the life of my notebook?
As much as I dislike Windows, I don't think it causes more wear to your hardware than Linux.

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April 19, 2018, 09:31:17 AM
 #3

Thanks for the replies.

The old power supply went with a pop and a flash, so I decided to junk it. The replacement is £30 ( $42), and I thought it better to spend that, rather than risk damaging the notebook.

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It could just as well charge slower by design. If the battery works, I wouldn't worry about it (yet).

I can understand that, but it seems to have changed its habits recently. This may be because I am spending 3 or 4 hours running it on battery most mornings, and it often drops to 10% charge. I'm starting to think that I should try to keep the battery above 50%. Would that make sense? I assume that the problem is long continuous recharging, and it pauses that to reduce overheating.

The problems with Windows stems from the way it keeps messing with my settings, and the enforced background updates whilst I am on battery, and that seems to increase disk activity. I make sure that I am on mains power when I sync' my node, so Bitcoin isn't a problem.

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