Windows 7 Not To Blame For Battery Replacement Notifications

rated by 0 users
This post has 4 Replies | 0 Followers

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 26,383
Points 1,192,260
Joined: Sep 2007
ForumsAdministrator
News Posted: Tue, Feb 9 2010 11:50 AM
If you upgraded your old notebook to Windows 7, you may have seen a new message surrounding the battery life meter that never appeared in Vista or XP. Many users began to think that Win7 was incorrectly reporting that their battery needed replacing, and the noise got so loud that Microsoft had no choice but to investigate on their end.

The message that users were seeing alerted them that they should "Consider Replacing Your Battery," and many felt that their battery was perfectly fine before upgrading to Windows 7. Of course, it's hard for anyone to swallow the fact that their battery may in fact need changing as it has degraded over time, and we guess that this scenario caused most of the uproar.

After researching the claims, Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky (Windows division President) wrote up a lengthy article clarifying the findings. In short, Windows 7 isn't to blame; your old battery is. Basically, Win7 sends up that message if it detects that a laptop battery isn't performing to a certain standard, and contrary to some wild claims, Windows 7 is not causing batteries to fail or perform poorly. He noted that "to date all such steps indicate that we do have customers seeing reports of battery health issues and in all cases we have investigated Windows 7 has simply accurately detected a failing battery."

A few other key quotes are listed below, but the take-away here is that Windows 7 isn't to blame. If you see the message, it's not that your battery is completely shot, but that it isn't holding a great charge as it once did. Personally, we say stick with your current battery until it becomes unusable; chances are you'll be replacing your notebook before your battery fails to hold a charge.


As mentioned, every single indication we have regarding the reportswe’ve seen are simply Windows 7 reporting the state of the batteryusing this new feature and we’re simply seeing batteries that are notperforming above the designated threshold. Below we’ll talk about thedata we have to support this point of view. It should stand to reasonthat some customers would be surprised to see this warning afterupgrading a PC that was previously operating fine. Essentially thebattery was degrading but it was not evident to the customer untilWindows 7 made this information available. We recognize that this hasthe appearance of Windows 7 “causing” the change in performance, but inreality all Windows 7 did was report what was already the case.

The following data points contributed to our understanding of thereports we are seeing. Please keep in mind that all the telemetry wesee is opt-in, anonymous, and respects our privacy policy.

  • We have seen no reproducible reports of this notification on newhardware or newly purchased PCs. While we’ve seen the reports of newPCs receiving this notification, in all cases we have established thatthe battery was in a degraded state.
  • Our OEM partners have utilized their telemetry (call center,support forums, etc.) and have let us know that they are seeing noactivity beyond what they expect. It is worth noting that PCmanufacturers work through battery issues with customers and have aclear view of what is to be expected both in general and with respectto specific models, timelines, and batteries.
  • We’ve gone through all the major online support and self-helpforums and when appropriate have worked to follow up with any reportsof this notification being presented in error. Through this we haveidentified no reproducible cases where the battery or PC was new andhave only learned of batteries that were degraded in capacity.
  • In our telemetry from RTM code customers, only a very smallpercentage of users are receiving the “Consider replacing your battery”notification, and as expected, we are seeing systems older than ~1.5years.  We’re seeing relatively fewer notifications compared topre-release software as the average age of the system decreases.
  • Microsoft has received 12 customer service incidents in addition topulling 8 additional incidents from various forums. To date (for atotal of 20 incidents), none of these have shown anything other thandegraded batteries. 
  • Microsoft has been using the technet community moderators to assistin further contacting customers reporting on this notification andwe’ve assigned additional customer service personnel to be ready.However, of the 30 or so contacts we have received we have not learnedof any new facts or conditions with respect to this notice.
  • During pre-release testing of Windows 7 we saw almost preciselythis same experience with customers in terms of the display of thenotification. In fact, in looking at the hardware distribution ofpre-release testing we saw an ever so slightly higher number of systemsreceiving this notice. This follows from the fact that a large set ofcustomers are buying Windows 7 with new PCs or using the upgradeprovided with a recent Windows Vista PC.
  • When looking at the telemetry reports for the machines that havereported displaying this notification we have seen nothing inadditional reliability data that indicates any other system anomalies.
  • While the information regarding battery status is providedread-only to the operating system through ACPI, we performed a thoroughcode-review and verified that there exists no code that is capable ofmodifying battery status information.

This data would confirm our point of view that we are seeing nothingmore than the normal course of battery degradation over time. Thetransparency provided in this new Windows 7 feature produced a noticethat previously was not available to customers and did so shortly afterupgrade. This is the root cause of the urgency with which we’ve seenpostings, but does not change the reality of the condition of thebattery. We have no confirmed cases of new machines with theas-purchased batteries.

As we always say with regards to any reports on the quality ofWindows 7, we are going to continue to be diligent and use all thetools at our disposal to get to the bottom of a report that has thepotential to require a code change we would distribute to customers. Weare as certain as we can be that we have addressed the root cause andconcerns of this report, but we will continue to monitor the situation.In particular, we will continue to have focused communication with ourOEM partners as they monitor their customers and PCs over time.

Finally, if you believe you are receiving this error and yourbattery is new or believed to be in great shape we would encourage youto report this to us or your original PC maker. You are welcome to sendme mail through the contact form on this page, use the TechNet forum, the Microsoft Answers forum, or visit support.microsoft.com where you can get additional information about how to contact Microsoft assisted support in your region.


  • | Post Points: 65
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 4,838
Points 45,830
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Kennesaw
rapid1 replied on Tue, Feb 9 2010 4:57 PM

There are also things that can be done for batteries which are not holding a charge. On my battery devices (these have Lithium batteries, results may or may not help as much on other types, but they will help to some extent), I follow a pretty strict regimen. At least monthly on cellular phones or hand held devices. I let the battery run out sit for a couple minutes turn it back on let it run out, repeat, repeat. Fully recharge without disconnecting. With my laptop when at home I generally run it plugged in and with battery removed. Every few weeks however I discharge the battery completely twice in the same method, then I take the battery out completely. My laptop is to the largest point mobile generally around the house anyway. It is of course a gaming laptop so that's what it was bought for to the largest percentage. It only last's a little over an hour on the battery. Either way battery cycling (my term) is something I've done since LI batteries came out. This may either way cure some of the 7 notifications to a minor degree.

OS:Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
MB:ASUS Z87C
CPU:Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 4770 ***
GPU:Geforce GTX 770 4GB
Mem:***ingston 16384MB RAM
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 4,838
Points 45,830
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Kennesaw
rapid1 replied on Tue, Feb 9 2010 4:58 PM

In many ways this (Article content) is basically just shooting the messenger anyway.

OS:Win 7 Ultimate 64-bit
MB:ASUS Z87C
CPU:Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 4770 ***
GPU:Geforce GTX 770 4GB
Mem:***ingston 16384MB RAM
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 500 Contributor
Posts 123
Points 1,695
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Mountainy Virginia
Bighorse replied on Wed, Feb 10 2010 7:27 PM

If most people took the time to cycle their batteries properly and understood how to manage their power settings for their laptop, they will achieve the length they expect from their laptops.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 1
Points 5
Joined: Mar 2010
sennahdre replied on Wed, Mar 17 2010 5:09 AM

All I can say that this isn't exactly true.

my notebook: acer aspire 7730g with 7 ultimate 64-bit)

If I charge for a long time (so I'm certain it is fully charged), and when I disable the accu settings in computer management, it stays on (without power supply off course) for about an hour and a half.

If I leave those settings on, and then unplug the power, it drops dead after 10 minutes.

Another true story. A friend has a brand new computer with Windows 7 and he has the same problem.

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (5 items) | RSS