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Using a Battery

Dell™ Latitude™ D620 User's Guide

  Battery Performance

  Checking the Battery Charge

  Conserving Battery Power

  Power Management Modes

  Configuring Power Management Settings

  Charging the Battery

  Replacing the Battery

  Storing a Battery



Battery Performance

NOTE: For information about the Dell™ warranty for your computer, see the Product Information Guide or separate paper warranty document that shipped with your computer.

For optimal computer performance and to help preserve BIOS settings, operate your Dell portable computer with the main battery installed at all times. One battery is supplied as standard equipment in the battery bay.

NOTE: Because the battery may not be fully charged, use the AC adapter to connect your new computer to an electrical outlet the first time you use the computer. For best results, operate the computer with the AC adapter until the battery is fully charged. To view battery charge status, click the Start button, click Control Panel, double-click Power Options, and then click the Power Meter tab.

Battery operating time varies depending on operating conditions.

NOTE: Battery operating time (the time the battery can hold a charge) decreases over time. Depending on how often the battery is used and the conditions under which it is used, you may need to purchase a new battery during the life of your computer.

Operating time is significantly reduced when you perform operations including, but not limited to, the following:

NOTE: It is recommended that you connect your computer to an electrical outlet when writing to a CD or DVD.

You can check the battery charge (see Checking the Battery Charge) before you insert the battery into the computer. You can also set power management options to alert you when the battery charge is low (see Configuring Power Management Settings).

CAUTION: Using an incompatible battery may increase the risk of fire or explosion. Replace the battery only with a compatible battery purchased from Dell. The battery is designed to work with your Dell computer. Do not use a battery from other computers with your computer.
CAUTION: Do not dispose of batteries with household waste. When your battery no longer holds a charge, call your local waste disposal or environmental agency for advice on disposing of a lithium-ion battery. See "Battery Disposal" in the Product Information Guide.
CAUTION: Misuse of the battery may increase the risk of fire or chemical burn. Do not puncture, incinerate, disassemble, or expose the battery to temperatures above 65°C (149°F). Keep the battery away from children. Handle damaged or leaking batteries with extreme care. Damaged batteries may leak and cause personal injury or equipment damage.

Checking the Battery Charge

The Dell QuickSet Battery Meter, the Microsoft Windows Power Meter window and icon, the battery charge gauge, and the low-battery warning provide information on the battery charge.

Dell™ QuickSet Battery Meter

If Dell QuickSet is installed, press <Fn><F3> to display the QuickSet Battery Meter. The Battery Meter displays status, battery health, charge level, and charge completion time for the battery in your computer.

For more information about QuickSet, right-click the icon in the taskbar, and click Help.

Microsoft® Windows® Power Meter

The Windows Power Meter indicates the remaining battery charge. To check the Power Meter, double-click the icon on the taskbar.

If the computer is connected to an electrical outlet, a icon appears.

Charge Gauge

Before you insert a battery, press the status button on the battery charge gauge to illuminate the charge-level lights. Each light represents approximately 20 percent of the total battery charge. For example, if the battery has 80 percent of its charge remaining, four of the lights are on. If no lights appear, the battery has no charge.

1

battery

2

battery charge gauge

Health Gauge

The battery operating time is largely determined by the number of times it is charged. After hundreds of charge and discharge cycles, batteries lose some charge capacity, or battery health. To check the battery health, press and hold the status button on the battery charge gauge for at least 3 seconds. If no lights appear, the battery is in good condition, and more than 80 percent of its original charge capacity remains. Each light represents incremental degradation. If five lights appear, less than 60 percent of the charge capacity remains, and you should consider replacing the battery. See Specifications for more information about the battery operating time.

NOTICE: To avoid losing or corrupting data, save your work immediately after a low-battery warning. Then connect the computer to an electrical outlet, or install a second battery in the media bay. If the battery runs completely out of power, hibernate mode begins automatically.

A low-battery warning occurs when the battery charge is approximately 90 percent depleted. The computer beeps once, indicating that minimal battery operating time remains. During that time, the speaker beeps periodically. If two batteries are installed, the low-battery warning means that the combined charge of both batteries is approximately 90 percent depleted. The computer enters hibernate mode when the battery charge is at a critically low level. For more information about low-battery alarms, see Configuring Power Management Settings.


Conserving Battery Power

Perform the following actions to conserve battery power:

NOTE: See Battery Performance for more information on conserving battery power.

Power Management Modes

Standby Mode

Standby mode conserves power by turning off the display and the hard drive after a predetermined period of inactivity (a time-out). When the computer exits standby mode, it returns to the same operating state it was in before entering standby mode.

NOTICE: If your computer loses AC and battery power while in standby mode, it may lose data.

To enter standby mode:

or

To exit standby mode, press the power button or open the display depending on how you set the options on the Advanced tab. You cannot make the computer exit standby mode by pressing a key or touching the touch pad or track stick.

Hibernate Mode

Hibernate mode conserves power by copying system data to a reserved area on the hard drive and then completely turning off the computer. When the computer exits hibernate mode, it returns to the same operating state it was in before entering hibernate mode.

NOTICE: You cannot remove devices or undock your computer while your computer is in hibernate mode.

Your computer enters hibernate mode if the battery charge level becomes critically low.

To manually enter hibernate mode:

or

Some PC Cards or ExpressCards may not operate correctly after the computer exits hibernate mode. Remove and reinsert the card (see Card Types), or simply restart (reboot) your computer.To exit hibernate mode, press the power button. The computer may take a short time to exit hibernate mode. You cannot make the computer exit hibernate mode by pressing a key or touching the touch pad or track stick. For more information on hibernate mode, see the documentation that came with your operating system.


Configuring Power Management Settings

You can use the QuickSet Power Management Wizard or Windows Power Options Properties to configure the power management settings on your computer.

To access the QuickSet Power Management Wizard, double-click the icon in the taskbar. For more information about QuickSet, click the Help button in the Power Management Wizard.

To access the Power Options Properties window, click the Start button® Control Panel® Performance and Maintenance® Power Options. For information on any field in the Power Options Properties window, click the question mark icon on the title bar and then click on the area where you need information.


Charging the Battery

NOTE: With Dell™ ExpressCharge™, when the computer is turned off, the AC adapter charges a completely discharged battery to 80 percent in about 1 hour and to 100 percent in approximately 2 hours. Charge time is longer with the computer turned on. You can leave the battery in the computer for as long as you like. The battery's internal circuitry prevents the battery from overcharging.
NOTE: If you want to use a 9-cell battery to obtain Dell ExpressCharge, you need to use it in conjunction with a 90-W AC adapter.

When you connect the computer to an electrical outlet or install a battery while the computer is connected to an electrical outlet, the computer checks the battery charge and temperature. If necessary, the AC adapter then charges the battery and maintains the battery charge.

If the battery is hot from being used in your computer or being in a hot environment, the battery may not charge when you connect the computer to an electrical outlet.

The battery is too hot to start charging if the light flashes alternately green and orange. Disconnect the computer from the electrical outlet and allow the computer and the battery to cool to room temperature. Then connect the computer to an electrical outlet to continue charging the battery.


Replacing the Battery

CAUTION: Before performing these procedures, turn off the computer, disconnect the AC adapter from the electrical outlet and the computer, disconnect the modem from the wall connector and computer, and remove any other external cables from the computer.
CAUTION: Using an incompatible battery may increase the risk of fire or explosion. Replace the battery only with a compatible battery purchased from Dell. The battery is designed to work with your Dell™ computer. Do not use a battery from other computers with your computer.
NOTICE: You must remove all external cables from the computer to avoid possible connector damage.

For information about replacing the second battery, if applicable, see Media Bay.

To remove the battery:

  1. If the computer is connected to a docking device (docked), undock it. See the documentation that came with your docking device for instructions.

  2. Ensure that the computer is turned off or in hibernate mode (see Hibernate Mode).Slide the two battery-bay latch releases on the bottom of the computer toward the sides of the computer until they are engaged.

  3. Grasp the battery by the battery tab and slide the battery horizontally toward the front of the computer.

  4. Lift to remove the battery from the bay.

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battery

2

battery-bay latch release (2)

 3

 battery tab

To replace the battery, follow the removal procedure in reverse order.


Storing a Battery

Remove the battery when you store your computer for an extended period of time. A battery discharges during prolonged storage. After a long storage period, recharge the battery fully before you use it (see Charging the Battery).


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