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Using a Battery

Dell™ Latitude™ D630/D630c 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 Errors



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, check the Power Meter in Power Options (see Accessing Power Options Properties).

Battery operating time varies depending on operating conditions. You can install an optional second battery in the media bay to significantly increase operating time.

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

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

You can check 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.

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 battery meter icon ( or ), the battery charge gauge and health 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 QuickSet 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 battery meter icon ( or ) on the taskbar.

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

Charge Gauge

By either pressing once or pressing and holding the status button on the charge gauge on the battery, you can check:

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. That is, a battery can show a status of "charged" but maintain a reduced charge capacity (health).

Check the Battery Charge

To check the battery charge, press and release 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.

Check the Battery Health

NOTE: You can check battery health in one of two ways: by using the charge gauge on the battery as described below and by using the Battery Meter in Dell QuickSet. For information about QuickSet, right-click the icon in the taskbar, and click Help.

To check the battery health using the charge gauge, 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 Charge Gauge for more information about the battery operating time.

Low-Battery Warning

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 pop-up window warns you when the battery charge is approximately 90 percent depleted. 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.

You can change the settings for the battery alarms in QuickSet or the Power Options Properties window. See Configuring Power Management Settings for information about accessing QuickSet or the Power Options Properties window.


Conserving Battery Power

Perform the following actions to conserve battery power:

NOTE: See Configuring Power Management Settings for information on conserving battery power.

Power Management Modes

Standby and Sleep Mode

Standby mode (sleep mode in Microsoft Windows Vista®) 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 or sleep mode, it returns to the same operating state it was in before entering standby or sleep mode.

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

To enter standby mode in Windows XP, click the Start button, click Turn off computer, and then click Stand by.

To enter sleep mode in Windows Vista, click the Windows Vista Start button, , and then click Sleep.

Depending on how you set the power management options in the Power Options Properties window or the QuickSet Power Management Wizard, you may also use one of the following methods:

To exit standby or sleep mode, press the power button or open the display, depending on how you set the power management options. You cannot make the computer exit standby or sleep 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 in Windows XP, click Start® Turn off computer, press and hold <Shift>, and click Hibernate.

For information about the hibernate mode in Windows Vista, search for the keyword hibernate in Windows Help and Support (click Start® Help and Support).

Depending on how you set the power management options in the Power Options Properties window or the QuickSet Power Management Wizard, you may also use one of the following methods to enter hibernate mode:

NOTE: Some PC Cards may not operate correctly after the computer exits hibernate mode. Remove and reinsert the card (see Removing a Card or Blank), 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. For more information about QuickSet, right-click the QuickSet icon in the taskbar and click Help.

Accessing Power Options Properties

Windows XP

Click Start® Control Panel® Performance and Maintenance® Power Options.

Windows Vista

Click Start® Control Panel® System and Maintenance® Power Options.


Charging the Battery

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.

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.

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.

For information about resolving problems with a battery, see Power Problems.


Replacing the Battery

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: 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.
NOTICE: You must remove all external cables from the computer to avoid possible connector damage.

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.

  3. Slide the two latch releases on the bottom of the computer, and then remove the battery from the bay.

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 (see Charging the Battery) before you use it.


Battery Errors

To address error codes generated by the battery, refer to Error Messages.


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