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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Laptop Batteries : How To Make It Work Even Longer.

There are certain things to note when you are using your notebook on batteries.
Especially when it comes to using notebook on batteries, I believe notebook users alike are having the same problem of fast battery consumption (myself included). I’ve been tweaking around lately and I think I should write this post to share with those who might be having the same problem like me and most importantly how to overcome it. There are 10 things to note for you to maximize your notebook battery usage.

1) Regular De fragmentation - De fragmentation is like arranging your files in order.

Example: When you go to a library, the book that you are searching for will be a bit faster if it is arranged from the A to Z alphabetical order and in their numbering code system. This way you will also save time and energy to search for the book.

The same principal also applies to the notebook. Regular the defragmentation process will result in less time and energy (battery usage) used by the notebook computer system. This will eventually lead to a longer battery life.

2) Lower Contrast - A dimmer screen means less battery usage used by the notebook LCD.

3) Use Programs Only When Necessary - We tend to use and open programs files which we sometimes may not need to access so frequently. Stop or exit running programs and applications like Messenger and Skype if you are not using them at that particular time. Most of the quick launch programs that appear that the bottom right hand of the screen are background running services which will use battery energy. Multitasking of programs will eventually lead to a fast consumption of battery usage.

4) Minimize Usage Of External Devices - USB thumb drives, portable hard disks and any notebook peripheral connected to the USB/1394/Fire wire ports will take up battery power. Less usage of these devices means conservation of energy to your notebook€™s battery.

5) Put More Physical RAM - By increasing your RAM, you can save CPU usage and hence save your battery energy. Some might argue the fact with an increase of RAM this will lead to more battery energy being transferred to the RAM. Well in the other hand I believe with added RAM, applications will run faster and the Virtual Memory is normally utilized by the CPU will take less battery power and will prevent you getting symptoms like “system hanging� which also simply input to both the user’s frustration and battery usage in energy.

6) Run From Hard Disks - Try creating a virtual drive from programs such as Nero, PowerISO or Alcohol 120%. By running these programs on a virtual platform, we minimized the usage of optical drives like the CD or DVD drive which take a lot of battery energy.

7) Battery Maintenance - Keep battery contacts clean on interval. Clean the contacts with rubbing alcohol after 2 to 3 months of usage. This will allow efficient battery energy to flow through the notebook. Remember also to use the notebook while on battery mode at least once every 2 to 3 weeks. This should refresh the batteries Li-Ion components from discharging effects. Keep them healthy by charging and discharging them to the fullest once in every 2 to 3 weeks.

8) Hibernation Mode - Hibernation mode is much more recommended than the Standby mode. Why? Hibernation will save your notebook settings from where you left off, and completely shut down the notebook thereafter. You can resume your work by just touching the “On/Off� power button.

9) Cooler Environment - We all know temperature is a major factor in PC computing especially when it comes to the notebook. With a cooler environment, cool air will make your notebook work more efficiently. That is why most internet cafes that are set up these days are air-conditioned.

10) Tweak Power Options - The Control Panel provides options for you to change the power settings. Via the Power Settings in the Control Panel, select the “Laptop battery mode� or Low Powers� to reduce energy usage.

If all of the above steps lead to a failure result, it’s time for you to get a better notebook.

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