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Why are there 4 connectors on laptop batteries?

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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
July 20, 2005 6:24:26 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

I'd like to know as I have a problem with an IBM thinkpad that won't
let me flash the BIOS without a charged battery. Getting a new battery
would double the cost of the laptop!

So I might try either connecting an alternate power source or
connecting up a battery I have for a Dell laptop - but I need to find
out if they are the same voltage etc.

I think the outer two connectors will be the main 11v supply (well it's
an 11v battery). What do the other two inner connectors do?

Thanks.

Peter
July 20, 2005 7:07:33 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Peter_Smithson@hotmail.com wrote:
> I'd like to know as I have a problem with an IBM thinkpad that won't
> let me flash the BIOS without a charged battery. Getting a new battery
> would double the cost of the laptop!
>
> So I might try either connecting an alternate power source or
> connecting up a battery I have for a Dell laptop - but I need to find
> out if they are the same voltage etc.
>
> I think the outer two connectors will be the main 11v supply (well it's
> an 11v battery). What do the other two inner connectors do?
>
> Thanks.
>
> Peter
>

Do some googling on the bios flash issue and contact the vendor.
I had a similar problem with a Dell XPi. The super-secret incantation
was to add /forceit to the command line to update the bios. Oops,
guess it's no longer super-secret;-)

As for your actual question, it depends on the chemistry of the battery
system and how smart the battery thinks it is. If it's NiCd, the other
terminals might be a thermistor. The laptop may or may not look for the
thermistor before it lets the battery connect. More recent technologies
have digital signals that converse before letting the battery turn on.
Thinkpad batteries seem to be too smart for their own (my) good.
I rebuilt one and never could figger out how to get it reset so It would
turn on.

I'd be really careful about hooking up arbitrary batteries. One wrong
move and your laptop is toast.

And about BIOS upgrades. WHY?
If the current BIOS absolutely won't do what you need done, then a flash
is in order. I'd suggest that 90% of the bios flashes are done just
because they can. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
mike

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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
July 20, 2005 4:33:58 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Hello,

Glad to hear you got round your laptop problems.

I have to do the BIOS update for Windows 2000 to install. It's
currently half way through replacing Windows 98 so now I can't do
anything with it. Windows 2000 is required to use an iPod.

I've done quite a lot of searching. After 4 hours of messing around
and downloading a utility, I got the BIOS boot floppy converted to a CD
(took that long as I had to go into work to use a PC with a working
floppy - you couldn't convert straight from the IBM download to CD and
a virtual floppy wouldn't work for me). So I was ready to kill myself
when it turns out that you really do need a charged battery. Found a
posting from IBM support on a forum saying that there is no way to do
the BIOS update without a battery. Lots of people seem to come across
this problem so finding a way around it would be great.

Yes, I'm thinking seriously about potential problems with connecting up
a power source - I was hoping to get some info from ths newsgroup.

Thanks.

Peter
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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
July 22, 2005 10:45:46 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

Hi,

Yes, I've not mentioned that it's a Thinkpad 600e. I didn't realise
these batteries were so complicated. I thought the other connectors
might just be a different voltage.

I'm doing all this for a friend and feel a bit guilty that they gave me
a working Windows 98 machine and they've currently got a broken Windows
2000 that won't even complete the installation.

I think you've put me off my plan - I might try connecting just the
outer two prongs and if that doesn't work I'll have to give up. Might
try that local posting and see if anyone can lend me one.

Cheers

Peter
Anonymous
a b D Laptop
July 24, 2005 2:29:32 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.laptops (More info?)

On 20 Jul 2005 12:33:58 -0700, "Peter Smithson"
<Peter_Smithson@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Windows 2000 is required to use an iPod.

FYI, You can use Win98, and XPlay2 to use the iPod without replacing
the OS (although you are probably way past that point by now).
!