Each laptop battery has a finite number of cycles that it can be charged and discharged. The number of cycles can be anywhere from a low of around 300 to a high of about 1200. However, 500 charging cycles is pretty typical for most standard extended laptop batteries. Battery performance begins to deteriorate once this maximum number of charge cycles has been reached.
The laptop battery’s ability to power the laptop computer will depend on several factors, most notably the hardware that is installed in the laptop and the number and complexity of the software applications that are being used. Generally speaking, the battery should be able to power the computer for two to three hours before it needs to be recharged. As previously stated, battery life is dependent on the number of cycles that the battery is charged and discharged. This will translate to a normal battery lifetime of about 1.5 – 2 years. For example, we have found that the Dell Inspiron 1520 Battery averages around 1.5 years under normal usage conditions. When the laptop battery has reached the end of its useful life, you must find a replacement laptop battery for your computer.
The following steps are a summary of what needs to be done to replace your laptop battery.
- Buy a new battery – Make sure you purchase a replacement that is compatible with your laptop.
- Unpack the new battery – Remove all packaging material and have the new battery ready to be popped in immediately.
- Undock Laptop – If your laptop is connected to a docking device, you need to unlock it before attempting to replace the battery.
- Turn Off Laptop – You don’t want to lose any files you are working on or risk corruption of software, so it may be better to turn off the laptop.
- Unplug AC Power/Internet Connection – It is good practice to disconnect your laptop from the AC outlet, Internet and Telephone before replacing the battery.
- Flip the Laptop Over – Most laptops have the battery release mechanism on the underside of the laptop. If you are not sure where you should look you can refer to the documentation of the laptop or have Technical support guide you.
- Unlock and Remove Old Battery – Laptop batteries usually use a two-step locking mechanism, first there are latches that need to be released and then a sliding motion has to be performed to release it completely.
- Position New Battery – Follow the reverse process for fixing the new Dell Vostro 1720 Extended Battery. First slide and then latch the new battery. If the latches get stuck, you may need to adjust the positioning.
- Charge Battery – Bring laptop to usual position; replace all the cables that you disconnected earlier, including the AC power. Charge your battery for the duration specified by the manufacturer before using it.