Microsoft investigates laptop battery drain with Windows 7

February 2, 2010 by Lin Edwards report
Windows 7

(PhysOrg.com) -- One of the Windows Vista problems that Windows 7 was supposed to solve was the drain on laptop battery life, but while Windows 7 has made a number of significant improvements, Microsoft is now investigating reports its new operating system reduces battery life even more dramatically when installed on some laptops.

Users have reported on Microsoft's TechNet forum reductions in battery life from two hours down to 30 minutes or less, with batteries failing to recharge fully. The battery life appears to decline over a short period, with another forum poster reporting the dropped from 45 minutes to 15 or less over a couple of weeks.

Some Windows 7 users claim their laptop batteries have been permanently damaged by drainage problems occurring after they installed the new operating system. Other users report the appearance of error messages suggesting they replace their battery, even though it had been working well before the installation.

Microsoft said it was investigating the issue in collaboration with their hardware partners. A spokesman said the problem of the error message appears to be related to the firmware (BIOS), since Windows 7 uses data derived from firmware to determine if the battery needs to be replaced.

Battery problems were noted by some users during the Windows 7 beta testing period, especially by those using Netbooks, but the complaints began to pour in after the official release of Windows 7 for general consumers in October last year.

Microsoft announced last Thursday it has so far sold about 60 million licenses, but it is unclear at present what proportion of users is affected by the battery drainage problems. Microsoft said it would update its TechNet forum as soon as the root cause has been identified, and will post information and guidance when it is available. The Microsoft TechNet forum and community is intended to support IT users of Microsoft products.

Explore further: Qualcomm, Microsoft team on wireless chips

More information: social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-gb/categories/

Related Stories

Emails show Microsoft's Vista problems

February 29, 2008

E-mails suggest Microsoft executives struggled to make Windows Vista work on their own computers after it was released, a published report said.

Windows 7 Virtual XP Mode

April 28, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Microsoft has decided to give Windows 7 users a tool that will allow them to run Windows XP applications in a virtual machine. The tool is free with Windows 7 but will only be available to users of Windows ...

Windows 7 to make public debut May 5

May 1, 2009

Microsoft said Thursday that a nearly-final version of its next-generation Windows 7 operating system will be publicly released on May 5.

Recommended for you

Math reveals unseen worlds of Star Wars

February 10, 2016

Using a new computer program, EPFL researchers offer unusual insight into the universe of Star Wars, which includes more than 20,000 characters spread among 640 communities over a period of 36,000 years.

Twitter lets hot tweets rise to top of timelines

February 10, 2016

Twitter revamped its timeline Wednesday, allowing the "best" tweets to rise to the top, despite warnings of a revolt from members loyal to the real-time flow of the messaging platform.

Tiny diatoms boast enormous strength

February 8, 2016

Diatoms are single-celled algae organisms, around 30 to 100 millionths of a meter in diameter, that are ubiquitous throughout the oceans. These creatures are encased within a hard shell shaped like a wide, flattened cylinder—like ...

Battery technology could charge up water desalination

February 4, 2016

The technology that charges batteries for electronic devices could provide fresh water from salty seas, says a new study by University of Illinois engineers. Electricity running through a salt water-filled battery draws the ...

4 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Rynox77
not rated yet Feb 02, 2010
Probably all the hard drive activity. Windows 7 is a busy, busy beaver and trying to trace the activity to a specific process using stock Microsoft tools is a fruitless endeavor.
VOR
not rated yet Feb 02, 2010
yeah I see a lot of that even on older OS. I wonder why it needs to do all that all the time.
rincewind
not rated yet Feb 02, 2010
Rynox77: Microsoft stock tools include 'process explorer' and 'file monitor' -> those will tell you what you need to know.
Rynox77
not rated yet Feb 03, 2010
No, those tools were not at all helpful.

All resource monitor says is there are small amounts of write activity coming from "System" and my HDD light flashes every 1.0-1.5 seconds... constantly, even if the computer has been running for weeks. It's not defrag, indexing, or superfetch. I've ruled all those out.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.