Microsoft investigates laptop battery drain with Windows 7

Feb 02, 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: Blink, point, solve an equation: Introducing PhotoMath

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User comments : 4

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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.