Feeds

Windows 7 upgrades Vista laptops to lower battery life

Time to replace your brand new battery

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Laptop owners upgrading their Windows XP and Windows Vista machines to Windows 7 are complaining that Microsoft's new OS has severely reduced their available battery life.

One user tells The Reg that after upgrading his circa 2007 HP notebook from Vista to Windows 7, the machine's battery life dropped from two hours to a half hour, and countless others are voicing similar complaints on Microsoft's TechNet forums.

The problem is caused by a new tool designed to alert users when their battery needs replacing. In some cases, according to TechNet posts, this alert appears time and again - even as a battery continues to run as it always did - falsely warning that the machine may suddenly shutdown. But in other cases, the machine does shutdown prematurely. It would seem this occurs well before the battery has run out of juice.

In a statement sent to The Reg, Microsoft has acknowledged the issue, saying it's related to the way Windows 7 reads system firmware. "We are investigating this issue in conjunction with our hardware partners," the statement reads. "The warning received in Windows 7 uses firmware information to determine if battery replacement is needed. We are working with our partners to determine the root cause and will update the [Technet] forum with information and guidance as it becomes available."

According to some users posting to Technet, the issue dates back several months, to the Windows 7 beta. But others say they didn't see a problem until the final "release to manufacturing" (RTM) build. "I was having excellent battery life until I installed the RTM of Windows 7 - all RC and beta builds that I installed I had nearly three hours of battery. Now, I have about 20 minutes and Win7 shuts down my laptop," writes one user.

"This change in behavior happened when I went from an RC to RTM. Instant behavior change. Needless to say, I - like you that have posted here - [am] not happy."

Microsoft confirms that its "consider replacing your battery" warning is new to Windows 7. But the company also says that in some cases, the new tool may be working properly. In other words, if it says your battery needs replacing, it may need replacing. But for so many laptops owners posting to TechNet, this is clearly not the case.

One poster says the problem has occurred on the same machine with two different sets of batteries. "At first, I was thinking the laptop is a couple years old, and sat on a shelf gathering dust, not being stored properly," he writes. "I went to replace the batteries, and realized that HP had recalled them. So i replaced them with brand new batts from the factory. And wala! same issue."

According to posts, the issue occurs across many multiple laptop makes and models, and Microsoft's statement seems to confirm this is the case. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Don't wait for that big iPad, order a NEXUS 9 instead, industry little bird says
Google said to debut next big slab, Android L ahead of Apple event
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
A drone of one's own: Reg buyers' guide for UAV fanciers
Hardware: Check. Software: Huh? Licence: Licence...?
Jaguar Sportbrake: The chicken tikka masala of van-sized posh cars
Indian-owned Jag's latest offering curries favour with us
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
The Apple launch AS IT HAPPENED: Totally SERIOUS coverage, not for haters
Fandroids, Windows Phone fringe-oids – you wouldn't understand
Here's your chance to buy an ancient, working APPLE ONE
Warning: Likely to cost a lot even for a Mac
Xiaomi boss snaps back at Jony Ive's iPhone rival 'theft' swipe
I'll have a handset delivered. Judge us after you try us...
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.