The title of this topic (before editing it was "Batteries degrade over time... and then heal back?". Changed it because after I finished testing it, it turned out to be as bad as before, just not displayed properly from within the OS) may sound confusing, but that's exactly what just happened to me and I would like to see if it's a common thing or what may be the reason behind this (posting this in the lounge as im not really sure what other category should I post this in. Hardware support seems more about getting something to work, but this is more of a question out of curiosity of something that already works so I'm not sure)
My laptop used to have the battery health at around 48% (less than 18 Wh of maximum capacity) until a month ago. Then stopped using the laptop because I thought I would be fine between the tablet and an older 32 bit laptop I have. This week, I decided to bring here that "newer" laptop because the older one just heats way too much (not a good design choice to put all the ventilation holes on the bottom of the laptop instead of the sides...). After using it for some days, always with the charger plugged in, I booted into the Manjaro partition to mess around a bit with the Plasma desktop, but I noticed the widget that talked about battery health now displayed 63% instead of the usual 48%. Rebooted to check that on Zorin because I thought Manjaro was having some sort of bug that made it display the battery health wrong, but Zorin seems to say the same: the maximum capacity went from less than 18 Wh to 23.4 Wh.
Thinking the battery was at such bad state that it no longer even displays right, I decided to repeat a test I did back when the health was at 48%: Waiting until all background boot-up proceeses finish, underclock cpu to 1 GHz, same brightness and have nothing open other than just the desktop. Back then, like this it didn't last more than 1 hour and 40 minutes, but now, so far 1 hour and 3 minutes passed and the battery is still at 58%, which leads me to assume it will most likely hit the two hours, so a healing in the battery really did happen.
Is this... normal? A bad or good sign? Does this often happen to people?
Alright... The test ended at 1 hour and 46 minutes because it jumped from 30% to 3%...
Maybe it is a slight improvement in battery, but if it is this small I would say it's more of a cause of having deleted many programs a few days ago than actually the battery having healed itself, so yes, my assumptions of it not displaying the correct health of the battery properly were right, so I'm gonna change the title of this thread to make it less misleading
And yes, I plan to get the battery out of the laptop, I haven't done it yet because it's inside and I fear breaking something, so when I take it to have a hard drive replacement I will also ask them to remove the battery
This can be done by you, but you must take your time and allow for some hardships (mainly not having the proper tool around to separate the top and bottom of the laptop housing). The connection is rather simple and can be disconnected by anyone that uses a wall plug. There are sometimes lock mechanisms, but again, they are simple and obvious in their mechanics.
Be sure to locate and remove all screws from the bottom. This is usually the culprit for broken housings. If something appears "stuck", it is most likely because of a screw.
Everything will go back together with a click, even a sharp snap. This will also improve your confidence in your ability to maintain your own computer, and save you some money.
Again, I can't stress it enough, take your time. Set aside an hour for this, if not more. I'm experienced in laptop disassembly and it can take upward of twenty minutes for me. My first took two hours, without breaking anything. So definitely, take your time. You can do this.
General help would be appropriate or chat about Zorin, as both would allow more members to interact with the thread. As it is, there are very few that can access the lounge.
While you have it open, you can also access and change your hard drive, if that is your intention. Be sure to ground yourself prior to touching any components inside the laptop. Do not keep it plugged in for grounding, this is a mistake new power users make, thinking it will ground them as well. It won't. It only grounds the closed connection of the boards, not external sources that introduce a charge or faster ground. It's a good way to get a shock if you do keep it plugged in.
I just looked up tutorials on how to do it on this specific laptop, and the hard drive appears to be so accessible that it isn't even necessary to fully open the laptop, as it's just taking out a few screws on the bottom and accessing the hard drive. RAM and hard drive seem to be in that small room, isolated from the rest of the laptop, so upgrading those seem kind of easy now that I look at it
With the battery... it's a whole different story. It can be done safely, but, the case would require quite a bit of force to open and many cables need to be unplugged and, in the way the person in the video moved them to the side, it just looks almost like if they were glued there... I really do not think I can safely do this without breaking anything, just because of the pressure of how easy it would be to break something. I do have a spare laptop that is almost the exact same model as this one at home though, so I could probably start by practicing with that one and if everything goes well I would then do it on this one, and maybe even swap the battery, as the other one remained unused for most of the time because of being faulty, but the battery seems in good conditions
So I think I'm gonna try to take your advice: replace the hard drive myself and (probably) take out the battery myself too.
Also... when you say not to keep it plugged in while replacing the hard drive, I'm assuming you mean the external AC charger. Do I also need to disconnect the battery for that? Asking because, as I said, the hard drive is in an isolated room, way more accessible than the battery (I would do the hard drive replacement as soon as I can, but the battery removal is something I'd rather practice when I have a bit more free time, so if it's possible I wouldn't do both in one go)
moved the thread to general help
To get the case open, get an old credit card, and snip off a 1/2" section of it. Use that as a lever to click open the little plastic latches that hold the bottom of the case to the rest of the computer.
You'll push the edge of the section of credit card down into the gap between the bottom of the case and the rest of the machine, tilt it in the direction you're moving the credit card, and slowly rock it as you push the credit card along. The little latches should detach one by one, allowing you to get the bottom of the machine off so you can remove the battery.
Be sure, before you do the above, that you've removed all the screws holding the bottom of the case onto the computer... on my HP machine, there are two long rubber strips that act as 'feet' for the computer to sit on... there are 6 screws underneath those strips, as well as 4 other screws that aren't covered by anything. So pry up the adhesively-stuck little 'feet' on your computer if the case doesn't separate easily, to check if there are screws under there.
You do not have to worry about the battery being plugged in, as there is no current in the wires/paths, when the computer is off (the circuit must be complete for there to be power).
The AC adapter is a different story since there is always some amount of voltage, though at really low levels, coming from AC. While it shouldn't pass voltage when the computer is off, if you have ever accidentally shocked yourself when getting ready to plug in the laptop (wall socket already inserted), you would notice the amplification of the static shock because of power present in the cable.
An actual static strap, or touching a grounded metal object, while not sitting on "soft/fluffy" carpet. If you are on carpet, where sneakers (rubber sole shoes) and don't shift your feet while touching internal components.
A credit card or spudger are all you need to open the laptop (without breaking it). The spudger is a little more sturdy, allowing a twisting motion to pry apart stubborn connections (which they will be, depending on how often the machine has been opened).
If you see dust accumulation, do not use a vacuum to remove it! Blow it out by mouth (not recommended) or use compressed air. A fan would be preferable to your mouth (you unintentionally release moisture when you exhale forcefully).
All of these things to avoid static electricity because a micro-voltage burst (static charge) is enough to make parts of your computer inoperable).