Battery Health Monitor Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Battery Health Monitor

Why do I get the message, "Unable to read battery status data"?

Why does the number of charge cycles on my battery seem low?

What is the relationship between "Original Capacity" and "Current Capacity"?



Why do I get the message, "Unable to read battery status data"?

Depending upon the version of Apple's battery update software installed, older versions of Battery Health Monitor fail on some models of iBook and PowerBook G3 and G4 computers. This should be corrected in the latest version of Battery Health Monitor. If you have difficulty with Battery Health Monitor 1.5 or later, please contact Sonora Graphics technical support using the "Contact Us" button above.

If you have an iBook or PowerBook and are having trouble with Battery Health Monitor 1.3, you should either upgrade to the current version of Battery Health Monitor, or download the previous version, Battery Health Monitor 1.2.

Note that Battery Health Monitor versions 1.4 and later, when run on Aluminum PowerBooks, will not display the original battery capacity.

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Why does the number of charge cycles on my battery seem low?

The number of charge cycles reported by the battery's microprocessor indicates the number of full charge/discharge cycles, not the actual number of times that the battery has been recharged. Several partial charge cycles may add up to a single full discharge and recharge.

For example, if you unplug the computer and use 20% of the battery charge before plugging it back in, then repeat this a total of 5 times, the cycle count will be incremented by one, indicating that the equivalent of one full charge/discharge cycle has occurred.

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What is the relationship between "Original Capacity" and "Current Capacity"?

The term Original Capacity refers to what is sometimes called the Design Capacity of the battery. It is the maximum capacity that the battery should have had when it was new.

Current Capacity refers to the maximum charge that the battery can store today. As the battery ages, the Current Capacity will gradually drop as the battery loses capacity.

Note that some batteries, when new, may show a Current Capacity that is higher than its Original Capacity. If you notice this effect, consider it a little bit of good fortune directed your way.

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