Windows 7 Kills Battery

windows-7-battery When I first migrated to Windows 7 in it’s early BETA days, I was all too excited by the new stability, UI, features and quoted Battery life improvement. But, all this came with a bad [practical] news: I saw serious reduction in battery life.

The battery backup reduced from 2.5hrs to merely 1hr. I believed this was due to the the heavy Nvidia GT m230  GPU (Windows 7 doesn’t support NVIDIA Powermizer which reduces battery usage by lowering the clock). But very soon, all other Operating Systems started to mimic Windows 7.

This didn’t end here.

Recently, it became worse from bad when Laptop battery was totally dead.  The battery backup went literally down to zero. After couple of days, [I don’t know why] battery came back to life but with reduced life. The same battery that used to have 1hr of juice, started giving me no more than 10 minutes.

I tried Ubuntu, XP, everything, it was all the same, max battery backup was 15 minutes. I thought it could be manufacturer’s fault, but I was so wrong, the fact is: Windows 7 destroys your battery, permanently.

A very long thread on Microsoft’s support site dedicated to Windows 7 battery problems kicked off in early June 2009.

Microsoft claimed that the problem was in the Windows 7 tool that decided when the battery had been drained, or was unable to hold a charge.

“We are investigating this issue in conjunction with our hardware partners, which appears to be related to system firmware (BIOS), The warning received in Windows 7 uses firmware information to determine if battery replacement is needed.”

While some users on that thread agree with Microsoft that the warnings are spurious, others believe that the new operating system has permanently crippled their batteries.

“I have tried charging the battery while the computer is off or in another OS, and it does not work,” said someone identified as “DanLee81” today. “It will charge for a few minutes, then stop. The battery will say it’s full when it actually only has a few minutes of charge, and when you take out the A/C, it will either last for a few minutes, or completely shut off your laptop. This behavior happens in all [OSes] after Windows 7 damages the battery, not just within Windows 7.”

Another one, from Russ Latham claims:

It seems that after Windows 7 has damaged your battery, it doesn’t matter what OS you use.  The solution is, obviously, don’t use Windows 7 at all.  Not even once, unless you’re prepared to shell out money for a new battery.  What a shame.  I really liked Windows 7 but now I’m using Linux on my new laptop (with 2nd battery!).  I can’t afford to buy a new laptop batteries all the time.

Clearly, 100s of users can’t be wrong. The damages are indeed permanent- batteries underperformed, even after they abandoned Windows 7 and returned their notebooks to running Windows XP or Vista, or switched to Linux.

“Rolling back does not work either,in another message on Tuesday. I feel rip[ped] off!”

Situation is much more complex than What Microsoft thinks it is.

Almost all users using Notebooks from Acer, Dell, HP, Samsung, Sony and Toshiba have reported problems. Most have seen battery-life reduction 66%. That means 1/3rd the battery life.

I hope they do something about it fast, or it won’t be far when people get their say in consumer courts, suing the company for billions.

Update: Why windows 7 Appears to kill Battery?

In my case, The battery didn’t even meet it’s recharge cycles. It’s hardly 1 year old with < 80 Full discharges and <30 half discharges and a typical battery has 200-300 charge cycles (minimum). Even on brand new laptops life reduced to 1/3rd within 6 months.
The problem is Win 7 uses twice the power from the battery and hence twice the current (I). It’s said that when you deplete a Li-Ion battery at twice the Current (I), life cycle decreases by more than 2x times.
So if a battery had 300 charges, it would come down to 150 or so. But to make it worse, Win7 reports battery inaccurately, which reduces it further.
The  reason for double the battery usage is Aero + Windows 7  SuperFetch.

Have you faced a similar issue? Let us know.

We write latest in Microsoft, Windows 7, Android, Google, iPhone, Tech Guides, Open Source, get them all @taranfx on twitter or below:

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  • Brian J

    I knew this is happening with my HP dv5. But I ignored it for a while. Now its serious!

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  • I bought a new Laptop with 12cell battery that gives 7hrs in XP and 4 hrs in win7.
    WTF Microsoft?

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  • sane user

    this is total bullsh**, how can an os destroy the battery?? if u r battery is really f***ed it must be cos it has passed its no of recharge cycles.. dont blame such stuff on ur OS..

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    • I understand your concern: OS cannot “kill” battery.
      In my case, The battery has not met it's recharge cycles. It's hardly 1 year old with < 80 Full discharges and <30 half discharges and a typical battery has 200-300 charge cycles (minimum).
      Even on brand new laptops life reduced to 1/3rd within 6 months.
      The problem is Win 7 uses twice the power from the battery and hence twice the current. It's said that when you deplete a Li-Ion battery at twice the Current (I), life cycle decreases by more than 2x times.
      So if a battery had 300 charges, it would come down to 150 or so. But to make it worse, Win7 reports battery inaccurately, which reduces it further.

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      • Brian

        That may be true, but to quote an assertion that W7 can kill your batter if you use it even once is total bs. Batteries are consumables, the more you use them, the quicker they wear out.

        This article is like exclaiming that my [insert powerful muscle car here] ruins my tires! Yes perhaps it has more power. Duh. Or maybe you have a lead foot. Duh. Perhaps there's something about W7 that uses more cpu, did you think it could be all the new visual features?

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  • Geof

    interesting — I use a MacBook Pro, and boot into Windows 7 every so often. I wonder if this affects me since (I'm assuming) my system firmware would be different…

    I guess my question would be “what are PC manufacturers doing to their firmware, which is presumably aimed at Windows users, that's causing an issue with Win 7?”

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  • proassets

    i purchased an hp notebook with windows 7 and the battery draining is ALWAYS a problem. Battery life is no more than one hour tops! Glad I found this thread.

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  • technosis

    I've seen a steady decline in battery power since I upgraded to Windows 7 from Vista. Disabling the fancy interface options doesn't seem to make a difference. I went from an average battery life of 4 hours to a measly 1 hour. It's obvious that this has something to do with how the operating system utilizes the battery, but there is something off about the whole situation. I'm no hardware expert, engineer or scientist but it seems like we make continual and fast progress in most other aspects of personal computing technology. Why is it that battery and power seems only to limp along in comparison? It seems like there would be a lot of money in developing a power storage solution that meets the demands of the latest technology.

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  • Topsi Kret

    This is FUD! I bet the one who wrote this is a linux fanboy.

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  • joemamasdfsdf

    stfu. I have an hp dv7 and it gets about 2 hours battery life consistently for more than a month.

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  • That's funny. Now the open source-types start a FUD-campaign against Microsoft.

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  • DanLee81

    Don't forget LG!!

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  • ihsantr

    Hi, i've a similar problem too.. When i've migrated to the 7beta, my battery life was about 1 hour. A few days after 7 started to warn me to change the battery. And the battery life reduced to 20 min. Nowadays it cant hold any charge above 5 mins. So i removed the battery and started to work with plug-in. I cant say win7 drains the battery, but i'm sure that there are some bugs on power management issues.

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  • Sergio

    I have the same problem. I installed the RC back then when Vista was giving headaches due to it's poor performance. Immediately, my battery life went from 3hrs to around 1hr. At the moment, i can only leave it for like 9 mins before the battery dies. I actually thought this was a just an unhappy coincidence :(. Is there anyway to make Microsoft responsible for this? The way i see it. They owe me a new battery.

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  • Ali

    I faced this problem as well and my lab top battery is dead it just give me less than 10 minutes
    I used a program claims to double the battery but nothing happen same problem. Battery is gone

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  • Guest

    It may be true. I've had my laptop since July 2009 with Vista and I got 4.5-6 hours on the 6-cell. Upgraded to Windows 7 in late December 2009 and as of last week, the battery had degraded to 59%. No matter how I charge or recharge it, I don't think any battery could degrade so much in a span of 1-2 months.

    Luckily, I'm still under Lenovo's one year battery warranty and already received a replacement. I wonder if I can reinstate Vista on my machine.

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  • Vidmav

    After reading this, i understood, why battery of my Lenovo V200 died… It was holding ~2 hours with winXP, but after i have installed W7 on November of 2009, batteries capacity came to 15-20min in 2 months. In January, i have ordered new battery, still waiting for it to arrive, but now I'm not sure, if to install it on my notebook, or sell it, as at the end, it will be killed by W7… Do you know, how long i can store the battery on the shelf, not to get it demaged? As third option would be, to wait for solution, from MS.

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  • Metaldyne

    Windows 7 killed my battery. Before I upgraded from Vista, I was getting battery perfomance as new (8 month old laptop). After a week, with windows 7, my battery was dead.

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  • Tom

    Yes, I can confirm it is true that Windows 7 ruins your battery. A year ago my battery died as well after using the beta version of Windows 7. Now it takes 10 mins before Windows shuts down (even after switching back to Vista). I thougt it was just coincidence and just had a weak battery, until I read this…

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  • jessicaKlose

    I'm guessing Windblows has a very flaky badly programmed interface between it and the bios. I just bought a compaq, declined the lisence and installed linux and now it gives a red screen every time it is booted stating it was shutdown due to overheating which was never the case. This tells me micky mouse is trying to do some flaky communicating with the bios by sending some message when it is shut down correctly and when the bios does not recieve the message, it flakes out which is probably the case with the batteries as well. If it does not recieve the message, the battery life suddenly goes to ZERO in the bios all because windows is evil.

    I might be wrong.
    Palm pre batteries

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  • sedat

    yeah, indeed I had the same problem , battery life went t o merely 30 min. from 1hr and half, that happened when I went from vista to windows 7,rolled back to vista but battery remains weak

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    • MCP

      I can also confirm this as true. I was getting 2 hours out of my HP Pavilion DV2404 with Windows Vista, and after installing Windows 7 it immediately dropped to less than 30 minutes.

      Worst part is, Microsoft is playing dumb saying “nothing to see here, not our problem”, presumably until they quietly push out a Windows update.

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  • user

    Why if battery is 100% and you connect to ac it will be un charge state? that's annoying, if it reports 99% full and connected to ac it must not charge!!

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  • This article is like exclaiming that my [insert powerful muscle car here] ruins my tires! Yes perhaps it has more power. Duh. Or maybe you have a lead foot. Duh. Perhaps there's something about W7 that uses more cpu, did you think it could be all the new visual features?

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  • munadel

    yes I just started using a new battery in my Toshiba laptop with win7 , and it is draining the battery really fast….

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  • Alex

    I got the windows 7 beta version and in 2 daqys my battery had only 3 mins on it!

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  • Kishiro

    Windows 7 does indeed kill your laptop battery. Don't get me wrong, I love the OS, I just hate what it did to my HP battery that is less than a year old. I had the working test build of Windows 7 32-bit, and that was when my battery problems started. Only a month or so after using it, my battery stopped lasting more than 15 – 20 minutes. I thought maybe it was just a problem or bug that was in the non-final releases. Come to find out when I get the retail versions that the problem is not fixed, and still exists! My battery will “charge” but whatever “charge” it has, doesn't last, as stated before. Even my sister's computer, which only has ever had the final retail version (she upgraded from Vista, like most of us), now has battery issues. Dear god may I say that it might actually be a smart idea to keep Vista? At least you won't be out $120 for a laptop battery. I hope Microsoft does something soon, like fix the problem and then replace batteries.

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  • Galos

    I have the same problem, my VAIO CR last only 10 minutes now. Before installing win7( 1 month ago) I had win vista and it last between 4 and 5 hours. I didnt trie with another OS. I hope they find a solution.

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  • Stan

    Yep, bought a Dell laptop in July. As of two weeks ago, my battery is dead pretty much.

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  • Tobbe

    I bought a brand new battery in December. It was running fine in my HP laptop with W7 for about 4 months and then suddenly completely died! It doesn't matter if I put the battery in an identical laptop running XP – It is now DEAD!

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  • tyler

    i just got the battery needs replacing update today, so i googled it, i read this and tons of other support threads. needless to say I booted in to ubuntu, who said “your battery may be old or needs replacing” wtf. i have been a avid windows user for EVER, but this has made me switch to linux. damn microsoft.

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    • DeXie

      same happened to me today. i booted into windows 7 on my dell vostro 1320, it said 'consider replacing your battery'.. i googled it and tried many solutions given on different forums but none worked. then i booted into ubuntu and it said that my battery capacity is 33%.. the machine is still in warranty, just around 7 months used..

      is there anyway to fix it now..?? damn i should never have installed seven.

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  • Of course it kills but check the quality and how it is made. It is easy to use.

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  • Trgbeck

    Yeah thought the same with Battery but after so long it charged up 100% and WIN7 gives me about 2hrs time but it took a long time in 30days it worked out the bugs. So it will give you 100%

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    • Kishiro

      Microsoft plant. 4 srs?

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  • Giftleejones

    Yes.The Article given above is cent Percent correct.I have a ACER TRAVELMATE 5720 Laptop which worked on XP and Vista as well as all Linux Environments for more than 2 and half hours when the Battery is Discharging.But after I installed Windows 7 the Battery Discharging capacity gradually decreased.Suddenly after 3 months in my UBUNTU platform I found my battery Discharging Capacity had been reduced.Then with in a week in my Windows 7 it displayed an error message stating “YOUR BATTERY MIGHT BE BROKEN”.Isnt this funny Friends?It itself had damaged the battery and Displays an Error message as if the Battery is Physically broken by us;-)
    The Problem here is we cant find any change in any Discharging capacity even We change the OS after this problem is Found.
    I am doing my B.Tech 3rd Year in Karunya University and all my Friends encounter the Same Problem with Windows 7.It is heavy when we use the High Performance.
    The capacity reduced to 32.3 Percentage which one can Easily view in Properties f battery in Ubuntu.So better avoid installing Windows 7 to ur laptops or Palms.
    For its Best Features and other Options,its really difficult to ignore Windows 7 but unless or Untill Microsoft finds a Solution for this Linux is the Best Option..

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  • Why is it that battery and power seems only to limp along in comparison? It seems like there would be a lot of money in developing a power storage solution that meets the demands of the latest technology.

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  • Windows 7 does indeed kill your laptop battery. Don't get me wrong, I love the OS, I just hate what it did to my HP battery that is less than a year old. I had the working test build of Windows 7 32-bit, and that was when my battery problems started. Only a month or so after using it, my battery stopped lasting more than 15 – 20 minutes.

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  • yes,it's obvious that this has something to do with how the operating system utilizes the battery, but there is something off about the whole situation.

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  • Mohammad

    I agree with you. My laptop's HP DV 6850i and on upgrading from Vista to Win7, the battery lasted for only 1 hr.
    To make matter's worse, now my battery life is like 2 mins, even though the indicator shows full, and then suddenly the system shuts down after 2 mins. I have to be on AC power all the time.
    My battery's totally dead.

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  • Sujal Sheth

    Hi, I faced the same problem. I had Sony Vaio running on Vista and 6 cell battery i was able to run 2.5hrs with normal usage but once i migrated to win7, my battery is now only 50min max charge and even sometime less than that also. Day by day, it's getting lower…..i read this article and i believe there is something wrong with Win7 but can anybody tell….if i still migrate to vista. can i recover my batter life or it's gone? I love the win7 but I can't effort batter life to run good but ineffective OS. I'm mostly on travel and i need good charge of batter. Win7 is making my life HELL. I don't know… whey Microsoft is still silent after even knowing this.I think they might thinking about public image if they accept there is problem in Win7. …What a pity????? Even you know u did damage… u can't accept and solve it…. i believe if u give bad, it will come to you with greater magnitude….Anyways… I will wait for my entire batter to die and then buy new one and will never install win7.

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  • I've noticed a shorter battery life on my laptop as well, yet this may be due to the fact that it is just old already 🙂

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  • My battery was almost dead after 2 weeks of using Windows 7! I hope there will be service packs to deal with this issue soon..

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  • noman khalid

    Hello!
    i bought sony vaio VGN-SR45h last year.
    its jenuine windows was Visa.
    but i installed windows 7, it had good battery timing in beginning around 3 hours but now it runs just for 20 min .
    Plz anybody guide me to overcome this issue.
    thanx

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  • I also saw a serious reduction in battery life. The battery backup reduced from 2.5hrs to merely 1hr.

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  • Nita

    this is so true. the same thing happened to me. My battery could last about 3 hours before I installed Windows 7. Now it suddenly dies after few minutes. I am so mad… Now I have to buy a new battery. I will never use windows 7 again

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  • Very practical, and write great. Reading your article made me understand more.

    Thank you for sharing.

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  • Shaan799

    Same thing happened to my laptop. it is an Asus F3J running XP ,the battery was totally fine. Installed windows 7 other day and the laptop was turned off automatically due to low battery!
    (It was 100% charged while W7 installation).

    Now the battery charges for about 5 mins then reporting “fully charged” (both in BIOS and W7)
    but turning off with in 2 mins after pulling the power plug ,thanks to micro$oft.

    I was thinking “how the hell an OS can permanently kills a battery”? but it was happened in front of my eyes.

    I think may be the OS (windows 7) has the ability to permanently flag the battery pack’s internal controller as it has bad cells. :(((((

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  • Cristi_mera

    acer aspire 5735z, is a laptop made for vista, at least that is what was written on the package. i installed the win 7 and realized that the battery is dying very quickly. switched back to vista but nothing. the laptop was 1 year old when this happened. now the battery lasts 5 minutes max.

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  • Guest

    I am having the same issue, my battery life is non-existent and it never charges fully anymore. I’ve only had it for a couple of months and I am honestly fed up. 

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  • Guest

    I’m having the same problem. I have a dell latitude E6400 and my battery has never lasted for longer than an hour with windows 7. The laptop finally told me I needed to replace my battery.  I replaced the 6 cell battery with a 9 cell battery.  This battery is draining fast also.  After about 30 minutes of usage from a full charge I’m already down to 69%.

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    VA:F [1.9.22_1171]
    Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)
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