Gateway W340UA/MX3412 drains battery in 2 weeks - when turned off

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I have a Gateway laptop purchased last summer.  There are two different
model numbers on the back: "W340UA" seems to be the most important one,
while "MX3412" probably refers to a particular package sold in Canada.

In most respects, it runs fine.  But if it is turned off (either fully
off, or hibernate mode) and a fully-charged battery is left installed,
the battery will be dead in about 2 weeks.  The near-dead state is
confirmed by the power gauge on the battery itself, the power widget in
the taskbar, and the fact that it won't run the laptop for any
significant amount of time.

But the battery itself is OK.  If I charge and then remove the battery
before storing the laptop, the battery will still be at essentially
full charge 2 weeks later.  So it seems clear that something is
draining the battery when the battery is in the laptop.  It isn't doing
anything useful - the laptop still has the correct date and time when
it's stored without a main battery.

I have tried powering the laptop with a bench power supply set to 19
V.  When the laptop is fully powered off, it still draws about 15 mA
continuously from the bench supply.  So the laptop doesn't fully shut
off; there is still some circuitry consuming power.  This isn't just
the power needed by the soft power button, which should be in the
microamp range.  It's most likely a DC-DC converter or some other part
of the laptop power supply circuitry that continues to run.

Now, if I assume that the same circuitry draws power from the battery
as well as the external power input, that explains the 2-week discharge
time.  15 mA for 2 weeks (14 days) is 5040 mAh, and the battery
capacity is rated to be 4800 mAh.

So, finally, my real question: Do all of this model of laptop have this
battery-draining trait, or is it my unit alone?  Is it just bad design
on Gateway's part, or do I have a defective internal power supply?  In
the one case, I can live with the problem, though taking the battery
out before storage is a pain.  But if it's broken, I want to get
Gateway to fix it.

I've exchanged several rounds of email with Gateway tech support, but
they do not seem to see why the problem has to be in the laptop, not
the battery.  They had me recalibrate the battery capacity then fully
charge the battery and see if the problem recurs - of course it did.
They they said they'd send me a new battery, but it's been several
weeks not and nothing has showed up.  So far, there's no recognition
that all of the symptoms point away from the battery.


Re: Gateway W340UA/MX3412 drains battery in 2 weeks - when turned off

I'm not surprised to see this. Most current laptops have a "wake on lan"
function that keeps the ethernet port powered even when the system is
shut off.

Go into your BIOS setup and look for the function, turn it off, then
retest your power-off power consumption.

Phil Sherman

Dave Martindale wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: Gateway W340UA/MX3412 drains battery in 2 weeks - when turned off

Quoted text here. Click to load it

That's an excellent suggestion.  Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to
affect power consumption.

The BIOS is by Phoenix, and it doesn't have a "wake on lan" setting
anywhere I could see.  From Windows, Device Manager shows the LAN port
and the Advanced tab of Properties does have a "Wake on LAN from power
off" setting, and I did try changing that from Enabled to Disable.
I also disabled a couple of other "Wake on xxxx" settings.  But none of
these eliminated the standby/off power consuption.

I also tried turning off the wireless networking manually (FCN-F2) with
no effect.  There is an "RF power control" option in the BIOS which
seems to control whether the laptop powers up with the wireless radio
enabled or not, but it didn't have any effect on off-state power
consumption.  It's still about 20 mA (not the 15 I wrote about before).

I can't figure out what else might still be turned on deliberately.  The
wireless network configuration doesn't include any "Wake on xxx"


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