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Ask Max: Why do my batteries drain so fast?

Asked on 02/27/2007:

Got a question for you- I am having some trouble with 2 different batteries- one that was a recent (3 months ago) purchase and one that was an Apple replacement. They both drain incredibly quickly even with all the power saving stuff I can think of (dimmed screen, all Internet apps off, no Bluetooth- in the time I have written this email it went from 28% to 16% and dropping) and they take incredibly long to recharge - like more than 8 hours to go from 1% to 100%. I am using a MacAlly power supply which I suspect might be the problem, as I found a Battery Utility especially for my Aluminum 15" but it wont run unless I'm plugged in to an Apple power supply which I no longer own. Any ideas? Was Apple sending out old bad batteries in the recall? I appreciate your thoughts.


Your suspicion about the charger is probably correct. When it comes to replacing the power adapter for your PowerBook or iBook, you have to pay special attention to the wattage. Many of the G3 iBooks and the Titanium PowerBooks use 45 watt power adapters. Although the adapter's plug is the same for newer iBooks and PowerBooks, those computers need a full 65 watt adapter. Most 45 watt power adapters will say that they work on iBooks and PowerBooks but their packaging is outdated. That might have been true when there was only 45 watt Apple portables, but new adapters are all 65 watts. For your computer, 45 watts will not provide enough juice to both power the computer and charge the battery. This is bad for the battery and can cause the power adapter to overheat, possibly breaking out in a ball of fire. For your PowerBook, you have to have a 65 Watt adapter and better yet you probably should get a Apple power adapter (Apple AC Adapter). Apple only makes 65 watt adapters now and they will work on 45 watt and 65 watt computers. Hope that fixes it but there could be additional battery damage that occurred from an under-powered adapter.

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