Win7 Upgrade: Battery Life Reduced, False Warnings

Dennis Faas's picture

Laptop owners who upgrade their Windows XP and Windows Vista machines to Windows 7 are complaining that Microsoft's new operating system (OS) is severely reducing their available battery life.

Many users are voicing complaints on Microsoft's TechNet forums that after upgrading their notebooks, battery life is dropping from two hours to a half hour. (Source:

The problem appears to be caused by a new tool Microsoft designed to alert users when their battery needs to be replaced. According to some of the TechNet posts, the alert appears time and time again, even as a battery continues running as it always did.

Shutdown Warning Usually a False Alarm

The alert inaccurately warns users that the machine may suddenly shut down. In other cases, the machine does shut down prematurely, apparently before the battery had been completely drained.

Microsoft acknowledged the issue in a statement sent to The Register, stating that the problem is related to the way Windows 7 reads system firmware. The issue is being investigated in conjunction with Microsoft's hardware partners. (Source:

Some TechNet users say the issue dates back several months to the release of the Windows 7 beta, but others say they didn't have a problem until Windows 7 was released to manufacturing (RTM) for mass production.

Battery Warning Feature: New to Win7

Microsoft confirms that the 'consider replacing your battery' warning is new to Windows 7 and that, in some cases, the tool may be working properly. Microsoft noted that if it says your battery needs to be replaced, it may actually need to be replaced.

However, for many laptop owners posting on the TechNet forum, that is clearly not the case. One poster has had a problem on the same machine with two different batteries.

The issue occurs with many laptop makes and models. When a fix is issued for the problem, Microsoft will make it available on their TechNet forum and likely via a windows update. (Source:

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