Whether you use a laptop, netbook, notebook, tablet or even a Linux smartphone, you’re bound to end up with cell issues after you’ve used it for a long period. More than likely your monitoring icon simply indicates that your battery is charging or discharging. Perhaps it indicates a percentage, but it provides little information about performance or chemistry. Cells utilized in the construction of power systems for mobile devices are largely based on Li-on technology, but may use other chemistries. More than likely it’s best to periodically charge these devices to different values, then periodically fully discharge and recharge them if the system reports a dropped percentage.
The problem is that most tools don’t indicate if the percentage of capacity is dropping or not. There is a short batch script you can construct that will help you to troubleshoot these systems.
Troubleshooting Cell Problems
Either head to a virtual console by holding CTRL and ALT while pushing F1-F6 or instead open a graphical command prompt by holding CTRL and ALT while pushing T or starting it from the root menu. Type cd ~/Documents to put yourself in an innocuous folder, then type the following lines followed by enter each time:
cat > checkcell
upower -i $(upower -e | grep ‘BAT’)
Hold CTRL and push D when you reach the end. Navigate to ~/Documents in a graphical file manager you start either by holding the Windows key and pushing E or from the root graphical menu, depending on your distribution. Right click on checkcell, click on Permissions and set the permissions to:
View content: Anyone
Change content: Only owner
Head back to your command prompt and type ./checkcell for information about the capacity and chemistry of your battery that can aid in troubleshooting.