Laptop won't turn on with battery connected

I’ve had a batch 5 DIY laptop for about a week now, and the last time I tried to use it, it was turned off and seemingly dead. Charging didn’t turn on the LED, and everything else was completely unresponsive. I opened it up and disconnected the battery, and managed to get it to power off AC, this worked totally normally, but with the status LEDs blinking red. I cannot get power with AC and the battery connected at the same time, and nothing I do with the battery connected gets any indicators from the laptop. I have also tried pulling the CMOS battery for over 15 minutes with no luck. My laptop runs Arch, and the last time I used it I installed the latest kernel (1.15.3?). I don’t think this should impact it like that but it’s the only thing I can think of on my end that might have caused this. Any ideas on things I can do to troubleshoot this issue?

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I believe I’ve managed to reproduce this issue. I had a Framework Laptop booted into Ubuntu 20.10 and I left it in suspend for almost a week without being plugged in.

My suspicion is that something in the battery might be faulty. I have another Framework laptop so I’ll attempt a battery swap and see if that resolves the problem.

[Edit] I’ve completed the battery swap and observed something odd. The original laptop (bad battery) was able to power on with the donor battery just fine. The donor laptop which inherited the bad battery was unable to start.

However, in the donor laptop, it was able to start charging the battery it seems. It’s currently charging now with an orange light even though it was completely unresponsive in the original laptop.

My current theory is that disconnecting the battery for some time may help with your situation if the battery has become “over-discharged.”

[Edit 2] The donor laptop with the “bad battery” has been able to charge to about 10% no problem, so for me, I think both laptops are working fine now.

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Any idea on if there is a way to do this with a single laptop? I currently don’t get any indication that my laptop is charging right now. Also any ideas on how to prevent the issue from popping up again in the future?

If I retrace my steps, I am guessing if you disconnect the battery and then leave it off the charger for approximately 5-10 minutes, it should reproduce what I did.

To prevent this from happening, I’m not exactly sure why it happened and my best guess is the battery was drained completely and triggered some kind of safety circuit. My guess is that Linux suspend doesn’t hibernate and has a tendency to drain the battery completely. On my Windows installation, the system will go into hibernate and shut down the system.

I’m not that familiar with Linux, but it seems the solution is to configure the OS to suspend the system to disk after a set period of time, or to turn off the system if you intend to keep it off the charger for a considerable time. The other issue is related to battery drain during suspend, which is probably much faster in Linux than Windows for now until the software support improves.

I noticed something that appears to be connected. I left my Framework in standby and disconnected the charger just to run the battery down so that it wouldn’t be charging at 100% all the time - give it a bit of a rest.

But I went on a business trip and forgot to plug the charger back in. When I returned, the battery was completely empty as expected - but what I did not expect was that it did not start charging again when I plugged the cable back in. No amber LED and the power supply remained cool. Nothing happened when I pressed the power button. Nothing was making it charge.

Before I really started to panic I let it sit for a bit and when I came back some time later the amber LED was on. Went out to run some errands and by the time I got back a few hours later the LED was white. I haven’t powered it up but if I did I’d expect this to be a cold boot.

@Kieran_Levin stated that the little standby battery that’s usually a lithium CR2032 is a new rechargeable type charged off the main battery. My guess is that as long as it has a charge it will operate the recharging logic and LED status as normal, but if the main battery goes empty and stays there for long it will also empty and cannot activate the charging procedure (USB PD negotiation) or the status LED. However the main battery is probably being slowly charged by USB default (non PD) power along with this little battery, and once the little battery recharges sufficiently, it negotiates USB PD with the charger, activates the status LED and starts charging the main battery at high power.

This takes time. Leave it for 5-10 minutes.

But I wonder if the BIOS settings have been wiped? That’s another function of this battery. I’ll have to power it up and test.

Edit: date and time is good, it was a cold boot as I suspected. BIOS settings seemed to be retained.

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I’ve ran into this issue just now this morning (left laptop playing video and it died). Pressing power button it blinks red twice and nothing happens. I have power plugged in so will wait and see what happens.

In any case, if it does eventually boot it would be great to fix or provide Linux configuration suggestions to avoid having to wait this long (been charging for 10-20 minutes) without being able to use computer (should be able to boot even if only have power with minimal charge, while battery plugged in).

Will update on outcome of whether it eventually powers on.

exact same issue also batch 5. Unplug the battery and it works. the battery also discharges abnormally quickly when in sleep with the lid shut. I’m losing 30% charge overnight. then I left it in sleep for a week and it would not power back on.

Thanks for the reports on this, everyone. We definitely are interested in more detail to debug this. Could you share:

  1. What version of BIOS you have (in Windows, this is visible in System Information)
  2. Whether any other USB-C charger you have available (even a phone charger) results in different behavior when the Framework Power Adapter isn’t making the charging LED come on?
  3. The serial number of your system (PM it to @BeeAPeach ). This is on the QR code in the front left Expansion Card bay.
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