Thank you JamesT for this question.
How old is the laptop?
And how old is the battery?
Batteries degrade over time but they “should” give you two or three years service. Anything over three years is a bonus.
Some reasons why a battery will not charge:
- It has overheated and the chemicals have degraded
- It is old and the chemicals have degraded
- There is a problem with the charger
- There is a problem with the connector between the battery and the laptop
- Some diodes responsible for regulating the charging have been damaged
- The battery has reached it maximum number of recharges – see 1 and 2 above
Most common reason is a combination of age and overheating. You sometimes get overheating from the laptop itself. A build up of fluff and dust inside the laptop can reduce airflow causing the laptop to overheat. This general overheating then overheats the battery this leads to a circle of overheating – A heats B, B heats A …
Also some people never allow the battery to actually discharge – some people keep their laptop plugged in to the mains even when the battery is fully charged. This means that the battery never learns how far it can run. Like a marathon runner who is only allowed to run for twenty minutes a day.
Where does this leave you?
Depends on how old the laptop and battery are. If they are both relatively new you could go back to the manufacturer but then most manufacturers only give you a 12 month warranty on the battery, unless you have taken out additional warranty.
Check out this useful flowchart from “If It Jams dot com” – http://www.ifitjams.com
If you get to the point that the next step may be buying a new battery then I have found Amazon.co.uk very good for inexpensive spares – Just make sure (doubly sure) that you are getting the correct battery for your laptop’s make and model (sometimes you may even have to check a portion of the serial number). Many IT spares like batteries are sold by Amazon resellers – so check the seller’s feedback ratings and see what other stuff they have sold. Don’t automatically go with the cheapest.
Hope this helps.