Proof That a Netbook or Laptop Can Be Used Without the Internal Li-ion Battery!

About: Update 12 September 2017: A very special thanks to Sam Elder, a manager here at Instructables, who tracked down the cause of my lost publications and fixed the issue. Take a bow Sam!

Intro: Proof That a Netbook or Laptop Can Be Used Without the Internal Li-ion Battery!

There are rare cases where a netbook or laptop needs to be on continuously where it is performing a task or group of tasks. Ideally a desktop PC is great for this but where space is at a premium and power consumption has to be very low then a netbook is a good alternative. In my case I needed a touchscreen interface and the Dell Inspiron 3147 made a cost effective solution for an embedded pc.

The OEM batteries with portable computers do not last long in high heat areas. I live in a hot climate and I do not want rapid failure of the battery which may in turn cause permanent damage of the motherboard. My intent is to have this machine as a car automation pc. I don't want the heat of the day to compromise the integrity of the system.

This instructable applies only to portable computers with an internal bios or cmos battery. This is a lithium coin cell. Lower cost netbooks rely on the main Li-ion battery for bios and therefore their battery must not be removed!

Step 1: Removing the Battery.

Depending on the model of the portable computer, there is a specific way to remove the internal battery. For my netbook, this is how I did it:

Step 2: Powering Up the Netbook or Laptop.

You can use the OEM AC charger adapter to power the computer or in my case, I used plain old 12Volt DC from a battery. Even though the OEM adapters give approximately 19Volt DC, any netbook will run on 12Volt (laptops may not accept the lower voltage due to higher power demand). I actually successfully ran my netbook off 9Volt as a side experiment!

This proves that if you need a dedicated (and preferably touchscreen) PC to run 24/7, it can be done in a cost effective way using an off the shelf netbook or laptop! The reliability of the DC power source to the computer will of course determine its continued service availability.



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    4 Discussions


    2 years ago

    we always take the batteries out of our laptops when on mains power. never had a problem unless you get a power cut on unplug it by mistake. Then its a nightmare. :-/

    1 reply

    2 years ago

    while this works with your laptop, there are some laptops that require a battery to be present in order to turn on.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Actually no. Once the AC adapter is plugged into the portable computer, it will boot when the power button is pressed. Only windows may complain about a missing battery. A clear exception are the low cost netbooks/tablets that do not have a bios battery and will power on with bios error messages. My custom made Windows is heavily modified to work in an embedded system.