Stuck in a Firmware update loop (And Possible bad battery)

Discuss peripherals for the XO and power management.

Stuck in a Firmware update loop (And Possible bad battery)

Postby oxynary » Sun Jun 12, 2011 11:18 pm


Im working on one of these for a friend. The symptoms they had were no battery use though the battery is lit green. While the keyboard/mouse stopped responding.

I figured possibly the connections were loose to the bottom of the system. They are fine. I then attempted to upgrade system after seeing it an ancient version (656). I totally missed the keyboard/ mouse fix specific for that firmware until after I attempted a upgrade.

It worked, however. The system will not boot as its trying to update the firmware now, and sees no battery (again though the green light is on and the EC checks out). So it shuts itself down.

I'm guessing either messed up eprom in the battery or a bad battery. I have a life multi charger at home I can attempt to at least see if it has any charge. If it does. Not sure whats steps to do next. If it doesn't. Is there a trick I can do to stop it or bypass checking for battery or at least bypass the firmware for the moment? Until I can find a new battery.
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Re: Stuck in a Firmware update loop (And Possible bad battery)

Postby ncarrol » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:21 pm

Must have AC plugged in and battery fully charged to update firmware -- no way around (to my knowledge -- if otherwise, it would be loading the new firmware as described for the keyboard fix).

Run the hardware tests (left rocker switch on power on). Information about the battery state is in first few lines displayed.

Here is a quote from another reference:

""As others have pointed out there is a good chance your battery problems
are correctable.

First look at the serial number printed on the battery barcode label. If
the first 3 digits are less than 008, (ie 001,002,003...007) then that
battery is subject to the "charge balance" problem.

See here:

That page has a detailed diagnostic procedure. But the most common
symptom of charge balance is that the battery light goes to green
(sometimes quite quickly) but when you unplug the power the XO shuts off
instantly or in a short period.

The recovery procedure can take 40 to 50 hours to run and then the
discharge/re-charge eval is another 5 hours. So it will take a while to
work through all the batteries we have.

Richard A. Smith
One Laptop per Child ""

If you just need a battery to finish the update, check the Loan Library (, which may loan you one.
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