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I have a 2008 MacBook aluminium 13" (Model Identifier: MacBook5,1) which has started showing "Condition: Replace Soon" to describe the battery, so a couple of questions:

  • what is used to determine this?
  • does it matter?
  • is there anything I can/should do to correct it? (Let the battery exhaust itself repeatedly, for example)
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So what did you do? Mine says the same thing. How long before it just shuts down? or what's the future? –  user48105 Apr 25 '13 at 3:23
    
Well the battery still works fine. I bought a replacement, because I wanted to be sure I wouldn't have problems on a trip I took, but both batteries work fine - the new one has about 5 hours life fully charged, the old one about 3. –  Ben Parsons Apr 25 '13 at 8:23
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2 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted
  • Go to the Apple menu and choose "About This Mac"
  • Click "More Info..."
  • Click "System Report..."
  • Under Hardware, click "Power"
  • Under "Battery Information" you'll find "Health Information"
  • Under Health and Information you'll see "Cycle Count" and "Condition"

Cycle count can drive condition: over a certain numbers of charges and discharges condition will automatically drop. Given the age of your computer, my guess is you have a high cycle count.

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Hi Richard, yes Cycle Count is 517, which I guess is high, but probably not unusual for a 4+ year old laptop. Main question is whether conditioning/behaviour change can improve the situation or if I need to shell out for a new battery (will not be replacing this machine.) –  Ben Parsons Feb 3 '13 at 15:13
    
If the cycle count is high and you get the warning your battery is shot and no amount of conditioning will bring it back. If the cycle count is low then it's possible something else is up. I'd get a new battery. –  Richard Feb 3 '13 at 18:02
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i guess 517 cycle count is not that much.. mine is a late 2008 aluminum macbook , the cycle count is 1598, and it just started showing to replace battery soon yesterday...

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Part of my question was "what is used to determine [the condition]?" I suppose, if your cycle count is three times larger than mine, then that's not the only thing taken into account. –  Ben Parsons Jul 26 '13 at 8:17
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