Low Battery Alarm May Not Work If the Power Meter Is Not on the Taskbar

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Article ID: 305037 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q305037
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SYMPTOMS

When you use a laptop computer that is equipped with an Advanced Power Management-enabled basic input/output system (BIOS) on battery power, you may not hear a low battery alarm if the Power Meter is not displayed on the status area of the taskbar.

Additionally, if your computer has multiple batteries, an incorrect low-battery alarm may sound when you start your computer.

If you open the Power Management tool in Control Panel after you start your computer, and then click the Power Meter tab, alarms work correctly.

CAUSE

This problem occurs because the Windows Driver Model (WDM) kernel (Ntkern.vxd) may not be able to obtain battery information from the battery drivers during the initialization process on some computers.

If the Power Meter (batmeter) tool is enabled, it obtains battery information at frequent intervals while your computer is running. This battery information is used to trigger battery alarms, and if absent, the alarm may not sound.

RESOLUTION

A supported hotfix is now available from Microsoft, but it is only intended to correct the problem that this article describes. Apply it only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem.

To resolve this problem, contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services telephone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/contactus/?ws=support
Note In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.

The English-language version of this fix should have the following file attributes or later:
   Date     Time   Version    Size   File name  Operating system
   ----------------------------------------------------------------------
   8/10/01  09:59  4.10.2223  6,480  Battc.sys  Windows 98 Second Edition

This problem is not resolved by this fix if you install it on a computer that is running Windows 98 version 4.10.1998 (not Windows 98 Second Edition). For information about how to work around this problem if you are using a Windows 98-based computer, view the steps in the Workaround section in this article.

WORKAROUND

To work around this problem:
  • If your computer BIOS also supports Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI), you can enable ACPI support to resolve the problem. Please contact your computer manufacturer for information about whether this option is available and how to enable ACPI support for your computer.
  • To work around this problem on a computer with APM BIOS, enable the Power Meter:
    1. Click Start, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Power Management or Power Options.
    2. Click the Advanced tab, verify that the Always show icon in the taskbar check box is selected.

STATUS

For additional information about how to enable ACPI support on computers that support it, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
195218 How to Enable ACPI Support in Windows 98/Me


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.

MORE INFORMATION

This problem was corrected in Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition.
For additional information about the Power Meter and APM battery status issues, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
290095 APM Laptop Computer on Battery Power Uses AC Power Policy
For additional information about an update to the Japanese version of Windows 98 Second Edition, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
246817 APM Computer with Battery May Stop Responding During Shutdown in Windows 98 Second Edition

Properties

Article ID: 305037 - Last Review: January 31, 2007 - Revision: 1.5
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition
Keywords: 
kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbbug kbenv kbfix kbqfe kbtool KB305037

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