Q. My iBook or Powerbook battery is not charging or being recognized, yet it works fine in another machine

First you need to to a Power Manager reset PMU reset) on your machine
Then recalibrate the battery

Keep in mind that batteries last from one to three years and they steadily lose capacity.  Apple’s criteria is the battery should retain 80% charge after one year of use, and one year should have no more than 300 recharge cycles.  If a new Apple battery is under 300 cycles and less than 80% capacity before 1 year is up, it may be eligible for warranty.

Coconut Battery is a little application that gives you more information about your battery’s health (Requires OSX 10.5 or higher) http://www.coconut-flavour.com/coconutbattery/

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