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What's the real reason that laptop batteries are made not-accessible?

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Ben321:
Same goes for phone batteries. I see no technical reason why they can't make batteries easily removable anymore. They say it's because it helps to make these modern slim computers even slimmer, but I don't see how that actually relates to it at all. I've always figured though it was so they could get more money from the customer, by charging them twice (or more) for the same computer. First the sale of the computer, and then any battery replacement. It's just a get quick money scheme for the company.

But what if it was more than just that? What if it had something to do with fighting crime? Criminals these days have gotten really smart. Thanks to mistakes made by criminals in the past, and thanks to various news reports you can read online about how various criminals got caught in the past (as well as sometimes leaks that result in tech articles on tech websites actually explaining how certain forensic techniques actually work), modern computer criminals have learned a LOT about how to protect themselves. This includes all kinds of things like using strong passwords on everything, using VPN, encrypting their files, etc.

One thing it seems criminals learned was that a computer or phone that you powered down from a menu option in the Windows start menu (or equivalent action for a cellphone) isn't actually shut down. It's simply put into a very low power mode in which even the OS isn't running, but it's not completely shut down. This means RAM memory is maintained in a powered on state so the physical RAM chips still store data from what you did while actually using the device, and some things I've read indicate that possibly even the GPS mode is enabled when the phone is supposedly powered down so it can still be tracked. As a result smart criminals started to remove the batteries from their phones when not in use. This keeps the GPS (in phones) from tracking them, and in about a minute (possibly less) the binary state of the transistors in the RAM chips is completely reset to 0, so no usable data left for the authorities to see what you had been doing on the computer.

As a result, civic minded computer and phone companies realized this was a problem so they started making it harder for badguys to power down their devices so as to make it easier for law enforcement to catch badguys. Or possibly, law enforcement realized it first and went to computer and phone companies and asked (or even demanded, under threat of prosecution for the crime of "obstruction") that these companies change their hardware to make it harder for badguys to hide their crimes by simply removing the battery from their device.

Benta:
Never had a problem removing the battery from my laptop. What are you talking about?
Seems like total tin-foil hat to me.

IanB:

--- Quote from: Ben321 on December 02, 2021, 10:07:00 pm ---One thing it seems criminals learned was that a computer or phone that you powered down from a menu option in the Windows start menu (or equivalent action for a cellphone) isn't actually shut down. It's simply put into a very low power mode in which even the OS isn't running, but it's not completely shut down.
--- End quote ---

This is actually not true. Phones and computers do have a "standby" mode, of course, but if you switch them off, they are actually off.

You are supposed to switch off your phone before replacing the SIM card, for instance, although the risk of harm if you don't is minimal.

And for laptops, you have to power them off before opening the case to access or repair internal components.

So I think you are completely barking up the wrong tree.

Ben321:

--- Quote from: Benta on December 02, 2021, 10:30:32 pm ---Never had a problem removing the battery from my laptop. What are you talking about?
Seems like total tin-foil hat to me.

--- End quote ---

It depends on what laptop you have. Modern laptops have integrated batteries, that aren't even removable without special tools. Cellphones have had integrated batteries for a long time now.

Ben321:

--- Quote from: IanB on December 02, 2021, 10:42:05 pm ---
--- Quote from: Ben321 on December 02, 2021, 10:07:00 pm ---One thing it seems criminals learned was that a computer or phone that you powered down from a menu option in the Windows start menu (or equivalent action for a cellphone) isn't actually shut down. It's simply put into a very low power mode in which even the OS isn't running, but it's not completely shut down.
--- End quote ---

This is actually not true. Phones and computers do have a "standby" mode, of course, but if you switch them off, they are actually off.

You are supposed to switch off your phone before replacing the SIM card, for instance, although the risk of harm if you don't is minimal.

And for laptops, you have to power them off before opening the case to access or repair internal components.

So I think you are completely barking up the wrong tree.

--- End quote ---

While computers do shut down completely as far as running in a user-accessible way, some components remain powered. If your laptop has an Ethernet port, it remains powered so as to be able to accept a power-on signal sent over the network. I'm pretty sure that the RAM in a laptop also remains powered when you shut it off. It gets written over with the next time you boot the computer, but it doesn't get cleared just because you went to the start menu and selected shutdown to turn off the computer. The only way to clear a laptop's memory is to completely remove its battery. And I've heard some claims on other websites that a computer's coin-cell battery (sometimes called a clock battery or CMOS battery) can keep the RAM powered as well, in order to maintain all of the data stored in RAM.

Regarding cellphones, there's even more that's powered on when it's supposedly shut down completely. Every minute or so automatically (or alternatively when the power button is momentarily tapped manually) the screen will turn on dimly for a few seconds and show the battery status. I suspect it may also keep the RAM powered so that your phone's RAM doesn't get cleared when you power it off. And I know I've read claims that this partial power being used in a powered-off state also powers the GPS and possibly the cellphone radio in bursts, so that the phone's location can be tracked (either transmitted live over the cellphone radio, or saved to a system file for later retrieval by law enforcement, should the cellphone's user ever be so foolish as to do something that attracts the attention of law enforcement). If this is true, the only way to be sure that the cellphone isn't being tracked would be to remove the battery, but of course that isn't possible with any modern cellphones. Technically it's possible but, as I've seen in a cellphone battery removal YouTube video, the battery is usually glued in place with a special epoxy that can only removed by heating it to a very high temperature with a hot-air gun (which of course risks overheating and damaging various components in the phone that should not be heated, including the LiIon battery itself which can of course explode if it gets too hot). These batteries aren't designed to be removed except possibly by technicians working for the cellphone manufacturer who may have access to special solvents (who's chemical formula is a trade secret) designed specifically to dissolve that epoxy. And if removal of the battery is possible for a technician, it will cost the consumer quite a bit of money to pay them for the battery replacing service.

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