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Blackberry PlayBook will not power on. The indicator lights flash Red / Green / Yellow

Blackberry PlayBook will not power on. The indicator lights flash Red / Green / Yellow

When you receive a red light followed by a flashing green light (5 green blinks and then a yellow blink) it normally indicates that the battery is completely dead. When this happens you MUST connect your device to the charger that was supplied with your Blackberry PlayBook (it supplies more power than a standard BB charger) and then the device will automatically power up when ready.

Depending on the charger used and the health of the battery it may take up to 30 minutes of being plugged in before you notice an indicator showing that the PlayBook is charging. If you try and use a USB cable or standard BlackBerry charger it MAY NOT power up correctly.

Below is a detailed breakdown on the charging / discharging behavior for the BlackBerry PlayBook‘s battery.

The BlackBerry® PlayBook™ may come to a power state where it is unable to power on; a Yellow LED may flash in a sequence of 5 flashes, the BlackBerry PlayBook may boot up to the BlackBerry PlayBook Logo and then power off, may not power on at all.

Discharge behavior under normal use:

  • Under normal active use, a battery drained to 10% will cause the device to prompt the BlackBerry PlayBook user (notification and audible beep)
  • Without connecting a charger the device will automatically shut down at 3.53V (0%)
  • Pressing the power button may allow successful boot, but it will turn off again very quickly

Discharge behavior under no use:

  • A device left unused but in ‘Stand By’ will warn the BlackBerry PlayBook user at 10% (notification and audible beep)
  • The warning may not be noticed and the device will go back to ‘Stand By’
  • Letting the device drain in standby mode drains the battery slower, but more completely
  • Device will still shut off at 3.53V (0%), but it less likely to successfully boot afterwards

Discharge behavior under 3.53V (0%):

  • If the device is left to shutoff, the battery will continue to drain below 3.53V due to quiescent current draw from the motherboard and the battery fuel gauge
  • With the battery between 2.7V-3.53V, pressing the power button causes the LED to flash a pattern (1 solid red light followed by 5 yellow blinks)  to indicate low battery (PlayBook Tablet OS version 1.0.5, and above)
  • Below 2.7V there is no activity, or LED pattern displayed

Charge Behaviour:

If the battery voltage is below 3.53V(0%) then the charging behaviour is dependent on the software version.  The charging code will limit the charging current to under 400 milliamps. Once the battery voltage rises past 3.53 volts, then "high-rate" charging will start

Prior to BlackBerry Tablet OS 1.0.5:

  • The device will show a red light when the charger is connected and then nothing more
  • Repeated connection of the charger can recover the device in some instances. 
  • Once the battery voltage rises above 3.53V the system will boot and the UI will show charging

Starting in BlackBerry Tablet OS 1.0.5:

  • The device will show a solid red LED, followed by a solid yellow LED as the device boots into charging mode.  This is followed by a yellow pulsating LED indicating charging in progress.
  • The time span between the red and yellow lights can be as long as 45 seconds as the device boots into charging mode. 
  • Once the yellow LED illuminates, the device can be started, but it is advisable to let it charge for at least 3.5 hours to achieve a full charge.
  • The device will show a solid green LED once the device is fully charged.

Starting in BlackBerry Tablet OS 2.0.1:

  • Once the yellow LED begins pulsating indicating charging mode, if the BlackBerry® PlayBook is disconnected from the charger, the following graphic will be displayed on the screen, indicating charging is not complete, and to reconnect the power source. The graphic will be displayed for 20 seconds before the BlackBerry® PlayBook powers off if the power source is not reconnected. The same graphic will also be displayed if the BlackBerry® PlayBook is turned on and there is not sufficient power to perform the boot process.

  • If the BlackBerry® PlayBook is plugged into a power source, and the power button is pressed to power on the device, the following graphic will be displayed if there is not sufficient power to perform the boot process. If this occurs, the BlackBerry® PlayBook should be left plugged in to gain enough charge to boot.

CollapseAdditional Information

A BlackBerry PlayBook will never charge while it is OFF in BlackBerry Tablet OS versions prior to 1.0.5. The provided charger should be used (very important for 1.0.0) to charge the device.

Standard Blackberry chargers, other AC adapter USB chargers, or computer USB ports are not recommended for charging the PlayBook.

A completely discharged BlackBerry PlayBook Tablet OS versions prior to 1.0.5 can take up to 6 hours to charge but the BlackBerry PlayBook user should be able to perform a software upgrade when device is about 30% charged. This will minimize overall down time and the BlackBerry PlayBook user should leave the PlayBook connected during the upgrade process.

If the battery is in ‘seal’, meaning at 2.8 volts, then it will take on the order of an hour with the charger attached before high charge will start. The PlayBook can reach a point much below 2.8 and can take up to 3 hours to reach "high-rate" charging (see overview for details) 
The optional 12 volt (rapid)chargers are faster than the USB chargers so the charge time should be approximately 3-4 hrs.

The amount of current the device is consuming while charging affects whether there is a net charging effect or not.

  • With the PlayBook off or in standby mode even a 500mA source can charge the device, but it will take more than 12 hours.  

If, after charging the Tablet for 4 - 6 hours still results in no LED‘s, attempt to force power on the Tablet by pressing and holding only the Power Button for only 20 seconds.

If you are still having issues after performing the above steps. Contact RIM support directly at the following link: http://us.blackberry.com/support/playbook-support/contact.jsp


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