Thursday, April 6, 2006

Sony laptop battery mal-ware

I purchased a generic battery for my Sony laptop this week. However, when I installed it in my computer it would not work. An error message popped up saying my computer was going to sleep and that the battery may be incompatible.

Customer support pointed me at the following web site:, which points out that Sony laptops are running a little software program called ISBMgr.exe that generates this error when you insert a generic battery. It appears to be the only purpose of the software, and if you disable the software the genereic battery works fine.

I paid about $100 for my battery, where a Sony brand equivalent would have cost $370.

Sony is really exploiting its customers here.


  1. I had the same problem. The VAIO (a VGN-FS195XP) wouldn't allow a generic battery (kept throwing up 'battery not compatible' warning and then hibernating!!!) - even though the battery is good - probably better than the rubbish Sony one the laptop was supplied with! I disabled ISBMgr.exe and the VIAO then recognised the battery BUT wouldn't charge it!!! I presume the file also incorporates the charging management software - although I read other people have removed ISBMgr and been ok - maybe it's different for a VGN-FS.

    Can anyone help - does anyone know of a place where I can download an exe file to replace ISBMgr.exe that will allow me to use AND CHARGE the generic battery???

    Funny - when I first rang (and paid for time on) the Sony helpline. They denied knowledge of a generic battery-blocking piece of software and advised me to upgrade the BIOS (doesn't work)! It was only when I rang back and told them the file name that they admitted it was there ... for safety reasons!!!!

  2. I believe all you have to do is find it on your computer and delete it.

  3. Having the same issue with the non-sony VGP-BPL2 battery for my SONY VGN-S56GP, just received today as well. Tried deleting ISBMgr.exe, still cannot charge as well. Man looks like i am returning the battery :(, Alan from Singapore

  4. Another could try pressing CTRL-ALT-DEL, choosing the 'Processes' tab, and clicking 'End Process' for the ISBMgr file. I don't know if that might work.

  5. Got the same problem with a VGP-BPL2C replacement for a Vaio VGN-FE41Z.

    In Linux the ACPI battery information is reported correctly and the PC runs on the 80% charge the battery arrived with.

    In Vista I see the same issues as reported by others.

    In addition the PC refuses to charge the battery and will not power-on if the A/C PSU isn't connected.

    I suspect that the OEM battery manufacturers haven't added the data to the battery EEPROM that makes the PC hardware believe this is a Sony-manufactured battery.

  6. Hi

    I have the same problem with a VGP-BPL2 bought on ebay, used on a Sony Vaio VGN-S5VP/B.

    When the battery is inserted and the DC plugged, the battery indicator continuously flashes.

    It is not possible to turn on the computer when the battery is inserted (even if DC is on).

    Disabling the ISBMgr.exe with msconfig solved the problem of the popup window but the computer still refuses to power up when the battery is inserted.

    The only thing I can do is to turn on the computer, then insert the battery, and then I can put it on stand by or restart the computer; but once shut down (or hibernated) it still can't be turned on with the battery inserted...

    any clue please?

    thanks in advance

  7. Maybe you should contact the people you got the battery from. That's what I did and they solved the problem for me. They're the ones who told me about ISBMgr, and they probably keep track of all the new tricks.

  8. the seller confirmed that there must be some hardware lock that disable also battery charging...

    I reported my experiences here:

  9. I have had the same problem with my 3-year old Sony Vaio VGN-FS550 and I was able to figure out that the problem with most laptops that won't charge the battery or take a charge is that there is a problem with the curcitry within the motherboard. One way to fix this problem that I have found is to replace the motherboard completely but, the the cost of a new motherboard is about the same price as you would pay for the brand new laptop. If you are lucky you can find the motherboard used on ebay but make shure it is garunteed that it works before you buy it. The cheaper way to deal with this problem is to buy an external battery pack that will work for your laptop and that plugs into your ac/dc adapter port (the part that you plug your ac/dc adapter into on your laptop) on your laptop.

  10. One thing you might try is preventing ISBMgr.exe from starting up. You can type in 'msconfig' in the run bar, then go to the 'Startup' tab and uncheck ISB Utility.

  11. Mike

    I have an FS660/W that was giving me the same message when I replaced the OEM battery. I found that I could regain battery function by re-connecting to the AC power supply and then allowing the system to hibernate. I then removed and re-inserted the battery, with the AC still attached, and the message did not re-appear.
    If you allow the system to hibernate while it is still on battery, the re-boot will trigger the battery incompatibility message every time.

    I am reluctant to delete the previously mentionned file until I hear more from the battery supplier.

  12. Hi all - I had the same problem with a generic battery in a Sony Vaio notebook (sent to me as a replacement battery with a Best Buy warranty if you can believe that!!)
    It's solvable - before you disable ISBMgr.exe just download a free program called "Notebook Hardware Control 2.0" from here:
    I got this solution from last year and it works very well. Apparently you just need software to run the battery charging after you disable Sony's rotten little battery manager. Good Luck!

  13. I had the same problem.
    I found the solution with running "MSCONFIG.EXE" and then under "Startup" tab, just removed the check mark beside "ISBMgr.dll".
    After system restart, the battery worked well.

  14. I am unable to understand relation between ISBMgr.exe and Sony laptop battery , Is this software by sony? Really it is extreme exploition of customers.

    Laptop Question Answers

  15. I had the same difficulty with my battery. It would not even work with my labtop! Your right though, Sony is charging us up the ying yang and its got to stop! I have never really understood why a hunormous company like Sony cant cut us some slack with these prices.. Its like they manufactured the battery for it not to work after some time so that we end up having to buy a new batter for a hefty $370! ridiculous, I will never go with sony again thats for sure..

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  21. hi..

    Sony may has a technilogy to protect their battery. You need to buy the original battery form sony itself.

  22. i found the answer to this "50% available(plugged in, not charging) issue" look for the Battery Care Function and uncheck the enable...the charging will start afterwards.

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  24. Hello everyone,

    it seems that ISBMgr.exe has been a problem for so many people who have vaio sony Laptop.
    Let me make it clear that this exe. file has nothing to do with operating system (Windows XP or Vista);
    it is a file created originally made by sony to disable the laptop when any "not capable Battery"
    (not made by Sony corporation) is replaced with original sony battery. In other word, Sony wants you to buy
    thier battery for $400 while you can buy it from ebay for $50!! now if you want to respect thier stupid
    marketing and purchase the battery from them for $400, go ahead, but for those who want to get rid of the
    trouble causes by this file and keep the cheap battery working, here is the solution:

    Note: the ONLY reason of this file to be in your laptop is to disable laptop when you use different brand of
    battery rather than sony, so dont be scare to delete this file from your computer! here is how:

    file location: C/program files/Sony/ISB Utility/ISBMgr.exe (in some laptop, it appears as "ISBMgr," weithout
    exe. extention), go ahead right click and try to delete this file: "ISBMgr.exe"
    first of all you need to be in addministrator account to give the permission to do so. BUT, in most cases
    that doesn't work either becasue the file is protected or hidden. here is how to get that sucker out of the laptop:

    1) click on Start-click on Run (vista users if you cannot find the run, after you click on start, in the "start search" bar
    type run and it will be listed on top then click on it)

    2) Type in "cmd" press enter.

    3) in the command window type in "msconfig" press enter.

    4) click on the "Startup" tab on top of the window

    **5) UNCHECK the "ISB Utility" from the list** and click on Apply and then OK

    6) close all the windows and go back to the file location which is:
    C/Program Files/Sony/ISB Utility

    7) right click on the file "ISBMgr.exe" and DELETE it (with confidence) this time because you have disabled its
    stability from Command window, it will be deleted.

    8) just to be in the safe side and not face any wierd reaction from the laptop, you can go back to command window
    and check the "ISBMgr.exe" file this will not reactivate it, but by doing so the laptop will not realize anything
    missing in files! (tricky ha!).

    Run--cmd--msconfig--Startup Tab--check ISBMgr.exe from the list.

    share this with your friends and let the sony corporation knows that we are not gonna be its victims.
    Good Luck

  25. Great site about Sony laptop battery mal-ware,this information really helped me , I really appreciate it.Thanks a lot for a bunch of good tips. I look forward to reading more on the topic in the future. Keep up the good work! This blog is going to be great resource. Love reading it.

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  29. Very helpful information here, and I am glad to see it's still available over four years after the original post. Thank you for keeping it active.

  30. Hi Folks,

    I have a VGN-G11 (yes, the "cheap" one, aaargghh) und suddenly the OEM Battery makes the LED Charge Control to flash. There is a notice that the Batterie is charging, but it won`t.
    My Notebook doesn`t make cold start with attached battery.

    I have tried several things:

    1.) Checked the Battery and Notebooks electrical contacts (that is the official Sony solution)

    2.) on my Sony ISBMGr.exe is NOT running and it makes no Error notice. The Battery is my original one since from beginning, nearly not used

    3.) download the Notebook Hardware Control (NHC) without any changes. I can "see" my Battery, but still not charging.

    4.) deacitivaded the Battery Care Function

    now I don`t have any ideas what to do next. I don`t want to buy a spare Battery, cause, if my Mainboard is damaged it won`t help me. How can I check Mainboards correct function?

    btw, sorry for "funny" English, I am from Austria!

    Greets & THX for help,

  31. Yoooohhhhaaaa I have solved the problem:

    1- Remove the ISBMgr.exe in safe mode
    2- go to Brand New Replacement Batteries find your battery download the Bios changing software
    3- install the software
    4 shut down the computer
    5-remove the battery
    6-turn on the computer with the power supply
    7- go to the control panel--Device manege
    8-uninstall battery and power supply
    9-sot down the computer
    10- install the battery and remove the power supply
    11 -turn on the laptop
    12 -wait till hard drive stops working
    13 plugin the power supply

    problem solved no errors and the battery is charging.....

    hope this helps you too

  32. I found the file in C:/Program files/Sony/ISB Utility but it does not show in msconfig "startup" or task manager processes on my laptop (model PCG-6L2L) using windows XP. Deleting the file didn't help and I have nothing else I can try. Running registry manager type program suggested was useless. IS there any new info on this?

  33. are you can tell me, why battry dor laptop can be dropped? or fast die

  34. followed advice but stil couldn't delete ISBMgr.exe even after following the uncheck cmd info. It would not give me access to delete file - How do I sign in as administrator - I am the only one who has access to my notebook.

  35. I purchased a generic battery for my Sony laptop this week.I had the same problem. But finally i have bought a battery from sony vaio battery replacement

  36. You have to do is find it on your LAPTOP and delete it.