In the link below a guy explains how to fix laptop batteries once there dead. It isnt a full fix as once there dead, they are dead, but it will saves lots of money for people's whose laptops batteries seem to go dead every few years :thumbsup: http://www.metacafe.com/watch/479447/laptop_battery_hack_dont_buy_a_new_one/
Also Aldi is at the moment selling a voltage tester for £2.99 and a Soldering kit for £4.99. Go to http://www.aldi.co.uk
and click on Sunday buys. If you dont have an Aldi near you, Maplin will always have these.
BTW i doubt you will need a voltage tester as the batteries are most likely dead if they don't work, but it will come in handy around the house.
Hope this helps :)
P.S. Its is reccomended that when you buy a new laptop for the first 3 charges, you should let the battery drain fully and that every 30 charges you should let the battery drain fully so the software knows the maximum amoount the battery provides as sometimes there is still power left in the battery, but the software on the laptop thinks there is no charge left; hence it is best to drain the battery every 30 charges to "remined" the software of the amount of time the battery lasts.