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Thread: CMOS Battery

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    CMOS Battery

    What would cause a new CMOS battery to go bad after only a week. Put a new battery in a friend's system and within a week - clock was totally losing time. This is the 3rd battery we have installed.

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    Re: CMOS Battery

    Interesting...

    Unfortunatly, a bad CMOS battery isn't the only cause for lost time. Here at work, we try to use the oldest systems possible to get the best results, (it all comes down to ca$h you know...) Well, we've recently come to find out that the strain we're putting on our systems just by running complex processes, or multiple programs runs our system clocks down by an average of 4-6 minutes per day. (Being a very technically apt person, I run mine down 10-15 minutes in a given day.) For all intensive purposes, the only purpose of a CMOS battery is to keep the CMOS alive when the power's off.

    I would think that a strategically placed upgrade would likely resolve the bulk of your friend's problems. I'd start with memory, and move on to processor speed if required. There are many contributing factors to these types of problems, but killing process hogs (Like the notorious Microsoft Office Quick Launch Bar, and Microsoft Find Fast) should have a good effect, and upgrades will likely keep the problem from happening again.

    I hope this helps!
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    Re: CMOS Battery

    OK - let's start over - We have put in THREE batteries over a period of two months. Within a week, the clock was losing MASSIVE amounts of time. It was like as if something was draining the battery of power - not enough to screw up the CMOS but enough so that the clock simply does not keep time. This is a system which is used for email, internet surfing and minor word processing. Nothing intensive. I don't think it is a case of "over use" of the resources. Thanks anyhow.

    The system is a 300 MHZ, 128 MB RAM system running WIN 98 SE.

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    Re: CMOS Battery

    This is certainly outside my areas of expertise, but I would guess that there is another problem besides the battery itself. Obviously replacing the battery is the first and cheapest alternative, but going through 3 batteries in two weeks does not make sense. Some batteries have been known to last beyond 5 years, so the battery must be a symptom, not the actual problem.

    I would look deeper. Do you notice any symptoms besides the clock changing? If the battery was in fact dead the computer would not be able to retain its CMOS settings when powered down. If the CMOS settings are staying, I would look somewhere besides the battery.

    I'm not sure exactly what piece of hardware keeps time - if it's anything like a watch or standard clock there's probably a quartz crystal somewhere in there. Maybe that's become damaged - either from something physical, excessive heat, or just time.

    Just my 2cents <img src=/S/2cents.gif border=0 alt=2cents width=15 height=15>

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    Re: CMOS Battery

    Hey Mark,

    The dilemma is that when the new battery is installed, the clock keeps time wonderfully. But within a week, the clock starts to lose massive amounts of time. The CMOS settings however continue as set. So it seems the battery gets drained enough to affect the clock but not the CMOS settings. No other symptoms seem to be present. I think something is "draining" the power from the battery - perhaps the "quartz" that runs the clock????

    Is there an alternative to the MB clock?

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    Re: CMOS Battery

    I wouldn't discount my original suggestion, All versions of Windows, (Especially 98SE) are notorious pack-rats. At some point throughout the course of use, the system will become overly clogged with this 'junk', meaning that even web-browsing or simple tasks will become very process dependent. Check your resource availablility by right-clicking on 'My Computer' and selecting properties. It's not an accurate measure, but if it's under 70%, it's time for some house-cleaning. Delete all Temporary files, run scandisk, and finally, defrag.

    If you're positive the above isn't a problem, you might try the steps below.

    Have you had your latest battery tested? Chances are, the place you bought it from has a voltmeter somewhere, (or a service desk with one) to see if the battery's any good. if the volts on a standard 3v battery measure less than 2.5v, then bob's your uncle! Replace the battery one more time (open the battery RIGHT THERE and have them test it. It's highly unlikely that all three have been bad, but it is statistically possible. Also, check the following:

    1. All boards and sockets are properly installed. A cocked expansion card or mis-aligned internal component can short out the bus, causing time-related problems.
    2. Check the condition of the battery retainer itself.

    If all this fails, I'd do some serious thinking about retiring the old beast. Any number of things can cause these problems, from damaged internal components (physical damage or damage over time) to the system's becoming overheated, to the application problems outlined above. Conversely, it can't be THAT expensive to pick up a motherboard for a 300mhz board from a used computer outlet. You might run away for the cost of replacing as many batteries over the next few months. <img src=/S/laugh.gif border=0 alt=laugh width=15 height=15>

    HTH

    On another note, I don't think that systems use quartz or any other traditional component to track time. I would think they use more of the digital clock technology than any traditional means. For more info on digital clock technology, click here.

    I'm sure systems use the wavelength of the power supply to derive time, but some may have more accurate means of keeping track.
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    Re: CMOS Battery

    It might have something to do with the issue you pointed out in <post#=182483>post 182483</post#> You might find in resolving that, your batteries will last longer. <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> If it's the same system you refer to there, it's amazing it's running at all after being hit by lightning... <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
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    Re: CMOS Battery

    Hey Kel, we are talking about two entirely different systems. The parallel port issue is on a different system. I will double check the cards to see that they are properly seated (on the CMOS battery-challenged system).

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    Re: CMOS Battery

    Do you use Norton Auntie Virus?

    If so, do you have the latest SOFTWARE, not just virus def, updates?

    There was a bug in a few versions of NAV that caused the lock to lose time.
    Symantec finally issued a fix.

    You could also lose time if, say, automatic power management is enabled.

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    Re: CMOS Battery

    When you put in a new battery, you are re-initializing the clock.
    Loss of time after that likely has nothing to do with the battery.

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    Re: CMOS Battery

    I put in a new battery last night. All is well now. Time is right-on. Will see how long it lasts however.

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    Re: CMOS Battery

    Yes, I do have Norton - have updated the defs and the software. Just installed Norton Systemworks 2003. I have set the Power Mgmt to DISABLE in the BIOS.

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    Re: CMOS Battery

    I just checked the boards - they are all properly seated. As far as battery retainer itself, it looks fine but then, not sure what to look for.

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    Re: CMOS Battery

    You're just looking for anything bent out of place if it appears to be alright, chances are it's good. <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>

    Advanced Power Managment was my last stop on this issue... <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20> sufficed to say, aside from the above, I'm at a loss!

    300mhz systems aren't exactly new, so it's possible that the thing is just getting old... it's a cop-out, I know, but as mentioned before, you should be able to pickup a used mobo for pretty cheap from a used systems peddler. The only true way to figure out what's going on is to use some hefty diagnostics tools to test and re-test the system... I would be interested to know if the battery drains as quickly with the system not in use, (I.E. not even plugged in.) You'll want to check to see if any wires have been pinched in the assembly of the case after the first battery was installed... anything grounding out to the case might prove problemattic.

    Honestly trebor, without seeing it first hand, it's hard to tell what might be going on. <img src=/S/shrug.gif border=0 alt=shrug width=39 height=15>
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    Re: CMOS Battery

    I'm way outta my league here, but isn't there something called a "clock chip" built in to the motherboard that could possibly be malfunctioning?

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