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  1. #1
    4 Star Lounger
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    Replacing CMOS Battery

    My parents are still using an old eMachine Windows 98 computer they bought in about 1999. It's super slow but it does what they want (downloading email mostly and writing letters). A couple days back on boot up it stopped at the BIOS screen with an error. Mom freaked, thinking she's finally been bitten by a virus (she has no antivirus software). No, no, it's just BIOS. The error read:

    105: CMOS Setting Wrong
    107: CMOS Display Type Wrong
    F1 to go into settings and F2 for default settings

    The eMachine tech support. fella told her it was probably a battery but then proceeded to try and sell her a new Gateway computer. I've never heard of tech support mixed with sales before; sounded terribly shady. That's when she finally broke down and asked me to come over.

    She was afraid to press F1 so for the last couple of days she's been pressing F2 and when prompted she enters the correct date. After that Windows boots up fine (or as fine as it can be on 64MB of memory). But it asks her the same question every time she turns the computer back on (she turns it off when not in use). Last night I went over for a visit, pressed F1 and set the date in the BIOS. Didn't see anything out of place in there. After that it booted up okay and the errors didn't return.

    She says the computer hasn't noticed the computer losing time so I'm hesitant to agree the battery needs to be replaced. I'm also afraid if I replace the battery for her this will reset the computer to factory defaults and it won't load Windows or she'll need to reinstall drivers for all her devices, or some other such bad scenario.

    Generally my strength is in software and not in hardware so I'm hoping someone here and set me straight. Can the battery be safely replaced? Meanwhile, I erred on the side of caution and told the folks it should be okay for a while longer and encouraged them to look at new computers (but not from the eMachine tech/salesperson). Better to get one now while the old one is still working; otherwise it could be harder to recover data.
    Daisy

  2. #2
    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: Replacing CMOS Battery

    Hi Daisy,
    If your Mom has pressed F2, then she's already reset the system settings to the factory default. Changing a battery is pretty easy (have a look at this article . The computer will still load Windows and you won't have to reinstall drivers, etc. As I said, she's already reset the system settings to default and everything is working properly.
    John
    A Child's Mind, Once Stretched by Imagination...
    Never Regains Its Original Dimensions

  3. #3
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Replacing CMOS Battery

    Daisy

    Yes, replacing the CMOS battery on a desktop PC is usually quite easy. You just have to <UL><LI>find where it is hiding on the motherboard (usually a wide flat silvery circular object)<LI>identify the battery type, so you can get its replacement or a direct equivalent<LI> replace it, probably with the (careful!) aid of a small flat-bladed screwdriver[/list]Most PCs will retain the BIOS settings, although it may well be worth noting down as many as you can find, especially those dealing with the geometry of the hard disk! (A digital camera might save a lot of writing...).
    <font face="Script MT Bold"><font color=blue><big><big>John</big></big></font color=blue></font face=script>

    Ita, esto, quidcumque...

  4. #4
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: Replacing CMOS Battery

    A replacement battery will be much cheaper than a new PC and if the old one does the job why spend more? I can't say it's painless to change the CMOS battery, you have to work out how to get inside the case without cutting your finger (yes, been there, done that! <img src=/S/nurse.gif border=0 alt=nurse width=19 height=20>) but it's not difficult.

    Ken

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