This Tiny Part Could Be Causing Your PC Problems

I heard from a reader who had an issue with his computer. Every time he turns it on, he has to turn it on twice to get it to fully boot up.

My first thought when I heard about this issue was it would be a weak CMOS battery.  Now, I’m talking about a laptop battery, but a tiny little battery inside your laptop or desktop that allows your PC to remember setting or the time even when it is turned off.

It looks like this:

The CMOS ( complementary metal oxide semiconductor) battery  maintains time, date and your hard disk and configuration settings. They are attached directly to the motherboard and cannot be changed without opening up your PC.

When the CMOS battery goes bad you may find that the date and time settings keep changing. Sometimes it will reset to the original manufacture date of your motherboard. Your Bios settings may also change and that can prevent your PC from booting or cause you to have to boot it multiple times until it finally comes up. On some PCs, you may hear a constant beeping sound. Or it may just not book up at all. Sometimes when it appears that a PC is dead, the issue is really just the CMOS battery.

There’s a possibility you may see a CMOS error when you boot up.  There may be an easy fix for this. Try leaving your PC on for a day or so to recharge the battery. If you don’t use your PC frequently and turn it off between uses, the battery may not be receiving enough of a charge.

If that doesn’t help, it’s time to have a professional look at your device to see if the battery is the issue. The battery itself is inexpensive (less than $5), but the labor might be expensive depending on the place you go to t.If you’re tech savvy, you could attempt to open up the PC to change it yourself (be careful, that may void any warranty on your device). And always make sure to unplug your PC before working on it.

Your user’s manual should show you the location of the CMOS battery. But unless you are really comfortable opening up a PC, I’d probably leave it to a professional.

~ Cynthia


6 thoughts on “This Tiny Part Could Be Causing Your PC Problems

  1. I had a problem like this. My computer would not turn on at all. A computer technician told me to take my regular battery out and then hold the start button for 60 seconds – then reinstall the battery. It worked great for me and has worked great for some others with whom I have shared this

  2. Leaving the PC on to “recharge the battery” won’t work. The lithium batteries in modern PCs are not rechargeable.

  3. About once a week I notice that my computer clock is exactly 3 hours behind. The minutes are correct….just the hour. Could the battery be the problem?

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