About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

May 18, 2010

Time Check

Filed under: Columns — Tags: , , , — Ron @ 4:14 am

Your computer is working great, but the little clock in the right side of my taskbar gains and looses time every time I start my computer.  What is going on?

Most likely your battery is going dead.  Yes, your super-duper electronic marvel has a battery in it.  How do you think it keeps/kept accurate time when you cut the power off or unplugged it for a couple of days when you moved?

The battery is located on the motherboard of your computer…inside the system unit.  If you have a more modern computer, it will probably be about the size of a nickel and clipped in place.  (By modern I mean no older than 3-4 years.)

They are fairly easy to replace.  Check your owner’s manual to see exactly where it is and how to replace it.  Also check out what type of battery it uses.  Then you can buy it from an electronics or battery store before you open things up.

Getting to the battery generally requires you to remove 2-4 screws on the back of your system and slide the cover off.  On the inside, on the main board, (the motherboard) you will find the battery.  Follow your manual’s directions on how to remove the old battery and install a new one.  Touch a metal door knob right before you open it up or even the inside metal frame around your computer after you open it up.  This will discharge any static charge that could have built up.  Static can as good as destroy a computer.

If you have an older computer it may look like a "root beer barrel" candy you got when you were a kid, except it will be silver or gray.  If it does look like a little barrel it will also be soldered to the motherboard.  I would recommend at this point to take this to a computer repair shop and have them replace it.  You can try it, but you can easily "fry" the motherboard and ruin your system.

You could also get the repair shop to do the replacement–if you don’t have the courage to tackle it on your own.  The cost will be worth it as the battery also keeps the CMOS and BIOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor and Basic Input/Output System) settings for your computer.  If these are lost because of a dead battery, you will have a much more expensive trip to the computer store to get it working.  When these two settings fail, so does your computer.

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