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  • 4000003: Changing your PC's battery – CR 2032

    Home Forums Knowledge Base 4000003: Changing your PC's battery – CR 2032

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    This topic contains 16 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by

     Steve 4 days, 16 hours ago.

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    • #90661 Reply

      woody
      AskWoody Plus

      AKB4000003: Changing your PC’s battery – CR 2032

      By @CanadianTech

      Published 5 Feb 2017 rev 1.0

      There is a small shiny coin cell battery in your computer.  It is almost always the standard 2032 .  This battery is recharged by your computer but Non-Rechargeable and has a life of about 5 to 8 years.  This battery keeps constant power to the memory that contains today’s date & time as well as a lot of the features in your system.  When it starts to fail, it commonly will start asking you to re-enter the date each time you startup.

      For Notebook PCs it is likely going to be difficult to find the battery and will require a special part, requiring the services of a technician.

      For Desktop computers, this is an easy change:

      1. Unplug the power to your computer
      2. Hold the ON button in for 7 seconds
      3. Lay the computer on its side with the removable side facing up
      4. Remove the side panel
      5. Peer in there and you will see a shiny silver battery about 1/2″ in diameter.  It looks like a quarter.  That’s the battery
      6. Go to just about any store and buy a 2032 coin cell battery.  They cost less than $5
      7. Find a very tiny flat bladed screw driver (like one used for your eyeglasses)
      8. Very carefully pry the battery loose.  It will pop up so be prepared to catch it.
      9. Press the new battery in with the embossed markings on the up-side facing you.
      10. Close the side panel
      11. Turn it up vertical again
      12. Start up the computer

      Your computer will now need to have the date and time set but only once more — at least for this 5 years.  You need to enter the BIOS, which you do by pressing F2 in most systems to get to the place where the date and time is stored.  Put in current time and date.  Close this the way it tells you to save what you did.  You may hear more whirring and chugging while some of the stuff is again set up.

      Once Windows is up and running again

      1. Click once on the time/date in the bottom right corner
      2. Click on Change date and time settings
      3. Click Internet time
      4. Click change settings
      5. Select time.b.nist.gov and click the Update button — this will synchronize the computer clock with the US govt time labs system
      6. Close
      • This topic was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by
         woody.
      • This topic was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by
         NightOwl. Reason: wrong information, never corrected by author
      3 users thanked author for this post.
    • #90715 Reply

      BobbyB
      AskWoody Lounger

      Yeah that’s always good to know and you wouldn’t believe how many folks it has “tripped up” For some reason I must be living on borrowed time here. My old system is circa 2001 and strangely on the very rare occasion it ever shuts down It still keeps time but as its travelling days are over its plugged in all the time so that may have something to do with it. Its really more of an inconvenience should it fail and cant be changed (apparently some brands are “soldered” to the motherboard or buried in there in there deeply) So no need to run to the “Junk pile” just put up with its little idiosyncracies and leave it plugged in. If its a notebook and you and its travelling days aren’t quite over best to get saving alas 🙁

    • #90873 Reply

      NightOwl
      AskWoody Plus

      Hey Canadian Tech

      It is almost always the standard 2032 . This battery is recharged by your computer but has a life of about 5 to 8 years.

      Pretty sure you may want to revise that statement!

      Looking at the back of the package (Sony, CR2032 Lithium 3v) as I type–very small print–using a LED flashlight:

      Caution: May explode or leak if inserted incorrectly, shorted, disassembled, heated, disposed of in a fire or recharged.

      In a computer application setting, I think it simply has a life of about 5-8 years!

      For safety reasons–do not attempt to *recharge* this battery!

      NightOwl

      NightOwl

      No question is stupid ... but, possibly the answers are 😉 !

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #90900 Reply

        Microfix
        AskWoody_MVP

        I Agree, mostly CR2032 batteries for system motherboards, but do not assume this is the case.
        Check first!!

        ‘This battery is recharged by your computer but has a life of about 5 to 8 years.’

        Also certain capacitors hold a charge and also help to keep the BIOS settings and when necessary the CR2032 battery kicks in to maintain the power to keep the BIOS memory settings.
        Ever wondered when you need to do a proper hard reset, why you have to hold the power button for 8-10 seconds when the power supply is disconnected and or laptop battery is removed?

        This is in order to drain the power from capacitors so that the system BIOS battery kicks in when the power is completely drained from the system allowing the components to reset.

        The FIRST indication of a system BIOS battery failing is the RTC wandering (Real Time Clock) or time in the OS.

        | W10 Pro x64 | W8.1 Pro x64 | Linux x64 Hybrids | XP Pro O/L
        • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by
           Microfix.
        • This reply was modified 1 year, 11 months ago by
           Microfix. Reason: typos
    • #91016 Reply

      owburp
      AskWoody Plus

      “…. You need to enter the BIOS, which you do by pressing F2 in most systems to get to the place where the date and time is stored. Put in current time and date. Close this the way it tells you to save what you did. …”

      I had, on a few occasions, made some changes to the BIOS settings on various computers. Some were simple, like changing the boot order, but some were a little more complicated and some others were actually changes made by the manufacturer. One thing I learned from a dying CMOS battery was to keep a record of all BIOS settings. The easiest way to do that is with a digital camera. So my suggestion is to go from one BIOS setting screen to the next and snap a photo of it. Then store the photos away somewhere you can access easily when the need arises. Just make sure you take the photos while your system is running well!

      “… For Notebook PCs it is likely going to be difficult to find the battery and will require a special part, requiring the services of a technician. …”

      Another suggestion is for the tinkerers here (cheapskates, as well). Those CR2032 batteries cost about $10 for a pack of 8 at Costco here in the NY Metro area. The CMOS battery in one of my Dell laptops cost about $6 on Amazon and all it is is a CR2032 that is wrapped in plastic with a couple of wires to plug into a spot in the laptop. Now granted $6 is not a lot of money, even if you have to pay a few more bucks for shipping. It’s the principle of paying five times the amount (and more when you add in the shipping costs) for a silly coin cell with wires added. I stumbled across a webpage entitled “Make Your Own CMOS/RTC Battery” when the CMOS battery in my laptop started showing signs of dying. Using that web page as a starting point, I found if you carefully cut the plastic wrapping around the existing/dying/dead coin cell and carefully undo the soldered wiring, you could replace it with a new CR2032, reconnect the wires (I didn’t bother resoldering), rewrap the plastic coating, and add a small piece of tape to hold it snugly all together, it actually works. Again, only tinkerers and cheapskates need apply …

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #97449 Reply

      wdburt1
      AskWoody Plus

      Everything I see online indicates that the most commonly used battery, the CR2032, is NOT rechargeable.

      The question has been raised above.  Can we resolve it?

      Separate question: Do desktop computers typically relieve the CMOS battery of duty when (1) the computer is plugged in, whether powered-on or not, or (2) when powered-on?

      If you are trying to keep a couple of stored Win7 machines ready for use, these questions matter.

       

    • #97451 Reply

      PKCano
      AskWoody Plus

      The 2032 is a non-rechargeable coin type battery.
      When the PC is powered off, the CMOS battery maintains the CMOS settings.
      That is why, if the CMOS battery is dead, when the PC is powered on you find the time is incorrect, or it may request that you go through setup in the process of booting.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #97500 Reply

        wdburt1
        AskWoody Plus

        Thanks for your reply, PKCano.  Can you address the “separate question” I posed above?

        Doing so would clarify whether the battery life will be longer if the computer is (1) plugged in or (2) plugged in and powered on.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #97504 Reply

          PKCano
          AskWoody Plus

          Separate question: Do desktop computers typically relieve the CMOS battery of duty when (1) the computer is plugged in, whether powered-on or not, or (2) when powered-on?

          If you are trying to keep a couple of stored Win7 machines ready for use, these questions matter.

          I’m going to speculate here because I don’t have FACTS.
          Since the battery is not rechargeable I doubt the life is very much altered by the computer being on.
          But if you are talking about storing a computer powered on for a long period of time as a backup, I would think the life of the computer would be reduced. I believe it would be better to set a schedule to change the battery every two or three years and leave the computer powered off.

          2 users thanked author for this post.
          • #97512 Reply

            wdburt1
            AskWoody Plus

            Thanks again.  The question is not whether the battery is rechargeable, but instead whether it is drained less quickly because the powered-on computer takes over supplying power to the motherboard, relieving the CMOS battery.  We see these stories about people whose computers have run for ten years or more and they never replaced a CMOS battery.  That would make sense if those computers were powered-on much of the time.  Conversely, if the machine sits in storage, then the battery assumes the whole burden of keeping the BIOS intact.  At least that’s the hypothesis.  Confirm?  Deny?

            As for the suggestion that the computer takes over supplying power to the motherboard even if it is merely plugged into an outlet (and not turned on), that is something I saw online.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #97511 Reply

          anonymous

          @ wdburt1

          http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/support/boards-and-kits/desktop-boards/000006488.html

          When desktop cptrs are plugged in, it will extend the life of the CMOS battery, ie the 3 year lifespan of the CMOS battery only begins its countdown whenever the cptrs are unplugged from the wall.

          The above should apply to laptops as well, ie whenever they have their normal battery slotted in or AC supply plugged in.

          What about smartphones and X-Box ?

          3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #97529 Reply

            wdburt1
            AskWoody Plus

            Thanks, anonymous.  That’s a useful link.  It’s interesting that it confirms that if the desktop computer is merely plugged into an outlet, it will supply power in place of the CMOS battery, and thus extend the battery’s life.

            1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #245090 Reply

      MrJimPhelps
      AskWoody Plus

      If your computer won’t power on no matter what you do, it could be something as simple as your CMOS battery being dead.

      I have a Dell OptiPlex 3020M, and it was dead in the water. (It worked yesterday, but not today.) I tried every trick in the book to revive it, even switching power supplies (I had another one available) – nothing worked.

      I happened to have a new CMOS battery handy, so I switched the battery, and like magic, the computer came back to life! All I needed to do was go into Setup and set the date and time.

      If your computer seems dead, switch the CMOS battery before trying anything more expensive than that.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #245099 Reply

        jabeattyauditor
        AskWoody Lounger

        Probably wasn’t the battery at fault… a dead CMOS battery won’t keep a system from booting.

        Removing a battery to replace it most likely wiped whatever was stored in CMOS that was keeping your system from booting.

        • #245105 Reply

          MrJimPhelps
          AskWoody Plus

          Probably wasn’t the battery at fault… a dead CMOS battery won’t keep a system from booting.

          Removing a battery to replace it most likely wiped whatever was stored in CMOS that was keeping your system from booting.

          Actually, I had removed the old battery, and disconnected all wires, waited a minute, then reinstalled the old battery and reconnected all wires. It was still dead. But when I put in a new CMOS battery, it fired right up.

          Same thing happened a few years ago with my eMachines W5243 – it appeared to be dead in the water. On a lark, I installed a new CMOS battery, and the computer came back to life.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #245098 Reply

      EP
      AskWoody_MVP

      well woody, one of my relatives have an old HP pavilion a6050y computer using an ASUS P5LP-LE Leonite motherboard that seems to forget the bios settings and the date & time everytime I power off the computer and unplug it for a while and then replug & power on the computer again. the cause of that turned out to be a dead or worn out CR2032 lithium battery. Fortunately, I had a few spare & unused Energizer CR2032 batteries which I used to replace the dead CR2032 battery in the HP computer and now that HP computer remembers the date/time and the bios settings that I made.

    • #309116 Reply

      Steve
      AskWoody Plus

      CR 2032 batteries can be obtained at Dollar Tree – 2 | $1.

      But there is contention whether they should be used for critical applications, like a computer’s CMOS board.

      Important links you can use, without all the fluff = https://v.gd/sdr28

    Please follow the -Lounge Rules- no personal attacks, no swearing, and politics/religion are relegated to the Rants forum.

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