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Tutorials | How to replace the CMOS battery

Publish date: 18:52 Thursday, 28th July 2005
Written by: Postcode
Audience intended for: Hardware
Category: Computer Hardware

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Replacing the battery on your motherboard is a straight forward task. With any new motherboard out there and nearly all motherboards since the Pentium was introduced, the CR-2032 battery has been used to provide power to the CMOS.

This battery is pretty much the standard with all motherboards now. To replace the battery, examine the retaining mechanism for it. It seems that just about every motherboard uses a different method of retaining it. Once you have figured out how to remove it, just pop it out and insert the new battery.

With some older motherboards, the battery was soldered on. This is especially true with the 386 and early 486 motherboards. The biggest problem with these batteries was corrosion. A leaky battery would eat the copper on the motherboard and other components around it. To solve this problem the industry has moved to the battery implementation using the CR-2032. However, there is still the issue of how to replace the older batteries. If your adept at soldering, desoldering the battery and replacing it should be a straight forward procedure. For those of us who would rather not solder, there is a way around it. With a lot of the older motherboards, a jumper was available to attach a battery. This allowed for easy replacement of the battery on these older motherboards. If this is the case, you can simply purchase a battery from a local computer store or one of the big name brand stores like CompUSA, etc.. Something like the following:

The lead for it connects to the jumper on the motherboard for an external battery. Ensure that you check your motherboard for the type of battery and the method of replacement, especially for the older motherboards. Using the incorrect battery may lead to a corrupt BIOS and/or dmage to the physical CMOS IC.


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