[Discuss] Questions concerning replacing the CMOS battery on my motherboard

Alan W. Irwin irwin at beluga.phys.uvic.ca
Fri Feb 6 22:00:00 PST 2015

I just had a power outage (after several months with no reboots).
Getting my principal computer rebooted was more difficult that usual
with several ctrl-alt-del keystroke combinations required to get past
the initial POST stage.  When there was a failure, the POST phase
threw me into BIOS settings or just hung.  However, after 3-4 retries
I finally got the grub prompt and everything went smoothly after that.

One message I remember during the failed POST phases concerned
overclocking failing. Apparently, that is often a symptom of the CMOS
battery for the MB beginning to fail.  In any case this computer is 7+
years old so that is long past the typical 5-year lifetime of such
batteries so I am virtually positive the issue was caused by a failing
BIOS battery.

I looked up my MB manual (for ASUS P5K-V) and the CMOS battery
is the near-universal (according to the web) CR2032 3V.

Are there any gotchas for purchasing one of those?  When I look up
CR2032 at ncix.com they appear to have both "Thick coin cell" and
"coin cell" types, but are those the same?  The price certainly seems
quite cheap; you can get a 5 pack of these for something like $10. In
case I don't want to bother dealing with NCIX, is there a good place
in Victoria to buy a CR2032 (or a 5-pack of those)?  My guess would be
to try London Drugs, but if someone has a different opinion let me

Are there any gotchas for physically replacing the battery?  Is it
just a friction fit of some kind where you just grab the battery and
pull it out?  Sorry for such a mundane question, but I have never done
a computer battery replacement before.  Also note I don't want to
power down the computer before I do a backup, write down all the BIOS
settings, and have replacement battery in hand.  After all, the next
power down may be the last one possible for the current battery.  So
there is little chance to actually look at how the battery is attached
to the MB until I have done all those other things first.

Alan W. Irwin

Astronomical research affiliation with Department of Physics and Astronomy,
University of Victoria (astrowww.phys.uvic.ca).

Programming affiliations with the FreeEOS equation-of-state
implementation for stellar interiors (freeeos.sf.net); the Time
Ephemerides project (timeephem.sf.net); PLplot scientific plotting
software package (plplot.sf.net); the libLASi project
(unifont.org/lasi); the Loads of Linux Links project (loll.sf.net);
and the Linux Brochure Project (lbproject.sf.net).

Linux-powered Science

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