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

Alan W. Irwin irwin at beluga.phys.uvic.ca
Sat Feb 7 19:26:39 PST 2015

On 2015-02-07 00:21-0800 Alan W. Irwin wrote:

> Just found a pretty good video of the process at
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cg_wvp1YdSI.  Most of that is not
> relevant to my needs since getting access to the battery is often
> difficult on laptops but should be a piece of cake on my PC.  However,
> part way through he does show in high definition the little spring you have 
> to
> depress to help free the CR2032 battery, and that detail appears to be
> quite useful to know.

To finish this topic off, we backed up all files, and also wrote down all
BIOS values.  We then bought the battery (actually labelled
DL2032). My internet reading tells me the DL prefix is a Duracell
mislabelling of all their "CR" products to "distinguish" them from
standard products.  I guess Duracell feels buyer's of its products
cannot see and/or read the huge "Duracell" that they are all labelled
with.  I hate such mislabelling of products which tends to just
confuse users, but the "DL" battery was the convenient one for us
to buy so we held our noses and did that.

Also, the above video gave us no idea of how tough it would be to
actually change the batteries.  For our particular ASUS MB, there is
no spring loading of the battery so that when the latch is pulled to
one side the battery doesn't come out by itself.  Instead, you have to
pull the latch to the side and simultaneously pry at the battery to
get it out of there, and that was far from easy.  And it was even more
difficult to put the new battery in.  However, we eventually
were able to do both steps, but in both cases it seemed more
by luck than design.

Further steps...  We obviously had to set the date/time in the BIOS,
after changing the battery and there was one other value (floppy disk
support) which we had to change to the previous disable.  But
otherwise all values (presumably the default values) were the same as
previous.  I cold booted a second time to make sure the BIOS values we
had set were used rather than default values, and then afterwards
finished the boot sequence.  This is a much better result than the
several POST fails I got yesterday after an inadvertent (due to power
failure) cold boot.

In conclusion, I can declare complete success for this hardware fix. I
think such efforts are worth it because although this PC is old (7+
years) it still is pretty powerful (2.4GHz, 2 CPU's, 8GB RAM, 2TB
internal SATA drive, 2TB external eSATA drive, gigabit ethernet, ASUS
MB, and on-board Intel graphics and sound which are well supported by
open source drivers).  Furthermore, it has a nice new power supply
thanks to the previous efforts of Andrew Willard (with moral support
from Randy Edson during his last illness which was much appreciated).
So the most likely thing that would force me to buy a new computer
would be capacitor problems on the MB, but ASUS has a pretty good MB
and capacitor reputation so I am hopeful this computer will continue
to be my principal scientific "workhorse" computer for another 7 years
with only minor hardware fixes (like this one) required to keep it
going. However, I do realize that roughly speaking every year after
the fifth year is a bonus for any PC so we will see how far I can take
this PC until I have to replace the core parts (MB, chipset, CPU's,
and RAM).

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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