Why Your Computer Cant keep time

Document Sample
Why Your Computer Cant keep time Powered By Docstoc
					Your Computer Can't Keep Time

A computer needs a certain amount of information to operate; for example, the date and
time, the amount of memory installed, the number of drives and their configuration, and
so on. In the early days of computers, either the user typed in this information each time
the computer started, or it was set using DIP switches and jumpers. Today, computers
store this information in a CMOS chip that uses a small battery to retain the information
when the computer is shut off.

CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) is type of chip that consumes very
little power; therefore, while the computer is turned off, the battery discharges very
slowly. But the battery will totally discharge if you leave your computer turned off for a
year or so. Even if you turn your computer on every day, the battery is designed to last
only a couple of years. Occasionally a battery will fail prematurely.

Today's plug-and-play computers can detect most of the necessary settings, but if your
CMOS battery is dead, your computer will not be able to retain the date and time. The
computer will also lose any custom settings, for example, the boot sequence. If you set a
password in CMOS, you may be locked out of the computer. If the CMOS battery does
fail, you might receive the message "System Configuration Lost" when you start the
computer. It would be wise to record all the CMOS settings as a precaution.

To record the CMOS settings, watch for an on-screen prompt when you first start your
computer. The prompt tells you to press a key, usually the Del or F2, to enter CMOS. To
enter the CMOS configuration utility, you have to press the indicated key while the
message is on the screen. After the CMOS configuration screen appears, follow the
instructions provided to page through all the screens and record all the settings.

If your computer loses its time setting overnight, the CMOS battery may not be holding a
charge. The CMOS battery is located inside the case on the motherboard. Changing the
battery is usually a job for a computer technician. In fact, a layman might not even be
able to find the battery.

If you want to locate the CMOS battery in your computer, be aware that a static discharge
from your hands can damage components inside the case. After taking proper precautions,
open the case and look on the motherboard for a battery. If you have a diagram of your
motherboard, locate the battery on the diagram first.

Different motherboards use different types of batteries. The battery may be shaped like a
barrel or a coin. Some motherboards use a component that resembles a chip which
contains the CMOS and the battery (made by DALLAS or Benchmarq). Batteries come
in different voltages, so make sure you get an exact replacement.
Sometimes the battery is mounted in a holder. Sometimes it is soldered to the
motherboard. De-soldering and re-soldering a battery is usually a job for a computer
technician. An inexperienced solderer can cause a lot of damage. If you want to try to do
it yourself, first practice on an obsolete circuit board. You may change your mind.

If the CMOS battery has failed because it's too old, this might be an opportunity to
upgrade your motherboard. When upgrading a motherboard, the most important
considerations are to make sure the new motherboard is the correct form factor for your
case, and that the new motherboard has the correct bus connector slots for your expansion

Copyright(C) Bucaro TecHelp

Permission is granted for the below article to forward, reprint, distribute, use for ezine,
newsletter, website, offer as free bonus or part of a product for sale as long as no changes
are made and the byline, copyright, and the resource box below is included.

Stephen Bucaro

To learn how to maintain your computer and use it more effectively to design a Web site
and make money on the Web visit To subscribe to Bucaro TecHelp
Newsletter visit

Shared By:
Description: a humble overview about computerclock problem