Replace battery for memory chip

Help Line

September 06, 1999|By James Coates | James Coates,Chicago Tribune

My Pentium-class PC was functioning well when I turned it off and went to work. When I returned and turned it back on, there were big problems. I got error messages saying that my (hard drive) controller was conflicted and that my two CD-ROM drives were no longer listed. The sound also was really garbled.

After troubleshooting, I found that reinstalling the drivers for the motherboard cleaned everything up. A week went by without problems when the same thing recurred. Any ideas what could be causing this?

Getting a new battery for your CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) memory chip will get your PC back on the straight and narrow.

I recommend that you have this done at a shop rather than attempting a do-it-yourself job.

Forgive the alphabet soup, but the CMOS keeps a record of your BIOS (basic input/output settings) that tell your computer which devices are plugged into it and how these devices store data and perform other functions.

These settings change as you add things to the computer, so they must be stored on rewritable memory chips instead of as data on your hard drive. Thus, a battery is needed to keep the settings stored.

When the CMOS battery runs down, your computer can't find its own innards and a replacement is essential.

Pub Date: 09/06/99

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