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Is a CMOS battery needed on a desktop?


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#1 rm22

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 02:14 PM

I'm using an old (2005) desktop as a spare. The CMOS battery has been mostly dead for years. It'll only hold settings for a week or so if I unplug the PC, but has always booted up fine - I just need to hit F1 & reset the date/time and if I'm using it a lot i just leave it plugged in anyway.

 

Yesterday it booted fine but there was a continuous beeping from the mother board - 1 beep per second. This does not seem to be a standard beep code for a Pheonix/Award 6.0 PG bios, but others report it as well. The RAM is fine & after leaving the PC plugged in overnight there is no beeping today...

 

If the CMOS battery is the issue I'd just remove the mother board speaker, but it looks like it's mounted directly to the board (I guess i could crush it :))

 

Anyone heard of a dead CMOS battery triggering a "beep" error & if so, why would it start now... it's been dead for years



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#2 Mishima

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 02:24 PM

The CMOS battery is an important feature on motherboards, and will trigger a beep code when it is going dead. It is best to replace it, because it doesn't just hold time or date... but BIOS settings.

 

Modern boards hold the similar settings in non-volatile memory... so that they are not so easily erased.

 

As far as I know, 2005 desktops still need the CMOS RAM feature, so keeping the battery updated will be a good bet if you want to keep your BIOS settings.


Edited by Kakuzu, 23 November 2016 - 03:04 PM.


#3 Kilroy

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Posted 23 November 2016 - 02:44 PM

For the cost of the battery it is normally easier to just replace it.  You're not going to kill the machine by not having a working battery installed, but you do have to waste time every single boot.



#4 rm22

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 12:32 AM

The CMOS battery is an important feature on motherboards, and will trigger a beep code when it is going dead. It is best to replace it, because it doesn't just hold time or date... but BIOS settings.

 

Modern boards hold the similar settings in non-volatile memory... so that they are not so easily erased.

 

As far as I know, 2005 desktops still need the CMOS RAM feature, so keeping the battery updated will be a good bet if you want to keep your BIOS settings.

 

 

For the cost of the battery it is normally easier to just replace it.  You're not going to kill the machine by not having a working battery installed, but you do have to waste time every single boot.

Thanks guys - I couldn't help myself & took a pair of pliers to the mother board speaker :)  ahhhh, nice and quiet now.

 

I hear what you're saying - their cheap & easy to replace, but it's not really needed. The bios settings are at default anyway & if the PC stays plugged in - which it is unless i don't use it for awhile - then the battery isn't needed anyway, the power supply holds the settings, time/date, etc....



#5 mjd420nova

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Posted 24 November 2016 - 01:17 PM

The CMOS battery does more than keep the clock running when the machine is off, is holds all the settings in BIOS, otherwise the boot times would be excessive while the BIOS has to identify each piece of hardware, making the change to BIOS that makes the hardware happy, and on to the next step.  Starting with the video BIOS, it has to boot first to tell the CPU where to send the video, then the CPU, memory and so on.  each deviation from the default ( or scrambled entry) setting has to be searched and set to allow moving on in the POST process.






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