Understanding Computers/Battery


QUESTION: How long does a computer's internal clock battery typically last and what happens when it dies? I had my computer worked on at my local Microsoft store for internet issues and the guy said the clock battery might be running low and I should replace it but suggested it might have been a false error. I've only had the computer for 9 months now. That  seems too new to need to poke around inside. What can you tell me on this?

ANSWER: Hello James:
Thanks for asking this question and I apologize for delayed answer.

There is a small battery in most computer just like there is a battery in the digital clock/watch or camera. In many cases, the battery is firmly soldered directly into motherboard.  The battery could be in some sort of place holder and it will be relatively easy to replace. The battery powers a chip called the RTC (Real Time Clock) chip. A quartz clock like this might run for five to seven years off of a small battery.

In your case, you need to watch your PC for a while since your PC is relatively new.  If you still see the problem, then there could be defect from manufacturing, and normally PC is warranted for an year.  You may want to contact the manufacture of PC for service or replacement.  Some company provides a local service for this type of fix.
Please see the following article for more details.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I've noticed no problem and the clock is still accurate to when I first set it. The Microsoft person said there might have been something to indicate it was dying. My only real concern is if the clock is all the removable battery is responsible for. If so I'll change it when the clock appears  to reset at midnight every time I turn it on. But like I said it might be a false positive. I'll assume they didn't remove the battery and physically test it. So what if anything else does the battery do?

Hello James:
There is something in PC called BIOS (Basic Input Output System), and this system used to use battery like clocking.  However, many computers nowadays store BIOS settings in non-volatile/firmware memory that does not require a battery.  Motherboards come with batteries and motherboards still include RTC (Real Time Clock). As you may know, the clock runs all the time, whether or not computer is on or not.

Hope this helps you understand.

Understanding Computers

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