CMOS battery/checksum error

Discussion in 'BIOS Optimization Guide (BOG)' started by Jurgen, Dec 5, 2002.

  1. Jurgen

    Jurgen Newbie

    I have this old Philips P2120 which I wanted to re-use for my kid.
    But at startup I got the error message: CMOS battery/checksum error
    Can I do anything to get this PC running again? If so, then what?

    Can any-one help me out?

  2. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Hello Jurgen,

    What that error message means is your CMOS battery is out of juice. The only remedy is to replace the battery, which is often a CR232 battery.

    If you can't get hold of a new battery, you can still use the computer. What the battery keeps alive is the CMOS information. Without the battery, the BIOS will be reset to default values everytime you boot.

    All you need to do is set the BIOS to the configuration that will allow it to work (i.e. IDE device settings, etc..) and then load up your operating system. As long as you don't power off, the computer should run just fine. But once you power off and start up again, you will have to reconfigure your BIOS again.

    Hope that helps you some! :)
  3. slyta

    slyta Newbie


    We got a similar problem with a Philips p3230. The booting process stops with “CMOS battery failure” and “Run setup!”. We are now trying to manually restore the BIOS (Philips ROM BIOS Version 2.33) settings but can't find any bios setup program. We have tried most of the CTRL/+ALT+… combinations with no success. We are able to access a few commands at the consol (PROM Monitor) but could not find any information about how to use them.

    Any help with making it boot into DOS on the harddrive would be really appreciated!


    CHAILEE Newbie

    Cmos battery is low

    change it
  5. streem

    streem Newbie

    approx how much a cmos battery would cost
  6. zy

    zy Staff Member

    i forgot how much ir cost.

    but you can easily get it .. esp. in photoshops or watch shops :haha:
    even my college's "minimart" sell them :haha:
  7. slyta

    slyta Newbie

    Even if I change the battery I have to restore the BIOS settings. My plan was to first figure out how to make the computer boot again. Even if it won't be able to save the settings due to low battery level. If I manage that, I will then try to find/change the battery.

    So is this the battery (see attached picture)?

    Attached Files:

  8. zy

    zy Staff Member

    no thats not.. thats the buzzer :p
  9. kayFX

    kayFX Newbie

    the CMOS battery look like this... :mrgreen:

    Attached Files:

  10. PowerSlide

    PowerSlide Just Started


    laugh aside..

    wana ask something about the battery..

    how long the battery can last b4 we need to change it?
  11. zy

    zy Staff Member

    actually the batteries can last quite long .. couple of years

    unless there is some "malfunction" or unexpected short life of the battery :p

    like my calculator battery which i had to change after couple of weeks when i first bought it ..
    now its change .. so far no problem ..

  12. Aion-X

    Aion-X Newbie

    My old rig (PII 266) stay with its old cmos battery for more than 6 years and still function. Not sure when its life ends.
  13. ESP

    ESP Newbie

    I think the motherboard just uses a very little amount of power from the battery. :think: Or maybe the battery gets charged with power from the PSU? :confused:
  14. zy

    zy Staff Member

    i dont think it is charged by the PSU

    my guess is ..when it has power form the PSU .. it does not need power from the battery

    so if you plug in your pc all the time .. most like ly it will last longer :haha:
  15. kayFX

    kayFX Newbie

    the battery is not nickel cadmium or lithium ion or whatever rechargeable battery use as their built.. if the battery is being recharge by the psu, it may explode.. (hmm i think this is what CS5 does when he started the 'PC on fire b4?' thread :think: ')
  16. AAY

    AAY ARP Reviewer

    Whoa...that is a pretty old motherboard! Looking at the discrete components and the 30-pin SIMMs (at least they use SIMMs!) I would guess that your system was built in the early '90s. Many computers of that era used Nickel-Cadmium batteries in a shrink-wrapped 3-cell arrangement soldered onto the board. These batteries often leak after many years and the substances they leak can be highly corrosive to the motherboard. If one section of your motherboard appears damaged and it's right under a cylindrical object (often wrapped in blue heatshrink) you can probably forget about reviving that system.

    Another oddball arrangement was the use of Dallas Semiconductor's DS1287 combination real-time clock, crystal and lithium battery ICs. These can be noted on the motherboards which have them as being tall black cubic components with the Dallas Semiconductor logo and DS1287 on top. If these fail there is no real recourse but to desolder them and get a replacement chip, which is rarely economically viable for an older computer.
  17. Rubix

    Rubix Newbie

    Still no solution

    I have got the same problem with a Philips P3204 (1988 ) and I do have the file 'SETUP.EXE' with which you can configure the BIOS. But I can't boot from a 3,5" disk.

    Had anyone found a solution or does anyone know how to use the PROM?

  18. The_YongGrand

    The_YongGrand Just Started

    Oh, I remembered that I have a 486 computer with a little barrel of Ni-Cad battery glued and soldered onto the motherboard.

    So how to change when it was out of juice?

    No idea at all. Soldering came into my mind but I don't want to risk burning my fingers all over it. Furthermore, these barrel Ni-Cad batteries are too rare to be even sold.

    I hope your old Philips computer doesn't have a barrel-shaped battery. Newer Pentium generation m/bs have coin-shaped batteries... :D
  19. Trinity

    Trinity Little Kiki Staff Member

    Well if you can't find the exact same battery you could get a same voltage battery and get crafty with a soldering gun and some fine wire and a make shift battery holder. :think:
  20. Rubix

    Rubix Newbie

    The battery is not the real problem, but the BIOS setup.

    I only have two Dos PC's with a 5,25" fdd: a '87 Hyundai PCterminal and the '88 Philips. The Philips though also has a 3,5" fdd. The Hyundai's battery of course is also empty. Hyundai however managed to make a sort of Plug & Play bios, and it just detects '1 Hard disk drive'. I have done the 'sys a:' command and now I've got Dos 3.3 on a 5,25" floppy.
    But not the BIOS Setup program! And when I type 'B:' in Dos, the PC says that it cannot read the 713k floppy (while it's in mint condition). Moreover, it doesn't have a 'C' drive.
    In the PROM when I type 'hd' it gives HD information but it's all set to 1 and 0. So I am afraid that the PC thinks the B-drive is a HD or something??

    I think I'll have to run the Bios setup, but therefore I need to acces the 3,5" disk... Damn :(

    Anyway, when I know how to change the disk type in the PROM, I can run the PC just fine. That it doesn't save my settings is not a big problem.

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