General Question

bomyne's avatar

How long does a CMOS battery last?

Asked by bomyne (548 points ) August 8th, 2014

About three months ago , my computer started displaying weird symptoms. Three long beeps and the computer would refuse to do anything, unless the power plug was pulled out for at least a minute and then it complained over overclocking failure. After a lot of troubleshooting and some head banging, I replaced the battery on the motherboard and all the problems magically went away (Except for a video card problem that popped up last month.)...

Fast forward to today and the same problems are occuring. The computer is spitting out three long beeps and refuses to start unless the power plug is removed for at least a minute, and then it complains about overclocking. (I have never overclocked a computer, by the way)

Is it possible this battery is already dead within three months?

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9 Answers

Tropical_Willie's avatar

I’m not an expert, but I stayed at a Holiday . . . I’ve replaced a CMOS battery after five years. My option is something else is going on overclocking, beepin, video card. Time to take it to the computer doctor.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Probably not a dead cmos battery. It’s likely a ram issue. Three long beeps can mean that but not always. If you can tell us who made your motherboard bios we can tell you what the three beeps are indicating.

bomyne's avatar

I think it’s Phoenix but i’m not sure. I’m worried that if i shut it down, it might not start again.

I had thought it was ram at first too… But the behaviour is too inconsistent. If memory was faulty, then it’d either never boot or would boot but cause operating system issues, wouldn’t it? The computer is currently running just fine… and will continue to work properly until i shut it off… and then it’ll go though the same drama.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Ram can cause all kinds of crazy random things to happen.
here is a list of beep codes. Phoenix does not appear to have any three single beep codes.

Without knowing for sure what bios you have we cannot help you. One other thing you can do is give us the manufacturer and model number of your motherboard.

RocketGuy's avatar

According to that site:
3 long beeps for standard IBM = 3270 keyboard card, whatever that means.
3 beeps for AMI = memory problem of some kind.

bomyne's avatar

I just rebooted to the bios and the copyright on it is American Megatrends but there is no other other branding on the bios.

I’m currently running Memtest86+.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

3. 3 Beeps
Three beeps means there has been a base memory read/write test error. Replacing the RAM usually solves this AMI beep code.

dabbler's avatar

Before you replace the RAM try just re-seating it.
Oxidation can cause poor connections between the RAM and the socket.

Remember to ground your hands (touch the case) before touching any parts inside the machine.
One by one, remove then re-install each of your RAM modules.
This is very easy to try, and if it works it works, problem solved.

RocketGuy's avatar

@dabbler – I’ve done that. Works great!

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