Clock showing wrong time and date

The clock suddenly went wrong and the year went back to 1904 on my indigo iMac. A friend says it's likely to be the battery on the motherboard that needs replacing. But he's a PC expert, not a Mac user. Is he right, or could there be another explanation? And if he is right, is it expensive to have this battery replaced?
clareturpinAsked:
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Andrew DuffyConnect With a Mentor Technical Services CoordinatorCommented:
It is possible that the battery has expired but it's unlikely. In order to retain a charge in the battery, it needs to be plugged into the mains most of the time (it keeps the computer's settings for a certain period if the Mac should be unplugged). Has the Mac been unplugged for a prolonged period of time recently? If so, leave it plugged in for 24hours or so without turning the computer on and it should recharge it.

If the Mac hasn't been unplugged then it's possible the battery needs replacement:

http://www.satcure.co.uk/accs/imac.htm

As this link shows, they're not expensive but iMacs aren't the easiest machine to get inside. If you're in any way nervous about dismantling your computer successfully, I suggest you take it to a local computer service centre who has a good Mac track record (but not necessarily an official Apple Center - it's not a specialised procedure). They should stock spare batteries and it should cost no more than £20 to get it installed. £10 would be a more reasonable amount though.
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jonkreislerConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Generally, the PRAM batteries tend to last 3-5 years.
They are lithium, 1/2 AA cells, 3.6 volts.  
They are available from a number of sources, as well.
If you take the iMac to a service shop, be careful of minimum service fees. Those could make this minor replacement overly expensive.
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
Sorry to be pedantic but isn't that almost exactly what I just said?
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jonkreislerCommented:
Yes and no.  You (in-effect) provided an opinion of reasonable cost (UK, I presume.) I was being a bit more general.
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clareturpinAuthor Commented:
Stop arguing, boys. Your advice was great on both counts!
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Andrew DuffyTechnical Services CoordinatorCommented:
Yeah okay sorry it's an occupational hazard of this place to get things wrong - it's only text after all. Didn't mean to offend.

And the customer is always right...
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