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New CMOS Battery for Compaq Armada 7400?

Posted on 2006-04-11
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Every time I turn on my Compaq Armada 7400 I get a screen that reads "The following configuration options were automatically updated: the attached RAM configuration is not supported."  It then give me the options of F1: Save Changes; F2 Ignore Changes, F10: computer setup."

If I save or ignore it then boots up normally and runs fine.  Interestingly, when I simply reboot the system (I'm running windows 2000) it re-starts fine and this screen does not appear.  It appears on a "cold boot."

I'm wondering if the cmos battery is dying??  I've gone into the setup menu and poked around and can't find and toggles for memory.  BTW it is running 128mb and hasn't been changed as long as I've had the machine.  Also, the system clock is fine and there are no other symptoms.  

What say ye?  Also, if the cmos is no longer holding a charge do you have directions on how to replace it?  

Thanks in advance!

Bill
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Question by:revoconnell
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rindi earned 200 total points
ID: 16433683
This is certainly the cmos battery. The problem is that on notebooks that battery often is difficult to replace. First remove the removable parts like drive bays etc., they empty bays may give you a view of the battery. If that doesn't help remove the keyboard, often the battery sits below the keyboard. If that doesn't help, open the case completely.

CMOS batteries for notebooks are often legacy products, built for that specific notebook. These will be more expensive than necessary, but usually if you buy the original replacement you also get a manual with it showing you the replacement procedure.
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by:PCBONEZ
PCBONEZ earned 300 total points
ID: 16433702
Yes I'd go with a new battery.
I dunno where it is but this is what it looks like:
http://store.yahoo.com/impactcomputersmiami/258634-002.html
http://www.trademoon.com/Product57687.aspx
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by:revoconnell
ID: 16436452
Thanks, gentlemen.   Someone else mentioned that it is probably below the keyboard.  So...how do I remove the keyboard???
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 16437688
Many notebooks have screws holding the keyboard at the bottom of the case. Sometimes those screws are covered by rubber caps or the label stickers.

Other notebooks often have a piece of plastic close to the hinges of the LCD cover. This plastic part often needs to be taken off, sometimes by sliding it in one direction, and then you can get to the keyboard.
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by:PCBONEZ
PCBONEZ earned 300 total points
ID: 16440648
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by:revoconnell
ID: 16442568
Many thanks, everyone.  I'm a pastor and won't get to this until after Easter, but I do appreciate everyone's input.  The directions are fantastic.  

Just one more question.  This unit is going to require a special type of screwdriver to open up.  Looks like it has a slot and then a little square in the middle.  Any idea what you call that?   Any idea where I can pick one up.   Last question (till after easter) I promise :)
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by:PCBONEZ
PCBONEZ earned 300 total points
ID: 16442965
It's called a "torx" screwdriver.
Not too hard to find at any hardware or tool store. Sears has them too.
The sizes begin with a "T" and are followed by a whole number. T8, T10, T15

The torx part is the star pattern. If there's a slot too it's an either/or betwen torx and a regular screwdriver.
I would use torx. They grip better and it's less likely to strip the screw's head if it's too tight.

You can get them as screwdrivers
http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1286539&cp=&origkw=torx&kw=torx&parentPage=search&searchId=10574690385

Driver tips
http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1340564&cp=&origkw=torx&kw=torx&parentPage=search&searchId=10574690385

Or like allen wrenches
http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1292342&cp=&origkw=torx&kw=torx&parentPage=search&searchId=10574690385

This link tells you what all the screw sizes are on your laptop.
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/UCR/SupportManual/TPM_204249-002_appc/TPM_204249-002_appc.pdf
If you look where it says "head" the torx size is given.

For future reference the index to these support documents is here:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/DocumentIndex.jsp?&lang=en&cc=us&contentType=SupportManual&docIndexId=179166&prodTypeId=321957&prodSeriesId=96228&lang=en&cc=us

In a way you lucked out.
It's a rare few make/models of laptop that have this much detailed information available.
.
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Author Comment

by:revoconnell
ID: 16513713
Okay, friends.  Finally found the time to work on this.  Got the battery pcbonez recommended and put it in and Wala!  Same problem :(     The battery pcbonex recommended was the Real time Clock battery.  There is also an "auxiliary battery," which is larger and looks like several sells wrapped in plastic (see manual above, page 27).  

Could that be the one that I really need? Other suggestions?
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 16513819
The purpose of the auxillary battery is to power the laptop long enough to swap main batteries.
That's all it does. Nothing to do with CMOS.

Please check the voltage on the new battery.
If it's been sitting on a shelf for 3 or 4 years it isn't really new.
.
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Author Comment

by:revoconnell
ID: 16514989
Okay.  I'll take a look (now that I'm an expert in disassembling this thing).  Probably find some time again on Monday.
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by:rindi
ID: 16659535
any news?
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Author Comment

by:revoconnell
ID: 16661317
Sorry, I haven't had a chance to open it up and check the voltage of the cmos battery.  Hopefully soon.  Thanks for your patience.
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Author Comment

by:revoconnell
ID: 16710878
Okay.  I opened it up again today and took out the cmos battery.  It was delivering 3.0 volts as it should.  Plugged it back in and there was a place on the mainbord right in front of it to test to see if the mainboard was getting that power and it was...3.0 volts.   So...it's not the cmos.

I ran the system hardware self-diagnostic tests and no errors.    I guess I'm back to the error message at the beginning: "The following configuration options were automatically updated: the attached RAM configuration is not supported."  Could my memory be defective?  I have not changed it since I have owned the machine.

What are your suggestions?
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by:rindi
ID: 16711045
I don't know if that battery test you mentioned can really be trusted. The voltage of a spent battery can still be OK, it is possible that it just won't deliver enough power. Power isn't the voltage, but the combination of voltage and amperes.

Test your RAM using memtest96+. This is a very extensive memory testing software, and if it passes without errors, it is likely the RAM is good (Of course it can't be 100% sure).

memtest is on the UBCD, along with many other usefull tools.

http://ultimatebootcd.com
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Author Comment

by:revoconnell
ID: 17024200
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you all.  I have been on vacation.  I have gotten an rma for the seller of this battery and they will test it.  I will get back to you all when I hear back.

Bill
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 17152529
any knews?
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by:rindi
ID: 17206899
revoconnell, have you had any progress?
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by:revoconnell
ID: 17209507
I'm so sorry folks. I just haven't made the time to pull the darn battery.   Motivation is hard when all it takes is the push of a button and the laptop continues to load without any problems.   I will really try to get it done this week.                                                                                                                                                                                                        
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Author Comment

by:revoconnell
ID: 17245734
Okay.  I called pulled the batter and called the company.  They won't accept a return on the battery...too long since I bought it, but they did give me a good price on another new one.  Hopefully this one will do the trick.  

BTW, I'll be out of town next week (again) so bear with me.  Thanks everyone for your patience.
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Author Comment

by:revoconnell
ID: 17320792
Okay...got the new cmos batt.  Put it in and it is still popping up with the same opening screen.  Tested voltage on the new one and it is also reading a little over 3 volts (what it should be according to the battery).    

Othere suggestions?  I'm about ready to give up on this thing.
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 17322818
""the attached RAM configuration""
--> "attached"
Have you added or used some sort of external memory type?
Flash memory? Cell Phone? Camera?

Is the system showing the full 128 MB of memory?
(It maybe a chip ot two on the module went bad.)

Here is the only other mention of that error message I could find.
It was a memory module problem in an HP or Compaq Laptop.
http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/questionanswer.do?threadId=162962
.
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by:rindi
ID: 17390002
Any news here?
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by:revoconnell
ID: 17391385
Dear Friends,
Let me reply to PCBONEZ's questions/comments:
Have you added or used some sort of external memory type?
Flash memory? Cell Phone? Camera?
NO ON ALL FRONTS.

Is the system showing the full 128 MB of memory?
(It maybe a chip ot two on the module went bad.)
YES.

Here is the only other mention of that error message I could find.
It was a memory module problem in an HP or Compaq Laptop.
http://forums1.itrc.hp.com/service/forums/bizsupport/questionanswer.do?threadId=162962
DONT' THINK IT'S MEMORY.  ALL I CAN THINK IS THAT THERE SOME ELECTRICAL CONNECTION ON THE MAINBOARD GAVE OUT AND IT IS NOT GETTING THE CMOS POWER.

UNLESS ANY OF YOU HAVE ANOTHER SUGGESTION, I'M READY TO MOVE ON AND CLOSE THIS QUESTION.  THIS IS AN OLD LAPTOP...THE PROBLEM IS SIMPLY AN ANNOYANCE...I FEEL LIKE I'VE SPENT TOO MUCH TIME ON IT AS IT IS.   I DO APPRECIATE EVERYONE'S INPUT AND WILL DOLE OUT POINTS APPROPRIATELY.   I WILL WAIT A COUPLE MORE DAYS FOR ANY BRAINSTORMS AND IF I DON'T HEAR ANY I'LL CLOSE THIS QUESTION.

THANKS!

BILL
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by:rindi
ID: 17469046
Any news?
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by:PCBONEZ
ID: 17471749
I know you don't think it's memory, but, the only other suggestion I can think of is to remove and replace the memory module. Sometimes a poor connection between the module and the memory slot will cause goofy things to happen. If the right contact has a bad connection it might be interfearing with the CMOS being able to read the SPD on the memory module.
 
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Author Comment

by:revoconnell
ID: 17473131
Okay...I'll give that a shot and let you know what happens.   Nothing to loose and not a time-consuming idea.
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by:rindi
ID: 17541629
any news?
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Author Comment

by:revoconnell
ID: 17583537
Sorry, friends.  I'll check the memory today and report back.
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Author Comment

by:revoconnell
ID: 17587931
Okay I reset the memory.  Still nothing.  I'll designate questions and close question in a bit.  Just more hassle than it's been worth.  Thanks for trying.
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Author Comment

by:revoconnell
ID: 17817124
Thanks for trying everyone.
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