CMOS Batteries - Why aren't they easy to replace

  mehim 11 Jun 11
Locked
Answered

This thread is prompted by SparkyJacks If they need replacing why can't they be easily replaced? Surely a little cover, accessed by one screw or a coin slot, marked CMOS Battery and instructions in the manual could avoid a lot of hassle for the less compuer minded and of course cost.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11 Jun 11

Reasonably easy on a desktop but I hate the way some laptops seem to hide them, under the keyboard for instance, an absolute nightmare when trying to change them.

  mehim 11 Jun 11

Agreed. But even for desktops they could arrange it so as not to take the cover off.

  wiz-king 11 Jun 11

It's to force you to inside to see all the link textdirt

  mehim 12 Jun 11

So, is it just a con to milk money out of the people frightened of the grey box or is there a genuine reason?

  mooly 12 Jun 11

Probably down to cost. The battery is long lived, certainly exceeding the warranty by several years usually, so to make it user replaceable would be very costly.

  chub_tor 12 Jun 11
Answer

Little covers, screws, coin slots all cost money either in parts or the cost of the tooling to produce those parts and as mooly says, the life of the battery is much longer than the warranty. When the manufacturer is designing his latest laptop one of his criteria will be to make the design easily upgradeable so that model variations using the same tooling can be produced. That means easy access to the memory and the hard drive, possibly the WI-Fi card for models with and without Bluetooth. Those justify the extra parts and tooling costs. The last thing on his mind will be the placement of the CMOS battery which will be situated on the motherboard for convenience to associated circuit parts and for easy assembly on the production line. Just about all motherboards use the same type of battery so variations from model to model do not have be catered for and there is no money in it for the manufacturer in supplying replacements for exhausted batteries several years down the line. Just like cars, laptops are designed for a price point and the design is governed more by what is best for the manufacturer than what is desirable for the end user. It all boils down to money in the end; when comparing laptop features would you pay more for a model with a replaceable battery cover? I don't think I would.

  robin_x 12 Jun 11

I'd guess a significant number of people will also buy new machines instead, since they will assume their 3, 4 or 5 yr old model is on its last legs.

And that's just reminded me, my 7 yr old desktop still on its original battery.

  mehim 13 Jun 11

Thank you all.

chub_tor, that all makes sense, though to the uninformed it still seems strange not to do it.

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